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Judging from comments and emails, it would appear that many of you would like to see the unabridged version of my foundation application. If you’re familiar with my Youtube tutorials, you’ll know my general base philosophy: I aim to look as though I’m wearing no foundation at all. I’d prefer to maintain some level of imperfection if it means that my skin… looks like skin!

NB: I’m not suggesting this is the right way or the only way, as always it comes down to preference – wear your foundation in a way that makes YOU feel confident.

Here is my uncut foundation application, explanation and photos under the embedded video. I’ve adjusted the camera settings to pick up as much texture as possible, but note that I appear a little darker than I am in person. I’ve added some music but if you hate my choice of tune, feel free to mute 😉

Skin Prep

The condition of the skin is an important factor since foundation tends to highlight uneven skin texture. Mild chemical exfoliants are a great way to gradually improve skin texture, my favourites are: Aurelia Refine and Polish Miracle Balm & First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads.

Wherever possible I apply my base immediately after moisturising, my face is prone to dehydration so I find a moist surface prevents my skin from sucking up all the emollience. If you’re loyal to primer, go right ahead, my moisturiser produces the ideal canvas for my skin type.


A quick addition to this video, just to demonstrate that I tend to apply undereye concealer prior to foundation. Firstly because I find the edges are better blended in that sequence. Also, I’m a glasses wearer so I apply MAC Pro Longwear on the bridge of the nose (which prevents migration where my glasses sit), Prolongwear tends to shift any foundation underneath so I prefer applying it beforehand. Spot concealing comes after foundation, we’ll get to that soon!


The foundation you pick is a critical factor in achieving a skin-like base. I’ve worked on many faces and let me tell you: there is no one foundation that produces a skin-like result across the board. It’s a case of trial and error – not what you want to hear, I know, but it’s the truth!

Some of the foundations that best mimic skin texture on my face: Armani Lasting Silk, Koh Gen Do Aqua, Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer and Dior Airflash. If I’m working on a new face and I’m not familiar with the complexities of their skin, I’ll generally opt for MAC Face & Body  – it’s a safe bet and rarely goes wrong/cakey. I don’t often use it on myself because it requires a lot of rubbing and working, which rouses redness on my delicate skin and THEN I need more coverage and so on. Struggle is real.


I’ve dabbled with every foundation tool known to man. Buffing brushes offer speedy application and are suited to formulas that set quickly. Flat paddle brushes are fantastic for flaky skin/peach fuzz as they smooth down any texture (as opposed to lifting texture with a buffing motions). Beauty blenders are wonderful for sheering out heavy coverage bases OR for dehydrated skin that benefits from the extra moisture.

Gun to my head, I have to pick one foundation tool and stick to it for life? Fingers. Where brushes and sponges can often lead to excessive product on the face, fingers offer a lot of control.


I swear by the pressing motion; I pick up a verrrry small amount of foundation on my finger (just residue really, which is why it can look as though I’m not applying anything at all) and perform dozens of pressing motions on the desired areas. If you’ve watched the length of the video, you’ll know that this is quite a time-heavy task but frankly, the outcome is worthwhile. I’ll use the pad of my finger on the smaller areas of the face (crevice of the nose) and the length of my finger on the larger planes of my face (the cheeks and forehead).


If you’re seeking an ultra natural complexion, I advise applying foundation only to the areas where you need coverage. I need help around the centre of my face so I’ll start there, but leave much of my cheeks and hairline untouched because I simply don’t require the coverage. However, if you skin is most uneven on the jawline then you would start there.

If you have redness or pigmentation all round then apply a light layer all over. If your face is an entirely different shade to your body (faux tanning or natural deviation) then you may choose to apply all over the face, but don’t obsess over it – our body is a patchwork of shades and to a certain degree, the eye expects some level of variation.

Building Coverage

This technique is not restricted to those who favour minimal coverage, you can build extra coverage using the same pressing motion. Work in sections so the foundation has time to set, then build another thin layer – rinse and repeat until you’ve developed the desired coverage. This is what is meant the phrase ‘work in thin layers‘ – start small, let the product set, then build.

