Home Common Questions and Answers About Makeup

Common Questions and Answers About Makeup

Here is a list of common questions and answers related to applying and selecting makeup. that I’ve compiled from my readers over the years.

If you cannot find the question that you want to ask, simply contact me and I will get back to you with the answer.


BB Creams FAQ

Because many BB creams are made in Korea, it’s easy for girls with yellow undertones to find a great match.

To choose the right shade, start by finding a product that suits your needs, from price range to consistency. Ideally, it should have a wide color range that provides you with a number of options.

If you can, test the product before you purchase it. Find a local makeup store that lets customers sample products and experiment with a few shades. The best way to choose a shade of face makeup is by applying shades to a clean jaw line. Draw a sizeable smudge along the jaw, and then check to see whether the shade disappears or not. If it does, it matches your skin tone. If it doesn’t, keep looking for the perfect shade.

If you’re thinking about buying a BB that’s not available in your area, there are still ways to ensure a good color match. First, narrow the available shades down to the three you think might suit your yellow undertones. Then, search the internet for swatches and reviews. For the most popular brands and products, you’ll probably be able to find photos of the BB creams you’re considering buying. Adjust your expectations for lighting, and then choose the shade that best suits your skin.

People with yellow undertones can have a hard time finding the perfect foundation shade. Korean BB creams, however, offer you a wide array of options. Regardless of your budget or skin type, you’ll be able to find the BB cream that’s right for you.

Because many of the most popular BB cream products are made in Korea, makeup mavens often have to resort to online shopping to get their favorite products. This has led to a marketplace for fake BB creams. Thankfully, there are a few ways to determine whether a BB cream is real or fake.

A real BB cream should be easy to blend and have an even texture. If your BB cream is hard to apply or noticeably runny, it may be fake. Also look out for BB creams that smell strange, as this can be an indicator of a falsified product. Most Korean BB creams are designed to have a pleasant fragrance.

You should also check the product’s bottle, as shoddy packaging is another giveaway. Find a picture of the original manufacturer’s packaging online. Then compare your product to the picture. If your bottle is a different color, poorly aligned, or unprofessional looking, your product may be a dupe.

If you suspect that a product you ordered online may be a fake, see if you can find a retailer that sells the cream nearby. Try the real product to see if it is the same color, consistency, and smell. If you notice any major differences, you’ve likely purchased a fake BB cream. See if you can get a refund. If you can’t, remember not to do business with that online seller again.

There are a number of reasons why Korean BB creams have taken the beauty world by storm. For one, they are incredibly versatile products. These multi-tasking creams aren’t just tinted moisturizers with superiority complexes. They provide the skin with a wide range of beauty benefits.

BB creams are supposed to do the work of multiple beauty products.  They can sometimes do the work of your conventional foundation, concealer, sunscreen, primer, and moisturizer. BB creams are a great way to shorten your morning beauty routine while maintaining the coverage you want.

The ingredient list is one of the primary reasons why BB creams are so popular. They are full of potent antioxidants, which can do everything from banishing acne to diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. They also have moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Whatever skin type you have, you can find a BB cream that suits your needs.

BB creams also provide a flawless, even finish. They often contain arbutin and licorice root, which can brighten dull complexions. To ensure luminous-looking skin, they are often filled with skin-friendly mica, which reflects light. BB creams also contain silicone-based ingredients, which are traditionally found in primers. This means that BB creams slide onto the skin smoothly and stay put.

From the great ingredients to the flawless finish, BB creams are a great product for girls on the go. These versatile creams provide excellent coverage but require no hassle.

Although a great BB Cream can do wonders for our dry skin, it will not heal it completely. As mentioned above, dry skin is a symptom caused by many factors, and until those are treated, we can only treat the symptom.

However, if the main culprit behind your dry skin is external (wind, sun, smoke, etc.), then a BB Cream can absolutely heal your skin by acting as a shield between you and the outside world.

Enriching your diet with powerful antioxidants and healthy fats, increasing your water intake, and breaking a sweat for at least 30 minutes each day are excellent ways to heal your dry skin. The extra vitamins and water will nourish your skin from the inside and the exercise will boost blood flow to the surface of your skin which causes your cells to rejuvenate.

If the culprit is hormones, you may need to speak to your doctor about solutions. According to an article from Women’s Health Network, hormonal imbalance and declining levels of reproductive hormones can cause extreme dryness and make fine lines and wrinkles appear to be worse than before.

Once you have tackled the problem from the inside, the use of an amazing BB cream will help you keep the symptom of dry skin at bay. The key to seeing a permanent change in your skin is to be consistent with your skincare regimen.

Dry skin can be caused by factors such as the wind, the sun, environmental pollutants, diet, and even hormones. To combat dry skin, look for a BB that is loaded with antioxidants, moisturizers, and collagen-boosting ingredients. Typically, what we put into our bodies shows up on the outside, so it makes sense to feed our skin with the same healthy ingredients that we look for in our foods.

It is important for you to choose a BB cream with high-quality ingredients. Creams with essential oils and Alpha Hydroxy Acids, AHA’s, are likely to be more nourishing than creams that have glycerin or petroleum listed among the first ingredients on their list. Although those ingredients may feel moisturizing, they are chemical-based and often just cover up the problems without offering any real healing properties.

Vitamin C is important in our diet as it helps the body absorb calcium and boosts our immune systems, but did you know that applied topically, Vitamin C has the ability to heal scars, reduce redness, and regenerate collagen? For people with dry skin, Vitamin C can drastically improve the overall tone and texture of the skin.

An article published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, states that a compound of antioxidants and vitamin C applied to the skin ultimately blocks the damage caused by ultraviolet rays.

Another study, from the Micronutrient Institute at Oregon State University, offers evidence that the antioxidant properties of vitamin C make it essential for skin health.

It is important to note that Vitamin C may initially cause some redness as dry skin and old cells are replaced with a fresh, supple layer of skin.

Another powerhouse ingredient for dry skin is Aloe. Aloe has always been used to treat and soothe dehydrated skin. Often used for sunburns, aloe provides a barrier between your skin and the harsh outside contributors to dryness.

According to Josh Clark, at How Stuff Works: Health, the enzymes found in aloe provide the skin with the essentials needed to boost collagen production and put a stop to itching and flaking.

The Dermal Institute suggests the use of invigorating essential oils such as Rosewood, Jasmine, Carrot Seed, and Argon to boost antioxidants and heal and nourish dry, damaged skin. Many companies have added these to their BB Cream ingredients to increase the value of their product.

Here are some common ingredients you may find in BB creams designed for oily skin:


Perlite is a natural volcanic mineral powder that is a common ingredient in makeup products, especially ones for oily skin. It’s popular because it’s great at absorbing excess facial oil and moisture while allowing the skin the breathe (won’t clog pores). It also provides a matting effect which helps to reduce the shine on oily skin.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is an ingredient that helps prevent acne. It’s a popular ingredient found in BB creams made for people with oily and acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid has a drying effect which may not work well for you if you have dry patches on your skin.

Vitamins and Antioxidants

Essentially, a good BB cream is made of light, refreshing ingredients enriched with vitamins and antioxidants. Good skincare can help you control your body’s oil production. Before investing in a product, do some research into the ingredients to determine what’s in the product.

Here are some vitamins and antioxidants that work great on oily skin:

  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that reduce skin damage caused by the sun’s UV rays. It also helps to promote the production of collagen, your skin’s structural protein that helps to lock in moisture.
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D helps to prevent premature skin aging by protecting your skin against sun damage.
  • Vitamin E – Vitamin E helps to protect your skin against sun damage and reduces inflammation on your skin.

If coverage is your main priority, foundations might be the better option. While foundations is great for coverage and finish, it doesn’t come with the extra benefits that you get with BB cream. BB cream isn’t just a concealer, though that’s certainly one of its features–it can actually treat your skin while it conceals flaws and hides acne and redness.

BB creams can be a valuable asset for women with oily skin. But in some ways, BB cream might still seem like an unnecessary addition to your makeup routine. Why smear extra cream on your face when you can simply dust a little light foundation powder on your skin? If you’ve got oily skin, you don’t want to use products that feel greasy or cakey.

Overall, BB cream is the better option for oily skin, as it provides additional treatment as well as coverage. You’ll save time and money on oily skin treatment products by simply replacing your foundation with BB cream. Make sure that you purchase a light, oil-free product because they work best on oily skin.

Yes, The right BB Creams can be good for oily skin. 

If you’ve got oily skin, you might be hesitant before trying out a new product. While some skin products can eliminate dirt and oils and smooth out bumpy skin, other products actually irritate sensitive skin and cause oiliness or breakouts–leaving you worse off than when you started!

Instead of clogging your pores with caked-on makeup, BB creams offer light, oil-free alternatives that are gentle and soothing on oily skin. You’ll clear your skin while enjoying the regular benefits of BB cream, including sunscreen, skin treatment, concealer, and foundation. Essentially, you’ll have your makeup and oily skin treatment all in one product.

The main differences between drugstore and department BB creams are scent, packaging, and pigmentation.

When shopping for BB creams we often run into a bit of a dilemma. Should you spend more money at the department store or should you look for cheaper alternatives at the drugstore? What exactly are you missing out on when you purchase at the drugstore? Are department store BB creams really that much better?

The good news is that you can get “department quality” products at the drugstore for a bargain. From my experience, I would even say that most drugstore BB creams are great and will work out for your everyday needs. However, there are certain features of department store BB creams that make them worth the extra price. Let me break it down:

Better Scent – Although this is quite subjective. I do find that in most cases, department store BB creams have a more pleasant scent than the ones found at the drugstore.

Better Packaging – Department store BB creams have a premium feel to them. They usually come nicely wrapped inside a box.

More Pigmentation – Although they are more expensive, department store BB creams usually contain more pigment which means you use less of the product but can get way more coverage.

In selecting a waterproof BB cream, choose the proper one for your skin type and decide on the layer of coverage desired. Every BB cream has been designed for a key purpose. Heavier formulas are made with nourishing built-in minerals, creating a dewy look for those with dry complexions or mature skin care needs.

There are also BB creams made especially for our oilier-complected and combination-complected ladies. These ingredients might include salicylic acid or niacinamide or even “mattifying” minerals to keep pores ultra-clear and shine away for hours. Coverage is still full in a lightweight base.

Some BB creams offer a universal shade, such as one color fits all. Of course, that isn’t always the case, but you can try on a few brands to come as close to your natural complexion as possible.

Look for waterproof BB creams that feature a number of different shades. These are similar to liquid foundations in warm tints and cool tints. These formulas offer a wide range, from the palest ivory to the deepest mahogany, for example.

The beauty in the simplicity and feather-light quality of a BB cream, allows it to be layered with other skin care products for greater efficacy. If you don’t have time to purchase a waterproof BB cream, don’t despair, because you can create your own. There are actually 2 ways of doing it and it really depends on the activity that you will be doing. Let me explain:

Waterproofing Your BB Cream for Swimming

If you are going for a swim, the easiest way to waterproof your BB cream is to “seal” it with a waterproof setting spray.  Apply your makeup as you do normally and then set everything down with the spray. Keep in mind that setting sprays do wear off over time and need to be reapplied. If you are planning to submerge your face in the water, setting sprays will not be able to hold all of your makeup in place. However, it’s a great product for a quick dip in the pool or if you are looking to splash around at the beach.

