Thursday, November 13, 2008

Layer Cake

I can't live without base. It's the one thing I am very particular with whether for personal or professional use. Base or Foundation has to be quite seamless and untraceable. More often than not, foundation application is what separates the experienced from the novices.
I'm often faced with the question: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO APPLY FOUNDATION? I know what I know based on my experience and what I have personally tried. A lot of you out there do not realize that with improper use, most of it just goes to waste. Try it for yourself and you be the judge.


I've been using sponges since the day I first learned to put make-up on myself. When I moved on to learn the basics in make-up school, we used sponges (tons!). Triangle sponges vs. round sponges have grown more popular throughout the recent years. It's not only smaller and takes up less space but a triangle sponge is what best resembles an index finger. The edges fit perfectly into the grooves around the eyes and best for overall blending. My issue with sponges is that it soaks up most of the product. Investing in a good foundation doesn't end in buying a great product, what you use to apply it with will give you more value for money.

SPONGE 101: Dual powder foundations are best applied with a wet or dry sponge. Keep sponges away from liquid foundations which will only soak up the product and you end up using more.

I refrain from touching my subject's face with my bare hands. I try to avoid it at all costs for the simple reasons that it doesn't look so professional and it is not very hygienic. One might argue that I can run over to the sink and wash but not all places may have sinks nearby, especially if I'm shooting outdoors. Even with a sink nearby, if my hands are clean, then I can pick up other things without making a mess. Some say that the heat from one's fingers makes any foundation easier to blend. This is also true, that's why finger application is best done on yourself, in the comfort of your own space. With the use of your fingers you will most definitely save on product usage.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION: To the heavy handed, friction from your fingers will make wrinkles and fine lines more pronounced. It is also not very advisable to retouch your makeup at work with your fingers, not only is it a hassle but it is time-consuming.


I only gave in to this trend about 2 years ago. What got me sold was not the idea but finding the perfect brush that didn't leave track marks. The most widely accepted foundation brush is usually made of synthetic nylon. Reason being is that the nylon bristles will not soak up the product, leaving you using less and saving more. Using a foundation brush made from natural hair is something I didn't think was possible. That was until I tried it. It yields a smooth, flawless finish, similar to using a sponge instantly making the pores less visible. Assign one brush for only this usage as it cannot be used for anything else.

KEEP IT SIMPLE: Nylon brush works best with Liquid foundation. Natural hair brushes, used to apply cream foundation will make you look like you had a pro do it.

Nylon Foundation brush from SEPHORA

Brush 18 goat hair by SHU UEMURA

I love the simplicity of this. If only it wasn't so messy and not leaving me running around naked waiting for it to dry in case I need to use it on the body. I went to school for airbrush as well, but until all major brands come up with specific foundations for airbrush use then I'll save it for special occasions. Don't get me wrong, I love the finish of airbrush but I personally whip out my airbrush gun for more conceptual shoots that involve fantasy Linkand avant-garde looks. Most foundation formulas will not go through the nozzle of an airbrush gun. There are specific products sold with specific airbrush guns. Check out the personal airbrush kits by:
The spray-on type of foundations are great, especially if you need to cover large parts of the body. If you have no flaws to cover, spray-on foundation is the way to go.

MISTY-FIED: Spray on foundation + sweat = streaking. Avoid wearing any light-colored clothes, foundation and spray-on tanner will bleed on the fabric!

Spray on foundation "AIRFLASH" by DIOR