5 Easy Steps to an Even Skin Tone

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

5 easy steps to an even skin tone

Oh, to have perfect skin again… Wait, I’ve never had perfect skin. I’ve always wished I could just peel my head off the pillow in the morning, splash a little water on my face, tie my hair back into a ponytail and face the day with clear skin, bright eyes, my chubby cat and a smile.


I can handle the smile part by myself, but I need feline cooperation and makeup assistance for everything else.

Luckily, great looking natural skin tone doesn’t require hundreds of layers of foundation and every minute you can spare. Follow these five easy steps to an even skin tone.

1. Get Wet

Moisten a makeup sponge with water or a multi-purpose spray like MAC Fix+ ($19). It’ll thin out the liquid foundation we’re about to use it with and help it adhere evenly to your skin.

2. His/Her Name Is Pat

Place a dollop (about the size of a dime) of liquid foundation (I like DuWop Foundation of Youth; I’ve also heard great things about Chanel Pro Lumiere) on the back of your hand. Dab your wet sponge into the dollop, and pat around the face, starting with your nose and working your way out. Blend so the color fades as you move away from the middle of your face.

3. Give Yourself a Hand

Clean hands, that is. Make sure they’re dry too. Rub them all over your face with a soft touch, almost like you’re washing your face with imaginary cleanser. Friction will warm your foundation and smooth out any chunky bits of product.

4. The Art of Concealment

With concealer (MAC Pro Longwear Concealer ($16.50) gets the job done; it’s a long-wearing, water-resistant concealer that doesn’t look like a ton of goop sitting on the skin), I like to use a foundation brush and a technique called “the triangle method” under the eyes, but fingers work great too. After vanquishing your circles, go after any blemishes around the face with a more precise thin-tipped brush if you have one. A finer tip will let you target tiny spaces and save you from having to apply multiple layers.


5. You Are SO Powderful!

Lastly, set your makeup with a sheer dusting of your favorite pressed powder along your T zone using a large fluffy face brush. My powder of choice? MAC Blot, a long-lasting (about five hours), colorless powder-house to absorb oil and reduce shine.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. What are ya up to tonight? Right now I’m looking online for hair color ideas (what do you think I should do? PLEASE share), because tomorrow I have an appointment at the salon, WHEE!

Wish me luck! My roots are so excited. πŸ™‚


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So far, 33 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Halley says:

    wonderful post. I’m always interested in skincare advice and tips for perfect skin. Do you happen to have a foundation comparison post? I’m currently deciding between MUFE HD, Laura Mercier Silk Creme, and NARS sheer glow. I have dry-combo skin with occasional cystic acne. What are your thoughts?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Halley,

      Each one has its advantages, but if you want/need more coverage I’d go for MUFE or Laura Mercier. Do you live near a Sephora or a Nordstrom? One thing you could do is ask for samples of each. Try ’em out, walk around all day and see how it looks in natural light, assess how your skin feels with it on and then go from there.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  2. Vanessa says:

    Great tips! I need all the help I can get in the morning πŸ™‚

  3. Amee says:

    very informative and wonderful post Karen… Surely use these tips.. Thank u so much πŸ™‚
    Oh wow you going for hair color.. m excited to see you with new color.. do let me know which color u doin???

  4. Nicole says:

    I think your hair looks great sa it it, I love you sweeping fringe, but if you are looking for colour change I think a slightly reddish (not copper though ) tone might suit – I found this photo which I thought would be good on your skintoneÒ€¦

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nicole,

      That’s such a pretty shade! I would love to do something like that all over… it’s too bad root maintenance would be such a pain. Maybe I can do some highlights, hmm!

      How’s your day going so far?

  5. Stephanie says:

    Good tips! But I alraady have an even skintone, haha!
    Stephanie recently posted … Nails in videos

  6. Kim says:

    Thanks, Karen! I’m not a foundation person but I’m sure it would work with tinted moisturizer too!

    I’m going to vote for some chocolate “highlights” to add a little dimension and shine. After all, I’m reading that chocolate and mocha are the go-to colors of the season.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim,

      This would totally work with tinted moisturizer. πŸ™‚ And thank you for the hair ideas. My appointment’s not until 4:30 so I have a while to decide, but both these options sound yummy!

      How’s the weather out your way today? It’s early here and the sun’s still not up, but I can already tell it’s gonna be a cold, wet rainy day.

      • Kim says:

        I can’t wait to hear/see what you decided for your hair. πŸ™‚

        We’re pretty much in early winter mode. A couple of inches of snow and about 25 degrees this week. It’s always fairly windy because we’re on a lake, so that doesn’t help. It’ll take about a month to get used to the cold, but I can’t imagine Christmas without snow, so it’s all good. πŸ™‚

  7. Nina says:

    blot!!! <3333

    i need to buy a bottle of fix+ … i ran out a few weeks ago and am using uhm — the philosophy mist. im pretty sure thats not what its intended use is. LOL.