Spot Concealing

Spot concealing doesn’t directly pertain to foundation but it’s so incredibly important that it warrants a mention.

The purpose of foundation is to reconcile various colour tones to provide a more even appearance – it’s not really designed to cover marks and such. That’s where spot concealing enters the picture, using a precise brush to target blemishes means that you can get away with less coverage on the rest of the face, resulting in a more skin like/natural finish overall.

I didn’t have a whole lot to spot conceal here (where’s that tiny violin?) but this is the bridge between minimal everyday base and polished perfection, without the need to overload on foundation.

To powder or not to powder?

Realistically, if you struggle with longevity then setting the foundation with powder is a necessity. My favourite is Rouge Bunny Rouge Diaphanous, which actually improves the appearance of skin (HELLO porelessness!) but shine control is minimal, oilier skin types may fare better with the SUQQU Loose Powder (discontinued grrrr) or Laura Mercier Translucent Powder. If powder isn’t your thing then setting sprays like Urban Decay All Nighter enhance longevity without mattifying.

Close-up Shots

Skin-Like Foundation 101 (Video & Text)
Note that you can still see some redness and freckle-things but for day to day, I’m totally okay with that. Admittedly, for full-on tutorials I would apply more foundation but the technique is much the same, just a little more building. Not the quickest way to apply base makeup but that’s my approach to building a medium coverage while maintaining skin texture.


Skin-Like Foundation 101 (Video & Text)

I hope you enjoyed the post! Again, there is no right and wrong way to apply foundation but if you’d like a more skin-like base, then you might like to pick and choose some of the techniques mentioned in this post. Have any extra tips? Feel free to share in the comments, let’s get a discussion going!


Complete list of products mentioned

Maximum Coverage Face Brush
Maximum Coverage Face Brush
Rose Hydrating Mist
Rose Hydrating Mist
Rose Soothing Moisturiser
Rose Soothing Moisturiser
Aqua Foundation
Aqua Foundation
Pro Longwear Concealer
Pro Longwear Concealer
Cheek Brush
Cheek Brush
Skin Enhancer
Skin Enhancer
* Denotes products sent for consideration. I’m always honest with my reviews :)

Leave your comment (116 comments)

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  1. Gorgeous tutorial Karima. Quick question about Mac prolongwear… i have quite dark circles, how do you find the coverage of it? On an everyday basis, i just don’t have the time to use a corrector underneath and am looking for a concealer that will give me a decent…not necessarily perfect…coverage πŸ™‚ bloody love your tutorials…you are major!! xx

    1. Hey Natalie πŸ™‚
      I find MAC Prolongwear to offer medium to full coverage, it’s not particularly illuminating so it doesn’t do much in terms of shadow but if your problem area is actual discolouration, it should work well!
      I’m so pleased you like my tutorials <3

  2. Yay! I also use the MV Organic Moisturiser around my eyes. It really takes out most of the redness in my lids after another sleppless night with baby.☺️ I totally agree it is amazing. It does stuff to my skin I would not have thought possible from a face cream. I actually need to use less base product because of it. Thank you for reviewing the range, I would never had tried it otherwise and the moisturiser has become my HG. What would we all do without you?

  3. Thank you for showing us every little detail as it’s the only way to really know what you’re doing exactly.
    Did you forget to apply concealer to the other eye or was it intentional? If you did forget, you might not be a perfectionist like you think you are. Haha! I can’t help teasing a bit.
    I do have one question. Do you prefer the rouge bunny rouge powder to the Nars crystal powder? I have the Nars one but I’m wondering if the RBR is superior enough to be worth buying.

    1. I applied concealer to both eyes, I just cut that bit out as it wasn’t imperative to the routine πŸ™‚
      I actually haven’t tried the NARS Crystal powder so I can’t compare – is it silica based?

  4. I love how you do your foundation! I think it’s time for everyone to stop caking up their face with foundation and concealer. I might just be sold on the mac pro longwear concealer now, I’ve tried so many and have yet to find the perfect one that covers my under eyes and lasts!

