Basic application techniques: concealer, foundation, powder and bronzer

We all put on makeup, but it is the technique that yields the best possible results. Here, we offer up some simple pointers to make sure you're using everything from concealer to bronzer right.

Concealer

That's the thing about concealer. We do everything we can to camouflage our flaws with it yet all too often, we end up accentuating them. Luckily, there are some tips and tricks that help us look flawless throughout the day. For example, if you want to completely erase the scars or dark spots, you need the heavy coverage of a cream concealer, say makeup artists. Cream concealers have a thicker texture with less oil than liquid, so they last longer. Try to apply the concealer with a brush just where the darkness is. There’s also a trick you can do with concealer to make puffiness less noticeable. Mix a liquid concealer with a tiny bit of highlighter, and dab it where you're puffy. Then blend the highlighter into your crease, which will help reflect light and give the effect of smooth skin.

Foundation

Forget what you think you know about foundation—it’s come a long way since the cakey, masklike stuff your mom used to wear. If you want just a little coverage, use your fingers, pros advise, although makeup artists swear by foundation brushes to apply product. They soak up less foundation and blend flawlessly. No matter your tool of choice, apply dots of foundation on your cheeks, chin, forehead and tip of the nose. You don't want to apply foundation over the entire face, just the spots that are uneven. Start with your forehead and then work all the way to your neck. And remember the following: the purpose of foundation is to even out patchy areas—not change your entire skin tone. 

 

Powder

From a makeup artist point of view you should always use some sort of powder! However, it’s not always the easiest product to apply — especially when you're fighting off dry winter skin. If you prefer a fresh, natural look try to use just a little powder to set the foundation and concealer. Apply powder with fluffy brush along the T-zone, where the face can get oily. On trouble spots, pat the tiniest amount of powder with a powder puff to keep concealer in place. Don't use powder under the eyes, since it can make the skin there look dry and dehydrated. Also, avoid going too far on the outer edges of the face as you still want the natural radiance of your skin to show through. 

Bronzer

Believe us, you want a bronzer that's not too dark or too strong. If you’re a bronzer novice you should only go two shades darker than your skin tone. Now that you've found the right shade, you're ready to start applying. With a brush, create the number "3" on both sides of your face. Start at the top of your forehead, dust it along your cheeks and sweep it across your jawline all the way to your chin. Remember to blend it into your neck. If you're putting your hair up, you have to bronze the back of your neck, too. 

And last, but not least - take a picture of yourself before leaving the house. Use a digital camera with a flash. This way you can see what you'll look like on camera in case you and your friends are Instagram addicts. If you don't like what you see, change it—and delete the photo.