How a Makeup Artist Makes Foundation Look like Real Skin

Celebrity makeup artist Nina Park shares her foundation tricks.

Sera Gillow
Makeup Artist
Nina Park

Foundation should never actually look like foundation. With the right makeup formulas, brushes, and techniques, your foundation should even out your skin tone and make your skin look healthier and more fresh while melding with the rest of your skin. We asked makeup artist Nina Park, who works with celebrities like Bella Hadid and Zoe Kravitz, how she applies natural-looking foundation on her clients.

To begin, Park always starts with some kind of moisturizer, like a sheet mask that makes skin plump and hydrated—this means you’ll need less makeup and what you do apply will sit better afterward. We like Julep Triple Quench Deep Hydration Sheet Mask System. Then she starts with a base layer of a tinted moisturizer or sheer foundation like Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup from the neck up to the hair line. This gives a “silk stocking” effect. Apply it by dabbing and pressing with a flat foundation brush like Yves Saint Laurent Foundation Brush.

In the places that need some extra coverage, Park uses a creamy stick formula like Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick. The tinted moisturizer underneath helps blend it in. Don’t apply it past the orbital bone up toward the eye, as that’s where undereye concealer will go instead. Finally, set it all over with a loose powder like Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder and a fluffy brush like CHANEL Precision Powder Brush, then use a pressed powder like Amazing Cosmetics Velvet Mineral Powderset and a small brush like Make Up For Ever Precision Shader Brush Large in areas that need a little more, like the T-zone.


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