    1. If a solid amount of foundation and concealer makes someone feel comfortable, I think they should do it! Just a different school of thoughts. I do find the MAC Prolongwear to have great lasting power πŸ™‚

  5. Love it! Going to try out your techniques this weekend when I don’t have anywhere to be, just in case I mess up. Wish me luck! BTW, that nail polish is gorgeous…is this Marc Jacobs Enamoured (I think you showed this in a picture on instagram) or is it something else? Would love to know! Whatever it is, It looks similar to Essie Demure Vixen.

      1. So, I tried your technique and I loved it! I am very excited about it! I think it worked out really well for me for a day time look. I am taking your techniques and Lisa Eldridge’s techniques (which are very similar) and smooshing them together to get my finished look. I really like the no makeup, makeup look as I get older. I am not one for heavy contouring, piles of blush, loads of powder anyway but I always just felt a little too heavy handed no matter what I did to ease up, mainly because I am very fair and everything shows up on me too well. I go from 0-60 in no time flat and suddenly I look “made up” when I wasn’t even really trying to be! Now I feel like I am finally learning! Thanks for teaching us all how to look like a better version of our natural selves! Oh, and thanks for letting me know about the polish. Gosh, I love it! I already own Essie Demur Vixen but haven’t worn it in ages…I am gonna dig it out and wear it this week! I can’t seem to track down the Marc Jacobs one. πŸ™

  6. omg Karima – you are completely neurotic. at the end you were concealing things only seen in your imagination!! πŸ™‚ great tips – THANKS!
    i so want to try the patting technique you use… but i’m afraid i am too lazy. πŸ™ your results are amazing and speak for themselves!
    Ellis Faas has the most skin-like finish for me – and i have tried A LOT of foundations. Kanebo Sensai Cellular Performance is also good on me.
    a technique i have been experimenting with is using a half a drop of face oil mixed in my foundation. the foundation just melts into the skin. i don’t do this on my forehead as i tend to be a little oily there, but around my nose and chin it is amazing. the SA at the Zelens counter recommended this to me and i’ve been impressed so far.
    my face, neck, and chest are three different shades – i’m totally not kidding. it is maddening and makes me sad if i think about it too much. my face is very pale and pink, my neck is greenish-yellow, and my chest is darker and reddish. πŸ™ i have not figured out the best approach to minimize this effect so if anyone has any suggestions – chime in!!!
    xo sj

    1. LOL If I start the whole spot concealing thing, I’m taking it to extremes. Scorpio mentality dammit!
      I think many would look at this video and think ‘way too much effort/time’ and that’s okay, too!

      I don’t have a match in Ellis Faas, so sad πŸ™ Either too dark or too pink! I’ll also add a drop of oil to my foundation if my skin is being fussy, it does work well πŸ™‚

      In terms of matching foundation, I’ll generally match to the chest (often the neck is an outlier). If the neck and chest are vastly different, I’ll pick a shade somewhere in between the mesh the different colour tones.

      Since your neck is greenish and your chest is reddish, I think a little bronzer (with a reddened undertone) on your neck would bring things together a bit. I do this quite often.

      Hopefully this helps!

  7. Thanks Karima! I’ve been waiting for this. Finally someone who states the fact about shopping around and making errors. None of us can avoid it. Great post! XX

  8. Thank you so much, Karima!
    Do you apply the foundation on skin still damp from the mist? How would this work with a water-based foundation like Face and Body? You are fantastic xx

  9. I FINALLY bought the Koh Gen Do foundation just now. I got the same color as you and I’m really hoping it works as well for me. Have you mixed it other foundations before? Does it play well with any?

  10. The way you describe everything so precisely is amazing. You really know what you’re talking about, a true talent. Thanks so much! The result really does look like skin. I’d love to purchase Koh Gen Do foundation, someday… There are no stores in the Netherlands nor in Europe *sad face*. What happened with the Suqqu Frame Fix Cream Foundation, why doesn’t it appear on your list? Karima, would you please consider to do a smackdown of red lipsticks?

    1. Hey Lily!

      My pleasure, I’m so glad you like it. Does Beautylish ship to Netherlands? I know they stock Koh Gen Do. I do love SUQQU Frame Fix but sadly, my colour match only works on me when I’m at my palest (currently at my darkest).

