Full coverage bases and foundations and dry skin just don’t always go together, do they? I find most are geared to oily complexions, but dry skin girls have things they want to cover and even out, too! I used to think I was bound to only ever wear tinted moisturizers or sheer bases, but I’ve managed to make full coverage work for me with a few tricks…
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How to Make Full Coverage Foundation Work on Dry Skin
When you want that flawless coverage, but your skin has texture, the struggle is REAL. It is so easy to go from flawless to cake face! With this routine, I manage to keep dry spots at bay, while still getting that airbrush look I desire.
Girl, Wash That Face!
When it comes to laying on a heavily pigmented base, you really need to do some work prior to makeup time. You might think it starts with what you put on your skin, but it actually starts with what you take off. I’m always shocked by how many people tell me they don’t cleanse their skin in the morning. Whether you think you do or don’t, we sweat in our sleep as well as shed skin cells. The last thing you want is grime trapped under your makeup (ick). I start my day with a gentle cleanser like the It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser* – a pea sized amount will do.
Hydrate…Then Hydrate Some More
The next step is boosting your hydration to max status. This isn’t the time to skimp on your skincare so go for the gold here. I start with a serum which penetrates into the skin. Currently, I’m loving the Biotherm Skin Oxygen Strengthening Concentrate* – it feels gloriously silky and I will most definitely be purchasing when I am out (which is very soon!).
After serum, I apply a hydrating eye cream that isn’t too greasy because I don’t want my concealer to crease and slip around. I’ve been loving the Clarins Multi-Active Eye*, which has a supercooling applicator that soothes puffiness and hydrates with a lightweight gel-cream formula. I do this before my moisturizer so it has time to sink it and do its job.
Speaking of moisturizer, one of my tried and true favourites for day or night, is the Origins Make a Difference + Ultra Rich. It comes in a variety of levels of hydration, but I go for the richest as my skin is dry and dehydrated. This stuff never lets me down and always is my fall back for super smooth, plump and hydrated skin.
Prime Before You Paint
So now that you’ve got your skincare sorted, it’s time to prime and prep the skin. I know primers are a bit of a marmite product, but I really believe in them. If you have perfectly normal skin (What is ‘normal’ anyway!?) then good for you. Otherwise, a primer can be your best friend. They balance oil, boosting hydration, creating a tacky base for foundation to cling to or smoothing pores. My two current favourites are both by Smashbox, but I use them for different things. The Photo Finish Primer Water is super lightweight but leaves a bit of tact so that it adheres foundation to the skin. This is needed sometimes when you use a rich cream underneath. My other fave is the Primerizer; A primer and moisturizer in one, this gives an extra slip to the skin for foundations that are thicker.
Application Is Everything
This is where the actual coverage comes in. Once you pick your base and concealer of choice (lately, mine has been Huda Beauty Faux Filter, Maybelline SuperStay and Tarte Shape Tape*), the key is to start with a little and build up. You’ve probably seen some popular YouTubers who spackle on their makeup like they are puttying up a hole in the wall. I promise you, this won’t work for you in day to day life. Rather than dotting it all over your face artfully, start applying your foundation in small sections; I like to do cheeks first but you’ll wanna start wherever you feel you need the most coverage. Use your tool of choice (I am a brush girl through and through and prefer a flat top kabuki, like this for formulas that are thicker) and here’s a little trick – if you find your foundation just doesn’t spread the way you want, add a drop of oil to it then buff it on. When I say ‘a drop’ I mean it – any more might break down your foundation earlier than anticipated and mess with the formula. I love MV Organics Skincare Daily Soother* – it smells divine and is meant for dry, flaky skin!
Patience Is a Virtue
Ok here is my biggest tip to getting full coverage that stays all day on dry skin: Give it time. Once you blend everything out, wait a few minutes. Take the time to get a cup of tea, get dressed, whatever. Then come back to your face and use your fingers or dense brush (like this one) to pat out any creases or caked spots. Giving it time to settle before setting will give you a much more skinlike appearance.
Then you need to set it and move on. I have dry skin, but never skip a touch of powder because that is what adheres my foundation to the skin and keeps it there and not on everything else. I know it can be scary to powder when you don’t want matte skin. The trick is to choose something that isn’t mattifying (one of my all time favourites is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders are another great choice) and use a light hand. Dust under the eyes to set your concealer (with a small brush like this). Do your smile lines and around the nose and eyebrows. I always put a little under my cheekbones where I bronze and contour so that the colour doesn’t skip or stick. Use a fluffy brush like this one, so you don’t overdo it and don’t even think about baking. This is the step I never skip, but possibly makes the biggest difference to the look and longevity of my base!
I get that this might seem like a lot, but the whole process takes me minutes. There are plenty of days where I slap on a sheer base and go, but sometimes you just need more! Until I found these tips and tricks, I always felt like I was wearing heavy makeup, but now I don’t and I get told I have beautiful skin (re: not beautiful makeup) frequently!
What are your favourite tips for getting the best foundation application?
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