How to Make Foundation Look Invisible

Laura Dern foundation

Even those of us who resist the charm of makeup for the most part tend to dabble in it just a little once the holidays roll around—party season seems to warrant a touch more polish and put-togetherness, after all. But that extra effort can still look totally effortless—and undetectable. Gita Bass, the makeup artist responsible for Laura Dern’s impossibly glowy red-carpet looks, taught us her top tricks for applying foundation so that skin looks like skin—not cover-up. Now, she teaches you: 

Nº1

Massage in Moisture

If you want your foundation to melt into skin seamlessly, a well moisturized canvas is crucial, notes Bass, who preps clients’ skin with a few drops of Renew Pure Radiance Oil and a gentle massage. “Because it’s non-greasy, it doesn’t give an oily finish—it just creates the most glowy, dewy base for makeup.”

Nº2

Mix it Up

Once skin is prepped, Bass says to mix one to two drops of Renew Pure Radiance Oil into your liquid foundation of choice. (We love Ilia True Skin Foundation.) “It helps break down foundation so it’s not as heavy,” notes Bass. “So, it becomes this sort of treatment foundation that creates the most beautiful lit-from-within skin.”

Nº3

Add Some Warmth

Foundation blends into skin better when it’s closer to skin temperature, so Bass warms the blend on the back of her hand before either applying with her fingers or a brush. She prefers the latter when applying makeup on herself (it’s a more unfussy approach), but uses a foundation brush on clients for a subtly air-brushed effect.

Nº4

Start at the Center

Using “as minimal product as possible,” says Bass, apply foundation to your t-zone first, blending it out toward the edges of the face. “Usually, we have the most redness and discoloration in this area,” she says. “So you’ll need more foundation here, and much less as you move outward.”

Nº5

Blend to Finish

Finally, the makeup equivalent of dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s: Mist a Beauty Blender sponge with Renew Nutrient Mist to dampen, and then blend all the foundation in, removing any excess (like in the crease of your nose). And don’t forget the jaw. “I often see lines around here that people forget to blend,” says Bass. “Remember that the point of foundation isn’t to hide anything—it’s to enhance, and to let your natural skin shine through!”

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