Firstly, I would recommend that you cleanse and moisturise your skin (or at least moisturise) and wait a few minutes for the moisturiser to be absorbed.
The following tips are for liquid or crème foundations. (For 2in1, or crème to powder compact type foundation, use a damp sponge and start by applying and blending from the eyes and T-zone outwards, similar to the steps below).
I usually start by dotting foundation in the areas I think need it most, before blending it in with a damp makeup sponge…
Start around the eye area and blend outwards. (I tend not to put foundation on very heavily these days.) The aim is to cover flaws and even-out skin tone, but still see your skin.
Make sure you blend the foundation well and don’t forget to bring it down over your jawbone onto your neck.
Don’t forget to blend it into your hairline.
I usually apply concealer after foundation, the “old school” always applied it before but I find it is more effective after foundation, as long as you take care to blend it well.
If you have one of the light reflecting concealers, now is the time to apply it.
(Details of how to choose a good concealer will follow…)
Before you set your foundation, (with a loose powder,) make sure there are no “creases” in the base, usually round the eyes or mouth. Smooth them out with your sponge and powder straight away.
Using a powder puff, apply the powder by gently pressing it into the skin, be liberal with it, and concentrate on the eyes and creases around the nostrils.
Then, using a large powder brush, dust off the excess powder in a “downward and outwards” motion. Take care to dust in any crevices too!! e.g. around the nostrils…
If you think of a basic colour wheel, the colours that are opposite each other effectively cancel each other out.
When choosing a concealer, remember that the dark circles under the eyes have actually a blue tinge, therefore you need a concealer with a very slight hint of pink/orange to counteract the blue. The amount of colour in the concealer should only be enough to counteract the blueness; you should be left with a neutral tone once the two colours have cancelled each other out.
The texture of your concealer is vital too. It should not be too heavy and should not “sit” in the creases of your skin. It should be silky smooth, creamy and light. This, I am afraid comes at a cost. I have yet to find a good, cheap concealer.
I always test the texture of a concealer on the back of my hand. It has to blend easily and cover smoothly, if it instantly sits in the creases of my skin, I won’t buy it.
If you are covering a blemish that is inflamed, or you have a ruddy complexion, this may sound bizarre, but add a tiny bit of green to your concealer and you will make those red blotches disappear. Most makeup ranges carry so-called “colour correctors” (A tip here is to buy a relatively cheap colour corrector as it is used in such small quantities it should not affect the qualities of your base.)
Once applied to your blemish, blend the edges of the concealer with your makeup sponge.
I know this all may sound rather in depth and complicated but I can assure you it will be well worth trying!