      I did a red lipstick post agessss back but yes, I’ll definitely do another πŸ™‚


      1. Oh my! Never heard about Beautylish, but you are right, it ships to the Netherlands!!! Thank you so much :D! I see, a darker shade might be a good excuse to visit Japan again :P? Thanks again, I’m gonna read that older post about the red lippies, think I missed it.

  11. Wow. I didn’t think that pressing in foundation would work for me as I have quite blemished skin. But just tried your technique while getting ready for work, and I got the same if not better natural looking coverage using way less foundation than usual. You’ve done it again!

  12. Great video Karima! πŸ™‚ We have identical approach to foundation, I also use as little as I can get away with, mostly just around my nose and chin, and then spot conceal to perfection if needed (so obviously Lisa’s school, haha). The only thing I do different is I never use my fingers, because I find there’s no chance in hell they can ever apply less foundation then my fave flat top brushes (Everyday Minerals, Shiseido, Dior). With those guys I always achieve perfect results, and they cover soooo much with minimal amount of product. πŸ™‚ Also LOVE your nail polish, it’s gorgeous!

    1. That’s so interesting, for whatever reason I find flat top foundation brushes push product off my nose (foundation refuses to stick to my nose, odd problem that is only alleviated using finger pressing motions).
      The nail polish is Marc Jacobs Enamoured, it’s a winner!


      1. Yeah, that makes sense. I don’t have those problems since my skin is slightly dry, so makeup sticks to it no matter how I apply it. Btw, have you ever tried KGD Moisture Foundation?? I wonder how Aqua compares to it.. I have Moisture and even though I do like it because of the beautiful finish, I don’t love it cause it doesn’t cover even slight redness, seriously, nothing. So now I can’t decide whether to buy Aqua or not.Thanks for the info on the polish, I have to get my hands on it! πŸ™‚

  13. Thanks for this post . Useful info with nice direction to products (me likey).
    HAirz? What hairz? More like perfect skin πŸ™‚

  14. Do I love you or what?! I mean (well this awkward) I love your videos and the minimalistic way you think of foundation, God bless the makeup through the ages colab many good and talented artist where found through that. Also I would like to say how you and Sharon Farrell keep up with the blog and youtube you don’t see that often thank you for your hard work and keep doing what your doing!

  15. Karima this was a lovely video! I’m so intrigued when you say you work on many faces; do you work as a freelance mua, or is this past work, or just your own experimentation? I loved it when you did tutorials on other people, it’s great to see your skill applied to other needs and colourings. But that’s not to say I don’t love your tutorials on yourself πŸ™‚ β™‘ β™₯

    1. Hey Carla,

      Past work – I’m mostly at uni and youtube now. It’s funny though, I’d apply my favourite foundation on another face and it would read entirely different, which shows that there is a lot of trial and error in base work.

      I’m trying to get some other faces back on Sham Frip πŸ™‚ Maybe some different skin tones and age groups!


  16. You have GREAT skin. I love how you use as little foundation as possible. It seems like everyone else on YouTube cakes it on :/ I just use a Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer right now because I’m scared of looking cakey. I was using Armani Luminous Silk before and my husband said I looked like an old lady wearing so much makeup. :/ (I’m 23 btw!) maybe it was a bad shade match, lol. Anyways, loved the video πŸ™‚ love from mexico! xx

    1. Thanks, Kelly!

      Honestly I’ve met a lot of you tubers and they all look flawless in person – perfect application, different strokes for different folks πŸ˜‰

      I quite like Luminous Silk but again, it can look totally different depending on the person!


  17. Love your approach to base makeup. I really appreciate the depth you go into explaining products/techniques/tools. Do you think you could do a video on cream contouring? I know you disliked the TF shade & illuminate (I didn’t like it either) but have you tried any other products such as the becca lowlight sculpting perfector or kevyn aucoin creamy contour/highlight duo? I would love to know your opinion if you have.

    1. Oh good, I’m glad you liked it πŸ™‚
      Yep, I will be doing a video on cream contouring soon. Not a fan of TF Shade and Illuminate but I have some other products that I really like (mostly pro products, I haven’t tried the Becca or Kevyn Aucoin but they look just a touch warm for my liking? I’ll probably end up buying them anyway lol).


