Foundation Basics 101


How to get great-looking skin, everyday.
Foundation Basics 101 Series

green eyes smoky makeup

Hi, I’m Jenny Kay Provance, makeup artist and founder of Live Gorgeous.

The goal: Beautiful, even skin tone

How to get it:

1. First, make sure your skin is clean,  exfoliated, and you have clean hands and applicators. Prepare your face by applying a toner and moisturizer if you need to.

I wash my face everyday with Clean & Clear Oil Free Deep Action Cream Cleanser. When I exfoliate my skin (around 2x a week), I use St. Ives Apricot Scrub, and the Wave Sonic Power Cleanser. Then I always apply my Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer.

2. Next, apply a primer. Primers smooth out your skin and hold your makeup in place.

If you have oily skin, try: Prime Time Foundation Primer – Oil Control or POREfessional Primer
If you have dry skin, try: Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer
If you have redness in your skin, try: Clinique Superprimer Redness Solutions OR  NYX Studio Perfect Photo Loving Primer – Anti-Redness
If you have acne-prone skin, try: SmashBox Photo Finish Primer
I have combination skin, and I use: Shine Killer

Then it’s time for foundation:

3. Choose your coverage. Do you want sheer coverage, to make your skin really show through? Do you want to camouflage acne or discolorations? Do you want the “airbrushed” look? Or something in between? Choose products which reflect the coverage you desire. You may want to use a full or partial-coverage liquid foundation. You might want a powder foundation. Or a sheer tinted moisturizer. You could even use concealer.

If you want sheer coverage, try: Neutrogena Mineral Sheer Powder Foundation
If you have redness, but still want sheer coverage, try L’Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream, Anti-Redness
If you want to camouflage, try: SHANY Cosmetics Professional Cream Foundation and Camouflage Concealer
If you want an airbrushed look, try: an airbrush foundation kit or tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation
If you want medium coverage, try: Mary Kay Medium Coverage Foundation
Right now I’m wearing my current favorite foundation: NYX Stay Matte Foundation

4. Choose the right formula. Now that you know how much coverage you want, find a formula that goes with your skin type.
Dry skin, try a moisturizing formula such as a cream foundation or a tinted moisturizer.
Oily skin, use an oil-free liquid foundation orpressed powder foundation.
Combination skin (both oily and dry skin), mineral powder foundation or liquid foundation.
Finding your perfect foundation could take some experimentation and trying lots of samples.
Right now, when I’m in the mood to to wear a lighter formula that lets my skin breathe, I wear L’Oreal BB Cream. (I really like it!)

5. Choose the right color. Use color stripes (click here) to find the perfect match. The best color will be one that disappears on your skin color. Have a friend or the gal at the makeup counter help you find the best color for you. In some cases, you might have to blend foundation colors to find the right tone for your skin.

6. Choose your applicator. Apply products with a brush, a sponge, an airbrush  or your hands. My favorite foundation brush right now is my Coastal Scents Classic Buffer Large Brush.

foundation sponge

7. Start applying your foundation in the center of your face, and work outward. Blend the product into your skin, using downward and outward strokes.

8. Apply Powder. Unless you have very dry skin, you will likely need to apply a matching or translucent powder to set your foundation.

Here are some of my favorite powders:

9. Then set your makeup. Try Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray or NYX COSMETICS MAKE UP SETTING SPRAY

There’s more in my Live Gorgeous Foundation Basics Series! Check it out!

 And I recently shared that I am obsessed with makeup books! Click to see my favorites:

Makeup Books



how to put on foundation

Here are the foundations and concealers I recommend:

If you want to read my post on how to get GLOWING SKIN, click here.


About Author

Jenny Kay Provance is a professional makeup artist and fashion blogger at Live She's a TV spokesmodel and has appeared on several television commercials.

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