No one wants to continually buy different base products, finding the right colour in every one of them and having to throw them out when they go out of date before you can use them all.  As a makeup artist I don’t want to be carrying more products than I need to with me either, which is when knowing the foundation hacks to customise it is your secret weapon!

Sometimes having two is better than one.. 

So first up, having two foundations, one slightly darker than your skin tone and one slightly lighter might sound a bit strange when we’re talking about using fewer products but stick with me here! Having two means that you can have the exact shade all year round, and means you can use them when you want a really natural highlight & contour effect.  

If I let my skin tan naturally it doesn’t actually change that much, but I do have that ‘in-between’ stage where my normal foundation shade looks slightly too light and the next shade up doesn’t quite match either.  So by making sure I have one shade either side there’s no trying to find a new foundation when I’ve fake tanned or having to look slightly too dark when it’s winter and I’m noticeably paler

Full coverage, sheer coverage, illuminator or colour correcting all from the same product..

I only ever use full coverage foundation, it’s an absolute no brainer IF you know the hacks on how to customise it to work exactly how you want.  

By mixing it with various products which you already have and use, it saves you both space and money as well as giving you the exact skin you want!

Full coverage – even if you have a full coverage foundation, the way you apply it is key to getting the best out of it, and using less product.  You can check out my top tips on applying foundation here. In short, layers are the key whatever coverage you want and you can make a full coverage foundation medium coverage simply by applying that first layer..and leaving it at that. But what if you want even less? 

Sheer coverage – take half a pump of your moisturiser (or half the amount you’d usually use) on the back of your hand and mix it in with your normal foundation.  It creates a gorgeous, hydrating formulation which gives you the coverage from your foundation along with the moisturising benefits of your moisturiser.  If you’re prone to a bit of oiliness you can still use this hack, just set it with powder and I promise you you’ll still look more glowy & healthier but without risking it slipping off your face.  If you have super dry skin or want to look even more radiant take your facial oil instead of moisturiser and mix them instead! If you have oilier skin I’d tend to stick with moisturiser to make sure it stays all day. 

Illuminating coverage – This is the go to for getting that ‘glow from the inside out’ effect. In the same way you can take your moisturiser or oil and mix it to create a sheer coverage foundation, to make it more illuminating just grab your liquid highlight and mix away! If you’re using this all over your face I would only use a small amount and then dab a bit more on top of the areas the light will naturally hit, like the top of your cheeks and your temples.  The idea is to keep it looking natural, not like we’ve dipped our head in a vat of glitter.  If you want less coverage than your foundation gives as standard then add a little bit of moisturiser into it too!

Colour Correcting – Generally I only use colour correcting to spot treat, by dabbing a little bit on just the areas that need it, but on occasion if I’m either sunburnt or my skin’s very red from having a reaction (hellooo there sensitive skin!), I find adding a tiny – and I mean TINY – amount of green concealer to my foundation just helps level it out a tad.  The same goes for if you use a concealer which is a pretty spot on match for your skin tone but want to use it to hide particularly dark under eye circles, mixing it with a touch of peach coloured matte cream shadow can go the extra mile in covering them without applying way more product than you need and risking it sitting in any fine lines or looking chalky. 

Top Tips

When you’re mixing foundations, especially for your own face, use the back of your hand. The heat makes products more malleable and easier to mix together than using a cold metal palette

Go for a full coverage foundation to start with, it’s much easier to make a foundation lighter coverage than it is to up the coverage. My favourite is the LimeLife by Alcone perfect foundation, with 50% pigment it is perfect for whatever I need it to do!

If you’re mixing two foundations together to make a custom colour it’s advisable to use the same type & brand, if you try mixing a liquid and cream they don’t always mix properly and you can end up with uneven coverage and colour.