  18. Love the you do foundation! I’ve been suffering from dry skin and watching your videos have benefitted me so much. As for the concealer, I’m about 4 in GA luminous silk, what colour would i be in the KA skin enhancer to use as a concealer/foundation? Also, is the MAC concealer any good for blemishes?

    1. My best guess would be SX05 but it’s only a guess – the best way to find a match would be to purchase a sample on!
      The MAC Prolongwear sets very quickly so not a lot of time to blend, I don’t love it for blemishes.

  19. Ah Karima this was so helpful… my skin doesn’t hold foundation for very long (dehydrated, but tends to get oily when wearing makeup) so I’ll have to try this out! I love how it really just looks like skin, I personally favour that natural look.
    On a side note, I’m very interested in RMS Beauty products and I’m not sure if I should invest in them… have you ever tried them? I’m particularly interested in the “uncover up concealer” and the eye polish in “seduce” as a cream contour…
    Thanks for a great in-depth video, I always love your videos and I highly trust your opinion more than anybody else out there! Will be ordering MV skincare soon! <3

    1. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with RMS because I haven’t tried anything from the brand! I’ve heard mixed reviews, some say that the products don’t exhibit great longevity?
      I’m so glad you enjoy my videos, let me know what you think of MV if you end up ordering it!

  20. Wow! Thanks for writing such an in-depth post on your foundation technique. I share the same foundation philosophy as you, and I think your base makeup always looks immaculate. I totally agree with you that the degree with which a foundation mimicks skin texture really differs from person to person. I tried Armani Luminous Silk thanks to your review, and all I have to say is, if I could only use one foundation for the rest of my life this would be it. Nothing beats the way it sits and looks on my skin. So damn smooth, luminous and skin-like. MAC Face and Body is an absolute staple for me too. I reckon I’ll love the Koh Gen Do, based on your experience with it. Seriously looks amazing on you.

    P.S. thanks for the tip re: MAC PLW concealer. I wear sunnies every day, so it is totally relevant to me. Tried it under the eyes too, expecting it to look dry and cakey, but was pleasantly surprised at how nice it looked. My base makeup has improved so much ever since I’ve started watching your tutorials. Keep up the great work, Karima!

    1. My pleasure, Jen!

      So pleased that you like the Armani Luminous Silk, it’s a staple in my collection πŸ™‚ If you can get a sample of Koh Gen Do, highly recommend – slightly thinner in consistency when compared to the Luminous Silk.

      Sunnies and glasses wreak havoc on makeup, right?! MAC Prolongwear shines in that department.

      Thanks for all your support <3

  21. I can’t see any upper lip hairs!

    Fantastic post, loved & appreciated how in-depth it was and the pepperings of humour. I can imagine how all the steps you outlined are vital to achieving the most flawless, natural-looking base possible. I’ll keep in mind the pressing motion next time! I usually press/pat very small amounts of foundation in lieu of concealer after I’ve already applied a thin(ish) layer of foundation all over. I’ve never tried it for applying foundation alone, I guess mainly because of time constraints.

    1. Haha Macbook Retina display points to my pores and peach fuzz πŸ™ Damn computer.

      This technique takes a bit of time but it *does* get quicker, my fingers just remember the motions now and I can do it half asleep πŸ˜‰


  22. I can’t thank you enough for this blog and video. I’ve been hoping for this for quite some time now. Your face is always flawless, foundation invisible yet perfect skin. I wanna be you when I turn back the clock. Too beautiful for words. Thank you again. It’s my VDay present from you!! So sweet. <3. I hope you had a wonderful day with your sweetie! Oh geez. I can't wait until you get married. You're going to be stunning!! Please make a tutorial for your "perfect wedding day look"!! πŸ™‚

    1. Too kind <3 I hope you had a wonderful valentines, Adrian and I hung out - it was really nice πŸ˜€

      To be honest, I probably wouldn't do my own makeup for my wedding. Knowing me, I'd be too stressed out πŸ˜‰

  23. Hi Karima! Love this video. I’ve been experimenting with different forms of application as well. For the “pressing” motion, I have a suggestion for those who are germophobes and hate using their hands for whatever reasons. Flat sponges, like those found in BB Cushion compacts work well. I’ve used a grand total of one compact because I felt the amount of product was not worth its price, but apparently the sponge is what makes the application so even, which is why it’s such a hot seller here in Asia!

      1. It is! Honestly the formulation is quite similar to most BB Creams, but I think the way it’s designed is really genius! (And idiot proof)

      1. Dammit woman, your technique really works. I have always thought of myself as a patient person, until I tried this pitter-patter technique. It made me want to scream! I usually use a brush and go at it like Jackson Pollack. Like, “camoflage my face already, magic paint”. But if I can reign that in and do the pitter-patter, the reward is perfected skin, OMG!

  24. Karima! I just tried this technique today and I am in love! I totally understand why you put on foundation this way! The foundation has a more natural finish and looks like my skin but better. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, I’ll have a hard time going back to any of my brushes or beauty blender now that I know this technique!

  25. I was wondering if you could explain why you prefer the more high end foundations to drugstore. I usually wear tinted moisturizer but I am looking for a foundation that will look great for special occasions and when I know I will be photographed. Do you think I should invest in something I will only wear occasionally or go for drugstore?

    1. Hey Amanda,
      I tend to find better shade matches in department stores as opposed to drugstores. If you can find an spf free (important for photography) foundation at the drugstore that matches your skintone, then why not.

  26. KARIMA! This is a fantastic video – I love learning new techniques, and your foundation looks flawless πŸ™‚

    Also, KGD Aqua in 213 (well, actually BE1 in the older version – they’re the same shade per KGD customer service) is the best match I’ve ever found for my skin. It is such a great shade for me – neutralizes redness really well, blends in to my skin perfectly, and does a really excellent job of harmonizing my face to the rest of my body.

    I think you mentioned in another video that 213 is one of the best matches you’ve found as well, so we’re probably skintwins πŸ™‚ I’m always looking for more foundations & concealers that match really well – do you have any suggestions (any brand or price point) that I should check out? Especially concealer – I usually mix a tiny dot of green concealer into anything I use, which works decently, but I’d love to find an off-the-shelf good match!

    1. Hey Emi πŸ™‚
      We must be skin twins! Perhaps the only foundation that *really* meshes my face tones to my olive neck and chest. It’s a bit dark in winter but a little dot of white foundation isn’t difficult.

      Perhaps the only other foundation I’ve tried that is a true ‘cool yellow’ is the SUQQU Frame Fix in 002, although that is a shade or two lighter than KGD 213. MAC Prolonger in NC20 is also a relatively cool yellow.

      It’s hard to find though :-/ Mostly olive shades are two shades too deep for me.


      1. Thank you so much for the reply, I’ll check out the MAC just for another option. Maybe someday I’ll try the Suqqu too – though I’m pretty hesitant to buy foundation blind. At least the KGD is a lovely formula, I would be so bummed if my choices were bad match/good formula & good match/terrible formula.

  27. Hi Karima,

    Love the tutorial! I like how meticulous you are about applying your base, always natural-looking. Do you have any recommendations for a perfecting primer? Something that makes your skin look poreless but is forgiving on textured, slightly flaky skin? Also, what concealers (both for dark circles and spots) are the most skin-like but has decent coverage? Maybe more highlighting for under the eyes?

    Thanks a bunch! Xx

    1. Hey Elizabeth πŸ™‚

      I’m thrilled you like the tutorial! As I mentioned, I’m not much of a primer person. What have you tried so far? If you’re looking to disguise pores, you might like a silicone based smoothing primer (Hourglass Veil, Benefit Porefessional and the like).

      Concealer wise, a very skin-like option for undereyes is the Clarins Instant Concealer. For blemishes/spots, my favourites are the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage (much drier in texture) and the Dermablend Fluid Corrective (which I’ve reviewed on this site, do a search).

      Hope this helps!

  28. Karima, your tutorials have become indispensable for me, your product recommendations so precious! my question is: i know you are using a discontinued chanel brush for concealing imperfections, but if you were to buy one now, which one would you choose? thank you, look forward every time you put together something for us.

    1. Hey Nadia,
      I’m so humbled, thank you πŸ™‚ In terms of concealer brushes, I haven’t found a substitute for the Chanel brush but I’ll also use a very fine eyeliner brush for concealing, that is my next best option.

  29. Wow, Karima, your videos are so wonderful. Your techniques are very unique to most of the other things I see on youtube, I love your minimalistic approach! Thank you for reminding us that we don’t have to mask our skin πŸ™‚
    How do you think the Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation would go on dry skin? I was thinking of getting the Maifanshi Moisture foundation after reading drivelaboutfrivol rave about it, so I’m trying to decide between the two. My skin is so weird, it’s so dry and textured but I struggle to get moisturiser to sink in. Yet when I use a supposedly moisturising foundation like the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum it either decides to just sit awkwardly on my skin looking very wet and not melting in with my skin, or the moisture will get absorbed by my skin very fast and I’ll be left with blotchy pigment that won’t sit smoothly on my textured nose, and after a few hours there’ll be nothing left on my face. :/ Pain in the butt.

    Anyway, I’ve gone very off the point here. I was actually commenting to tell you how lovely your taste in music is. What is the song in this video?

    Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Orla,
      I think the Koh Gen Do Aqua would work quite well on dry skin (I have dehydrated skin and find it to be very forgiving). Kate is a good person to ask if you do have very dry skin.
      Are you sure your skin is genuinely dry? It sounds like your have dehydration issues.

      The song in the video is by Amarante, if you click the link on the video, I left the song details in the youtube description box πŸ™‚


    2. Hi Orla, I have eczema which means that my skin cells lack the ability to retain water. I have the same issue with my foundation, where my skin quickly absorbs all the moisture out of it and I’m left with pigment. One simple thing I’ve done which has made a big difference is to leave my face pretty wet after washing it and putting my moisturizer on top of the water. This allows the skin to absorb all the water and the moisturizer creates a barrier. You wouldn’t think something so easy would make such a difference but it does for me. Hope this helps!

  30. I am so happy to finally see this video! I kept worrying I’d missed it on your channel and completely forgot to check the blog (which is a shame because your posts are consistently excellent; I legit couldn’t purchase Haku brushes without your posts). I feel very validated at the moment because this is almost what I’ve been doing for work lately, except I use concealer instead of foundation (because I’m lazy and I do my makeup parked at work likt 85% of the time) and apply to my undereye, around the nose and mouth, chin and a teeny bit between the brows, leaving my cheeks and nose completely bare. Also, I use a brush as a final touch to be 100% certain it’s blended properly but lately I’ve been noticing more and more how counterintuitive it is when I need to properly conceal something.

    Anyway, the real point of this comment is to share that, when I was looking at the last picture, I thought “it looks like she kind of has upper lip hair? AM I NOT ALONE? but no, she probably doesn’t in that “lucky-as-shit-not-to-be-hairy-everywhere” way, so when I finally scrolled down to your comment, I lol’d pretty damn hard.

    All this to say I lol’d.

    Go forth and continue being excellent!

  31. Hey Karima,

    i’m with you on not overdoing on the foundation, and letting skin be skin. However, Asians have a very different notion of beauty, and there is still that obsession over perfection. So kudos on putting this message out there!

  32. I know I’m a bit late to watch this tutorial But seriously you made my day !
    I love Every thing about you! I admire your techniques and your philosophy in makeup .

    If you can allow me to say that YOU and Lisa Eldridge are my favorite makeup Artists ever !
    You are such an inspiration and whenever you upload a new video .. You really really make my day <3

    I really love you Karima <3

    Lots of love From Egypt ! <3 πŸ˜‰ xo

  33. Karima I absolutely adore this video. I literally come back to it (and the matching post) every few months after become increasingly frustrated by foundation.
    I’m relatively oily so its near impossible for me to find an oil free foundation that will give me “skin” and not “you must have acne and need paint”.
    Any suggestions for a foundation that won’t grease up too quickly? I have a good primer, but just want to be able to relax a bit with my application. You’re a makeup goddess xx

  34. Hello!
    These are so useful thank you πŸ™‚
    I was wondering what I could use as I have combination skin so sometimes it goes flaky like crazy and other times the oil is really bad so I tend to get breakouts. Whats the best liquid foundation would you recommend? Thank you XX

    1. Hey Anastasiya,
      Based on your description, it sounds like you have dehydrated skin prone to flakiness. What’s your skincare routine? I think this issue is best addressed at the skincare stage.

