Does the model look perfect? Do you want to know her major makeup secret? Her makeup is well-blended!!
Simple as it may seem, this technique takes some serious trial and error and constant learning and practice! Seamless transition of color makes skin look a whole lot better.
No one looks good in streaky, unblended makeup. Think: harsh foundation lines around your face and the triple stripe of bronzer, blush and highlighter.
So, no matter what look you’re going for, whether it’s fresh no-makeup makeup or bombshell beauty, here are a few of my tips to help you to blend your makeup for the perfect finish!
The purpose of foundation is to make your skin look radiant and even-toned—not like it’s coated in war paint.
To keep things natural it needs to be buffed in. This means applying your foundation—whether it’s a liquid, cream, gel or powder— starting with a little product and then making small circular motions with your tool of choice to gently blend the product into your skin. You can build up the product coverage gradually. Ultimately, it should look and feel seamless, as if it’s melted in instead of just sitting on top like a mask.
Brushes and clean fingers can be your best friends in creating a flawless face. I suggest using brushes instead of sponges, since sponges can waste a lot of product if you are not very used to it.
Let’s talk about the tools you can use:
Flat foundation brushes: Require a skilled hand to literally “paint” on product, otherwise you’ll be left with streaks or lines. I’ve seen pros wield this brush alone to apply and buff in foundation—practice makes perfect. This is generally for full and heavy coverage. If you plan a sheer coverage, this might not be a tool of your choice.
Stippling or Buffing brushes: Have densely-packed bristles cut at an even length, which enables you to buff the product into your skin. Buffing brushes can work powders, liquids, creams and gels into the skin for an airbrushed effect. Gently swirl the brush over your face and watch your makeup blend beautifully. For extra coverage, try tapping the brush on your skin to add more product.
My favorite type of stippling brush is duo-fiber (also called the ‘skunk brush’ due to its black and white appearance). Duo-fiber brushes are awesome at delivering sheer application, because they pick up a minimal amount of product.
Fingers: Great for cream products, since your body heat warms the product to help it blend easily into your skin. Your fingers are also good for hard-to-reach spaces, such as around your nose. Use your index, middle and ring fingers to blend it into your skin, making small, circular motions.
Caution: Clean and preferably disinfect your fingers to avoid any germ contamination and if you have very dry fingertips moist them to avoid streaky effect.
- Blend your blush edges
Blush might be the easiest product ever to make you look instantly pretty and awake. The goal is to mimic the rosiness like you’re glowing from within, with no visible edges to where it begins and ends.
Cream blushes: My brush of choice is a stippling brush. Stippling brushes give a super-light application, so you end up with a translucent glow rather than a solid streak of color.
Powder blushes: Blend best when applied with a brush that picks up less product, such as a fan brush or a duo-fiber fluffy brush. I like them better than normal blush brushes because you can build up to your desired color gradually.
After applying your blush, whether it’s cream or powder, use your blending brush in small circles along the edges to blend out any hard lines.
- Contouring and highlighting
Blending in your bronzer, contour and highlight are essential to giving the illusion of naturally radiant skin. An easy way to figure out your natural contours is to look at your face while standing directly under a light. The shadows cast by the light will give you an idea of the natural hollows and high points of your face.
To add depth and narrow your cheeks, apply contour in those shadows and use your buffing brush to to blend the edges and really work it into the skin. Make sure it’s not too dark, and completely matte; glittery contour is not very realistic!). Contouring runs the most danger of looking fake, so be precise and sparing in your application.
Highlighter applied to the high planes of the face—the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose and above your cupid’s bow—can create the illusion of a more angular, feline face. Highlighter should sit higher than blush, slightly overlapping so there are no visible edges.
Blending for beginners
If you already employ these techniques, amazing! People everywhere are probably jealous and/or in awe of your perfect complexion. If you’re new to this whole thing, here are a few more pointers…
- Always start with a moisturized (but not damp) face. Blending products will be much easier and more comfortable on hydrated skin.
- You can use a primer to smoothen your face. Makeup blends well on smooth skin!
- Consider a spray. Spritzing on a facial mist like MAC Fix+ can help to liquefy your makeup so it blends better. And once dried, it helps keep your makeup in place all day!
Do what works for you. These suggestions aren’t meant to be hard and fast rules. If applying foundation with a sponge on un-moisturized skin works best for you, by all means go for it.
There is no “thumb rule” when it comes to makeup. Trial and error is the key! And of course Practice! Give it a go and see what works for you.
We are eager to get tips from you. Do you have any tips to share! Please share..