Waterproofing Your BB Cream For Sweaty Sports or Activities

Applying primer before your BB cream will help your BB cream will stay in place. Most makeup artists believe that a decent primer acts as a wonderful “double-sided tape.”

Another excellent product to pair with your BB cream for waterproof effectiveness is a mineral-based powder. A layer of mineral powder over your BB cream is still like a wispy feather. It won’t clog pores, will provide some SPF, and still remain water-proof. In addition, the mineral powder is packed with naturally pure ingredients, so it’s complexion-friendly.

Mineral powder layered over BB cream is perfect for women of all skin types. The finely powdered texture is light-reflective, which shows off bone structure and hides skin imperfections.

Concealer FAQ

If you’re thinking about using drugstore concealers for acne skin, you might be thinking if drugstore concealers are really good enough to cover your acne. From my own experience, I’ve found that most drugstore concealers do a great job. Here are a couple of things to watch out for when selecting a concealer for acne:

# 1 – Choose Oil Free: A good way to control your acne is to keep your oil under control. However, it’s important to understand that not all oils are bad for acne skin. According to Dr. Doris Day at ShareCare.com, essential oils used in fragrances are normally not a problem for acne skin.

Furthermore, Dr. Day explains that oil-free products are divided into two groups: strictly oil-free and borderline oil-free. Strictly oil-free products contain no oil while borderline oil-free products contain ingredients that behave like oil but is not oil. These ingredients are called esters.

People with acne-prone skin should stick to products that are strictly oil-free.

# 2 – Green Tint works Best: Green tints help to neutralize redness and make them less noticeable. I usually recommend green concealers for clients who have really bright red blemishes or acne that is hard to conceal.

The idea behind this trick is simple. Red and green belong on the opposite sides of the color wheel. When mixed together, the redness becomes duller, and becomes much easier for you to cover up this mixture with a foundation.

# 3 – Contains Benzoyl Peroxide: Benzoyl Peroxide is a great acne-fighting ingredient. This is because it is great for unclogging pores. It also kills acne-clogging bacteria. If you’re looking for a concealer that works well with acne, also look for benzoyl peroxide as one of the ingredients. I have also written a guide on the best acne concealers. Check out the guide if you want to find out more.

Although not exactly a drugstore concealer, Clinique Acne Solutions Clearing Concealer has worked well for me in the past. It’s an oil-free green tinted concealer that contains Benzoyl Peroxide.

If you’re set on a drugstore brand, try Maybelline New York Cover Stick Concealer (Green). It’s very good for covering blemishes and redness. The price is also very reasonable. It doesn’t contain Benzoyl Peroxide so you might need to apply acne cream to the affected area first before using this product.

If you’ve ever checked out the cosmetics section of the drugstore, you would probably be overwhelmed by the number of concealers that are available. After All, the drugstore tailors to a larger market and they want to make sure that they can satisfy everyone’s needs. However, the truth is that there are probably only a few concealers that will match your skin tone.

Here are a few tips for matching drugstore concealers to your skin tone:

#1 – Know your Undertone

Do you know your undertone? Knowing your undertone simply makes it a lot easier to find the shade that you need. There are 3 different classifications of undertones: Warm, Neutral, and Cool.

You can’t just look at your skin to determine your undertone. The best way to find your undertone is to look at your veins. Find the wrist on your arm and determine the color of your veins. If they look blue or purple, then you are cool-toned. If they look green, you are warm-toned.

#2 – Check Your Lighting

This is one of those things that is easily missed by most people. The lighting inside most drugstores are usually too white which washes out the true color of the concealer. The general rule of thumb is to test your concealer in natural light.

To do this, simply dab a few shades that you believe is close to your actual skin tone. Do this in areas that you would like to conceal. A good area would be under the eyes (dark circles). You want to apply in such a way that you can easily compare the shades. I usually apply the shades next to each other so that it’s easy to see.

After you have done this step, walk towards a window or go outdoors. Your goal is to find a shade that matches closely to your natural skin tone. Don’t worry if it’s not a 100% match. However, you do want to be within the ballpark in which the differences in the shade are not very noticeable.

#3- Tap, Don’t Rub

Here’s another mistake that many people tend to make. When they are testing out concealers at the drugstore, they tend to rub the product on. If you rub concealer on, you’re simply moving the product around. This means that you aren’t getting the coverage that the concealer can provide. Simply tapping the product onto your skin is the best way to test its coverage.

#4 – Know Your Coverage

What exactly are you trying to cover? You must have this question answered before heading down to the drugstore. Why? Because different colors cover different things. For example, if you are trying to cover up light redness and blemishes, choose a color that will match your skin tone exactly. If you’re trying to cover red pimples, try using a green concealer to neutralize the red. You don’t need to be a genius in color theory in order to figure it out. However, it does help if you study the color wheel a bit before heading out to shop.

#5 – Consider Texture and Consistency of Product

Many people think that drugstore concealers are poor in quality and texture. However, this is simply not true. In many cases, I have found that drugstore concealers do a better job than some major brand department store makeup.

However, not all drugstore concealers are created equal and you do need to pay attention to what you are buying. Think about what you are trying to cover and select a concealer for that purpose. For example, you should select a creamy and hydrating foundation for your dark circles. This is because this area tends to be drier and more delicate than other areas of your face.

#6 – Know Your Ingredients

Even if you are a complete newbie in the makeup world, you would still probably agree with me that the best ingredients for concealers are those that are natural. Here is a list of ingredients that you should look out for:

  1. Aloe
  2. Pomegranate Seed Oil
  3. Green Tea Extract
  4. Ginseng Root Extract
  5. Sunflower Seed Oil
  6. Tomato Extract
  7. Lotus Leaf Extract
  8. Castor Seed Oil
  9. Organic Beeswax (Cera Alba)
  10. Coconut Oil
  11. Cocoa Seed Butter

You probably won’t find all these ingredients in a single product. Keep in mind that products with natural ingredients are more expensive.

Yes, you can just use concealer under your eyes if your concealer is a close shade to your natural skin tone. However, it’s not recommended if you have wrinkled skin because the concealer will settle into the cracks, making the wrinkles on your skin more prominent. 

Here are a few things you need to consider if you’re planning to use only concealer under your eyes and skip primer and foundation:

Harder to Match Shade – Concealers come in much fewer shade options than foundations. If you’re going to use just a concealer under your eyes, ensure that the shade matches closely with your natural skin tone.

Cakey Feeling – The job of a concealer is to cover hard-to-cover areas like dark cycles and acne. They are designed to be thicker than foundation and applied in thin layers. Some people tend to over-apply concealer and adding thick layers could make your under-eye area feel cakey and uncomfortable.

Reduced wear time – The job of a primer is to help your makeup stick better. It provides a barrier between your skin and makeup. The natural oils on your skin will take longer to break down your makeup, making your makeup last longer. If you skip primer, you lose this benefit and you will find yourself re-applying your concealer more often.

Settling Into Cracks – Primers also help to create a smooth surface on your skin for makeup application. It’s designed to fill in cracks and wrinkles so that when you apply your concealer and foundation, they won’t settle into the cracks. If you skip primer, you will need to apply extra layers of concealer which may also lead to your makeup feeling cakey.


No, you should not use concealers all over your face because concealers are mainly used for spot coverage to help you hide hard-to-cover skin imperfections.

There are a few reasons why using concealers all over your face is not a good idea:

1. Consistency – Concealers have a thicker consistency than foundation and when applied all over your face, they will make your skin feel cakey and thick. This is not a great feeling especially if you’re planning it wear your makeup all day.

2. Price – Concealers come in smaller bottles and are more expensive per volume when compared to foundation. Using concealers all over the face is simply not economical and will hurt your wallet over time.

3. Shade Options – There are fewer shades to choose from. Shaded concealers are commonly used under foundation with a similar shade. Since your concealer will NOT do the main job of matching your skin tone,  companies don’t create many different shades of them.

This means that you will most likely need to mix concealers of different shades together in order to create a shade that matches your skin tone if you want to apply concealer all over your face.

Yes! You can use BB creams as concealers but BB creams may not be as effective as a concealer for tougher spots. 

A Concealer is mainly used to conceal and hide tough-to-hide imperfections. They can help cover eye lines, wrinkles, under-eye bags, dark circles, blemishes, and other skin impurities.

A BB cream, aka ‘beauty balm’, ‘blemish balm’ or ‘blemish base’, is designed to cover and conceal minor imperfections with a light finish.

The main distinction between BB creams and concealers is that BB creams contain skin-care ingredients that are meant to help moisturize, hydrate and protect your skin. BB creams are supposed to make the skin look better and more energized. They are sometimes referred to as tinted moisturizers because they are essentially skincare products that are designed to blend into your skin.

Concealers are usually not considered skin-care products. Although some do have skincare features, the features are limited.  They have a thicker consistency than a BB cream and their main function is to cover blemishes or skin imperfections with deep colors that are hard to cover.

Opinion: Concealer is better than BB Cream because you can sheer down your concealer by mixing it with moisturizer. This allows you to have more control over your coverage without buying another product. 

The above opinion assumes that you are comparing a BB cream and concealer that has similar skincare ingredients and that you are trying to cover up spots rather than your whole face.

Determining which product is better for you depends on what you are trying to cover with your makeup and how much coverage you need.

Should You Use Concealer or BB Cream?

Most skin care routines will incorporate the use of both concealers and bb creams as these products work great together to hide skin imperfections. Concealers are usually applied first before layering BB cream on top.

However, if you only want to buy 1 product and want to make the best use of it. It’s best to understand what each product is used for.

A BB cream blurs imperfections like dark spots and fine lines which in turn conceals the skin slightly.  It also plumps the skin because BB Creams generally have nourishing ingredients. BB cream is best for a natural day look.

BB creams come in many different shades and it’s much easier to find shade matches than concealers.  BB creams combine the benefits of tinted moisturizers, sunscreens anti-aging creams.  Common ingredients in BB creams include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide (sunblock), hyaluronic acid (for skin hydration), antioxidants and vitamins.

BB creams are ideal for people with dry skin because it can hydrate your skin while giving you the coverage you need. However, they are generally to use for all skin types.

A concealer is much thicker, and when used with skin prep can completely hide dark circles, redness, age spots, and blemishes.

Concealer can be used to target spots you would like to cover up (spots, under eyes, redness, etc) while still letting the other areas of your skin breathe.

If you want to also use something across the whole face, you can sheer down some concealers you already own by mixing it with some of your moisturizer or face oil. If you have a good concealer you don’t need much else for natural, everyday face makeup.

Although you can wear concealers alone, there are fewer shade options. This is why they are usually used under foundations. Check out my guide on how to apply concealer, foundations, and primers if you want to know more.

Contributors To This Answer:

Theresa NovickyTheresa is a licensed makeup artist in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Theresa’s background is in modeling and acting. She has been doing make-up for weddings and photoshoots for over 10 years.

Lindsay Kastuk – Lindsay is an NYC-based commercial makeup artist who specializes in bold, creative looks. She recently was the lead artist for Kim Petras’ VMA performance and has worked on high-profile campaigns for several popular beauty brands including FENTY Beauty and Covey Skincare.


