How to apply mineral foundation: Tips from pro makeup artists

Mineral makeup is all the rage, and it starts with mineral foundation. But application can be trickier than with liquid foundation. Find out how to get a flawless finish with our pro tips on how to apply mineral foundation

How to apply mineral foundation: Tips from pro makeup artists

Source: Web exclusive: September 2008

Ready to try mineral foundation, but not sure how to get started? You could settle in for a weekend of channel surfing in an attempt to catch a few of those infomercials featuring TV hosts, TV actors or mineral-makeup moguls demonstrating their moves for their appreciative audiences. Or spend a few minutes with these tips straight from the pros, then head out to dazzle your appreciative audience.

1. Choose your best shade

"Test the colour on your jawline close to your neck, or on the fleshy part of your hand between your thumb and your wrist," says Eddie Maleterre, official makeup artist for L’Oréal Paris Canada. "If you can’t test the brand you’re interested in, hold the jar next to your wrist and choose the closest match."

If you want a lot of coverage to hide blemishes or discolouration, Jacquie Hutchinson, national product trainer and makeup artist for Revlon Canada, suggests choosing a shade or two darker than you think you need. "You need a shade that falls between your natural skin tone and the darkness of what you want to cover," she says. "It won’t look too dark’mineral foundation is designed to brighten your complexion."

2. Prep your skin

Any makeup goes on better when skin is freshly cleansed and moisturized, especially if your skin is dry. Allow moisturizer to absorb completely, and "if you have oily skin, use a foundation primer," says Hutchinson.

Try: Quo Prime Time Eye/Face Primer, 1.4 g/25 g, $22; or Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer, 25 mL, $16.95.

Celebrity makeup artist Joanna Schlip, spokesperson for Physicians Formula, suggests using liquid mineral concealer or foundation to minimize dark under-eye circles, redness around the nose, and any blemishes before applying foundation.

Try: Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Cream Concealer SPF 10, 3 g, $11.99; or Maybelline New York Mineral Power Healthy Perfection Liquid Foundation, 30 mL, $14.99.

3. Brush up. Or rather, round and round

"Use a kabuki brush, which is shorter and denser than a regular brush, so it gives more coverage," says Schlip, who has worked with Christina Applegate and Ellen Pompeo. Dip the brush into the powder foundation, then gently push the bristles against the back of your hand to get the powder into the brush. Tap the side of the brush to remove any excess, then use continuous circular motions to apply the powder to your face "from the T-zone out," says Maleterre, who has worked with Andie MacDowell and Audrey Tautou. Repeat until you’ve achieved the coverage you want. (For visuals, watch this instructional video from L’Oréal Paris‘just click on "Makeup Expertise" to get to the clips.)

"Use fairly firm pressure," advises Hutchinson. "You want to buff the foundation to a smooth, even finish." Work your way down to your chest "for a seamless, polished look," adds Schlip.

Most mineral foundations come with a brush’Susan Posnick ColorFlo Mineral Foundation ($64) comes in a click-dispensing version. But brushes are also available on their own, and you’ll generally get better quality by buying them separately: try Benefit Bluff Puff, $24; Sephora Brand Professionnel Kabuki Brush, $26; or M.A.C Small Buffer Brush #181, $36.

4. Go for the finish

If you’re using a mineral powder concealer, now’s the time to apply it. And if you need more coverage in certain areas, you can also dip a flat concealer brush into your mineral foundation powder, tap off the excess, and press what’s left into place wherever you need it.

If you’ve got oily skin and are looking for a matte finish, you may want to consider applying a mineral finishing powder, as well. "Use light, circular motions with the brush for a pore-less, natural matte effect," says Maleterre. "It fixes the foundation and concealer in place and helps it stay on longer." Celeb artist Schlip likes to use finishing powder only on the T-zone if her client is prone to oiliness. "I dust it on with a puff or fluffy brush," she says.

Try: L’Oréal Paris Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Finish, 9.5 g, $15.95; Maybelline New York Mineral Power Healthy Finish Veil pressed powder, 9 g, $14.99; Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Matte Finishing Veil, 16.5 g, $19.99.

Apply the rest of your makeup as usual. Now you’re ready for your close-up.

Quo and Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Cream Concealer available at Shoppers Drug Mart. Revlon, Maybelline New York, Physicians Formula and L’Oréal Paris available at major drugstores. Benefit Cosmetics available at the Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques and Sephora. M.A.C available at the Bay and M.A.C boutiques, Susan Posnick Cosmetics, 1-888-201-1875 or

Janine Falcon is the founder and editor of BeautyGeeks, a site about stuff that delivers best-you beauty and style.

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