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Photo: Mansur Gavriel AW 2016 / NARS

#1 Not prepping your skin first

For the best overall effect, you always need to make sure you have the right base to begin with. If your skin isn’t properly hydrated, your foundation is not going to blend well and will likely end up looking cakey. By the same token, your foundation could also cling to any dry patches of skin that aren’t well exfoliated and end up looking uneven. You should always make sure you’ve exfoliated and moisturised your skin beforehand, which will also keep your face looking radiant and supple throughout the day.

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#2 Skipping out on makeup primer

Primer forms a sort of protective barrier between your skin and the foundation, keeping your makeup in place longer, as well as conferring a whole range of benefits depending on the type of primer you use. They can prevent your foundation from “melting”, oxidising, and even settling into the pores and fine lines on your face. Your primer is essentially the last shot you have at perfecting your skin before your foundation goes on. As long as you plan on wearing your full face of makeup for a good chunk of the day, you should always use a primer.

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#3 Applying concealer first

Sure, it might seem like our under eye area needs the most help, but it doesn’t pay to apply concealer before your foundation, unless you’re just going in with a light dusting of a powder foundation. Applying concealer first can leave you with an overly thick layer of product under your eyes, which will only end up looking cakey and full of creases.

Plus, when you apply concealer first, lots of it is going to come off when you blend your foundation across that same spot, so you’re essentially wasting time and product by doing that first. You want to get your foundation on first, and then go in with only the minimal amount of concealer needed to conceal your dark circles and other imperfections. Pat to blend and don’t swipe so as not to disturb your makeup.

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#4 Using too much foundation

Makeup formulas have come such a long way that “cake face” should be a thing of the past. And yet, some of us might still be making the mistake of piling on our foundation to the point that it looks like a completely new layer of the face. When it comes to foundation, you should first choose the right one, depending on the level of coverage you require as well as the desired finish. For example, don’t use a medium-coverage foundation and try to layer it up to get full coverage, as this will end up looking way too unnatural. If you have a few blemishes you want to cover up, consider using foundations with a lighter consistency and letting your natural skin peek through. The foundation will serve to even out the colour of your skin while still looking like second skin.

If you must use a full-coverage foundation, your skin needs to be prepped well, and you should blend it out with a good foundation brush until the product is well and truly fused into your skin. Don’t be afraid to use a damp sponge like the Beautyblender to build up the coverage of your foundation – it’s been designed to do so in thin layers, plus the sponge has enough moisture to keep the foundation from caking up.

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#5 Not setting your makeup

No matter your skin type, you will benefit from setting your face, either wholly or partially. If you have dry skin and have opted for a dewy fluid foundation, you could probably tone down the “stickiness” of the foundation with a light dusting of powder. If you have oily skin, setting powder is going to lock your makeup in place, especially under the eyes, to keep your concealer from creasing. You can also just choose to only set your face in certain areas: A strategic dusting of powder can help to lock in the concealer over your blemishes, under your eyes, and around your T-zone.

Text: Alyssa Dhaliwal, Her World Plus / Additional Reporting: Arissa Ha 

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