  35. Hi Karima,

    Greetings from a Sydneysider in Milan!

    I was wondering if you have ever used the Ellis Faas Skin Veil foundation. I’m not a huge fan of foundation in general but I find that Skin Veil makes me look like I have nothing on but just incredible skin.

    I absolutely love your blog: you have so many useful tips and I’ve learnt so much!

    1. Hey Jenn πŸ™‚
      I love the texture and finish of the Ellis Faas Veil but sadly, I don’t have a decent shade match πŸ™ Too peachy for my olive skin!
      So pleased you like the blog πŸ˜‰

  36. Hi Karima, I tried your pressing method after watching the video and it is life-changing! It take a bit longer but the results are totally worth it. I also tried using the same pressing motion but with the shiseido foundation brush instead of fingers and it speeds up the process a bit while still giving a similar effect. I have watched many “foundation routines” but yours is definitely the most insightful!

    I have a question about the diaphanous powder, in your opinion how does it compare with the Nars light reflecting loose powder and is it significantly better? I’m using the Nars at the moment but am seriously tempted by the RBR powder. I see that it is back in stock on the RBR website and I am deciding whether I should order it along with the RBR eyeshadows I’m eye-ing πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Joyce!
      Great to hear πŸ™‚ I’m so pleased that this technique is working for some of you guys πŸ˜€
      I actually haven’t tried the NARS powder so I can’t compare, maybe someone can chime in here.

  37. Karima, thanks for your helpful posts! I used to hate foundations and only applied a bit of concealer under the eyes and around the nose, but I can do better now owing to your tutorials. I also bought Lasting Silk in the same shade as yours. It does stay put on the nose, something I experience for the first time, it also looks like skin, only it gives me a slightly dull appearance or is it that I’m not used to such a polished central part of the face. I also have to practice patting with more patience. Keep up your excellent work!

    1. Hi πŸ™‚
      Glad to hear you’ve had success with this technique! In regards to the dull appearance, it could be that you’re not used to such a polished base OR it could be that the foundation is more matte than your natural skin.

  38. Karima, I’d be really interested what your judgement on the new MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation would be, as it seems to be very skin-like and light-weight. The reason being, I agree with your foundation philosophy and our tastes and expectations in terms of foundation performance are very much alike.

  39. Karima! Your patting motion for foundation is game changing! I was thinking of throwing out my Bourgeis Healthy Mix Serum foundation because it looked all foundation-y/ashy on my yellowish skin but your technique totally changed the look of it! Thank you!

    1. I have Lasting Silk in 4 and Koh Gen Do Aqua in 113. Both match me great! And also, I find Koh Gen Do to be more forgiving in terms of shade due to its heavenly consistency.

  40. Karima you are a goddess! Thank you for being beautiful inside and out. I also love that you do not cake on foundation like many a YouTube “beauty guru”- I haven’t seen anyone do makeup better than yourself.
    I have a question- I believe we are skin twins, as I’m a 213 in Koh Gen Do as well (that’s how I initially found you- by googling olive skin foundations). What shade in Luminous Silk could you recommend? I’m ready to go for what you use because we have the same skin- so I’m just wondering now what the difference between a 4 and 4.5 would be for me. I know you have both 4 and 5 in Luminous so any advice would be appreciated!

    1. Hey Bee,
      Off the top of my head, Koh Gen Do Aqua in 213 is closest to Armani Luminous Silk in 4.5. That being said, Luminous Silk 4.5 isn’t olive (more neutral) so keep that in mind.

  41. Hi Karima! I was wondering if you’ve tried any of the balms that are meant to act like powders, without leaving the skin looking powder-y. The Mally Beauty Face Defender and Eve Pearl Powerless Powder in particular seem intriguing.