Five foolproof ways to make your liquid foundation look like skin

One of my makeup-related pet peeves is seeing foundation caked on like a mask. When I watch Instagram and YouTube gurus layer on thick globs of product, I want to scream, gurl! You don't even need it even if your aesthetic is all about drag! It's even more irritating to see 16-year old girls put on so much foundation when their skin already looks fantastic, dosed with youth and natural radiance.

Am I just old-fashioned? Should I just get on with the times? I think it's an unfortunate beauty trend, but I'm sure it will pass. When I was younger everybody wore heels or went home. Bright colors and flashy fabrics were du jour but now it's all about minimalism and comfort - at least in fashion. I'm sure we'll reach a tipping point eventually and go back to normal, where we are supposed to look like ourselves and not clones of the next big Instagram star.

Anyway. Here are five tips to make sure that your liquid foundation looks like skin in person, and not like a mask!

Tip #1: Moisturize to brighten and smooth skin instantly. Moisturizer is key to achieving a fresh face. Aside from the long-term benefit of having hydrated skin, moisturizer also has a visible prettifying effect. Instead of using makeup to create the illusion of supple skin, just make sure your face is supple and cared for with a good moisturizer appropriate for your skin type.

Tip #2: Wear primerYes, doing the legwork before actually putting on foundation is important! Depending on the primer you use, you can make your skin look like it's glowing from within or as matte and soft as a baby's bottom. This step will lessen the amount of foundation you need, and will keep it from creasing and fading prematurely. 

Tip #3: Go for thin formulas, or thin down the thick foundations you have. Foundation is supposed to create the illusion of an even, smooth face. It's not meant to cover up your blemishes by itself! That's what concealers are for, to target small areas. Avoid thick foundations for daily wear and choose thin, watery formulas that will do the job. You can also thin down your thicker foundations by mixing in some moisturizer or primer before applying it to your face.

Tip #4: Powder selectively. If you have dry or combination skin, you don't need to powder every inch of your face. Focus only on the areas where you get oily so that it looks like your skin still shows underneath the makeup. Go for translucent powders that don't add much coverage!

Tip #5: Finish with a good glow. Matte blushes look great on cam, but not so much in person as it has a tendency to look flat. Choose a blush with a hint of shimmer to create the most natural-looking 3D flush. It also serves to highlight your cheekbones a bit! Of course you can use a separate highlighter on top if you wish, or in lieu of a blush.

Hope this helps! Got any tips on getting your liquid foundation favorites to look like real skin?

Photography by Samantha Gonzales