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Beauty Basics: Primer And Foundation

I have noticed that on many blogs or YouTube videos that the creators don’t explain much of what the product that they use does, why they use it, and how to use it. They just go on and do the makeup look, and that’s fine for all us makeup artists that don’t need to know all that. But what about those that don’t know anything about makeup but would like to? That’s why I am starting this series, “Beauty Basics”. I hope that it is helpful and informative.

So lets begin with the most important step in the makeup process.



Primer goes on before foundation. It help the foundation stay on longer without creasing or settling in unwanted areas. Some even your skin tone, some fill in large pores, some make oily skin look matte, some give your skin a little glow, and some moisturize your skin. Every brand of makeup has a primer, both department and drug store.

First you have to know your skin type to know what kind of primer you want. You can even use more than one. I, for example, have dry cheeks, but can get oily in my T-zone (the forehead, nose and chin), so I use a moisturizing primer on my cheeks and a mattifying primer in the T-zone. If you have red spots, put a green primer on that spot. Why green? Green is the opposite color of red. The two colors cancel each out and you end up with a neutral color. If you have dry skin, you can either use a moisturizing primer or an illuminating one, or both.

There really aren’t any rules with primer. Use the one that feels the best on your skin. There aren’t any special ways to applying it either. My preferred way is with my fingers, clean of course.


Here are some of my favorite primers.


L’Oreal Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer

Why do I love this primer? For one thing, it’s under $20. And it does beautiful things to your skin. It adds the most beautiful, healthy, dewy but not greasy glow. You can either put it on before your foundation or mix it with your foundation. Or both, if you feel like it.

L’Oreal Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer



Nyx Cosmetics Studio Perfect Primer in Clear

This primer is soft, velvety, and smooth. One of its first ingredients is Dimethicone, a product of silicone that is used to condition the skin. It’s what makes the primer so soft. I like putting this on just my T-zone area since I don’t need to make my cheeks matte, unless I am going for an all matte look. If you are going to have your pictures taken, this is the primer you want. You do not want to look shiny. Shiny equals oily. This primer will also smooth and fill in any pores.

Nyx Cosmetics Studio Perfect Primer in Clear



Clinique-Super Primer-Universal Face Primer

Rarely will you find a primer that works on any skin type, color corrects, moisturizes and illuminates all in one. I found one. I’ve been using this one every day since I bought it. It makes my skin feel so soft and supple. (Supple is the weirdest word.) It makes my skin brighter, more even and all around feel better.

Clinique-Super Primer-Universal Face Primer



If you do not put foundation on, the rest of your makeup will not look good. Foundation evens skin tone, and that’s pretty much it. It covers redness, dark spots, and anything else. Uneven skin with blush and bronzer is just going to look blotchy. So you need foundation, but what kind?


Finding the Right Foundation

It all comes back to skin type. Dry skin is going to need a liquid foundation, preferably one with moisturizing qualities, and can have oils in them. But if you have oily skin and still want liquid foundation, make sure it is water based rather than oil. But there are more options than liquid. There are also creams and powders.

Creams are like pancake or stick foundations. They are thicker, and personally I don’t really like them. They cake quickly under the eyes, around the nose, and in that pesky chin crease. However, I will say that stick foundations work wonderfully for cream contouring.

Powder foundations are usually mineral. The most famous would be Bare Minerals. I would say that this would only work well on skin that is practically flawless and relatively dry. On my skin it settles blotchily on my T-zone, where I get oiliest. And it doesn’t hide my breakouts, but rather makes them more obvious.

I am a liquid foundation kind of girl. There are sooooooo many different liquid foundations. I prefer ones without an SPF because I like to take pictures. When you know you are going to be in front of a flashing camera, if you don’t want a white face pick a foundation with a low SPF or no SPF to avoid flashback. Lately, though, I’ve been using Buxom Show Some Skin Foundation and that actually has a 30 SPF and that’s because it’s summer and I’m outside more often. Since most of my pictures are outside I’m not using a flash so it’s all good.


Finding the Right Color

When you’re looking for the right color of foundation, most people will match it to either the top of their hand or to their face, but that will usually be the wrong color. Here’s why. Your face, neck and hands are all different colors, mainly because of the sun. You want to match your foundation to your neck, that way you look even all over. To do this swipe a line of foundation vertically on your jaw line or just below on your neck. The one that looks like it disappeared will be the correct color.

Finding the Right Color

As you can see, I put on four different colors. Where’s the fourth one? Exactly.This method will work with any type of foundation.


Where to Place Your Foundation

Foundation does not need to go all over the face. It really should go on only the reddest or most discolored part. And that is generally in the center. When you apply your foundation, start in the center and blend outwards. This will also help keeping the line around the face away.

Where to Place Your Foundation


Applying Your Foundation

There are many, many ways of applying your foundation. There’s your finger, brushes, and sponges. My preferred way, all three!

I’ll first put a pea sized drop on the back of my hand, then use my finger to spread little dots of half the amount of foundation on my face and blend it with my foundation brush. To build more coverage I’ll use the rest of the foundation on my hand and repeat the process. (The reason I do not put it all on at once is because when you do it layers you reduce the chance of caking.) Once it’s blended I like to lightly go over the whole thing with a damp Beauty Blender to get rid of any streaks. Of course, if you don’t have streaks you can skip the last step.

Applying Your Foundation


Different Foundation Brushes

There are quite a few different types of foundation brushes. There is a flat, tapered brush that looks similar to a paint brush, and then there are kabuki brushes. You can find liquid foundation kabuki brushes in all shapes. The best two are round topped, and flat-topped. I like the round-topped ones. I feel they blend out the foundation better around the edges, feathered it out, where the flat-topped ones can leave a harsh line so you have to blend more.

Different Foundation Brushes

There is one thing in common with all these brushes–besides function, and that is they are all made of synthetic hair. Why synthetic? Because synthetic hair will not soak up any liquids and get ruined. If the foundation brush is made of real hair it is for powders.


What’s the Difference Between BB Cream and Foundation

The main difference between a BB cream and foundation is the amount a coverage. A BB cream is generally lighter in coverage. It’s meant as a moisturizing tinted balm to actually help your skin look healthier. Foundation is usually a heavier coverage meant to even your skin tone. BB creams do not come in wide range of colors to choose from, where foundation you can match your exact skin tone. With a BB cream you don’t need a primer before you put it on. It has one built-in. I like taking BB cream with me when I travel so I have less to pack. My favorite BB cream is by Nyx Cosmetics.

Between BB Cream and Foundation

What more can be said about primer and foundation? They are so important to the makeup process. Thank you so much for reading!


About Kayla

A small-town girl with an itty bitty wild side. I love makeup, fashion, travel, movies, hiking, coffee, and my Kindle.

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