How to Choose and Apply Foundation

Jackie Gomez, celebrity makeup artist for St. Tropez, shares simple steps to a flawless face. Plus, we rounded up our favorite foundation products.

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Find Your Match


1. Women with fair or medium skin should look for yellow-based shades to minimize redness. Peachy and golden hues are best for dark complexions.

2. If product testing is permitted where you shop, choose three shades that are similar to your coloring and dab along jawline. Whichever blends in most seamlessly with your skin tone is the winner.

3. When buying from a drugstore, hold up a few options near your chin and pick the one that most closely matches your complexion. Before you purchase, check the store's return policy—some (like CVS) allow returns with a receipt, even if opened.

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Apply Foundation Like A Pro


1. Smooth on moisturizer from the hairline down to your neck.

2. Dab on foundation (about a dime-size amount) with a sponge, starting at the sides of your nose and spreading outward.

3. Once you cover the center of your cheek, move the sponge downward, carefully blending around mouth and past the jawline.

4. Next, blend up toward the forehead and down your nose. Repeat on the other side.

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Top Skin Smoothers


Almay Smart Shade Mousse Makeup

You'll love the soft, velvety finish.

Available at drugstores and, $14.

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Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfecting Makeup


Lightweight and oil-free.

Clinique counters and, $27.

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L'Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Foundation


Contains minerals, antioxidants and sun protection.

Available at drugstores, $13.

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Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer


An all-in-one product, plus a handy brush.

Available at, $44

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Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation


Has an instant brightening effect, plus contains Vitamins C and E.

Available at, $34

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Urban Decay Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup


A light-as-air texture that builds beautifully.

Available at, $38

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Rimmel London Clean Finish Foundation


The smooth, matte finish minimizes pores and reduces shine.

Available at, $4

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Shiseido Makeup Radiant Lifting Foundation SPF 17


A combo of reflective ingredients erase and illuminate shadows created by wrinkles and sagging.

Available at, $45

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Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation SPF 15


Shea butter and glycerin keep skin hydrated in a silky, lightweight formula.

Available at, $47

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Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H


Provides a luminous glow that won't rub off on clothing, thanks to a protective film that covers pigments.

Available at, $44

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Beauty Blender


The edge-free sponge reaches every crevice. No streaks, no problem!

Originally published in the December 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.

This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and styles are subject to change.

Available at, $20.