Eyelash Extensions FAQ

A lash bath is a method of cleaning eyelash extensions with the use of foaming lash cleaners. This method of eyelash extensions cleaning is usually performed in a salon but you can also do it yourself at home. You can also clean your natural lashes using this method.

How to Do a Lash Bath At Home

Follow the step-by-step instructions below to do a lash bath at home. If this is your first time doing it, you will need to do it on one eye first so that you can see with your other eye. After doing it a few times, you will be able to do it with both eyes closed to speed up the process.

What You Will Need:

  • Gentle foaming lash cleanser
  • Eyelash cleaning brush
  • Water dispenser or small water bottle with a thin nozzle
  • small cotton pads (2×2)
  • Eyelash brush
  • Handheld fan

What You Need To Do:

Step 1: Apply the foaming lash cleanser to your eyelash extensions directly. You can also apply it to your cleansing brush first before applying it to your lash extensions if you want better control of the number of lash cleansers you are using.

Step 2: Clean your lashes with the eyelash cleaning brush by brushing on your lashes gently in a circular motion first and then brush your lashes from left to right. This ensures that you’ve covered each strand of your lash with the cleanser.

Step 3: Tilt your head to the side and rinse your lashes with water using the water dispenser. Place the cotton pads at the outer corner of your eye to catch and soak up excess water.

Step 4: Once you have rinsed out all the foam, use another cotton pad and gently press down on your lashes. This will help speed up the drying process.

Step 5: Use the handheld fan to dry your lashes while brushing them gently with your eyelash brush. Twist your brush in a circular motion while brushing the lashes if you want to give them a natural-looking curl.  Depending on how wet your lashes are, the drying time should take no more than 20 secs.

Eyeshadow FAQ

Yes, you can use eyeshadow as eyeliner. To use eyeshadow as eyeliner, simply dampen an angular brush with water or setting spray, dip the brush in loose eyeshadow pigments and then apply it to your waterline. If you don’t have loose eyeshadow pigments, this also works with eyeshadow sticks.

If you’ve run out of eyeliner and need to improvise, you can use eyeshadow as a substitute for eyeliner!

For this trick, it’s recommended to use an angular eyeliner brush. This type of brush is perfect for applying your eyeshadow as eyeliner because it makes it easy for you to draw a thin line. Turn the thin, angular brush on its flat side to apply your eyeshadow tightly on your waterline.

As you will be using a sideways brush motion to apply your eyeshadow, it’s important to ensure that all the bristles on your angular brush are pointing upwards. This will make your application easier as you don’t need to worry about stray bristles that might mess up your line.

For more intricate applications that might require more precision, I recommend trying thinner nail design brushes. These types of brushes have a pointed tip, making it easy for eyeliner designers that require precision.

Here’s How to Use Eyeshadow as Eyeliner:

The steps below assume that you are familiar with applying eyeliner with an angular brush.

Step 1: Clean the bristles of your angular eyeliner brush.

Step 2: Apply your eyeshadow primer. The eyeshadow primer helps to create a smooth surface for your application and helps your eyeshadow last longer by making it stick better on your skin.

Step 3: Dip your brush in water or spray the tips with setting spray. You want to tip of your brush to be damp but not soaked. squeeze our extra liquid with the tips of your fingers if needed.

Step 4: Dip your brush in loose eyeshadow pigment, ensure the tip of your brush is coated with a thin layer of pigment.

Step 5: Apply the eyeshadow the way you normally would with your eyeliner.

If this is your first time using an angle brush to line your eyes, you may end up with a thicker look. If this happens to you,  check out my tutorial on how to fix eyeliner that is too thick.

Yes, it’s good practice to apply concealer first before applying eyeshadow. This is important especially around the eye area because a concealer will help you hide any skin imperfections around your eyes. If you apply concealer after you’ve applied your eyeshadow, it will be harder to work your concealer around your eyeshadow.

Here’s the order in which you should apply your makeup:

  1. Face Primer
  2. Foundation
  3. Concealer (including under-eye concealer)
  4. Eye primer
  5. Eye shadow
  6. Eye Liner
  7. Mascara
  8. Blush

Note that it’s also good practice to apply eyeshadow primer before applying your eyeshadow. Your concealer will help you cover any imperfections around your eyes, while your eyeshadow primer will help you create a smooth surface for your eyeshadow application. It can also help your eyeshadow last longer on your skin.

Doing your face makeup first allows you to gauge what dramatic or natural you want your eyes to look. Depending on how dramatic or subtle your eyes look, you can adjust your blush to balance the look.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to apply primer, foundation, and concealer. Check out my in-depth post where I go through everything you need to know to apply these makeup products properly.

Foundation FAQ

I always receive emails from the readers of this blog wondering about the same question so I decided to answer this here once and for all. There really isn’t a “YES” or “NO” answer rather, it depends on you, your skin type, and what your comfort levels are. Here are the pros and cons of liquid and powder foundation:

Liquid Foundation Pros:

  • Last Long ( If worn correctly)
  • Better and more complete coverage
  • Best for dry skin

Powder Foundation Pros:

  • Lighter than liquid foundation
  • Best for oily skin (helps to soak up oil)
  • Generally easier to apply (depends on how you use it)

Liquid Foundation Cons:

  • Heavier than powder foundation
  • Better to set it with powder

Powder Foundation Cons:

  • Heavier than powder foundation
  • Better to set it with powder

These are the general pros and cons when comparing liquid foundations and powder foundations. I’ve found that liquid foundations work best for dry skin types. You should go for a powder foundation if you have oily skin. Why? because the powder helps to soak up the oil on your skin.

Here are my tips for applying foundation if you have acne. These are the tips that I think people with acne skin should know. If you are interested in learning to apply foundations, I have written a full guide on applying foundations, primers, and concealers here.

Have a Game Plan – Study your face in front of a mirror and take notes on which areas have acne. Conceal only the areas with acne with an oil-free, non-comedogenic concealer, and then apply your foundation. Remember, you only need to tackle the trouble areas. Just because you have acne breakouts, doesn’t mean you need a full coverage foundation.

Blend the Colors  – Blend the redness of your acne skin with complementary colors. If you have really red acne, you will notice that applying your regular concealer just won’t do the trick. Instead, try to use a green concealer on your red acne. This creates a brownish tone which is much easier to work with. Apply your regular foundation on top of the concealer and that should do the trick.

Clean Your Tools – This one is simple but it’s often overlooked. Be sure to properly clean your tools after each use. I have written on how to clean your foundation brushes. Your foundation brushes and sponges can harbor bacteria which gets spread to other places on your face if they are not cleaned after each reuse.

Moisturize Before Applying – If you are using an acne medication to treat your acne, you may notice your skin will become more dry and flaky. That’s because most acne medications are designed to dry out your skin. Moisturizing your skin will restore its stretchiness and reduces the chance of inflammation and further damage.

Choose a Foundation with SPF – Further to the point above, using acne medication makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight. A foundation with SPF is effective for protecting your skin from the sun and allows your skin to heal better.

Foundations don’t cause acne. It really depends on the type of foundation that you are using. Certain ingredients found in foundations trigger acne and make you break out. Common ingredients associated with breakouts are:

Fragrances – I personally love fragrances in my makeup but it doesn’t work for everyone. Fragrances are added to foundations to mask the unpleasant scent of certain chemicals. Have you noticed that perfumes evaporate really quickly? In order for perfumes to produce their fragrances, they are designed to react in such a way that makes them evaporate quickly. When this happens on the skin, it could trigger allergic reactions and breakouts.

Silicones – You may be surprised but silicone by itself is actually hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. What makes them problematic is the fact that they allow other ingredients to penetrate into your skin. If there are other ingredients in your silicone foundation that don’t work well with oily or acne skin, the silicone may create a way for these ingredients to block your pores, which leads to acne complications.

Alcohol –  Alcohol changes your hormone levels. An imbalance in your hormone levels causes your skin to break out. Furthermore, alcohol suppresses your immune system, which is responsible for fighting acne bacteria in your skin.

Another thing to note here is that blocked pores due to inadequate makeup removal can also cause acne breakouts. Remember this: What you put on your skin at the beginning of the day must come off before you go to sleep! This is a simple and effective way to keep your skin clear and free from acne.

Yes, matte foundations will dry your skin. Matte foundations will usually have some form of silica which helps to absorb oil. Unfortunately, for people who have dry skin, this is bad news.

In general, I don’t recommend people with dry skin to use matte foundations. This is because matte foundations will usually leave a caked-on appearance on dry skin. As discussed at the American Academy of Dermatology, skin without moisture ages faster. If you have dry skin, try to stick with a non-matte, dewy liquid foundation instead.

Matte foundations won’t make your skin oily.

Most people don’t realize here that the matte foundation is actually NOT making your skin more oily. Instead, it’s the new oil on your face mixing with the foundation. I see this a lot in my clients who have really oily skin. Their skin is so oily that wearing a matte foundation can only provide temporary control of the oil (usually  2-3 hours).

However, this is actually a pretty easy fix. Try using an oil-free primer together with your matte foundation. A lot of people forget the importance of applying primers as part of their makeup routine. Primers, in my opinion, should not be skipped.

In my opinion, the matte look is pretty sexy. But how should you wear matte foundations if you have dry skin? There are a couple of options that you can try:

Use a BB cream – If you don’t require a lot of coverage, you can wear a bb cream and then “matte” it with a matte powder foundation. The BB cream will provide great nourishing benefits for your skin. If you are not comfortable with a powder foundation, you could try to use a matte setting spray.

Use a matte foundation designed for dry skin – Yes! This one seems obvious but I have mixed feelings about this. It’s not my favorite option, but I decided to include it on this list. It’s difficult to find the right matte foundation that works well on dry skin. I know I can say this for pretty much any foundation but this is especially true for matte foundations.

Use a hydrating primer and top it with a matte foundation – This is my favorite trick. Hydrating primers will provide a protective layer, allow your foundation to be applied on easier and make your foundation last longer.

Matte foundations are the type of foundations that do not have any shine to them. They are the preferred type of foundation for people with oily skin. Matte foundations are used for absorbing the oil on the skin and reducing shine.

Matte foundations often come in powder form. Powder foundations are excellent oil absorbers which is why they make great matte foundations. You will also be able to find matte foundations in liquid form.

BTW, I have written a detailed guide on some of the best powder foundations. Check out my guide if you want to find out more.

Here is how matte and liquid foundations compare:

Matte Powder Foundations:

– Ideal for Oily Skin
– Less chance to block pores
– Less coverage than matte liquid foundations
– Feels lighter than matte liquid foundations

Matte Liquid Foundations:

– Ideal for Normal to Oily Skin
– Good for blemishes but may cause breakouts
– Easier to blend
– Coverage is buildable

How do you know which one is best for you? To check, simply wash your face and leave it without makeup for about 2 hours. When the time is up, go check up in front of a mirror and observe the following:

– How much oil did you produce?
– Do you have a lot of redness, acne, or other trouble areas that need coverage?

