Tips & Tricks

How To: Create Flawless Skin With Foundation

December 23, 2009

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

• 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 than you think you need. 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.

• Set it. Using a setting spray like M·A·C Fix + will tone down any cakiness and keep the skin looking dewy.

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  • Reply apple December 23, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    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

    • Reply Ki December 7, 2010 at 7:36 am

      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.

  • Reply Yhen December 23, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    nice tips. Merry Christmas to you! 🙂

  • Reply Karen December 23, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    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!

  • Reply teeyah December 24, 2009 at 12:36 am

    These are great tips, Phyllis! 🙂

  • Reply kristie December 24, 2009 at 1:16 am

    thanks for the tips! maybe i will try a liquid foundation one day~ i’m scared that it wouldn’t be the best for my combination/oily skin.

  • Reply Couture Cookie December 24, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Thanks for the advice! I almost never put makeup on myself, so whenever I have to I always feel like somewhat of a beginner! Will keep these tips in mind. 🙂

  • Reply Loan December 24, 2009 at 11:24 am

    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 =)

  • Reply Laila December 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    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!

  • Reply alexa December 24, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    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!

  • Reply Joanna December 25, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    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


    what do you say ?

  • Reply Lana December 25, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    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 🙂

  • Reply Phyllis December 25, 2009 at 7:47 pm


    Yes the primer will go on after your moisturizer. Please refer to this blog post for more details:

  • Reply Phyllis December 25, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    YES Karen! The smell is definitely my biggest complaint! But other than that, I love how it keeps my skin so smooth and glowy!

  • Reply Phyllis December 25, 2009 at 7:51 pm


    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!

  • Reply Phyllis December 25, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Thanks Alexa for bringing up primers. I didn’t include them in the list cos I don’t use them anymore =)

  • Reply Phyllis December 25, 2009 at 7:57 pm


    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.

  • Reply Phyllis December 25, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks Lana! The picture is from a FOTD that I did a while ago. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Reply Asa December 27, 2009 at 11:22 pm


  • Reply lauren December 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    thanks for the tips!
    was also wondering what type of eyeshadow you use?

  • Reply Ariel January 3, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    are there any brushes you reccommend for applying liquid foundation?

  • Reply Kay January 5, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    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!

  • Reply Phyllis January 6, 2010 at 12:51 am

    You’re welcome Lauren! For eyeshadows, I usually stick to powder and pigments.

  • Reply Kaitlynn January 19, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Hey Phyllis how come you dont use a primer?

  • Reply fanfan February 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    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


  • Reply pauline December 20, 2010 at 2:48 am

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

  • Reply Roseline December 22, 2010 at 10:01 pm

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

  • Reply alice April 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    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?

    • Reply Phyllis April 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm


      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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