How to achieve a flawless base/How to Contour

For a few months now I’ve had a lot of requests to do a post regarding everything ‘base’ related. “Alice how do I get my foundation to last all day”, “Alice how do I stop my t zone from getting shiny?”, “Alice how come my contour makes my foundation come off all the time?”. Well today I’m here to answer a few questions ive gathered from people over the past few months to let you all know how I achieve that flawless base!

STEP 1: MOISTURISE

No matter what type of skin you have, moisturising of a morning helps your skin in so many ways! Moisturisers (as the name suggests) lock in the moisture your skin requires. This may be a lot or just a little depending on your skin type. Always ensure your moisturiser matched your skin type/helps with your skin concerns. For example, if you have oily skin you do not want oil based or extremely thick hydrating moisturiser as it will just make your foundation drip off your face and cause breakouts. On the other hand, if you have really dry skin, you are going to want a moisturiser that has that extra kick in it to stop those dry patches from showing through. Having dry skin will make the application and overall look of foundation not as sleek. If you’re reading this and thinking, ‘but what about combination skin’, try and apply the moisturiser just to those dry areas of your face, which is usually around the jaw line and cheeks. This will ensure that just the areas that needing it are getting that extra kick of moisture.

STEP 2: PRIME

I have a separate blog post regarding the importance of primer here, but ill still give you a bit of a spill 😉

There are 2 different types of primers- there are moisturiser-type primers or there are soft silk-like primers that kind of just melt in your hand and glide onto the skin. Depending on your skin type, once again, whichever type of primer you use comes down to your skin type and personal preference on how you like the feel on your face. After all, you’re the one who has to wear it. To find your perfect primer, I would suggest getting some samples of some leading brands such as Arbonne (available from me), Hourglass or Too Faced to just see how you like them on your face and how they make your makeup last. All 3 of these brands have numerous types of primers all with different formulas and textures so experimenting with sample sizes is one of the only ways to know what you like (unless you have the money to go out and buy the full size of each one but I know for 99% of my readers that is not an option, haha!) When applying primer, remember to always use sparingly, because to much product can reverse the awesome effects is has on your base look.

STEP 3: FOUNDATION

I feel like I just keep repeating myself here, but with foundation it also comes down to your skin type. If you’re naturally producing a lot of oil and find yourself patting off excess throughout the day, then choosing a luminous/highly dewy foundation is not the right move. It is only going to make you look shinier and will just melt off your face, which is unideal. Then again if you’re naturally dry, you don’t want to chose a matte foundation that will just strip all the life out of your face and you’ll end up flaking off like a lamington (I’m not joking, read my blog about using roaccutane medication here, this happened to me * insert sad face*)

Making sure you’re applying your foundation with the correct tools is also critical. Personally, I don’t think fingers are the best option out there due to bacteria being under the nails and a lot of the product going to waste by transferring to your hands, but its up to you. I personally like to apply my foundation to the back of my hand, grab a foundation brush and swirl it around to warm it up, and then dot it on my face sparingly, to then buff it out and re apply again if I want a fuller coverage. My favourite brush at the moment is the real techniques stippling finishing brush. I find this helps blend really well however it occasionally leaves streak marks if I’ve applied too much product in one go. This however can be easily fixed by just pressing the brush into the skin with its duo fibres, which gives that airbrushed finish.

STEP 4: COLOUR CORRECT

I have a full blog here on colour correcting. Jump over to read how to colour correct and add all those steps in here! You’re welcome.

STEP 5: SET FACE

Ok so this is a step soooo many people forget. I honesty don’t feel human if my foundation is not set, and I always know I forgot to set when my foundation transfers to my friends clothes of a morning when I give them a hug, (lol soz). Setting your foundation will stop this transfer and also stops it from wearing quicker. Setting powders can either be pressed coloured to add coverage (my personal preference), a loose coloured to also add coverage, or a translucent white to set the foundation without adding any colour change/coverage to the already perfected base. Depending on the product you chose, these will either give you a matte or dewy finish. Alternatively, you can set just on the areas you know/feel you become oily throughout the day. This will add that extra layer of protection to stop the oil from showing and even out the skin tone and texture.