If you see that you had produced a lot of oil in the 2 hours but you don’t have obvious trouble areas that need special coverage, then choosing a matte powder foundation would work best for you. The powder will absorb your oil. You will need to monitor your coverage from time to time and pad on more powder during the day if the oil comes back.

If you see that you have produced a lot of oil and have large areas on your skin that require coverage, then selecting a matte liquid foundation would work best. Since the coverages provided by liquid foundations are buildable, you can control your coverage and only apply as much as you need to cover blemishes. Matte liquid foundations may cause breakouts, this does not happen in all cases and it really depends on the product that you are using.

If you do choose a liquid matte foundation, keep in mind that they may settle into cracks and fine lines. As matte foundations are designed to have a dryer finish, they may dry up quickly in cracks, forming wrinkle-like patterns. To combat this, consider using a moisturizer underneath the foundation. This may reduce the matte look, but at least it looks better than wrinkles right?

Matte foundations and makeup tend to “suck” out the oil on the skin, making it less shiny and therefore allowing you to achieve that beautiful matte look. However, this presents a problem for those of us with dry skin as we need the oil to provide lubrication and to keep our skin less dry.

If you’ve got dry skin and want to use a matte foundation or makeup, here are my suggestions:

How to Apply Full Coverage Matte Foundation On Dry Skin

  1. Use a Hydrating Primer – This type might work best for those with combination skin. First, study your face and find locations that have dry skin you want to cover. Use the hydrating primer on those areas first and then apply a thin layer of matte foundation on top. The hydrating primer will provide moisturization for your skin and provide protection from the “sucking” power of the matte foundation.
  2. Use a Matte Finishing Spray – The purpose of matte finishing sprays is to reduce shine on the skin surface and they usually work best for setting powder foundation. However, you can spray it lightly on top of liquid foundations to reduce the shine and give you that matte look. A good Matte spray is the MAC Prep + Prime Fix + Matte.
  3. Put Your Focus on a Better Skin Care Routine – Consider why you have dry skin in the first place. Are you using any night creams or face masks? Are you doing your due diligence in taking care of your skin and body? Are you staying hydrated throughout the day?

Remember, foundations and other makeup products are used primary to cover skin impurities or highlight facial features. They should not be considered as substitutes for your skin care products.

Applying foundation correctly on dry skin allows it to stay on longer while keeping your face hydrated throughout the day.

Here’s How To Apply Foundation To Dry Flaky Skin:

  1. Apply a silicone-based face primer with dimethicone. The dimethicone in the primers helps to moisturize your skin and fills in uneven skin surfaces. It creates a smooth surface that protects your skin while making it easier for your foundation to stick. Simply squeeze a bit of product on your fingers, rub it all over your face, and then spread it out evenly with a damp beauty blender.
  2. Apply a hydrating foundation by spreading some product on your face and blending it in with a damp beauty blender or foundation brush.

The kinds of foundation that are best for dry skin are cream, liquid, and powder to cream.

Which kind you choose depends on how dry your skin is, your personal application preferences, and the hydrating level that you are looking for.

Let’s take a closer look at each kind of foundation:

Cream – Many people ask me if cream foundations are good for dry skin. My answer to all of them is: Yes! Cream foundations work great with dry skin because they are usually oil-based. It adds an extra layer to your skin and helps to seal in the moisture. Like all other types of foundations, they do the job of minimizing your pores and making your lines less apparent. If you are looking for something that will last, cream foundations are your best bet. These provide a better level of coverage than liquid foundations and usually last for 8 hours or more.

Liquid – Liquid foundations are great for providing moisture to dry skin. Choose this type of foundation if you have medium-dry skin and would rather not deal with the heaviness of a cream foundation. Some liquid foundations come with sun protection and can be either oil-based or oil-free.

Powder to Cream – Powder to Cream foundations powder foundations that apply like a cream when you wet it with water. It then dries to a powder finish after it is applied. It’s great for those of you who would like better control of the amount of moisture to add to your face.

Powder – Powder foundation is normally considered not a good option for dry skin because they soak up that extra oil on your face, making it even drier. However, it is preferred by many people because of the lightweight coverage that it provides. Some companies create them with a moisturizing functionality by including ingredients such as jojoba oil. They are usually mineral based.

So what exactly are you putting on your face? Have you ever looked twice at the label and thought about what is it that you brought? There are some popular ingredients that manufacturers like to put in their products. It is best that you learn a little bit more about each ingredient and what’s actually inside your makeup. Here are a few of the common ones:

Ceramides – Ceramides are important building blocks of your skin’s structure. They assist in maintaining your skin’s moisture and help to hold your skin together. Complications with dry skin are often linked to low ceramide levels. Dry skin is more susceptible to dirt and pollution, which is why it is important to keep your skin hydrated as much as possible.

Glycerin – Glycerin is also known as glycerol and is composed of fats and sugars. It is found in all animal and vegetable fats. Glycerin readily absorbs and retains water which is important for keeping your skin smooth and hydrated. When applied to your skin, it attracts water from your surrounding environment and adds that moisture to the surface layers of your skin (also called the epidermis). By maintaining the outer barrier of your skin, glycerin helps to prevent the flaking of the skin. Consistent usage of products that contain glycerin can help your skin stay smooth and healthy in the long run.

Dimethicone -Dimethicone is an ingredient that is found in many skincare and makeup products. Manufacturers love this ingredient because it helps to fill uneven textures. You would not be surprised to find Dimethicone in many primers, moisturizers, and foundation products. In fact, this is one of the main ingredients in oil-free moisturizers. When applied to the skin, it forms a protective barrier on the surface of the skin which helps to lock the moisture inside.

Petrolatum – You would probably be familiar with this product if you have used Vaseline in the past. It is the same as petroleum jelly and it is a very popular material used in moisturizers. The reason is simple, petrolatum is very effective in preventing water loss on the skin’s surface. It is also great for protecting rough skin. People with oily skin should stay away from petrolatum, however, because it may make your skin even oilier.

Hyaluronic Acid – Hyaluronic acid has the ability to soften skin. It is becoming a popular ingredient in the makeup world. You can find hyaluronic acid naturally in the human body. It is used by your body to lubricate joints or to maintain the shape of your eyeballs. As we grow older, however, this substance depletes. Many makeup manufacturers have learned that including hyaluronic acid in their products can help their aged customers return their skin to their natural beauty. Hyaluronic acid works by drawing water from deep inside your skin. It can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. These great properties help your skin feel smoother and plumper. Look for this ingredient when selecting the right type of makeup in the future!

If you’re using a liquid foundation that isn’t “full coverage”, you can still use it to achieve full coverage results providing that it’s a “buildable” foundation. If you’re a follower of this blog, you may have seen posts where I mention the term “buildable” many times.

Essentially, “buildable” means you can apply additional layers of the foundation to trouble areas that require more attention. This will help to ensure you have those areas covered better without any cakey or thick feeling. Use your fingers to blend the edges for the best results.

When applying full coverage makeup, your makeup will be heavier than your average makeup, and it can be difficult to avoid ending up with that frustratingly awful cakey look that can result from it.

You must take care of your skin. Prep your skin well before applying any foundation, and learn how to properly build your coverage. Additional tips include using the correct tools to apply your foundation and using a setting powder to set your makeup after you’ve applied your base coat of foundation.

1. Slowly build up your foundation to achieve the coverage that you want. A common mistake people make when applying their foundation is applying a large amount of product all at once, and spreading it all across their faces. The trick to a flawless finish is layering your foundation slowly and leaving a few minutes between each small application of product to let the foundation settle onto your face.

2. Although there is no one right way to apply your foundation. Popular techniques are with a makeup sponge, a foundation or powder brush, and even just your hands! The key to applying your makeup is choosing the right tool and making sure you are blending your makeup properly. Makeup can appear caked on if it is not evenly distributed across your face.

When using a makeup sponge, dampen it a little with water to give off an even and blended finish. If you’re using a brush, use small amounts of product to build up the right coverage. Be sure to avoid leaving streaks by changing the direction of the application if using a liquid foundation. If you prefer just applying your foundation with your hands, first rub the product between your fingers before pressing it into your skin to allow it to emulsify.

3. Taking good care of your skin is just as important to your makeup routine as the makeup itself. All the tips, tricks, and techniques that are out there will not work unless you’re taking good care of your skin. Be sure to cleanse and moisturize your skin daily, use sunscreen when going out into the sun, and remove all makeup and excess dirt from your face before going to bed at night. We also recommend taking some time to research your skin type to find the ideal methods to take care of it. Before you start applying any makeup products, consider purchasing a facial primer to help prep your face for your other products.

4. Set your makeup with a translucent powder or setting spray. Full coverage foundations are heavier and can move around throughout the day. Translucent powder or a setting spray will keep your makeup locked in place, and take away any shine (from the liquid foundation) or dryness (from powder foundation) that can result after application.

Liquid foundation and powder foundation can both be used to achieve a full coverage look. The best foundation for you depends on your skin type. One may work better than the other when it comes to hiding those pesky unwanted blemishes. I have detailed the pros and cons of full coverage liquid foundations and full-coverage powder foundations below so you can find the best fit for your makeup routine!

Full Coverage Liquid Foundations – Liquid full coverage foundations are popular because it works well with almost every skin type, whether it’s dry, oily, sensitive, or normal. Liquid full coverage foundations are made with highly pigmented formulas to help conceal even the most stubborn of skin imperfections.

However, like with all liquid foundations, full-coverage liquid foundations do have a tendency to look wet and shiny on the skin, especially if you’re prone to perspiring through the day, or have oily skin. The added moisture and oil can get into the lines of your face and any textured blemishes, which will result in an unflattering, cakey appearance.

Full Coverage Powder Foundations – Full coverage powder foundations are generally pressed rather than in loose jars. Pressed powder can deliver a more buildable coverage to achieve a full coverage appearance. Full coverage powders are great for those with oily skin, as it works to absorb any excess oil that may accumulate throughout the day.

Avoid using full-coverage powder foundations if you have dry skin. Powder foundations can make your skin appear flakey and dry as the powder settles into the parts of your face that have dried out, which can be very noticeable after application.

When discussing makeup, the “coverage” of your foundation refers to the opacity of the foundation. If your skin is even and has minor discoloration and blemishes, then only a light opacity of foundation is typically required. This is called “sheer coverage”.

For individuals struggling with scarred skin, dark spots, or the need to hide tattoos, a heavier opacity will be required to cover up any imperfections. This is called “full coverage”. Full coverage is also perfect for individuals that struggle with facial birthmarks, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars. Makeup for general use usually contains only 35% pigment, while full coverage makeup can have up to 50% pigment.

Yes, you can just use foundation if you have smooth skin with light skin imperfections that you can cover with your foundation. If you choose to use only foundation, select a full-coverage foundation and opt for a good skincare routine.

Things You Should Consider if You Want to Just Use Foundation

1) Your Makeup Won’t Last Long – Without a primer, your foundation won’t last long on your face. The natural oils from your skin break down your foundation which may leave you with a melted look. Consider using a full coverage oil-free foundation on its own if you are planning to just use foundation.

Most oil-free foundations are great for oil control and many come with added skincare benefits to keep your skin moisturized. However, keep in mind that aside from making your makeup last longer, a primer helps to smooth out the rough surface of your skin, which helps to make your makeup application look flawless.

