The Foundation of Using Foundation Makeup…Flawlessly


It’s one of the most important yet intimidating tools in your makeup bag. How best to master the art of foundation?

For many of us, foundation is our siren. We love how we feel when we’re with it, but one false move and we’re suddenly  crashed up on the rocks. A bad foundation application can mean oranges for cheeks and a pancaked jawline that looks drawn in by Google Maps. What’s more, our base can settle in fine lines, highlighted so significantly as to be seen from space. And yet, when best applied, foundation grants us a flawless, irresistible skin tone.

So what are some fun, fast tips for applying foundation? And what are the best products to use?


Felicia Howe, Co-Owner and Stylist, Primrose Organics Salon

I asked an expert. Felicia Howe is the co-owner of Primrose Organics Salon, located in Hollywood, California. She’s worked as a hair and makeup artist for film, weddings, and editorial for more than 16 years, all the while operating as a pioneer in the organic and non-toxic salon movement.

It was Howe’s lengthy time in the beauty industry that first led her to natural products. After noticing the negative health effects of working in traditional beauty, she decided to research the growing trends in organic and non-toxic care. Today, she’s one of the foremost organic colorists in Los Angeles.

Recently, the makeup and hair guru shared with EcoSalon her best foundation tips.

EcoSalon: There seems to be a ton of great organic and non-toxic foundations on the market today. But between the primers, concealers, shimmers and liquids, it can be confusing as to what to use. What are the foundations that you include in your makeup kit?

Howe: My favorite foundation line comes from Jane Iredale. Hands down.

ES: I love Jane Iredale!

Howe: Me too. I have personally used her products for eight years. She offers up a natural look that’s free of dyes, talc, parabens, synthetic preservatives and other very bad things. I just restocked my entire makeup kit around her line.

ES: So what is your process for applying foundation and what are the products involved?

dream tint

Howe: I always start with an organic moisturizer. In Los Angeles, this is especially important since we live in a dry desert. Then I use Jane Iredale’s Dream Tints. This vegan product is a very light primer that helps reduce fine lines while leaving a nice smooth finish.

For foundation, either pressed or liquid works great. I have found that it’s personal preference, and that either will perform well. Jane Iredale offers a liquid minerals foundation. Next, I apply concealer under eyes and anywhere else as needed.

ES: Speaking of under eyes—how best to avoid emphasizing fine lines and wrinkles when applying foundation?

Howe: That comes when you apply your final product, which is your base. Just make sure you avoid your eye area. This will eliminate creasing and give you the smooth look you want.

ES: Are there any other final tips you’d like to share on achieving that flawless, natural look?

Howe: Yes! Always use blotting papers after using creams and primers before apply your base. This will help you avoid that cakey look. I also finish with a balancing mist from Jane Iredale. This will set your foundation with a soft finish.

Photos courtesy of Felicia Howe and Jane Iredale.

photo credit: Idhren via photopin cc

Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.