Have pores, texture, or fine lines and wrinkles? Try a pore filling primer. My favorite is the Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer. It retails for $39 at Ulta, but a little goes a long way. Primers that have a silicon base (which include some form of Methicone, trimethicone, and/or Dimethicone as a main ingredient) work to fill in pores, lines, and the area around texture, but can sometimes cause foundation to slip and slide when applied too liberally. The key to making these primers work their best is to use a small amount and only apply to the areas you want to smooth out.
Need to cover up a blemish or two? After your skin care and primer, but before your foundation, blend a concealer that is a shade darker than your foundation over your problem spots. Let the concealer dry completely before going over it with foundation. This will help to eliminate the redness as well as the raised look of a blemish. Also if you are acne prone like myself, try using a full coverage foundation for those blemish days. This will ensure all of your redness is evenly covered up.
Feeling like you want to rock dewy skin? Try mixing in a liquid illuminator to your foundation. My favorites are the Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops and the very close dupe (and much less expensive option) the Makeup Revolution Liquid Highlighter. As a general rule, take one pump of foundation to one drop of liquid illuminator, mix, and apply.
Looking for a more matte look instead? Try mixing in a small amount of translucent powder to any liquid foundation. To achieve this look while keeping the foundation bendable, mix in one pump of foundation with a pea sized amount of powder. Blend together with the end of a makeup brush or toothpick and apply to the face.
Both a beauty sponge and brush have their benefits. If you want to maximize coverage stick with a flat top, densely packed makeup brush and use stippling motions. A brush will absorb less product than a sponge leaving more foundation on the skin. However if you have any texture on the skin, stick to a beauty sponge. Using a brush can cause microexfoliation and further emphasize skin’s texture. By using a damp beauty sponge and gently patting foundation into the skin you will eliminate microexfoliation and reduce the appearance of texture.
I am a full coverage queen, so most days full beat glam is my style. But on the rare days I want to have a more natural look, I like my coverage to be light. You can turn your medium to full coverage foundations into light coverage my mixing a pea sized amount of moisturizer with one pump of liquid foundation. This creates a very hydrated, your skin but better look.
Using a color corrector will counteract dark circles, redness, and dark spots. For dark circles, use a light orange color corrector. This will take away the purples and blues and brighten, making your face look awake and youthful. For redness, use a green color corrector, and for dark spots use a a deep red/orange color corrector. Apply these before foundation application and make sure they dry completely before completing the rest of your makeup routine.