How to Apply Foundation Easily: Steps And Tips for Smooth Application

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply foundation like a pro easily and make heads turn with your radiant countenance.

Chhavi Puri
Written by Chhavi Puri , Skincare Coach & Makeup Expert
Updated on Apr 19, 2024 | 02:12 PM IST | 250.2K
How to Apply Foundation
How to Apply Foundation

Whether you are a novice or an expert in the world of makeup, applying foundation is one step that doesn’t ever take a miss in the makeup routine. Foundations come in various forms — liquid, cream, or powder and are used on the face and neck to camouflage flaws, create an even-toned skin complexion, and form a beautiful canvas for makeup application. For beginners, learning how to apply foundation could be a game changer and elevate their makeup routine, making their skin look ultra-gorgeous! 

Don’t worry if you know nothing about the nitty gritty of this beauty product and if applying foundation seems like a hassle to you — with our easy beginner’s guide, foundation application will look like a breeze to you. Without any further, let’s get started!

How to Apply Foundation: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Apply Foundation:

Foundation in makeup serves a great purpose in making our skin look more even-toned and flawless. Applying and setting a foundation correctly can provide you with a host of benefits, like:

1. Helps even out skin tone and makes skin look brighter.

2. Helps blur skin imperfections.

3. Serves as a perfect basis for the rest of makeup products.

4. Reduces the appearance of enlarged pores.

5. Foundations that come with an SPF formula help protect skin from the harmful effects of sun rays. 


Now that we know the various advantages of putting foundation the right way, let us take a look at the guide on how to apply foundation flawlessly. 

Step 1: Cleanse Your Face Thoroughly

Cleansing is most of the time, the very first step in all makeup routines. The reason is that cleansing the face with a mild cleanser helps get rid of dirt, impurities, oil, and grime, leaving you with clean and soft skin (1). Hence, before you apply foundation, make sure to wash your face with a gentle cleanser that doesn’t clog pores or is over-drying. Having clean skin before foundation application helps eliminate impurities, thereby creating a beautiful canvas for foundation application.  After you wash your face, don’t rub it too vigorously and allow it to pat dry. 

Step 2: Hydrate Your Skin Serum And Moisturizer

How to Apply Foundation:

Foundations come in varying formulas, and even though they are packed with skin-nourishing ingredients, it's not uncommon for them to cause dryness. This is why this second step plays a crucial role in foundation application tips — after cleansing your face and patting it dry, apply a moisturizer on your face and neck. 

Moisturizers play a pivotal role in providing water to the skin, improving skin hydration, and boosting skin elasticity (2). Apart from that, they also help reduce puffiness, eliminate the signs of hyperpigmentation, restore skin firmness, and fade dry lines (3). 

When using a moisturizer, make sure it suits your skin type — people with dry skin should look for a heavy moisturizer packed with ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, etc. Whereas those with oily skin should use lightweight and non-comedogenic formulas that don’t clog the pores. People with sensitive skin types should be wary of the products they use and must pick a moisturizer that’s hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin types. Last but not least, those with combination skin should use a product that combats oiliness and dryness at the same time. 

Using a hydrating moisturizer before you use foundation on your face and neck can help you keep your skin nourished and hydrated while also making the skin look plump and firm. 

If moisturizers are not your go-to product, you can also use a hydrating serum before applying foundation to get a perfect dewy finish. 


Step 3: Use a Primer

The next step is to apply a primer. For the unversed, a face primer is a makeup product that helps makeup stay in place and adds a glowing charm to the skin. Apart from that, it prepares the skin for further makeup application, evens out skin tone, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and creates a strong barrier on the skin, which in turn helps the foundation stay longer. 

When choosing a primer, make sure to take into account your skin type. Go for a mattifying, weightless primer that doesn’t leave unwanted shine behind and clog your pores. A hydrating primer is the best choice for people with severely dehydrated skin — they can also look for a primer with a heavy texture to keep their skin moisturized for long. If you deal with skin sensitivities quite often, it's best to stay away from products laden with alcohol, artificial fragrances, and harsh chemicals. 

