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Hair & Makeup

How to apply foundation like a makeup artist

Makeup artist and Global Beauty Director of Estée Lauder VIOLETTE is renowned for her flawless skin finishes. Here’s how she does it

Fresh, flawless faces at Isabel Marant and Stella Jean SS19

Quantity control

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

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!”

With your fingers

“Applying your 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 brush…

“Choose one with soft bristles that will help the color blend in 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 into 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 to ‘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.