How To Apply Full Coverage Foundation

how to apply full coverage foundation

Sometimes, I just love the perfected look of a full coverage base; the velvety finish that’s so glamorous and Old Hollywood, the way that my dark underye circles are obliterated and the redness around my nose totally erased. Mostly I tend to go for very sheer, “real skin” foundations, but every now and then (especially if I’m filming) I’ll go the Full Foundation Monty. That flawless, airbrushed finish that a full coverage foundation gives always makes me feel so polished and pulled-together.

Browse foundation reviews…

But there’s a fine line, I think, between flawless and fake; it’s quite easy to over-apply a heavy foundation and suddenly look as though you’re wearing a comedy mask. If the skin isn’t prepped properly then the foundation might look cakey or patchy, if the base isn’t applied well then it will look obvious and thick where it should blend seamlessly and undetectably. Full coverage foundation formulas tend to be quite heavy on the powders and pigments and so they can cling to dry patches or  be difficult to blend – add to that the fact that most of them are longwear and fast-setting and you have a product that presents plenty of opportunities for disaster!

So a few tips, then, for applying a full coverage base. I managed to get hold of mega-makeup artist Caroline Barnes to give us some expert foundation advice (Caroline works on some of the world’s most glamorous faces) and you can watch our conversation in the video below. I added in a few things that I always do when I’m applying my own foundation (not on a job when someone else is doing it for me!) so it’s a bit of a mish-mash video of foundation tips and tricks.

I’ve been testing out quite a lot of full coverage foundations recently in an attempt to find my top buys, so I will be back with a roundup – and hopefully some winners! – soon. In the following video I’m wearing my failsafe full coverage foundation, which is Dior Forever. There’s an in-depth review of that one here.


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  1. July 31, 2017 / 9:14 am

    Throwback to 13-year-old me who couldn’t apply full coverage foundation and had cake-face!!

  2. NIN
    July 31, 2017 / 10:31 am

    Hey gorgeous!
    No matter how much foundation i have tried, and loved, and it is A LOT, i ALWAYS come back to my beloved EE double wear (the original version) in shade 2N1.
    This is an all time staple in my stash, and without having any major skin issues i would say, being in my 40+s now.. . just for the all day benefit and the perfect look.
    i found out, that even a medium to full coverage foundation like this, if apllied in small quantities with a light hand, to a very well hydrated face, can be light, dewy and buildable.
    pigmentation is a plus, you can always lighten it, using the product properly.

  3. August 1, 2017 / 9:23 am

    I reach for the EL Double Wear for filming and special events, but even that has the tendency to rub off at my nose first. Underneath the video a nice lady gave me the tip to try using a Paintpot as base and I am sure I have Painterly somewhere so I can give it a go.

  4. Jolene
    August 1, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    What have you got on your eyes here? they look smoulderingly lovely! x

  5. Kat
    August 1, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    That lip colour is gorgeous -what is it? Ive been after something similar for ages.

  6. Tori
    August 6, 2017 / 5:33 am

    Could you please tell us what eye make up you are wearing in this video? I have similar coloring, and am crushing hard.

  7. August 26, 2017 / 9:43 am

    I tried a white powder before foundations and it comes out nice too

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