Choose Your Color
Make a Match
To find the right foundation color, apply a stripe to your jawline and step into natural light, says Tim Quinn, head makeup artist for Giorgio Armani Beauty, in New York City. It should blend imperceptibly into your skin. (When shopping at a drugstore, be sure the store allows for returns, in case the color is wrong at home.)
Prime Skin if Necessary
If you have oily skin or enlarged pores or your foundation disappears by midday, apply a silicone-based primer under your makeup, says New York City makeup artist Nick Barose. Try (1) Pro-Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30 ($32, neimanmarcus.com).
Select the Right Tool
For the most professional effect, apply liquid base with a foundation brush, suggests Los Angeles makeup artist Pati Dubroff. Consider the (2) MAC 190 Foundation Brush ($33, maccosmetics.com). Work from the nose outward in small, featherlight strokes. If you use powdered-mineral foundation, choose a kabuki brush, like the (3) Sephora Professionnel Kabuki Brush #50 ($24, sephora.com). Its densely packed bristles distribute powder evenly. To get full coverage with liquid foundation, press the base onto the skin with a sponge like (4) Ricky’s NYC Mattése Sponges Non-Latex Wedges ($3 for 12, rickysnyc.com for info). And to achieve the sheerest effect, use your fingers. Their warmth helps work in lightweight foundations and tinted moisturizers.
Add the Finishes Touches
Apply concealer after foundation. “You will end up using much less or realize you don’t even need it,” says Dubroff. For blemishes, use the (5) Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush ($26, 888-637-2437) to dot on and blend in concealer. To hide dark circles, brush on (6) Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer ($23, bobbibrown.com) or use the (7) Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen ($37, sephora.com) and pat in with a ring finger. Set makeup with (8) Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder ($32, sephora.com).