By skipping the primer, you are also missing out on the skin-smoothing benefits of a primer. Any bumps or pockmarks will still become visible after your foundation application.

2) Your Makeup May Feel Cakey – By skipping the concealer, your foundation will need to do the heavy lifting of covering off any skin imperfections on your face. A concealer is usually used to provide heavy spot coverage on skin imperfections that are hard to cover. These are usually dark pigmented skin, like birthmarks, beauty spots, and acne marks.

Since you will be applying foundation all over your face, you may need to apply additional layers to cover off hard-to-hide areas. This may leave you with thick makeup on your face and a cakey feeling.

Keep in mind that even a full coverage foundation will not work as well as a concealer for hard-to-hide areas like birthmarks and beauty spots.

Another option is to use BB creams. These are tinted moisturizers that are designed to give your skin light coverage while providing your skin with great skincare benefits. It’s a great option if you’re going for a natural look or simply want to just use foundation. I recommend using Korean BB creams as they provide the best balance between coverage and skincare.

3) Your Makeup May Look Flat – The job of a foundation is to give your face an even tone. However, by just using foundation, you cancel out all the natural colors on your face which will make your skin look flat. This is why it’s important to bring your natural colors back with blush or bronzer. Try cream blushes if you are opting for a natural look.

Although you can just use foundation, there are some drawbacks of using it alone. It’s a good idea to incorporate primers concealers, bronzers, and other makeup into your daily routine. These products have a specific purpose and work great together if used properly.

If you want to learn the proper way to apply these products, check out my complete guide to foundation, concealer, and primer application!


Yes, you can apply foundation directly on your face but it’s not a good idea to apply it without an undercoat of primer.

Although foundations are great at covering blemishes, they can’t substitute the function of a primer. Depending on your skin condition, you can try to use a foundation as a primer but you probably won’t achieve a good result without your makeup looking cakey.

Primers have 3 important functions that cannot be substituted by foundations:

  1. A primer helps to create a smooth surface for your foundation and other makeup. It fills in fine lines and wrinkles, making the application of your other makeup smooth and easy.
  2. A primer helps your makeup stick better to your skin
  3. Some primers have skincare benefits that nourish your skin and create a barrier between your makeup and your skin.

By applying foundation directly to your skin, you are missing out on the great benefits of a primer. Even if you have perfectly smooth skin, your foundation would not last long without a primer. This is because the natural oils on your skin break down the foundation and this leads to a melted / patchy look requiring you to constantly re-apply your makeup.  A primer can help prevent this by absorbing the oil and delaying the time it takes for it to soak into your foundation.

If you have oily skin, you will still need to pad your makeup down from time to time with powder even if you wear a primer. However, your makeup will last much longer and will usually be able to get you through the day without issues.


You can wear foundation without setting powder if you have dry skin or use matte foundations.

It’s still possible to wear foundation without setting powder if you don’t want to use matte foundations or have oily / combination skin. This can be achieved with a good makeup routine using oil-free products that control sebum production.

I consulted with a few beauty professionals for tips and included a step-by-step routine for wearing foundation without setting powder in this post.

Matte Foundations Don’t Need Powder

Foundations that have a matte or satin finish, need little to no setting powder. This is because matte foundations are designed to reduce shine on your face. They do this by absorbing the oil on your face.

Less oil means your makeup is less prone to breaking down and can last longer on your face. Therefore, you don’t need to set it.

Note that setting a matte or satin foundation can make your skin feel cakey because setting powder mattifies the skin.

Do You Really Need Setting Powder?

Whether or not you can skip setting powder generally depends on your skin type. Dry skin types often find that their skin cakes up and become flaky no matter how finely-milled their setting powder of choice is! If you have dry skin and your makeup lasts all day anyway, skip the face powder! Just add a small amount of translucent powder under the eyes to set your hydrating under-eye concealer to keep it in place all day.

The best way to tell if you need a setting powder is to test out your base products on a lazy day at home. Keep checking in the mirror every hour to see if your foundation is melting away or if your skin looks greasy. In those cases, you should definitely use a setting powder! If you cannot find a setting powder that works, try a setting spray instead.

Pros and Cons of Wearing Foundation Without Powder

If you can’t decide to set your foundation or not, here are some benefits and disadvantages of wearing foundation without powder:


  1. You look younger without setting powder as there is no powder accentuating fine lines
  2. Skin maintains a better glow
  3. Foundation stays flexible without coagulating with powder


  1. Some foundations can be too shiny looking without being set
  2. Foundation can transfer or rub off easily without being set

How to Wear Foundation Without Powder

Here’s a great makeup routine you can try if you want to wear foundation without setting powder

Step 1 – Apply your moisturizer as normal. Use an oil-free lotion or cream and wait a couple of minutes before you apply your foundation. You want to hydrate your skin but allow your skin to absorb that moisture before you start on
your makeup application. You will be creating a good base for your foundation to blend into your skin.

Step 2 –  Use a foundation primer. If you are a particularly ‘glowy’ person, select a mattifying primer.

Step 3 –  Choose an oil-free, water based foundation. This can be a liquid or cream.

Step 4 –  Grab some blotting papers to take with you. Use these on your T zone as needed throughout the day. These will absorb oil and won’t disturb your base.

Foundation without powder is actually a great solution for dry winter skin. A good tip is to also use a crème blush and cream contour, to keep that hydrated dewy look.


Contributors To This Answer:

Andrea Claire – Hair and makeup artist at AClaireBeauty.com. Andrea has extensive advertising, beauty, and editorial portfolios which include campaigns for L’Oreal Paris, Revlon, Lancôme, Neutrogena, Unilever, P & G, and editorials in Solstice, Shape, Bazaar, ELLE, L’Officiel, Lucy’s, HUF, Beauty Archive, and more.

Laura Burns – Laura is a makeup artist living in Manhattan with over 15 years in the industry. Her career has been diverse, ranging from Editorial, Fashion, and Advertising to TV and Red Carpet.

Laura Chawke – Laura is the founder of Makeup Scholar, a site that combines a passion for beauty & makeup with rigorous research.

You should always put foundation first before applying contour.

There are a few reasons for this:

Reason 1: Especially if you have a light skin tone, applying the darker shade under your foundation can lead to it mixing together and creating an ashy grey color on the cheeks.

Reason 2: If your foundation is full coverage, you may just fully cover all the work you did on your contour leaving it unnoticeable

Reason 3: If you are using a powder contour, it is very rarely advised to put powder under a liquid so you may create separation or texture issues.

Reason 4: A lot of contours are cream-based and a lot of foundations are water-based and just like oil and water in a pan, different based products may cause them to separate on the skin. You usually want to mix like products (cream with cream or water with water). If you want to mix oil-based products with water-based makeup products, you want to have the oil-based product sitting on top of the water-based product, just like it would in its natural separation if you mixed them in a glass.

You want your contour to look as if it is coming out of your skin instead of on top which is why you might find recommendations to apply it under your foundation. We recommend achieving this by applying your contour and
then using the brush or sponge you used to apply your foundation to finish blending the contour in. It will give you the same effect without all the complications!

Answer provided by Molly Mackay-Smith, a Professional Makeup Artist from Peka Studio.  Peka Studio is a team of professional and highly talented makeup artists currently serving the Greater Vancouver area


Yes, some makeup foundations do irritate rosacea.  Always check the label to make sure that your makeup doesn’t contain any rosacea triggers.

Here is a list of some makeup ingredients that will irritate rosacea skin:

  • Alcohol
  • Fragrance Additives
  • Menthol
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Mineral oil

I’ve written a detailed guide on the best foundations for sensitive rosacea skin. Check it out if you’re having trouble finding the right foundation to cover your rosacea.

No, your foundation brush does not need to be wet before applying foundation.  Here are the reasons why:

  1. A wet foundation brush will dilute your makeup – Wetting a foundation brush and then dipping it in makeup will force the water and makeup on the brush to interact and mix with each other. This extra water content dilutes the foundation and you end up with a watered-down coverage.
  2. Water changes the shape of your brush – Foundation brushes are circular or flat with the bristles spread out so that they can hold more makeup. The circular brushes are shaped that way to help you easily buff your makeup. If you wet your brush, the shape of the brush will change and this will affect its performance and the ability for it to buff or apply makeup.
  3. Water and powder don’t mix – You can’t set your powders properly with a wet brush as you will end up with clumps of powder on your face.

The only time that I would recommend using water is when you’re using a beauty blender to apply or blend your foundation.  The beauty blender should be wet because it will suck up your makeup otherwise. The water displaces the makeup and prevents it from soaking into the sponge. 

If you’re having trouble blending your foundation, you can use a slightly damp makeup blender to help you blend. 

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Apply your foundation with a foundation brush
  2. Wet your beauty blender and then dry it with a towel. It should only be very slightly damp.
  3. Dab it gently all over your face. The blender will help to blend the foundation and create a smooth appearance. Do not swipe the foundation on your face with the blender as this will spread the foundation around.

In the world of foundation, you are presented with 3 choices for application. You can choose to use a makeup sponge, a foundation brush or your own fingers.

Each method has its own pros and cons. However, it would be a clever idea to practice and master all 3 techniques.

Let’s go over the pros and cons of using each type

1) Makeup Sponge


– Smooth Application
– Easy to control
– Easy to Blend
– Easy to carry around


– Shape may become distorted over time. (Need to get new ones consistently)
– Can get expensive over time
– Not as flexible as a brush or using your fingers
– Takes time to master
– Requires good cleaning after each use

Makeup sponges are my “go to” choice as a Professional makeup artist. They work extremely well for smoothing out your application and makes it extremely easy for you to blend your foundation with your concealer. They are not built to last you a very long time but their disposable nature ensures that you will be using a new (or newer) sponge each time you apply makeup.

2) Foundation Brush


– Smooth Application
– Great control
– Great for blending / highlighting


– May leave behind streaks (Depends on the quality of your brush)
– Requires good cleaning after each use
– Excellent quality brushes are expensive

If you use a foundation brush, you enjoy the much of the same benefits of using a makeup sponge, i.e., smooth application and blending. The one thing that you need to keep an eye on is the quality of your brush. Also choose brushes with soft bristles. The handle should be comfortable to your hand. Always remember to clean your foundation brushes after each use. If you are wondering how you can clean your foundation brush. I have written a quick tutorial here.

3) Your Fingers


– 100% Free
– You have maximum control
– Works well for quick applications


– Hard to maintain an even complexion (depends on your skills)
– Bacteria on hands can cause infections on sensitive skin
– Not a good long-term strategy for applying makeup

It’s nice that you can use your fingers for application, However, I won’t recommend this as a long-term strategy. Due to the unevenness of your skin / fingers, it takes a lot of practice to get the complexion right. I only use my fingers for small areas that require quick applications and then blend in the look with a brush or sponge. Always remember to wash your hands before and after the application of makeup.

There are a lot of confusion around this area and people seems to be confused as to why they need a concealer that is lighter than their foundation.

The idea is simple, although this is not a hard and fast rule, there are certain advantages that can be gained when your concealer is lighter than your foundation.

