Caroline Barnes’ 7 Flawless Foundation Tips

When it comes to creating a flawless makeup look, knowing how to apply foundation is a must, providing the perfect canvas for contoured cheekbones or a sweep of bronzer. And who better to ask for foundation tips than Max Factor makeup artist, Caroline Barnes? Keep scrolling for the glow-to hacks she follows to create the dreamiest base every time…

1. Prep to Suit Your Skin Type

For foundation to glide on effortlessly, you need to make sure your skin isn’t dehydrated or too oily. For oilier skin types, you can prep the skin with a mattifying primer, like Miracle Prep Pore Minimising & Mattifying Primer. Or, if your skin is dry, add another layer of moisturiser or a hydrating primer like Miracle Prep Illuminating & Hydrating Primer before applying foundation. You could also add a few drops of oil to your foundation if you feel skin is very dehydrated. Having a perfectly-prepped canvas allows foundation to go on smoothly, and powders to layer and blend well on top.

2. Colour Match Your Décolletage

If you want to know how to apply foundation that’s even and completely seamless, the trick is to match the shade to the colour of your chest. When you put foundation on, test it on the side of your face, down to your neck and the chest area. If it all blends together, your base will look really natural.

3. Create a Foundation Wardrobe

Once you’ve found the perfect foundation formula for you, buy it in a couple of shades. Your natural colouring will change with the seasons, so stock up one or two shades different to your usual one to mix and match when you need to. You could also use the slightly darker shade around the perimeter of the face, and the lighter one on the t-zone as a way to subtly contour the skin.

4. Apply Foundation in Natural Light

Whenever possible, make sure you’re facing natural daylight while applying makeup to achieve the most natural-looking finish. To see every angle clearly, place a free-standing mirror at the same level as your face, right next to a window.

5. Choose Your Application Tool

Choose your tool depending on the finish you want to achieve. If you apply foundation using a sponge, you’ll get a fuller coverage, but if you want a lighter, sheerer effect, you can use a big, fluffy brush to blend foundation onto the skin.

6. Blend Foundation from the Centre

You don’t have to apply foundation all over the face to achieve a flawless finish. Try dotting around the middle of your face; on your forehead, nose, chin and anywhere you need a little extra coverage, such as for any redness or blemishes. Then, take a big fluffy brush and buff it all outwards. If your natural skin shines through, it makes the overall finish look more natural.

Tip 7: Adapt the Finish

If you’ve overdone it with foundation application and want to leave skin with a more natural-looking finish, warm up your hands and press them onto your skin. Move around the cheeks, chin and forehead, using fingertips to press the formula into the skin to give foundation a more lived-in feel.


Looking for more foundation tips? Discover how to get a dewy foundation look or perfect a full coverage foundation finish.