Foundation Tutorial for Spring 2013

Spring is here and I’ve become obsessed with perfecting my foundation routine.  I finally have it where I like it so I thought I’d share how I get my skin appearing fresh and glowing as the weather warms.  I’ve included details and a photo with every step as well as links to in-depth reviews so you can follow along.  Right now my skin is blemish-prone (as evidenced between my eyebrows!) and fairly balanced.  This tutorial would work well for normal to combination skin with alternate suggestions listed for other skin types.  Enjoy!

1.  Use a moisturizer with sun protection and allow time for it to settle in. (The Body Shop Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30)

Foundation Tutorial Before

2.  Apply primer (Revlon PhotoReady) to entire face for longer wear. Apply radiant primer (Laura Mercier Radiance) or a highlighter to cheeks only. For dry skin, use radiant primer all over the face.  For Oily skin, opt for a mattifying primer.

Foundation Tutorial Primer

3.  Dot a lightweight sheer foundation (NARS Sheer Matte in Stromboli) three times down the center of the face and once on each cheek.  Blend with a small dense brush (Real Techniques Expert Face) in rounded downward strokes.  I prefer matte foundation (matte finish, not mattifying) for all skin types.  I can always add radiance if I change my look, but can not remove it.  It also saves money from buying various finish foundations that will expire before I can use them up.

4.  (Photo shows progress)

5.  Dot on concealer where needed. (NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard)

6.  Blend by dabbing with a flat brush. (Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage or Real Techniques Pointed Foundation)

Foundation Tutorial Foundation and Concealer Steps

7.  Pat loose setting powder over concealer only. (Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder with a Real Techniques Setting Brush)  This prevents the concealer from coming off on the brush in the next step.

8.  Pat on pressed powder.  (NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder with Real Techniques Buffing Brush)  Note:  I would combine steps 6 and 7 if I had the loose version of the Light Reflecting Powder.

9.  Use a setting spray to melt all steps together.  (Urban Decay All Nighter)

10.  (Photo shows finished face makeup)  I love how fresh my skin looks and the fact that it won’t get oily throughout the day.  My foundation stays put for over 8 hours.

Foundation Tutorial Setting Steps

Then just apply color keeping the face light and glowing!

Foundation Tutorial Finished with Color


What are you favorite face products for spring?

  • Anna TestLelekIzek

    Lovely foundation tutorial! I use same brushes to do my make up:)

    Your bare skin is so nice:) with make up, gorgeous!

    I have ordered the Nars new concealer and powder (plus a blush:), after I read your great reviews of them. Thanks:) Anna

    • Alison M

      I’m glad you enjoy it!! I struggled a bit with how to get this across in pictures since most foundation tutorials are done with videos, but I like how it turned out :) Did you get pressed or loose powder? And which blush?? I’m so nosey! :D

      • Anna TestLelekIzek

        I’m really enjoy your step-by-step tutorial, great:) After I found your blog, I’ve started to read your posts! Amazing.

        I ordered the pressed poweder, the summer is slowly coming, so not bad if I can take with myself:) but It was hard decision.:) pressed or loose? but next time I’ll order the Nars Sheer Matte foundation, I love that finish!

        I have ordered Sex appeal from Nars….and I’m so curious! The color is light-pinky-peach, and I have read many reviews about this blush…so I don’t know how is working on my NC20-25 (lightly yellow tone) skin . This is a tipical pale-skin blush , but I wanted a light blush, what is give me a light -fresh flush on my face :) so I’ll keep my fingers crossed :)
        anyway one of my favourite blushes are MAC melba and cubic (little bit same tone, but one of is matt and the nother is satin finish) Anna:)

  • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

    Great tutorial, Alison! You just put a whole bunch of RT brushes on my wish list! My routine is still more or less the autumn/winter one since it’s not yet getting warmer here *sigh* Still piling on hydrating and radiance-boosting products/1

    • Alison M

      Thanks, Sunny! What are your favorite radiance products?

  • TheProcrastinator

    I think foundation routines are some of my favourite posts — thanks for sharing! I haven’t used my buffing brush for powder yet, I’ll give that a go!

    • Alison M

      I thought it was ideal for foundation until I met the EF brush. I adore the buffing brush for patting on my powder. I’ve also heard it’s an awesome bronzer brush, but haven’t tried it that way yet!

  • Guest

    Hello !
    I’m french and i love your blog!
    I have the exact same shade of skin!! Very useful to choose foundation :-) Thanks to one of your review, I bought the Revlon nearly naked and I love it!


  • Juliette Saddi

    Hello !
    I’m french and i love your blog!
    I have the exact same shade of skin!! Very useful to choose foundation :-) Thanks to one of your review, I bought the Revlon nearly naked and I love it!
    I like the Nars concealer and the new Nars powder is very tempting ^^

    • Alison M

      Thanks for stopping by, Juliette! I love finding bloggers who share my skin shade :) Have you seen my shade matching page?

  • Kiss & Make-up

    What a good tutorial, thanks for sharing!

    • Alison M

      It was fun to make! Hope I can do more like this :)

  • Kristen / Glambunctious

    Love this! Thank you Alison! I’m always into tutorial posts. :)

    • Alison M

      Let me know if there are ever any tutorials you’d like to see!

      • Kristen / Glambunctious

        You know what the first thing was that came to mind? How to apply false lashes! I am absolutely unable to do it! Do you ever use them? I struggle like a mofo with them, lol! :)

        • Alison M

          I recently developed a false lash fetish that is verging on embarrassing I keep buying them and haven’t worn any recently. But I’ve been contemplating a post about falsies. Unfortunately it won’t happen very soon, but that’s because I’m working out the format so I can do it just right :)

          • Kristen / Glambunctious

            Yay! This is very exciting! :)

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