Skip to Main Content

FREE CONTINENTAL U.S. SHIPPING *Terms & Conditions Apply

How to Apply Foundation

Foundation is one of the most vital components of any flawless makeup look. High-quality, skillfully-applied foundation disappears into the skin, evening out the skin tone and hiding any imperfections.

Today, you can find more shades and formulas of foundation available than ever before. Navigating the cosmetics shelves and making the right choice don’t have to be a struggle.

In this blog, our cosmetic experts from Be a 10 teach you how to apply foundation like a professional, beginning with choosing the perfect foundation and finishing with a powder set. Learn how to apply foundation with a sponge or brush and get the perfect face you deserve.


How to Choose the Right Foundation


A flawless, finished look begins with choosing the best foundation for your skin. Different foundation formulas cater to a variety of everyday skincare needs. Oil-free formulas, for example, are ideal for acne-prone skin. Anti-aging formulations contain wrinkle-reducing ingredients that smooth fine lines. Before choosing a shade, make sure the foundation formula you select is right for you.



Foundations offer specific “finishes” that create different final results. Available finishes include:


  • Matte
  • Dewy
  • Sheer
  • Full-coverage
  • And more

Each finish offers different benefits and contributes to unique makeup looks. For less shine and more blunt color, use a full-coverage or matte foundation. For light coverage or a healthy glow, use sheer or dewy finish foundations to add a touch of shine.



After selecting the formula and finish, it’s time to find the shade that most closely matches your natural skin tone.

Often, it’s best to have more than one foundation shade in your arsenal. Choose a foundation that is a shade lighter than your natural skin tone, as well as one that is a shade darker. Sun exposure and other factors can change the appearance of our skin in subtle ways. Having at least two shades of foundation allows for custom blending that keeps you prepared for any situation.

Sample different foundations at your local makeup counter, or reach out for advice from a makeup professional to find foundation shades that are right for your skin tone.


How to Apply Foundation Like a Pro

Now that you have the right product, it’s time to learn how to apply foundation to get a flawless look every time. Follow our professional tips to make your dream makeup look a reality.


Use the right tools

For a smooth, evenly finished product, it’s best to use a variety of application tools. Common options include:


  • Sponges
  • Brushes
  • Smudgers
  • Pads

We recommend trying and keeping a few different options on hand for different situations. Sponges, brushes, and smudgers are ideal for liquid foundations, while pads or brushes are best for powder foundations.


Clean and prime your face


The best base for any liquid or powder foundation is a clean, primed face. Using familiar, trusted facial cleansers, completely clean the face and neck before applying any foundation.

To ensure smoothness and restore skin moisture, prime the face with a moisturizer or primer. For any stubborn imperfections, spot-correct with concealer before moving on. Read on to learn how to apply foundation using different beauty tools.


How to apply liquid foundation

After any moisturizers, primers, or concealers, it’s time to apply foundation to your face. In this section, Be a 10’s cosmetics professionals teach you how to apply liquid foundation using a brush or sponge. To learn more about how to use powder foundation, skip ahead to the next section.


How to apply foundation with a brush


Choose a brush for your liquid foundation that has synthetic bristles with a soft, sculpted edge. A medium-sized brush is ideal for reaching all corners of the face.

Gently dab the tip of the brush into the foundation and apply to the face in swirls. This motion blends the foundation into the skin, combining it with primers or concealers to create complete, lasting coverage.

Guarantee an even look by gently blending the foundation down past the chin using the edge of the brush. Finish by touching up any corners around the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Learning how to apply liquid foundation with a brush takes practice but results in a smooth, even face. Read on to learn how to apply liquid foundation with a sponge, a tool that is essential for every makeup arsenal.


How to apply foundation with a sponge

Beauty sponges are versatile tools that work as applicators as well as blenders. Use a clean, dry beauty sponge every time to ensure even distribution and healthy skin.

To apply a liquid foundation with a beauty sponge, place a small bead of foundation on the tip of the sponge. Gently dab the foundation onto the face, beginning at the undereye area and working downward toward the jaw.

Using the same method, apply foundation to the outer and middle areas of the forehead. Finish by using the rounded edges of the beauty sponge to gentle tap and blend the liquid foundation into place.

A powder foundation or setting powder typically follows liquid foundations. Read on to learn more about how to apply powder foundation.


How to apply powder foundation


Whether you’re using it as full coverage or to set a liquid foundation, powder foundation is classic and versatile. Choose a powder foundation that compliments your natural skin tone as well as your foundation.

Brushes or pads are the best tools for powder foundation. Gentle tap the brush or pad into the powder foundation and loosely pat the powder onto the face.

When using powder foundation to set a liquid base, focus on undereye areas and areas where the foundation settles into creases. Finish by gently removing any excess powder using a clean, soft brush or cloth. With practice, you’ll learn how to apply foundation with a brush like a pro.


 How Long Does Foundation Last?

It may be surprising to learn that most makeup, including powder and liquid foundations, has an expiration date. After this expiration date, makeup products can break down or harbor bacteria. To keep makeup fresh, check any dates on bottles or packaging.

Some products won’t have a date on the packaging. So how long does foundation last? If you’re unsure of a product’s expiration date, consider when you first opened or purchased the product. In general, powder foundation is long-lasting and is suitable for up to two years of use. Liquid foundation often contains oil or other ingredients that cause it to break down faster, so dispose of liquid foundations after 12 months of use.

Now that you’ve learned how to apply foundation, find more professional insights into the world of cosmetics by reading other articles in Be a 10’s blog today.