The 7 most common foundation fails.

Ah, foundation. It’s beauty ground zero, and as with anything in life, getting the fundamentals right is often the hardest part.

Whether we’ve come home with an unexpected tan, are wrestling with a breakout, or no longer have time to apply our typical base, every woman has struggled with her foundation at some point.

Here are some of the most common foundation fails women make – and how to correct them.

1. Testing a colour in the wrong place.

It’s not uncommon to see women swatching foundation samples on their hand or wrist, but ladies, this is not the way to meet your perfect match. The skin on your hands is a very different colour from the skin on your face, so something that blends flawlessly onto your wrist will more than likely be wrong for your face.

The best place to test a new foundation is on your jaw line. Don’t be shy about trying multiple colours at once. That way, it’s easier to compare. Then, once you’ve found a colour you think might work, make sure you go outside and inspect it in natural light before you buy it.

2. Using the wrong foundation for your skin.

If you’ve got dry skin, you should stay far, far away from powders. They’ll only make things worse. But for oily skin, a powder could be the perfect solution for a face that’s matte, all day long.

Make sure you have a conversation with your beauty counter consultant – she knows what she’s talking about, and will suggest a product that’s going to work with your skin.  You can even get foundations with active skincare ingredients now, like Clinique’s anti-blemish foundation and powder.

3. Skipping out on primer.

Sure, primer might feel like yet another step, but once you put it on, you’ll realise how little foundation you actually need. Primer will give a gentle glow to your skin, and it’s quicker to apply than foundation, so in the end you’ll save time by using it.


4. Not using a brush or blender.

It’s more time consuming at first, but once you get the hang of applying foundation with a brush or a blender, it will stay on for longer (because you won’t have pre-heated the product with your fingers), and it’ll wind up taking less time, too. Just make sure you keep that brush nice and clean!

5. Putting foundation all over your face.

Unless you’re sporting serious acne or discolouration, you probably don’t need foundation on your cheeks or forehead. In fact, applying foundation to the forehead can be quite aging, since it can settle into your expression lines and make them look deeper than they are.

Concentrate your foundation application around your T-zone, and under your eyes, then blend well. If you’ve got the right shade, and you’re wearing primer, you’ll probably find that’s all you need.

6. Not blending properly.

Foundation should never leave a stark line on your face. It should always blend in smoothly. Sometimes, this might mean buffing your foundation right down under your jaw line, but the extra effort will absolutely pay off.

You don’t need to use extra product when you’re blending foundation in – in fact, working with what you’ve already applied is a big advantage.

7. Forgetting to set.

If you really want to keep your foundation in place – you’re probably going to have to set it with powder. Unfortunately, it’s just not possible to keep a perfect dewy look in place all day. But if you’re happy to run to the bathroom for a lunchtime touch-up, then by all means skip this step.