How To Apply Makeup, Flawlessly

The Key Steps To Foundation, Concealer, And Powder

Learning how to apply makeup of any kind plays a significant role in the impact of the whole makeup result. It really makes a difference to recognize that each part of your  makeup application needs to be done well. Even the most gorgeous eye makeup application will not counter a poor foundation application.

With base makeup your goal is, of course,  a result that appears flawless, fresh, and natural looking. Even minor mistakes can quickly detract from the beauty of your makeup, not to mention becoming detectable being a big 'no-no'. 

So how do you achieve a flawless finish with base makeup (and avoid the pitfalls of this more tricky application)?

The key to your success is getting familiar with the important details found in the steps of each part of the base phase; foundation, concealer and powder

With a little practice you can improve technique such as placement, blending, better understand the time frame products are workable, and the ideal tools and techniques that best suit your needs.

The more you understand the variables in the application, the better you will be at working with them and the closer you will come to flawless applications.

shades diagramWatch out for these saboteurs of a great finish:

  • color match off skin tone, even a little will be noticeable,
  • makeup that does not flow with the whole body (neck and face don't match)
  • poorly blended, streaky
  • too much on skin, excess, "pan-cakey"
  • shiny, without powder
  • skin irritation/ blemishes apparent
  • dark circles

How To Apply Makeup #1: Getting it right... PRODUCT CHOICES

To begin with, figure out what product serves your desired finish, your coverage needs and your skin type best. Consider the best foundation options available to you. 

There are lots of cosmetic companies producing these products, each with a variety of formulations i.e. oil-free, water based, with sunscreen etc., and a variety of formats i.e. liquid, compact, stick, and powder. Not to mention adding to the foundation options mix, things like tinted moisturizers and skin illuminators.

apple graphicBefore you shop, be clear on your unique needs.  The sheer volume of product choices can overwhelm you, so by pass the extraneous product options by establishing in your mind a few details about your own needs and your desired results

How To Apply Makeup Step #2: Getting it right... COLOR MATCH

Natural light and your jaw line are the best test for color matching tones of foundation, concealer and powder. You can ask for the assistance of a *knowledgeable professional if you aren't confident in your assessment. 

apple graphic'Ball park' your skin tone. Generally speaking, there are three general groupings for skin tone; cool, warm and neutral.  An easy test to point you in the right direction?  Look at the underside of your wrist.  If your veins appear more green, you are warm toned.  If your veins appear more blue-purple, then you are cool skin toned.  If you still aren't sure, you may be neutral skin toned and in this case, err on the side of yellow based shades.

*MAC cosmetics counters are great when it comes to knowledgeable assistance, and offer a high quality product line up, to boot.

How To Apply Makeup Step #3: Getting it right... SEQUENCE

Although there may be a variety of opinions among the pros on what makeup is applied first and what technique to be used in it's application, I think we can all agree that it depends on the on the occasion, individual skin needs, desired results and the formulations of products being used.

In other words, after considering the below general rule of thumb, your own needs will shape the choices you make and experience is truly the best teacher.

apple graphicThe best sequence for most people.  Generally speaking I think for *most individuals the most aesthetic way to go is this; foundation first, second concealer, and then powder to set the first two.

Once you have applied your foundation, you can then assess what, if any other coverage is necessary. Why?
#1 When you apply in this sequence you tend to use less makeup... and less is truly more (in most cases).
#2 You also avoid the annoyance of the foundation application wiping away the concealer.


If you are using a cream cream blush or bronzer, or stain, then these would come before dusting with powder. Experimenting is best as some of these products still function well on top of powder.

*Professional applications follow the criteria that meet the needs of film and studio or set lighting.

apple contour graphicLast word on how to apply makeup...
The flawless face was made famous by Laura Mercier, a brilliant pro makeup artist , and cosmetics company founder. She has something called The Flawless Face Kit, if you really want to minimize the decision making on super customized product selections (and still get as close to a flawless finish as possible).  It comes with a primer, tinted moisturizer, concealer duo for a perfectly blended skin tone match,  blending sponges, and quality brushes.

small apple graphicYou Are Here:  Makeup Tips Home > How To Apply Makeup Flawlessly

Like This Page?

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

picture of me Welcome to my site!
My goal is to be one of your top makeup resources, and maybe even provide a little fun and humor along the way.

For really fresh beauty bites and the latest posts, visit me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter or check out my Makeup Blog. I am tuned into a lot of great fashion and beauty news media, and I share what sparks my interest, as well as, what I think would be helpful or fun beauty F.Y.I..


picture of me

makeup blog graphic facebook button twitter button

FB Like this page
or comment on it.

leaves graphicNatural/ Organic 101:

Is your skin looking dull and less than radiant?

The answer may lie in your skin's natural exfoliation process and how effectively you assist it (most of us as adults will experience awesome benefits when we regularly exfoliate our skin (customized to our skin type of course). Visit my skin care guide on exfoliation for more detail.

One of the best methods of regular skin exfoliation is through the use of products with AHA.

AHAs or Alpha Hydroxy Acids are fruit acids and in the right concentration can be miracle workers.

One such miracle worker? Award winning, natural, organic Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel - Full Strength (also with a formulation for Sensitive Skin) which uses natural fruit acids to deeply exfoliate your skin's surface. I wanted to test out this popularly listed "best of" beauty magazine product to see what kind of results I would get. Let's just say I was more than just pleasantly surprised to experience everything it reported: dramatic exfoliation results and the appearance of fresh looking radiant skin.