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How To: Do Your Foundation Like a Pro

And still look like yourself

If you choose to wear makeup on your wedding day (and we at APW believe it’s always a choice, not a requirement) foundation is more or less the gatekeeper to making it all work (and primer is the key master, in case anyone is wondering. But we’ll get to that in a second). For those of you who are trying your hand at more advanced makeup, a long day where you get photographed at every turn (professional photographer or no), possibly cry, and probably sweat like a mother can make for a holy trifecta of face melting.

Now, in theater the solution to that problem is just to layer your face with about an inch and a half of pancake makeup and send you shuffling off to Buffalo. But we’re going to assume that you want your makeup to actually look like you. And the key to that is good foundation. So today we’ve put together a basic, lazy-girl style tutorial on How To Do Foundation Like A Pro.*

The best part about getting flawless foundation done with minimal effort it is that ninety percent of the secret lies in getting products that are going to go to work for you. Otherwise, technique is secondary, and consists mostly of blending. So we asked one of our awesome stylists, Shana Astrachan of Fox & Doll Hair & Makeup to share her expert tips on getting sheer foundation that will last all day without making you look like a Toddler In Tiara gone wrong:

Primer: Primer, primer, primer. Seriously, guys. Primer. It is a magical tool that helps your makeup stay put so that you don’t end up with melty face and raccoon eyes. Shana used two kinds of primer on Meg, one for her face and another on her eyelids. For face primer, Shana likes Mineral Fusion Natural Brands Face Primer. However, if you don’t want to spend upwards of $30 on something you may only use once or twice, it’s also been pointed out in the comments of previous hair & makeup tutorials that an economical alternative to traditional face primers is Monistat Chafing Gel. (Apparently the formulas are nearly identical. I know. My mind was blown too.) As for eye primer, Shana recommends using a Mac Paint Pot in a shade that matches your skin tone (it contains both primer and a little bit of shadow).

Foundation: APWers tend to prefer a sheer foundation over the cakey stuff, so Shana used Benefit’s Hello Flawless on Meg. Contrary to what I would have expected, she suggests using less foundation, because it’ll stay better throughout the night and look more natural. When it comes time to apply your foundation, that funky pink egg you see up there is called a Beauty Blender and Shana swears by it. It takes all the guesswork out of blending your foundation so that you get a flawless finish and don’t end up with uneven foundation all over your face. (Win!)

Highlighter: Shana’s pro-tip here is to just make sure you don’t use anything that looks like glitter. She recommends using Benefit’s Watt’s Up, High Beam, or Moon Beam and applying it just along your cheekbones.

Concealer & Powder: Concealer is one of those tricky products that varies from person to person (depending on whether you’re concealing redness, if you have fine lines, etc.). But one trick Shana recommends is to use a creamy concealer like the one Mineral Fusion makes and apply it with your finger instead of a brush. The warmth from your finger will help it blend more smoothly and look more natural. Then finish the look by applying loose powder with a big soft brush all over.

And that is, I swear, all there is to it. You are now ready to do the fun part of makeup. I always thought foundation was much more complicated than that (which is why I never wear it) but I’m feeling a little more confident to try and step up my game with Shana’s tips. As always, for more makeup tips, or tutorials on complete makeup looks, you can check out our whole series on DIY hair & makeup from last year right here.

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