How To Hack Your Foundation For Perfect Coverage

The hunt to find the right foundation for you is not unlike the hunt to find the perfect mate. You'll have lots of bad dates, some trial and error, and more than a few let downs — but in the end, when you're with the love of your life, it'll all seem worth the tears. However, sometimes you really just can't find the ultimate complexion product for your needs, and this is why we must hack, my friends.

Even if you nab the best product ever, there will likely be times when you accidentally put on too much, when you need less coverage, or when your skin changes tones from sun exposure. Our faces need options, and there are so many things you can do to a product to make it work how you need it to work, when you need it to work. Sometimes it’s as simple as using a better primer, other times you just need to blend more, so buckle up and get ready to find the trick that will take your mediocre maquillage and turn it into your face's best friend

Problem #1: Shiny Skin Caused By Excess Sebum

L to R: Skinceuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50 , $21.39,

ByTerry Densiliss Compact Foundation , $76.58,

Eve Lom Flawless Radiance Primer, $99.75,

On days when your skin is feeling extra oily, often the last thing you want to do is slap more stuff on top. I'm here to change your mind.

Solution: Use A Primer

Using something to prep skin and control oil before you even use any foundation is a big help. Try a few drops of SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense if you are that dedicated to anti-aging; it’s a mineral formula that uses silica to reduce shine and control it for hours on end. This primer is extremely matte, so if you are looking for a bit more of a natural finish, reach for Eve Lom’s Flawless Radiance Primer. This helps to control oil but doesn’t completely eradicate it, making this a hydrating and nourishing choice for powder users.

Speaking of powder, one excellent hack for greasies is to buff on some powder before you apply foundation. It immediately dries down any products that are adding shine where you may not want it. For this method, my fave is ByTerry’s Densiliss Compact Foundation. It imparts a velvety matte effect to the skin with no chalky finish. But if that’s too pricey for your taste, any translucent will do nicely for this trick.

Problem #2: You've Gone Powder Crazy

L to R: Original Beauty Blender , $16.40,

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist , $27.69,

Yes To Pore Perfection Toning Mist , $19.04,

Laura Geller Lambswool Paddle Soft Focus Makeup Blender

Using too much powder is a super common beauty mishap. Of course you want to chill on the shine most of the time, but flashback is very real, even if you have never laid eyes on a red carpet. Too much powder also dims the glow of your skin's natural texture. Pores are real and should be complimented, not paved over. Luckily, getting rid of excess powder (without redoing your whole face) is shockingly simple!

Solution: Blend, Mist, Erase

First, attempt to blend the makeup using a light-handed tool like Laura Gellar’s Lambswool Paddle Soft Focus Makeup Blending Tool. It’s a natural wool puff that buffs away lines and softens the appearance of foundation by taking off any extra. If that doesn't do the trick try misting some hydrosol or a light toner over your whole face and allow to dry. If this still doesn’t calm down your lewk, you can take a dry Beauty Blender and use it as an eraser to literally pick up the excess makeup off of your skin!

Problem #3: Wanting Less Coverage When Your Skin Is Looking Extra Amazing

L to R: Marula Pure Marula Facial Oil , $43.53,

Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Hydration Booster, $43.75,

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Revitalizing Gel Lotion , $35.40,

Cosmedix Peptide Rich Defense SPF 50, $58,

As I'm sure you've noticed, your skin's situation changes on basically a daily basis, which means your coverage needs are in constant flux.

Solution: Make Your Own Tinted Foundation With Added Skincare Benefits

Foundations used: Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation and Too Faced Born This Way

Buying just one full coverage foundation and customizing it is a lot more cost effective than having five different formulas on hand. On days where you don’t need to go full monty, try adding a drop or two of your favorite skincare products to sheer out the coverage.

Most skincare and makeup products are already emulsions of oil and water and/or silicones, so often things will mix together with no major issue. Try adding sunscreen, serum, moisturizer, or even facial oil in small quantities to drop down the opacity of your favorite full coverage foundation and celebrate that skin!

Problem #4: Your Favorite Foundation No Longer Matches Your Face

L to R: GloMinerals Highlighter , $10.20,

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Highlighter in Rose Gold , $9.47,

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal , $38,

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops, $65,

Why should you have to have two separate products for winter and summer?

Solution: Adjust The Color With Foundation Boosters & Highlighters

Foundations used: Eve Lom Radiance Perfected Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 , Sonia Kashuk Radiant + Tinted Moisturizer; Brush: Sonia Kashuk Core Tools Synthetic Pointed Foundation Brush

When breakouts are bad, sometimes just completely buffing you your face with foundation can be just what you need to feel confident. Other times when you’re getting a tan (or losing one) you wish you need to change your foundation just so to get that goldilocks shade. Here’s where a really fun product comes in: Cover FX Cover Drops. The product is incredibly revolutionary: Add a drop at a time to change the color of your foundation, or use a small amount in the above skincare cocktail to make your own! There are tons of shades to choose from, so you can get one lighter and one darker than your usual foundation hue and be set for a year’s worth of great makeup.

The second trick for glamming up a bad day is to add a tiny dot of highlighter directly into your foundation. Even if you want matte skin, a bit of luminous, tiny shimmer having creams like L’Oreal True Match Lumi Highlighter in Rose Gold or Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal are life changers.

Now you should be more than prepared to take on almost any foundation challenge! Time to rock your best face ever.

Photos: Maria Penaloza