Sir, Mr. Tabs? I think I have an answer for the riddle you gave me.
Yes, well, it’s obvious, really. I mean, not at first, but I’ve given it some thought, and well…What do good houses and faces have in common?
It’s foundation, sir. Houses and faces should start with a good foundation.
Thank you, sir. It was a good riddle. You’re a very clever cat.
Yup, today we’re talking faces! — namely face makeup, like the combination I’ve been lovely lately, NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer and Hourglass Oxygen Foundation Powder.
Together, they deliver medium-to-full coverage in a lightweight blend that looks like real skin, and so far, knock on wood, it hasn’t given me breakouts.
In this tutorial, I’ll describe how I apply ‘em for pictures, and/or whenever I have a good chunk of time to get ready.
Just a quick reminder, though — this is just one of many ways to apply foundation, and that includes techniques and brushes. As always, it’s all about what works for you.
Before we get started, let’s gather the products we’ll need…
From the left: Hourglass Oxyen Foundation Powder in No. 4, Tarte Foundation Brush, Hourglass No. 2 Foundation/Blush Brush, Laura Mercier Finishing Brush, NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz and Cuba
Swatches from the left: NARS St. Moritz, NARS Cuba and Hourglass Oxygen Foundation Powder No. 4
And because there’s nothing else you really can do but smile when posting bare-faced pictures of yourself on the Internet…
Yep, that’s me without makeup. Not a drop!
As you can see, I have a few dark spots around my chin and mouth left over from a gnarly breakout last spring and some darkening beneath my eyes… Hopefully, after we’re done here, most of it will be covered.
The first thing I like to do before applying this combination of products (or other face makeup) is take a good look at how my skin is doing. Today, it’s really dry, so I prepped it first with a moisturizer, Caudalie Vinosource Intense Moisture Rescue Cream, which should make the blending we’ll be doing a little easier.
Now for NARS!
Here I’m using two shades, a lighter one (St. Moritz) and a darker shade (Cuba), which I mix to customize my color.
Right now I have a slight summer tan, and a mix of equal parts St. Moritz and Cuba matches it pretty well. I apply both on the back of my hand, and then blend them together with a finger.
Then, with a domed foundation brush like the Hourglass No. 2 (I prefer domed brushes to flat ones for foundation, because they just seem to create a less streaky look on my skin), I apply the mix along the outer edges of my face…
…on my forehead…
…on my cheeks…
…around my mouth, on my chin…
….and just beneath my jaw.
For natural-looking, even coverage, I use a combination of circular motions and downward strokes.
Next, I load a dash of the lighter shade, St. Moritz, on the back of my hand, and using the same brush, apply it beneath my eyes, all over my nose, between both brows and in the center of my chin.
The lighter color lifts and highlights these areas, (hopefully) making me look less tired.
Now, with a second, clean foundation brush (now I’m using Tarte’s) and using a circular motion, I buff everything down all over my face.
If you don’t have a second brush, no worries. Just use your foundation brush, but take extra care to really buff your tinted moisturizer or foundation to keep it from looking like it’s lounging on top of the skin.
As a side, this is usually when I apply concealer under my eyes and on any dark spots on my face — anywhere that needs a little extra coverage. For this, I like MAC Pro Longwear Concealer. Stuff covers everything and DOES NOT BUDGE!
To improve the coverage a smidgen and mellow out the shine from any remaining oily spots, I grab a skunk brush with a flat top, like Laura Mercier’s Finishing Brush, and use it to apply Hourglass Oxygen Foundation Powder, gently pushing the brush head into the skin, rather than swiping it back and forth.
I don’t know… I just find that pushing the brush disrupts my foundation and concealer less than swiping it does.
The Hourglass Foundation Powder only comes in to four shades, so if you can’t find a color that suits you, something like the MAC Careblends Powders (for sheerer coverage) or MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation (for more opaque coverage) should also work well.
All done! Now we’re ready to move on to the rest of our makeup.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,