Makeup Tips

Don’t Skip This 2-Second Step If You Want Foundation That Looks Airbrushed

Zoe Weiner

Photo: Getty/Tim Robberts
Putting on foundation seems like it should be a fairly straightforward task. Pump a little product on your face, blend it until it looks even, and voila: You’re on your merry way. But according to makeup artists, there’s one critical step in the process that many of us are skipping out on, and it’s preventing our foundation from looking airbrushed on.

Instead of applying foundation directly to your face, brush, or sponge, pros say you should be pumping it on the back of your hands instead. According to Lauren D’Amelio, a makeup artist based in New York City, this helps to warm up the foundation before you blend it, which ultimately creates a more skin-like or natural finish. “It allows the foundation to melt slightly melt, which makes it more movable so that it can penetrate the skin and lay smoother,” she says.

For best results, she suggests pumping your desired amount of foundation on the back of your non-dominant hand, then using two fingers to massage it in circular motions. This creates friction, which slightly heats the product, and it also prevents you from using too much, which is one of the key culprits behind formulas caking or creasing. From there, you can apply your foundation directly to your face with your fingertips, a brush, or sponge.

Think about smoothing it on like a moisturizer, using light pressure, and dabbing on the additional product in areas where you need a little extra coverage. “The key is to gently smooth it on versus rubbing it in with too much force,” Boston-based makeup artist Jeannie Vincent previously told Well+Good. “If there are any streaky areas I just tap them with fingertips and good to go.” You’ll be left with a smooth, medium-coverage finish that will look (and feel) like you’re wearing nothing at all.

And one more thing D’Amelio is begging you to remember? “Always wash or sanitize your hands prior to trying this trick,” she says. “You can spread bacteria or make your foundation oxidize if your hands are not clean.” After a 20-second hand wash and a 10-second foundation application, you’re pretty much RTG. And for that, let’s give these makeup artists, shall we?

For more tips on how to glam up for your next Zoom meeting, check out the video below. 

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Experts Referenced

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