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Hair & Makeup

How to apply foundation like a beauty expert

Makeup artist and Global Beauty Director of Estée Lauder VIOLETTE is renowned for her flawless skin finishes. Here, her top tips for perfect foundation – every single time

Fresh, flawless faces: models at the SS20 shows showcase the power of well-applied foundation

Quantity control

“Always use less foundation than you think you need,” says Violette. “It’s easier to start with a thin layer and add more if required. I like to dispense it onto the back of my hand rather than applying it directly to the face, as it’s easier to control the amount you’re using this way.”

Start in the center

“Focus your application in the center of your face first. Pat the foundation onto the sides of your nose, then out onto the tops of your cheeks and under your eyes. Stop applying more once you reach your cheeks; from there, just blend out what’s already on your skin,” she advises. “I never put foundation on the front of the nose, only the sides, because if your nose is bare, it makes it look like you’re not wearing foundation at all, but your skin looks great!”

Apply with your fingers

“Applying foundation with your fingers allows you to quickly warm up the product and you can feel the skin better. You also tend to use far less product when you use your fingertips,” says Violette. Her method is simple: “Lightly pat the product onto your skin with your middle or ring finger, and then blend it outwards – with the same finger – until it has blended in with your skin.”

But if you prefer a makeup brush

“Choose one with soft bristles that will help the color blend more easily,” says Violette. “Blending the product outwards towards your hairline will help avoid streaks.”

The secret to using a sponge

“Dampen it first with a thermal-water spray so the sponge doesn’t absorb too much of the foundation,” says Violette. “Use the side of the sponge or whichever end is the largest to pat the foundation onto your skin and blend. Use the pointy end of the sponge, or even a mini sponge, to blend the foundation underneath your eyes and around the creases of your nose. It’s important to pat, not swipe, if you want a natural finish. If you have acne-prone or very dry skin, try using a wedge-shaped sponge to help ‘push’ the foundation into your skin.”

Customize your coverage

“For a hydrated, natural finish, try mixing a few drops of serum into your foundation before blending it onto your skin. I love to mix Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair into Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup.”


Now watch this…

Mastered Violette’s flawless-foundation routine? Now take a glimpse into her glamorous New York life and discover the daily skincare and makeup regimen she swears by


The models featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown