How to Get Your Foundation to Do the Most

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January is the PERFECT time to go through your makeup stash and get rid of anything that’s not going to slay your routine. Get rid of those old, crusty foundations, eyeshadows you know good and well that you’re not going to use, and trash those lipsticks that make you look like Tyrone Biggums. Trust me, doing this will make your life 1000% easier and I bet you’ll be less likely to buy more crap you don’t need this year.

If you live somewhere that gets distinct seasons or you travel to a different climate, you will likely need a different foundation at various points of the year. We tend to tan in the summer and go back to our original shade in the winter. We also might need lighter and more mattifying foundation formulas during the warmer months and slightly heavier and more hydrating formulas during the colder months. And while there’s nothing wrong with having a totally different foundation for each season, you might be able to get your current foundation to do the most with these tricks.



If you want your foundation to be a little more on the matte side, there are a number of things you can do. You can apply a mattifying primer before your foundation and then set your foundation with a mattifying powder. You can also try adding a mattifying agent to your liquid or cream foundations like Cover FX Custom Blot Drops (sent to me by the brand). With this you can add a drop or two depending on your desired matte-ness to your foundation or use it as a primer on the skin before foundation application.

But please allow me to point out BALANCE since we’re talking about textures and finishes in this post. Very seldom is a look with all one finish or texture easy to pull off. By this I mean if your foundation is matte, make sure some other element in your look is shimmery/dewy/luminous. And vice versa—a completely shimmery look is extremely tough to pull off without adding some element of matte-ness. You can read more about this in my Don’t Forget Balance in Your Makeup Looks post.

Get deets on where to buy Cover FX Custom Blot Drops here.

Go lighter/darker or warmer/neutral


If you need to go lighter or darker in color OR if you need to alter the undertones (adding warmth, canceling out redness, etc), there are a number of products out on the market you can buy to do this. PLEASE just make sure you use products that were intended for use on the face—no food coloring or any other zany things, please.

I bought a bunch of the NYX Pro Foundation Fixers (see my review and demo here) and love them for altering foundation. Something like this is especially amazing for women of color because you can tweak an iffy foundation to make it work amazingly for your skin tone. There’s also a NYX Pro Foundation Fixer in White for those who are very fair who have a hard time finding a shade match that’s light enough.

Get a luminous finish


If you want to add some luminosity to your liquid or cream foundation, a liquid luminizer is where it’s at, girl. There are SO many options out there like Cover FX Enchancer Drops (see my review here) and NYX Pro Foundation Fixer in Luminous—just to name two. You can mix a liquid luminizer in your cream or liquid foundation, or apply it to areas where light would naturally hit your face (i.e. tops of cheekbones, lightly along the temples, etc.) after you apply your foundation.

Get deets on where to buy NYX Pro Foundation Fixer here.

Add hydration


You can use a little extra hydration in your foundation at any time of the year, but you might need it especially as it gets colder and/or drier out. There’s a number of things you can do like adding a touch of your favorite hydrating facial oil, adding a few drops of Cover FX Custom Infusion Hydration Drops (see review here), or if you’re in the market to buy a new foundation and want to have flexibility with the shade, undertone, finish, and coverage year-round, you can try Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (see review posts here). With Cover FX Custom Cover Drops, you get a pigment in your shade that is mixed with your favorite skincare products. So if you have a hydrating moisturizer or serum or facial oil you love, you can pretty much make your own foundation by mixing a few drops of Cover FX Custom Cover Drops with it.

Get deets on where to buy Cover FX Custom Cover Drops here.

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Foundation Posts to Read

Foundation Reviews and Swatches
Summer Foundations for Dark Skin
Foundation 101 for Dark Skin: How to Find Your Shade
How to Shop Drugstore Makeup for Dark Skin
Makeup 101 for Dark Skin Video Series
Black Opal Foundation Swatches
Why ONE Foundation Won’t Cut it for Women of Color

How to Make Your Foundation Matte (Dark Skin)

How to Make Your Foundation Luminous (Dark Skin)

How to Make the WRONG Foundation RIGHT for Dark Skin

Before you spend money on a new foundation for winter, learn how to get your current one to do THE MOST

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas,, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.
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