  8. Ruchita says:

    Thanks for the tips! This was a very helpful post. I finally got a foundation (MUFE Mat Velvet) to match my skin tone, so that has definitely helped me. I know you have mentioned Laura Mercier, so I’m thinking about giving that a try as well.

    Have fun at your hair appointment! It’s always fun to take a break and get pampered for a while. πŸ™‚ I have never gotten my hair colored professionally, so I don’t have any great tips, but I think highlights would look good – and might be lower maintenance than all over color?

  9. Marie says:

    I think you’d look great with a deep brown shade with subtle caramel highlights.. or try a red/purple glaze!

    Hope it turns out well πŸ™‚

  10. candace says:

    I read that with interest. After years, I feel like I’ve found my holy grail for even skin tone and it makes me so happy. Or it did. Until Dior discontinued their HydrAction tinted moisturizer. The Shade 01 was perfect for me and my skin has been great – no breakouts, no dry patches. Their new product doesn’t come in a light enough shade for me. Not sure what I’m going to do when I run out.

    My steps to perfect complexion are: Wash with a little Noxema (wakes me up and leaves my skin feeling a little bit moisturized), apply Dior tinted moisturizer, dust with Benefit Georgia Peach. Perfect!

  11. Saddy says:

    Thank you so much for these tips!! I discovered your blog last week and now I am captivated by all the lovely products and tutorials. Hopefully I will learn a few things…haha.

  12. JJ says:

    I think the most important step when doing my face makeup is using a good moisturizer (Clinique’s). It gives a nice base for my foundation to layer onto and ensures that my foundation is never cakey. I haven’t found an undereye concealer that wouldn’t look too obvious on me, so I use a liquid foundation with a reddish hue for undereye circles. Instead of face concealer, I use just add another layer of my buildable medium coverage foundation (NARS sheer glow) on my blemishes.

  13. Dasha says:

    Great article!

    Whenever I wear a heavier foundation, like when I go out and am taking a bunch of pictures, I take a paper towel, spray my face with either fix plus or Lush’s breath of fresh air, and run the paper towel over my makeup to reduce the cakeyness, then apply powder. It really helps me out by not looking too chunky πŸ˜€ Kind of like the hand technique you use.

    Also, this blog must be magic because ever time I’ve posted a comment saying “lets go pens” or “lets go pitt”, my hockey team has won.
    Lets go pittsburgh!

  14. Eleonora says:

    Hi Karen!

    you know, talking about hair and hairstyle in general..i’m thinking about a BIG change for me.
    I have shoulder lenght hair at the moment but..I’m really – really! – into Emma Watson’s short haircut and since I’ve sported that very same cut a few years back, I think I’m gonna go for it again.
    It’ll save me so much time at the gym! I won’t have to comb and blow my hair dry for half an hour and with a little bit of styling gel or mousse I’ll be done and ready for the evenig!
    Yeah, I’m thinking about it A LOT.

  15. Melanie says:

    Love the SNL reference! Haha

  16. Instant Karma (formerly L) says:

    LOL the Pat reference cracked me up πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  17. Antonia says:

    Very informative, thank you, Karen! Though, I use loose powder most of the time=)
    Antonia recently posted … What Greger does when no one is home

  18. Lucie says:

    Good tips! Is Fix+ worth getting? Does it actually do anything water doesn’t?

    For hair I would definitely vote for putting a red-ish tone in it, not like full on auburn but a chestnutty sort of glow. Good luck at the salon!

  19. Tiffany says:

    Great post – I’ll have to try out the triangle method!

    Have fun at the salon! I’m jealous! My vote is for chestnut highlights – http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2009/stylewatch/gallery/brunette/jennifer-garner-435.jpg

  20. *jen says:



  21. Mollie says:

    Karen, the Jan 2011 issue of Cosmo totally ripped off your post!! Look at page 154: the article gives the same 5 tips nearly word for word!

  22. Dea says:

    Sounds almost like a SPA treatment the way you describe it! πŸ˜‰ Makes me want to treat myself more nicely!

  23. kristianna says:


    i wanted to ask, if you arent using foundation and you are using a tinted moisturizer what would be different in the whole procedure?



  24. Kyle Barrett says:

    I’ve been using DermalMD Even Tone Serum for over three months now. Mostly Monday through Friday and even though I don’t think it works for fading spots. The SPF amount is great for my everyday use under makeup with enough protection.

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