Now, coming to the application of a primer — take a pea-sized amount of your primer on your fingertip, blend it nicely,  and apply it evenly on your face, targeting specific areas. 

Step 4: Apply the Foundation

Here comes the last but the most important step — putting on the foundation. Now, when it comes to putting on a foundation, you can choose different methods to do so. Foundation can be applied with a sponge, makeup brush, or even with your fingers. Let’s take you through each method so that you can apply the foundation correctly. 

How to Apply Foundation with a Brush?

How to Apply Foundation with a Brush?

1. Take your foundation and pump a small amount of the foundation into your hands. Make sure the back of your hands is properly clean. 

2. Now, using a flat makeup brush, blend the foundation properly and apply it on your skin, covering areas like cheeks, forehead, neck, nose, chin, and lips. 

3. Spread it evenly using your foundation brush, making sure the foundation is evenly coated on your face and neck.

4. Make sure not to use too much foundation, as it can make you look cakey. 

How to Apply Foundation with a Sponge?

1. Take a clean makeup sponge and wet it slightly. 


2. Squeeze out excess water to make sure the beauty sponge is not dripping in water.

3. When using a liquid-based foundation, take a few drops and apply them to the back of your hand. Now wipe it with the sponge to apply it to your face and neck. For those who have powder foundations, all you have to do is gently dab it into the foundation powder and use it. 

4. Dot the foundations on your face, and using the sponge, blend it evenly and nicely. 

5. After each use, make sure to clean your sponge to keep it fresh. 

Best Way to Apply Foundation with Your Fingers

1. First, take a gentle cleanser to wash your hands properly. 

2. Then dry it and dab some foundation on the back of your hand. 

3. Use your index finger to dot the foundation on your face. 

4. Blend it nicely using your fingers in circular motions. 

Step 5: Set It Nicely

After you have applied foundation on your skin, you would obviously want it to stay for a long time. To increase the longevity of your foundation, dab some setting powder onto your skin. If you have oily skin, don’t forget to use setting powder on your T-zone areas (nose, chin, and forehead). Once you are done, use a brush to remove excess powder, and you’re ready to slay!

ALSO READ: 6 Wonderful Skin Tightening Face Packs for Flawless Skin

Tips And Tricks for Smooth Foundation Application

Tips And Tricks for Smooth Foundation Application


1. Use a little bit of foundation initially and use more if required to avoid looking cakey.

2. Choose a foundation shade that matches your skin tone. This is because choosing the wrong shade of foundation might make your skin look unnatural. 

3. When using a sponge for applying foundation, don’t rub it vigorously. 

4. If needed, use a concealer too after putting on a foundation to cover up all skin imperfections and get a flawless finish. 

5. Always apply a foundation at a place with proper lighting so you can see the final results. 


How to apply foundation might seem like a no-brainer question for those having expertise in makeup application, but for novices, it could be a daunting task. But with our tips on flawless foundation application, the task would not seem at all challenging to you. Just make sure to pick the right product and prepare your skin properly by cleansing and priming it before putting on a foundation. Dab, dab, and dab — and you’ll be ready to create envy-worthy looks! 


Should a foundation be applied before or after concealer?
A concealer should be applied after you have used a foundation.

How to use liquid foundation on your face and neck?
Dispense the product on the back of your hand and dot it on your face with your fingers. Blend nicely and you’re done.

How do I keep my foundation looking cakey?
Once you are done setting your foundation, wait for a few minutes, and finish the process with a setting powder to keep your makeup in place and prevent natural oils from ruining the look of your foundation.

How to touch up the foundation easily?
Use your makeup sponge or brush to quickly do touch-ups, when required.

How to remove the foundation with ease?
You can easily remove the foundation using a cleanser. Wet your face and wash your face with a mild cleanser. Wipe your face and follow with a moisturizer to keep your skin nourished.

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About The Author
Chhavi Puri
Chhavi Puri
Skincare Coach & Makeup Expert

Chhavi is a certified Skincare Coach and she's also certified in Makeup Artistry. Her fascination with skincare



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