Let’s have a look:

1) Easier to cover – Everyone who reads my blog knows that I always recommend applying concealer first before foundation. Having your concealer one shade lighter than your foundation allows it to be covered up easily. E.g. it is easier to cover a lighter color with a darker color then to cover a darker color with a lighter one.

For those of you who apply blend your concealers on top of your foundation, the idea would be reversed and in which case, your foundation should be lighter than your foundation.

By the way, I have written an entire guide on the proper application procedures for primers, concealers and foundations. Check it out here.

2) Can be used as a Highlighter – If you choose to apply concealers after foundations, the concealer can act as a minor highlighter. However, unless you are experienced and know what you are doing with your makeup, using a concealer this way can be tricky, so experiment a little!

I recommend that you choose a concealer that is 1 shade lighter than your foundation. I’ve found that this works best for both blending and highlighting and really gives you that natural look.

Primers and Concealers are completely different things. Depending on your skin condition or the look that you want to achieve, you may need either one or both.

So let’s look at each one of these in detail:

Primers – A primer is used to prep your face and to get it ready for the application of foundation and other makeup. They fill in fine lines, wrinkles and any unevenness on your skin. A lot of people skip primer in their makeup routine but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Using primers the right way can actually make the application of foundation and concealers easier. This is because primers actually help your foundation and other makeup “stick on” better.

Many primers on the market today also have skin protection and nourishing properties that make them worthwhile to consider in your makeup routine.

If you’re not sure of how to apply primer, I have written a complete guide on this subject here.


Concealers – Concealers are designed to cover tough spots that your foundation couldn’t cover. Some people have severe skin conditions that are challenging to cover even for full coverage foundations.

Concealers usually have a thicker formula than foundation and it’s commonly applied only on areas that require additional coverage.

Concealers usually come in less shade options than your foundations. Therefore, it’s recommended to apply concealers before foundation.


The word “Non-Comedogenic” is being thrown around in the makeup and skin care community but no one seems to have a complete definition of what this word actually means.

Sure you could look up the definition on Merriam-Webster to find more information about this word.

However, it’s important to understand what this beauty label means in the makeup world so that smart consumers like yourself can make a good judgement call of what to buy (or not to buy).

In the makeup world, the word “Non-Comedogenic” is used to label makeup that will not block pores. You may find this label common in makeup products designed to treat and prevent acne.

According to howstuffworks.com, non-comedogenic foundations are usually oil free because they help to absorb the excess oil on your skin in order to prevent blockages.

It’s important to understand that no cosmetic company can guarantee 100% non-comedogenic products. Just because something works for you, it doesn’t mean it will work for others.

At Foundationfairy.com, we only recommend the best non-comedogenic products to our readers. These products are tried and tested. As a result, we are confident that the non-comedogenic foundations or other non-comedogenic products that we recommend will work for most people, no matter what skin type they have.

Check out some of our posts on non-comedogenic products:

2017 Non-Comedogenic Foundations For Acne (That Work Fast)


When looking for non-comedogenic makeup, look for these ingredients:

1) Benzoyl Peroxide – Kills acne bacteria and doesn’t add extra oil to your skin

2) Salicylic Acid – Doesn’t kill acne bacteria but it unclogs pores. It reduces skin shredding which is a cause for blocked pores.

3) Sulfur – Usually found in cleansers, washes away excess oils and dead skin cells

4) Mineral Oil – Very gentle and doesn’t irritate acne skin.

I think we can all agree that liquid foundations are a great makeup for covering up imperfections on the skin. However, many of us seem to be having trouble with getting it to not look cakey.

The good news is that applying foundation is more of an art than science and the key to achieving flawless application is patience, practice and using the right methods!

Here are some tips to apply liquid foundation without it looking cakey:

1) Use Primer and Moisturizer

Think about it this way. If the surface that you are about to apply makeup on is bumpy and uneven, what would be the outcome of your skin after you apply the makeup? Yes! It will look bumpy and uneven!

So before you do anything else, ensure that you are applying your primer correctly (I have written a tutorial on that here). Remember to moisturize your skin regularly so that any dry spots and fine lines are reduced.

The key to having a smooth appearance is to have a smooth surface to begin with!

2) Apply in layers

When you’re starting out with a new foundation (or if you are new to makeup), you need to have control of the amount of coverage that you require. This requirement is different for everyone and different parts of your face will require different amounts (forgive my wording).

Start off with thin layers first and gradually add more until what you want to be covered is covered (forgive my wording again)! Don’t overdo this part because applying too much foundation will make it look cakey.

Most people think this part is cumbersome but the truth is that you only need to do this once or twice. Once you have a good idea of how much foundation you need, you can speed up this process next time by applying the amount you need all at once (instead of layers).

3) Blot Out Extras

If you’ve found that you’ve applied too much. Simply blot it out. You don’t need expensive blotting papers for this. Simply using a facial tissue will do the job.

4) Apply Right Amounts of Powder

Here is the part that many people get wrong. Far too many times have I seen people apply a good makeup base, only to ruin it by applying too much powder. It’s important to lock in your foundation with a powder. Apply in light layers. Usually, a few light dabs is good enough.

5) Use the Right Tools

Although it’s great that you can use your fingers for pretty much everything makeup related. Don’t rely on them if you want to take things to the next level. Invest in a good makeup brush or beauty blender. This will make your application process easier.

Another tip is to apply foundation cross-hatching strokes for a nice even look.

Primer Is Your Air-Brushed Friend, Ladies

Those of us who have an oily complexion know how challenging it is to keep our makeup looking fresh, matte and flawless. Some of us apply our foundation, concealer, blush, eye shadow, etc., only to see our favorite cosmetics fade away into our pores, leaving behind a shiny face after only a couple of hours.

Carrying a stash of blotting papers around in your purse and touching up your makeup might work for a half hour. Even the more expensive blotting linens fail to make a perfect grade. There is still a shiny look and feel, and if you’re at work, at school or some event where you can’t leave, you’re stuck with the “greasies” and large, clogged pores.

The best advice to stop oily skin after makeup for oily-faced girls is to fight back with primer. This is the ultimate skin prepping product that delivers a flawless smooth canvas, making it ideal for foundation to glide over the complexion. Lines, wrinkles, pores, and imperfections appear to vanish instantly. Best of all, primer allows your oily face to remain matte for hours.

Remember: The primer always goes on to a clean face before your foundation. It is specially designed to sop up oil, smooth the skin and create a flawless surface for applying the the rest of your cosmetics.

Primer that is water based is best for an oily complexion, and be prepared to spend a considerable amount for a good brand. Primer can cost more than your foundation.

Set Your Foundation With Staying Powder

Once you’ve applied your primer and then your foundation for oily skin and put on the rest of your makeup, like blush, mascara, eye shadow, lipstick, you’re ready to seal it in.

Professional makeup artists also believe in keeping a made-up face as matte as possible. No one likes re-applying cosmetics, because we just don’t have time to re-do our faces, and sometimes we are unable to get a few minutes to even bother. That’s where a great setting powder comes in.

Modern setting powders are different from decades ago, both in their texture and weight. Women would use their compacts to apply a layer of powder to halt the shine. The old setting powders would settle into fine lines and wrinkles, creating a parched, dull complexion causing these imperfections to stand out even more.

You want to kill the shine, ladies, but not the glow. Modern makeup has come a long way, and beauty science gets better and better. These days, setting powders are made with incredible ingredients that can reflect light and actually highlight your cheekbones, brow bones, and so forth.

Some of these awesome, natural elements include kaolin, mica, silica and zinc oxide, and these lightweight ingredients are genius at oil-absorption. Just a quick dusting and you’re good to go.

If you want to keep your makeup on for hours and look gorgeous without the oily shine, then a primer before foundation and setting powder after.

Can Certain Types of Foundation and Makeup Actually Clog Your Pores?

Yes! Not all makeup is created equal and certain types of makeup and foundation can actually clog your pores. Here are some tips for selecting foundation that won’t clog pores:

1. Be Cautious of Liquid Foundations – Liquid foundations have a high tendency to clog pores. This type of foundation is designed to fill in lines, wrinkles and pores. The nature of the product makes it easy for it to form a layer over your pores and clog them. When selecting a liquid foundation, be very careful and read the ingredients on the label. If you see mineral oils and petrolatum, it means that the foundation has a possibility of clogging your pores.

However, this shouldn’t mean that you should avoid liquid foundations altogether. I have clients who sing praises to this type of foundation. It really depends on how your skin responds to your chosen product.

2. Double Think Silicone FoundationsSilicone foundations are great because they can give you that smooth, flawless finish. Contrary to popular belief, silicone doesn’t actually clog your pores. When applied to your skin, silicones allow other ingredients to “steep” though. It is often these other ingredients that cause break outs and gives people the wrong impression that silicone foundations clog pores. When selecting silicone foundations, avoid ingredients like benzoic acid, algae extracts and oils. Although these ingredients have their own unique benefits in makeup, they often “steep” though silicone foundations and clog your skin underneath.


Is there a way to prevent this from happening while still being able to wear makeup?

Yes! You don’t need to shy away from wearing makeup because you are afraid that they will clog your pores. The key is to find the right makeup that works for your skin. However, there is no magic formula. I always suggest people to test new products on their skin. Look for products that are labelled non-comedogenic and always do your research before buying a product.


Does it come down to the length of time we wear foundation, whether we perspire while wearing it?

If you choose your foundation or makeup correctly, you will be able to wear the product for an extended amount of time without having to worry that the makeup might eventually clog your pores. The length of time that you should keep makeup on depends on your own skin type. For example, if you have oily skin, your skin will continuously produce oil thoughout the day. The oil may mix with the makeup on your skin and end up clogging your pores. Perspiring sweat has the same effect. If you will be involved in a lot of sports or sweaty activies, then I would recommend considering sweat proof foundation or makeup.

The answer to this question may seem obvious for most people. After all, doesn’t everyone already know that foundations are used to cover skin imperfections? Well, that is just part of the answer.

You see, there are a lot of other reasons why someone might consider using foundations in their makeup routine. These reasons are less obvious but I will go over each one.


REASON 1: Moisturizer – Oil based foundations are the foundation of choice for people with dry skin. Most brands will pack certain moisturizing ingredients in their products. If you see ingredients such as Cyclopentasiloxane and Glycerin, you know that your foundation has superior moisturizing power. Obviously, you wouldn’t use a foundation the same way you would use a moisturizer. However, foundations with moisturizing ingredients is simply handy and will save you time.


REASON 2: Sunblock – Choose a foundation with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and you will be good to go for all outdoor activities. Im seeing a lot of brands these days including sunblock as part of their ingredients in their foundations. Look for ingredients such as OctenylSuccinate and Titanium Dioxide to ensure that your foundation has sun protection.

A quick world of caution: Some foundations with SPF are known to cause your face to “wash out” when taking pictures. This is due to the ingredients in the foundation that reflect light off your face. If you plan on using a foundation with SPF while taking pictures, I highly recommend Revlon PhotoReady Makeup. As long as you match the shade correctly, this foundation is wonderful for photos.


REASON 3: Pollution – Your foundation acts as a barrier between your skin and the outside world. Dirt, dust and other pollutants are all around us. The dangerous pollutants are actually the ones that you cannot see. These pollutants causes excessive free radical damage to your skin. Free radicals causes pre-maturing aging of your skin.

