How To Make Your Full Coverage Foundation Look Natural

I love versatility in a product, I want to be able to use it in multiple ways to suit different styles of makeup and whatever I’m going for that day. For more glam days, I love using a medium-full coverage foundation such as the YSL All Hours, or the Estée Lauder Double Wear foundations. However, if I’ve decided to have a more natural-looking make up day, I don’t want to have that airbrushed, flawless skin look. You would think that you would then need to invest in a separate light-medium coverage foundation to achieve a more skin-like finish – but you don’t. Adapting your technique and applying your fuller coverage foundation in different ways can give you a completely different look without the need for another foundation.

foundation look natural

Step 1.

Make sure your skin is well prepped for foundation. Use a moisturiser that suits your skin type and then a glowy primer on top. My favourite illuminating primer is the Becca Backlight Priming Filter.

foundation look natural

Step 2.

Pump your foundation on to the back of your hand, not directly on to your beauty sponge or face. This allows you more control over how much product you pick up.

foundation look natural

Step 3.

Using your finger, make small dots on your face to cover a small area of your face. Working in smaller sections means you don’t have to worry about the foundation starting to set and being more difficult to blend out

foundation look natural

Step 4

Use a dampened beauty sponge to evenly disperse the product. This adds a bit more moisture into the formula and also picks up any excess product.

foundation look natural

Step 5

Aim for very thin layers of foundation, only adding another layer in the places you really need it. Try to embrace your natural skin pigmentation – allow your freckles and beauty marks to shine through.

foundation look natural

Step 6

Use thin layers of concealer, only where necessary. I only target breakouts and my dark under eyes with concealer. Use powder sparingly – lightly set only the areas that need it (for me that is under my eyes and my T zone).

foundation look natural

Left side of face = no product. Right side of face = products applied minimally for natural finish.

foundation look natural

Left side of face = same products applied for a full coverage finish. Right side = same products applied minimally for a natural finish.

Despite the fuller coverage foundation looking very heavy next to the more natural coverage side, once a full face of makeup is applied, it can still look fresh and not too cakey.

Even when using a full coverage foundation for its intended purpose, it doesn’t have to look heavy on the skin.

To even up my face, I just added another thin layer of foundation to the more natural side. I then added all my other face products. For me, the key to keeping the base makeup looking fresher is adding blush. It livens the face back up again, putting that healthy natural colour back in to the cheeks.


Let me know your tips for making a full coverage foundation look more natural!

Steph, xo

Bobbi Brown Hippy Shake


2 responses to “How To Make Your Full Coverage Foundation Look Natural”

  1. Kyra says:

    Some really good tips and you are gorgeous!!
    -kyra ||

    • stephanieswan says:

      Oh thank you Kyra! I’ve had my fair share of cakey makeup mishaps back in the day, so have picked up a few tricks through trial and error! x

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