Five Common Foundation Mistakes Everyone Makes

It’s time to put those ‘bad makeup days’ to bed.

We’ve all had those days when your makeup just does not go on right.

It’s catching, it’s patchy, it’s streaking. It looks heavy and cakey and yet still isn’t covering up everything you want it to.

Foundation can be an amazing tool to even the skin tone and create a flawless finish, but it also needs you to work with it. Time and time again people ask me, ‘How do I get a flawless base and the truth is, it doesn’t just come down to the product.

Here are five common mistakes people make when it comes to achieving your perfect base and how to rise above them to rock that foundation all day long.


It goes without saying that applying your makeup with dirty tools is … a bit yuck.

Particularly when you are using them to apply ‘wet’ products (ie. liquid foundation), leaving them unwashed means leaving them to sit in a breeding ground for bacteria.

However, the thing that most people don’t seem to realize about using dirty brushes is that they just don’t work as well.

As product continually builds up, sets and hardens, it changes the way the brush can apply and blend. Bristles which become stiff and separated are more likely to leave streaks and lines.

By washing your tools (I do mine on a Sunday night each week) you’re not only keeping the nasty bacteria at bay, you’re also ensuring that you’ll be getting the most out of them each time you go to use them! And trust me, once you wash them and re-use, you’ll notice the difference! You can check out my own super simple Brush Cleaning Routine if you’re a bit unsure of where to start.


Skincare and makeup go hand in hand. You cannot expect to get the best result for your base if you neglect the role of your skincare.

While foundation can conceal, cover, even, mattify, glow-ify and everything in between, it is still only as good as the skin we apply it to.

Good skin comes from care and nurture.

This starts with taking everything off at night – your skin needs time to heal, breath and rejuvenate. Happy skin is clean and fresh so double cleansing is my first step at night – once to remove everything that’s sitting on your face, and then again to actually clean the skin.

After that it’s all up to how you tailor your skin regime. Serums and moisturisers are my focus as they will target certain concerns and lock in hydration.

The main thing to focus on here is this: skin that is unhappy will not work with you when it comes to slathering makeup over the top of it. It’s a two way street sista.


Ok, so I already made a point about skincare, but I feel like moisturiser deserves a little extra attention.

I see so many people who want to just jump out of bed and reach straight for their makeup, thinking skincare is an evening kind of thing.

What I’m going to tell you truly applies to everyone (even oily/combo skinned babes like myself) but for those with slightly dryer skin, it’s time to pay attention.

Our skin loves hydration. Anything we put on it that is wet or liquid is going to look like moisture in its eyes (if skin had eyes – work with me here people) and it’s going to want to soak it up.

This is why a lot of our dry skin gals find that their makeup has ‘disappeared by lunch time’. It actually hasn’t magically vanished, it’s literally been eaten up by your parched little face.

If we want long-wearing, non-patchy, perfectly smooth foundation, we have to feed our skin first so it doesn’t go looking for moisture on its own.

Lesson learned: the first step of your makeup routine ought to be hydration.


Did you know that foundation goes out of date? Do you know where to look to know when?

It’s time to get your head around beauty ‘expiries’ beautiful because it makes all the difference.

I legitimately did know realize how many people continue to use expired products until I worked on a makeup counter. It’s very common to hear, ‘The last time I bought this would have been about 2 years ago, maybe a bit more.’ Whhaaat?

Most liquid foundations will expire after 2 years max. If you’re using something that is beyond its use by date, how do you think this may affect your application?

Ingredients can go rancid, change colour and separate. This leads to a patchy, uneven foundation that can even cause irritation and reactions. Get that off your face girl!

If you’re unsure how to find when your product expires, I have a handy little post that makes it super easy!


This one can be a touchy subject, but I find not enough people are acknowledging it.

The products we use are integral to the outcome of our look. With that in mind, it would be wise to consider the fact that what you use and what your favourite YouTuber uses may be very different products. If you have particularly oily skin and you see someone use a gorgeous glowy foundation that you’ve just got to have, the chances are this is not the best choice for you no matter how much you want it to be. An oily skin already is glowy; a dry skin already is matte. We want to be using products that complement our skin.

That doesn’t mean an oily skin can’t still use products to create a ‘controlled glow’, it just means that you’ll create your own product menu that’s tailored to your skin and not somebody else’s.

Your skin is beautiful (yes, it is) and it’s who you are. Don’t try and jump on what somebody else is using just because it looks good on them. Be honest with yourself, work with yourself and you are far more likely to be happier with the result.

And just a final reminder, don’t be too hard on yourself if you can admit to doing all of the above. We have all been there. We’ve all had days when we don’t show up or can’t be bothered. These ‘mistakes’ are things I have come to notice purely because so many people have told me about them throughout my time as a makeup artist.

What are you going to do to better your base today? I invite you to share in the comments below!

Lots of love beautiful!

Image credit: Byrdie


Rachel Hodgens

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