Now, this does not mean you should cover every inch of your skin with foundation in order to protect it. Your foundation will not be able to stop all free radical damages caused by polluants. However, it is a smart idea to include it in your makeup routine so that the protect is there when you need it.

Yes! You can use bronzers as foundations but it would be a bad idea. Powdered bronzers are supposed to be a finishing product that gives the illusion of a subtle tawny glow. They’re not formulated to provide sufficient coverage for imperfections or to correct uneven skin tone.

Using a powdered bronzer as a foundation will most likely leave your face with a greasy texture and an unnatural hue. The natural oils in your skin will absorb the bronzer, leaving unattractive splotches around the face, ultimately defeating the purpose you intended it for. Self.com has great a great article that will take you step by step through using powdered bronzer correctly.

Liquid bronzer, on the other hand, is far more versatile. It can be used alone, and even though it won’t give you the full coverage of foundation, it will give the illusion of a natural sheen around the face. This is a good option if you have clear, normal, or dry skin. I wouldn’t recommend this if you have acne-prone skin.

According to makeup.com, the best of both worlds is mixing liquid bronzer with foundation. It’s best to use a lightweight liquid bronzer formula in an equal dime size amount to your foundation. This will give the bronzer the base it needs to provide proper coverage for your skin. Using bronzer this way is an excellent solution for people with blemished or dry skin.

Radiant, healthy skin has been best exemplified by superstar Jennifer Lopez. Her gorgeous signature dewy look makes her appear to be decades younger, and it’s been emulated by women around the world. While everyone’s skin is different, adjusting your existing full coverage foundation can help you achieve this look.

In order to create that dewy glow on your face, you can mix a moisturizer and lightweight facial oils (jojoba, argan, apricot),  to your liquid or cream-based full coverage foundation. Uses only a drip of oil in your foundation. The oil is what provides your skin with that beautiful dewy look.

I would say experiment with different amounts to find the combination that you like. Once you have applied the foundation, do not set it with powder. This is obvious as the powder will ruin the dewy look by absorbing the oil.

I find that lightweight oils work great with oil-based foundations and silicone-based foundations. Water-based moisturizers can be used with water-based foundations. Matching the foundation type with the right moisturizer or oil will allow your foundation to have that right dewy effect.

You don’t have to be too concerned about whether or not a certain brand of oil/moisturizer will mix with a certain brand of foundation. The mixture should be safe for most brands. However, don’t do it unless you are 100% comfortable with the mixture. Be sure to test the mixture on your skin to ensure that it’s the right combination for you.

In addition to adding moisturizers and oils to your foundation, prepping your skin before applying makeup is essential to ensuring that your foundation works properly.

Trying to salvage mismatched foundation in order to make it darker can be arduous and frustrating  especially after spending a lot of time choosing your foundation, and paying a pretty penny for that foundation. How do you deal with this issue without having to spend even more time and money replacing your products?

Luckily, there are some simple beauty hacks that can solve the problem, and keep you from having to dig into your wallet. One quick fix comes from professional makeup artist and E! Style Collective beauty pro Ashley Rebecca who suggests that you mix liquid bronzer to your foundation to deepen the color and add an overall healthy looking glow. Professional makeup artist Wayne Goss also has a brief, excellent YouTube vlog on how to change your foundation undertone. The key is to use appropriate adjusters (water or silicone based) in black, white, brown, red, blue, green, and yellow, which will deepen or lighten your color by addressing your undertones.

Another approach according to Bellasugar (via allure.com), is to use your too-light foundation with a layer of darker powder on top. Because almost no one has the same skin color throughout their face (skin is lighter in the middle of the face and darker towards the perimeter), this solution can work well for most people, and it’s a nice way of developing natural angles around the face. You can also use powdered bronzer over your foundation for subtle darkening and a sun kissed effect. For a demonstration on how to darken foundation with bronzer take a look at this short vlog from YouTube channel The Makeup Chair.

Many people feel that applying foundation will ruin their skin. It’s easy to see why people would be concerned. Afterall, not many people are comfortable with putting things on their face if they are not 100% sure what it is they are getting into.

It is difficult to provide a solid “Yes” or “No” answer to this question. This is because the effects of foundation on your skin depends on a couple of things:

1) Your Foundation Ingredients – certain ingredients in your foundation may irritate your skin, causing redness and other skin complications. Just because a certain foundation works for your friend, doesn’t mean that the same foundation will work for you. Knowing your own skin type is essential and will help you select the right products.

For example, did you know that essential oils in some foundations may cause irritations? Even organic ingredients may cause irritation if its not right for your skin Judy Johnson at getthegloss.com provides great pointers on exactly which ingredents you should avoid.


2) The Brand of The Foundation – Do research and choose a brand that you trust. Popular brands like Mac may be all the rage these days. Although this is a good hint that Mac foundations will generally work for most people (given they select the right foundation to use), it is still up to you to do your own due diligence. Bigger brands put more research into making their products. They use better methods to source their ingredients. For example, two foundations may have the same ingredients on their labels, but what makes one foundation better than the other is how the manufacturer puts the ingredients together and where they are sourcing the ingredients from. Poor quality ingredients will damage your skin.


3) The Type of Foundation – I have created many posts on selecting different types of foundations. The general rule of thumb is that:

– If you have oily skin, use a powder foundation.

– If you have combination skin, use an oil-free foundation.

If you have dry skin, use a foundation with hyaluronic acid.

Selecting the right type of foundation for your skin is absolutely essential and will keep it healthy. If you still feel uncomfortable and feels that the foundation you are using might be clogging your pores. You could try to switch to a non-comedogenic one as these are designed specially to prevent pores from clogging. 

As you can see in the 3 points above, using foundation makeup doesn’t automatically mean that it will ruin your skin. In fact, if you select the right foundation, it can protect your skin. This is because foundations provide a barrier between your skin and the harmful UV rays of the sun. 

Here are some tips to stop your foundation from oxidizing:

  1. Use a Silicone Based Primer – If you have determined that the oil on your skin is what causes the oxidizing, using a silicone based primer before applying foundation can help to create a barrier between your skin and the foundation.
  2. Always Try It on Before You Buy – When selecting the right foundation, don’t be afraid to try it on at the store and let it sit for at least 3 hours. Ensure that your face is clean before applying the foundation. Keep an eye on the color of the foundation and only make the purchase decision if you don’t notice any color or texture changes.
  3. Better Oil Control – Which ever method that you are already using to control oil during the day, you need to increase the frequency of doing it. Less oil = less oxidzing.
  4. Go One Shade Lighter –  The method here is to select a foundation that is one shade lighter and hope that when it oxidizes, the color will match your skin perfectly.

There is nothing wrong with this method but there is a couple of things I don’t like about this. First of all, you will look like a lantern for the first couple of hours after applying the foundation. Unless you want to wake up early and wait for the color change before heading out, you basically have no control as to when the foundation will finish oxidizing. Second, it simply takes too much time and too much trial and error to find a foundation that will match your skin tone when it oxidizes.

There is no sure way to ensure that your foundation will not oxidize. As mentioned above, it all depends on your PH make up, the oils on your face and the ingredients used in the foundation. If it is the case where you simply cannot find a foundation that won’t oxidize on you, maybe consider using a BB cream instead.

Why Does My Foundation Oxidize?

There are a couple of reasons as to why your foundation oxidizes. Some of the ingredients in your foundation could be reacting with the air, the oils on your skin or ingredients from other makeup products that you happen to be wearing. The PH level of your skin also has an affect on your foundation.

How Long Does it take for Makeup to Oxidize?

Makeup can oxidize within 1 to 2 hours after application. Most makeup that is stored properly at room temperature and capped can last for up to 6 months but may oxidize after that.

What Happens When Foundation Oxidizes?

Depending on the type of foundation that you are using, you will know that your foundation has oxidized if you notice it:

– Turns hard (dried out)
– Becomes clumpy
– Becomes faded (loses color)
– Turns orange

makeup brushes

When it comes time to clean your foundation brush, you want to make sure that you do it right. Dirty brushes will lead to more skin complications later down the road. I recommend cleaning the brushes at least once a week. If you have the time, doing it twice a week is worth it. Clean brushes simply helps you apply makeup easier and keeps bacteria off your face.

All you need for cleaning your foundation brush is mild soap, warm water, a large bowl and some paper towels.

Follow these easy steps:

1) Simply mix 1 part mild soap with 4 parts of warm water in a large bowl

2) Dip only the tip of the brush into the warm water

3) Using your fingers, gently massage the tip of the brush to rub off the foundation

4) If the water gets too dirty, simply use a new bowl of water-soap mixture

5) Rinse the bristles in running water and double check to make sure it’s clean

6) Dry off the brush using paper towels and shape the brush with your fingers

7) Leave brush on table top to dry

Tip 1: Do not use harsh soaps as this will dry out the bristles of the brush. For best results, consider a makeup brush cleanser like Ecotools Makeup Brush Cleansing Shampoo

Tip 2: Keep soap water away from the base of the brush. The soap will loosen the glue used to set the base and bristles. This will destroy your brush.


If you have dry skin, then you may know that applying a bit of Vaseline (petroleum jelly ) over your facial moisturizer can really help seal in the moisture and quench your dry skin.

While you can apply foundation on top of Vaseline, you must be careful, because too much Vaseline can prevent your liquid foundation from properly setting, which can lead to it smearing off your face very quickly.

Also, many women actually use Vaseline to remove their makeup, since it works so well to break down the foundation and make it very easy to wipe off with just a damp cloth.

If you mix just a dab of Vaseline in with your daily facial moisturizer, wait five minutes for your moisturizer to sink in, then apply your liquid foundation, you are likely to have good results. Dust your foundation with a setting powder to help keep it from smudging.

However, if you use mineral powder foundation, then a little bit of Vaseline can actually help your powder foundation adhere to your face and give you a more full-coverage look. Just be sure not to over-do the Vaseline and apply it how you would apply it before using liquid foundation.

Can you use Vaseline as a primer?

Vaseline can be used as a makeup primer substitute. However, it depends on how you use it.

If you are considering using Vaseline as a primer, consider the following factors:

  • Factor 1: Your skin type – Take a look at your skin, if you have oily skin, I wouldn’t recommend using Vaseline as primer as it will make your face even more oily. If you have combination skin, take a moment to study your face and map out the areas that are heavy in oil and the areas that are dry. You can use Vaseline as a primer in the dry areas only if you have considered factor 2, which I will discuss below.
  • Factor  2: What you are trying to cover – Keep in mind that Vaseline is a clear, thick jelly that is mainly used to moisturize dry skin. It’s not very effective for clearing up dark blemishes or hard to cover areas (which is what a primer is used for). It does however, allow you to create a smooth surface for the application of your foundation while providing some moisturization benefits to your skin.

Therefore, considering what I had mentioned in Factor 1 above, I would use Vaseline as a primer only on areas of your skin that is dry or uneven. The point is to use a rather inexpensive product to “smooth out” areas of your skin before applying your makeup.

My only tip for using Vaseline as a primer is that you should only apply a light layer of it. If you apply too much, your makeup won’t stick which will ultimately create a mess.

