How To: Create Flawless Skin With Foundation

Unless you are supermodel Gisele Bundchen, having a flawless complexion takes a lot more than just good genes. Below are some tricks that I use:



* Exfoliate regularly. This is key to creating a smooth canvas for your foundation. I exfoliate twice a week and I alternate between scrubs and peeling treatments.

* Moisturize in advance. I never apply foundation without slapping on an oil-free moisturizer. Not only does the moisturizer provide a layer of protection between your skin and the makeup, it also provides a bit of slip so the foundation goes on easier. Right now I am really liking Philosophy Hope In A Jar and NARS Brightening Serum.

* Go liquid. Liquid foundations are hands down the most blendable and create the most natural look. You all know I adore Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation but NARS Sheer Glow Foundation also provides buildable coverage while looking super natural.

* Always start with less. I usually do one pump/drop of foundation for the whole face. It is just so much easier to build up the coverage gradually than having to tone it down.

* Buff, buff and buff some more. Applying your foundation in a buffing motion will help blend it into your skin, creating that flawless, no-makeup look.

* Mist it. Using a facial mist like MAC Fix + will tone down any cakiness and keep the skin looking dewy.

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE, Glamour.com, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.

31 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Phyllis your tips are wonderful Im just wondering because I want to start using Primer, when do I apply it? Is it after moisturizer? And what Primer do you recommend? Thank you

    • Apple – Primer is applied after moisturiser. My favourite brand is Cinema Secrets, but I also hear good things about Laura Mercier or less expensive options like Sally Hansen or Natio.

  2. You have such nice skin… *jealous* So you have been liking the Philosophy moisturizer… my bf finds it really stinky though… lol

    I bought the 3 kohl liners today!

  3. Thanks for your tips! Nars sheer glow has become my HG!
    I also bought the MUFE Hd foundation but I think the coverage was too much on the heavy side, but the Nars foundation is amazing! I feel like I am not wearing anything and it makes my skin look so much better =)
    Will try the max fix + one time =)

  4. Hey Phyllis, what kind of exfoliater do you use? I have problematic skin…been dealing with it since my teenage years =( Would appreciate your recommendation…thanks!

  5. Great tips, Phyllis! You forgot to include primer though. Makeup primer is great for protecting the skin and smoothing it out. Plus it helps the makeup stay on longer!

  6. Your skin is already perfect love !

    Thanks for the tips. =D

    Oh and my skin is combination so if i buff my foundation…
    will it be bd for my pores ?

    although i do cleanse properly before bed.

    but kinda scared to do it as my MUA says it will clog my pores

    =p

    what do you say ?

  7. Phyllis, what are your favorite exfoliators of the moment? And do you have a link to the eye makeup breakdown in your picture above – it’s lovely!
    Great post :)

  8. Laila,

    Right now I alternate between Bliss Peeling Groovy Facial Serum and Skin Food Black Sesame Hot Mask. If you have sensitive skin, try mixing baking soda with a creamy cleanser. It’s milder but works just as great!

  9. Joanna,

    Wearing makeup in general – regardless of whether you buff it in or not – will clog up your pores only if you don’t remove it properly. So if you cleanse properly every night, you should be good.

  10. Hi–
    Great tips, but I was just wondering if you might let us in on your use of the Fix+ spray.
    I’ve had it for eons and during the summer I loved it, and felt like it it made my skin look dewy.

    Lately, however, it has just started to make my makeup look MORE cakey–how many spritzes do you use, how far away from your face, etc?

    I’m so frustrated, and any advice is appreciated!

  11. yes, i want to try NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, but do not know which shade for me…i am mac nc35, chanel pro lumiere beige intensity 2.0

    thanks

  12. you really look good..
    how do you moisturize your skin??
    also, how do you remove the makeup at night??
    thanks..

  13. I LOVE THE EYESHADOW in that picture! It’s absolutely gorgeous! What brand is it? Thank-you so much! =]. So pretty!

  14. Hi Phyllis,

    I feel like my concealer comes off when I add my foundation on top. Is it that I am using an ineffective concealer?

    • Alice,

      Here are a few things that might help:

      1) While some people like to apply their concealer prior to foundation, I personally like to do it AFTER. This way, you will also end up using less concealer than you really need.

      2) PAT – don’t rub – when you apply your concealer until it is well-blended.

      3) Set your concealer with a loose powder to increase its staying power.

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