How to fix your foundation routine by Natalie Rose Vella

How to fix your foundation routine by Natalie Rose Vella

How to fix your foundation routine by Natalie Rose Vella

Having trouble finding your DREAM foundation? You might be committing THESE common mistakes...

Here at AMB we caught up with one of our pro London based Makeup Artists, Natalie Rose Vella. Natalie has studied in both London and New York and has worked with NET-A-PORTER, Estee Lauder, ELLE, Harpers Bazaar and many celebrities. Here she gives us her top tips on finding the perfect foundation for your skin.


Let's paint the picture... you're on your 37th YouTube video of yet another foundation review where it's this months ‘holy grail' of all foundations, it's a ‘miracle in a bottle' and claims to last 72 hours (who's even wearing foundation for this long?!). You're hesitant... you've fallen for this before, it looked heavenly in the video but alas when it arrives and you try it, it always falls flat - another one bites the dust. You're looking at your foundation drawer of barely used bottles wondering “why doesn't it look as good on me?" You've been burned again by the mystic tricks of studio lights and YouTube sparkle yet again. 

I'm Natalie Rose Vella, a professional Makeup Artist based in London, and I'm going to tell you why this keeps happening and how to properly use foundation so that you finally get out of this constant cycle you're stuck in.

Let's get started...

Are you depending on a foundation to do all of your work? 

Do you want your foundation to fix EVERYTHING that you don't like and do your taxes at the same time? 

Did you know it's not the foundation's job to do that? 

It's actually the concealers job to do that, otherwise, what's the point in the concealer right? The foundation's job is to be the FOUNDATION of the makeup, to even out the tone of the skin to be more uniform but NOT to conceal... hence the name CONCEALER.

Around 80% of my clients ask for a foundation that's 'full coverage, natural, matte, dewy, long-lasting, hydrating and lightweight/invisible on the skin' and deep down you know this product doesn't exist... Wouldn't it be an absolute dream if it did?! If this sounds like you, then it sounds like you're putting way too much pressure on the foundation to be the fix-all product to sort out all your skin concerns, and in the majority of cases, you didn't even need a full coverage in the first place!

Here's how we are going to approach your foundation routine moving forward...

Have a look at your skin in the mirror and point out the main areas that you usually want to conceal the most. We're going to use the scuffed car approach, imagine you have a scuff on your car, you would only fix the scuff, right? It would be pointless and a waste of time to repaint the whole car when the problem is only in one area.

This is how I want you to treat your skin during your foundation application... We are going to apply the lightest coverage all over and then see where the highest coverage is needed and only apply it in the areas that actually need it, leaving the rest of the skin as light as possible! When you try this, what you will realise is that your skin looks more healthy and lightweight, but still even and flawless in tone!

This technique is what we call 'minimum usage dose' which is all about preserving the texture of your skin while covering ONLY the areas that need attention, You may have heard this phrase floating about: 'minimum amount of product for maximum effect' and it's exactly what we're trying to achieve here. Too much texture is usually what makes or breaks a look 9 times out of 10 and a build-up of too much product is what makes your skin look heavier and more 'cakey' not necessarily the product itself.

The way you're applying the product is just as important by the way. Just because it's a good foundation, you cannot expect it to do all the heavy lifting for you. If you're putting 3 pumps of full coverage foundation (practically a concealer in a big bottle!) directly on your face and blending it in with your fingers, no wonder you're having problems! Good foundation + Good application = Dream Team. It's a 50/50 relationship.

If you want to get the most out of your products, using a dabbing or bouncing motion on the skin is what we want to go for, this concentrates the product in the exact area you're applying it and maximises the coverage of the product! If you sweep the product what you end up doing is sweeping it onto the skin and then sweeping it straight off the skin in one swoop! Not what we want! Dab dab dab, this is your best friend, and remember, use the tiniest amount of product and build it up where needed! Put the product on the back of your hand and take small amounts with your brush, don't apply the foundation directly to the face!

Give these techniques a go! It makes a world of a difference, and I hope to see a return of the light coverage foundation in all of you beautiful people soon!

Blog Author

Natalie Rose Vella

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