STEP 6: SET CONCEALER

Setting your concealer, especially under the eyes, is important to prevent it from creasing or moving through the day. I’m sure you’ve used concealer at least once and looked at yourself halfway through the day and seen all those little lines under your eyes that make you look like you’ve aged 25 years? I also find that if I don’t set my under eyes, my mascara from my bottom lashes smudges and leaves a mark under my eyes. To set your concealer, all you need to do is just apply either a translucent or coloured pressed or loose powder to the area, making sure all lines are smoothed out prior to doing this. If you’re opting for the choice of using a coloured powder, try using one that is 1-2 shades lighter than your foundation colour to help highlight and brighten the area. Alternatively, try baking.

STEP 7: CONTOUR

My most come across issue with contouring is 1, people don’t know where to apply the product. 2, people don’t set their foundation before applying powdered bronzer, causing the foundation to be brushed off. And 3, people are not tapping the excess off their brush and applying too much product to one area giving a cakey and muddy appearance.

To achieve a flawless bronzed and contoured look, you want to make sure that you’re applying the matte product to the areas of you face you want to appear slimmed down. For example, the cheekbones, jaw line, nose and forehead (or did someone say 5head?)
When using a powder bronzer to contour you want to make sure the foundation has already been set with powder and let to settle into the skin for a few minutes before going in and carving out areas. To achieve a really nice bronzed look, a lot of blending is needed and therefore pressure is applied to the skin and can sometimes make the foundation come off. To stop this from happening and also to stop the bronzer from going on too heavily, tap off as much product as you can from your brush and use a really light hand when applying product. It is better to apply more small portions and blend well rather than one large application and end up with a muddy face.
To contour, you first want to figure out where your cheek bones are. To do this, such your cheeks in like you’re drinking a maccas thickshake (mmm now im hungry), and feel where your cheeks dip in under the bone. That gap there is where you want to apply the matte bronzer. To do so, like stated above, grab a flat top or bronzer brush and starting from the middle/top part of your ear, blend the product inwards and downwards along that dip. At this point, you should only see the slightest bit of darkness and it shouldn’t come too far down your face. If you’re a beginner, stop there. If you keep going then your face will look like too much is going on, but if you feel a little more advanced, repeat this step again and remember to blend blend blend!
If you also want more definition to your face, apply a small amount of that same bronzer to the jawline and blend well. This will slim down the jaw and make it appear smaller. To contour the forehead, aply some bronzer to the temples of the head, which is kind of above where your eyebrows end. Also, depending on whether you need it or not, bring the product up and around the top of the hairline and blend well so it doesn’t look obvious. This will make your head look smaller and will give you a bit of a sun-kissed look. I personally don’t contour my nose, I just very lightly brush some excess bronzer over the lines to give it a slight shadow.

STEP 8: HIGHLIGHT

Highlighting is beautiful. It gives the skin such a gorgeous glow to it and pulls forward those high points of the face to make it appear slimmer and more defined. Highlighters can come in all different colours however the basic colour is a really light nude/pink tone such as the MAC soft and gentle. Once again, sometimes less is more, (unless you’re wanting a fuller coverage for a night out or special event) and only apply to those areas you want to increase. The main points for highlighting with a shimmer powder or cream is the highest point of the cheekbones (usually starts from the end of the eyebrow to be in line with the outer corner of your eye). Applying product down the bridge of the nose, the brow bone, on the cupids bow and ever so lightly dusted over the small middle section of the forehead are the most popular.

STEP 9: SETTING SPRAY

I’m still to come to the conclusion as to whether setting sprays really do work. I think in order for your foundation to last well it comes down to how well you maintain your skin care routine and how you prep the skin with primers before initially applying the makeup products. However, each to their own and if you have the money to spare, give a setting spray a go and see how it makes your foundation last. The Mario Badescu rose water spray is a great start, being just $9 for the small spray available at Mecca. I love this spray as a quick refresher while on my lunch break at work or just on a hot day. Remember, if using a setting spray, ensure youre spraying from approximately 30cm away from the face to avoid drip marks from forming and for an even application!

I hope this in depth blog has been of help to those wanting extra information about perfecting their base. I would love ANY feedback as to if this helped or any personal tips you might have to help me out also!

Much love!

Ali xxx

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