If you are serious about your makeup, I would definitely recommend using a proper primer which will not only get the job done, it will save you time and give you less headaches!

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Can Vaseline be used as a face moisturizer?

Yes, Vaseline makes a great face moisturizer. Although it’s thick, it’s non-comedogenic which means it will not clog your pores. Vaseline is most effect on skin that is extremely dry. If you have oily skin, I recommend using an oil free face moisturizer which is usually more light weight and feels a lot more comfortable than using Vaseline.

Can you mix Vaseline with foundation?

Although you can physically mix Vaseline with foundation, there is no real benefit in doing so. If you are trying to add Vaseline to increase the thickness of your foundation (maybe for better coverage?), I would recommend using a primer instead.

If you are mixing Vaseline with foundation in hopes that it will give you better moisturization, I would recommend simply look for another foundation (such as a water based foundation) which will help moisturize your face.

Furthermore, not all foundations mix well with Vaseline and if you don’t know what you are doing, you may end up wasting foundation. Therefore, with all these reasons in mind, I wouldn’t recommend mixing foundation with Vaseline.

Can you remove makeup foundation with Vaseline?

Yes! You can! As a matter of fact, you can remove pretty much any type of makeup with Vaseline. It’s not going to be as effective as using your everyday makeup remover but it will get the job done if you don’t have a makeup remover lying around. If you want to use Vaseline to remove makeup, follow these steps:

  1. Dab a small amount of Vaseline on your fingertips and apply it on the area of your face that you want makeup removed.
  2. Using a makeup removal pad or small piece of facial tissue, apply light pressure on the area that Vaseline was applied and wipe in an outward motion
  3. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all makeup is removed.
  4. Wipe away any excess Vaseline

You may find that it takes a lot longer to remove makeup with Vaseline. If you are in a hurry, I suggest using an actual makeup remover to do the job. One “go to” makeup remover that I use often is the Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes. These wipes are really handy because they allow you to remove makeup and clean your pores at the same time. They even work on waterproof mascara!

Can you use Vaseline as a highlighter?

A few of the readers of my blog have been asking me this question so I decided to write about it here. I guess what people are really trying to know is: Is it possible to mix Vaseline with other colored products (like foundation) and use the mixed solution as a highlighter. Although this in theory could be done, I highly don’t recommend it.

First, the mixed solution of Vaseline and other colored products may not be the exact color that you want to achieve. You may end up wasting a lot of time mixing and remixing the products together just to get it to the right shade.

Secondly, the mixed solution may not be in the right consistency for use as a highlighter. This makes it harder for you to apply the solution which again wastes even more time.

With these factors in mind, I highly suggest getting an actual highlighter instead. Highlighters like the Wet n Wild Megaglo Highlighting Palette is not expensive, comes in 4 different colors and is easy to apply.

A foundation cannot be used as a primer for the face. An exception is to use it as a lip or eye primer. 

Foundations do a great job at covering blemishes and other skin imperfections. However, it cannot replace a primer because it cannot create a smooth surface on your skin or make your other makeup last longer.

If you apply foundation directly on your skin, chances are that the natural oils on your face will break it down, causing it to look patchy and slide off your face.

If you have smooth skin and want to skip the primer and go straight to foundation, you can try to apply two coats of liquid foundation to build coverage and then set it with powder. This will help your foundation last a little longer. 

Use Foundation as Lip or Eye Primer

An exception is if you want to use your foundation as a lip or eye primer. Foundations can actually work very well as an eye shadow primer because the skin on these areas are usually less oil-prone.

You can use a foundation alone on your lip or eye areas or create a quick “foundation eye / lip primer” the can help your makeup last even longer.

Here is an easy DIY eye shadow or lip primer recipe using foundation:

Mix 1/2 teaspoon of natural lip balm, 1 teaspoon corn starch, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of liquid foundation. Apply the mixture to your eyelids before you apply eye shadow to help it last longer.

There are mixed opinions among beauty experts as to whether foundation primer is actually necessary or not.  When considering whether you should use a foundation primer or not, consider how long-lasting your current foundation is. If you find that you cannot go a full day without having to touch it up where it wears off, then it is a good idea to try a primer and see how you like it.

Color-correcting primers also offer a great way to help make your skin look brighter or eliminate redness without adding an extra step to your beauty routine. They also advise using your foundation primer on your eyelids to help your shadow last longer.

It is important to choose a primer that is compatible with your foundation, though. If you wear a water-based foundation, then stick with a water-based primer. However, if your foundation is silicone-based, which many popular ones are today, then go with a silicone-based primer.

While there are mineral powder concealers that you can use along with mineral foundation, liquid concealer can also be used with mineral powder foundation.

Most women who use liquid concealers with their mineral foundations prefer to put the concealer on first, then apply the mineral powder foundation, others apply to concealer after they apply their powder foundation.

Which is best? By applying the liquid concealer before the powder foundation, the powder foundation will set the concealer into place, which can help ensure it stays put all day long without smudging or creasing.

However, if you have a blemish and think your powder foundation will cover it and then realize it didn’t, don’t be afraid to pat that concealer right on top, and then dust it with a little translucent powder.

Many years ago, it was common advice among makeup and beauty experts to suggest that women wear concealers that are one shade lighter than their foundations. This advice circulated many years ago when it was not common for teenagers to wear makeup, and before adult acne became even more common.

According to beauty expert Paula Begoun, you should use a concealer under and around your eyes that is just a shade lighter than your foundation, but when choosing a concealer to cover acne and any other discolorations on your face, you should choose one that matches your foundation exactly.

The technique you use to apply concealer to hide blemishes is also very important, so check out this youtube video to see a great blemish coverage tutorial.

Using a concealer on acne that is a shade lighter than your face will not only call attention to the blemish, but also cause it to look larger. However, you want your makeup to draw attention to your eyes, and concealer around your eyes that is a bit lighter than your foundation will help them stand out and make you look more well-rested.

Primer FAQ

Sleeping with a primer on is not recommended, especially when you wore it throughout the day. It may trap pollutants, sweat, bacteria, and excess sebum, blocking the skin’s pores that can lead to acne breakouts.  Generally, wearing make-up, including a primer, for longer periods may block the pores in your skin.

You should avoid using a primer at night because sleeping with a primer on may interfere with the natural renewal process of the skin, which may lead to the development of wrinkles on the skin.

Sleeping in a primer with SPF or pearlescent ingredients such as mica or silica is not recommended. In fact, some sunscreen ingredients can irritate skin and chemical sunscreen ingredients are absorbed into the body to potentially harmful levels.

However, there are exceptions.  Some makeup primers are fine to sleep in and it depends on the primer. Some primers act like moisturizers to prevent skin dryness and may contain beneficial ingredients such as vitamins. Others may help unclog pores such as those with salicylic acid. Primers with dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and other related ingredients (called siloxanes) are fine to sleep in.

If you’re not sure whether your primer will harm your skin while you’re sleeping, it’s recommended to remove the primer before sleeping.

There are better products for nighttime beauty such as retinoids that help stimulate collagen renewal and can only be applied at night.

Contributors to This Answer: 

Daniel Boyer M.D. – Dr. Boyer is a practicing Doctor of medicine at Farr Institute with a focus on medical research. He specializes in molecular biology, histology, pharmacology, embryology, pathology, pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, and obstetrics.

Cynthia Bailey, MD, FAAD – Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey is based in Sebastopol, CA (Northern California wine country). Over the last 30+ years, she has helped over 15,000 patients overcome frustration and embarrassment caused by rosacea, acne, melasma, sun damage, dry skin, wrinkles, and other skin impurities.

Generally speaking, it’s fine to wear a primer every day.

Primers come in two main categories, water-based and silicone-based formulas. Silicones can trap sweat, dirt, and bacteria to further exasperate issues, particularly in those with acne-prone skin. While silicones based primers are considered a low hazard for human use and many skincare or beauty influencers swear by their performance, water-based primers are preferred for daily use.

How to Choose a Primer for Daily Use

Many of us have unique triggers that can cause breakouts, flare-ups, or other skin irritations, so always test a new primer in a smaller area for a couple of days to ensure you’re not overly sensitive to it. The good news is that there are many primers that offer a lot of variety to cater to the various skin types.

Looking for products that are labeled as non-comedogenic is what you should look for. These are specifically formulated to minimize pore clogs and issues, which we can all benefit from.

Primers are tailored towards the 4 major skin types:

  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Dry
  • Combination

Some are specifically tailored to help matte your natural shine (for oily skin) whereas others add hydrating elements (for dry skin).

What’s great about primers is that you can use them alone without adding additional foundation or make-up. This approach can be desirable for many who want to achieve a clean and refined no-make-up make-up look. If this is what you want to achieve, then wearing primer daily would be even better than your previous routine of products, as it lessens the number of products you apply each day and that gets absorbed in your skin.

How to Make Your Primer Last All Day

Some tips to give you the most mileage from your primer and skincare routine include:

Step 1: Apply your moisturizer within the first 2-3 minutes of exiting the shower. This is known as the Two-Minute or Three-Minute Rule. We recommend this because that timeframe from exiting the shower is when your skin will be most receptive to moisturizers, so by applying them then, you ensure the most absorption.

Step 2: If you use SPF each day, apply that next. Combination products exist and there’s no harm combining the moisturizer + SPF, but you want to make sure they’re applied below the primer.

Step 3: Add your primer once both of those products have dried. There are even combination primers that include SPF, which is better than nothing, but I’m a firm believer that having a designated SPF is important as its own layer.

If you go by the above approach, you shouldn’t have any issues wearing primer daily – whether that’s part of a skincare routine or a standalone product.

Contributors to This Answer:

Todd Minars, MD – Dr. Minars is a Board Certified Dermatologist at Minars Dermatology. He is the Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Miami School of Medicine and former Chief Resident in Dermatology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

You don’t need a primer if you don’t wear foundation. However, there are still tons of great benefits to priming if you find the right one for your skin!

The makeup industry is constantly innovating and many modern primers are full of multiple skincare or makeup benefits.

Here are some benefits of using a primer if you don’t wear foundation:

Benefit 1 – Primers can benefit your non-foundation makeup: When you choose the right primer, your concealer (and any other makeup) will last longer and look better on top. A makeup primer can provide benefits for your other makeup even if you don’t wear foundation.

Benefit 2- Some primers can double as skincare products: Secondly, the right primer can work with your skin type or counteract skin issues that you may have.

If you have oily skin with a lot of visible pores, a mattifying pore-blurring silicone formula can make a huge difference to the appearance of your skin throughout the day!

If you have dry skin, a water-based primer containing hyaluronic acid or glycerin will help keep your skin hydrated all day! What about blemishes or redness? A green-toned primer can help counteract that redness to give the appearance of a more even skin tone.

Benefit 3 – Primers can make your bare skin glow: Certain primers can change the finish of your makeup or your bare skin. For example, illuminating primers provide a lit-from-within glow all over the face.

Benefit 4 – Some primers have built-in sunscreen: Primers often contain broad-spectrum SPF protection (anywhere from factor 15 – 50). This is important to keep your skin safe from the sun and reduce the chances of premature aging!

Contributors To This Answer:

Laura Chawke – Laura is the founder of Makeup Scholar, a site that combines a passion for beauty & makeup with rigorous research.