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Do you apply foundation in a way that minimizes movement of your sunscreen?

If I’m going out during the day, as in when there’s ANY significant sunlight, I’ll wear sunscreen under my foundation. This includes if I go out at like 6:00 pm and the sun sets at 7:00 pm haha. Yes, I know I’m crazy. For reference, I wear a mineral-sunscreen mixed with a bit of mattifying primer with SPF. I wait for that to dry, which takes about 10 minutes, before moving on to foundation.

Then, I always apply foundation with a Sigma F80 or F84; basically a flat or angled kabuki brush. And I lightly stipple on my foundation. I never, EVER buff because that’ll risk moving or even removing the sunscreen underneath. I know that takes a bit longer to blend, but if that keeps my sunscreen intact, I’m willing to do it.

Just as a side note, because of the way I apply foundation, I tend to use true liquid foundations that don’t set too quickly. Therefore, things like the YSL Teint Resist, which sets very quickly (and gives a slightly chalky initial finish) are off the list. Furthermore, I know that I’ve raved about the Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation before, and while I still like it, I don’t reach for it anymore because that product requires too much work. Because it’s quite thick, I have to rub it around a lot, which will ruin my sunscreen.

I’ll probably just list all the foundations I’ve tried and all my notes on them in the future, just to give you guys a foundation guideline/map. Maybe I’ll do corresponding YT videos… Let me know if you guys want to see that.

About John

The Triple Helixian is an unbiased science and research-based site that attempts to clarify and elucidate questions about skin care, while aspiring to be the most thorough and complete source of information.


24 thoughts on “Do you apply foundation in a way that minimizes movement of your sunscreen?

  1. Since reading your post, I’ve been a lot more careful about applying anything on top of my sunscreen. I like to use a light dusting of loose powder to take the extra shine off. Thanks for the post!

    Posted by BooBooNinja | May 2, 2012, 9:44 pm
  2. You make me think about things in ways I haven’t considered before.

    I suspect I don’t wait long enough between applications of things and I have only ever applied foundation (well I usually use tinted moisturiser with a tiny squirt of foundation in it to improve the colour match) with my hands. I am yet to find a sunscreen that doesn’t sting my eyes. I had a good routine going, but since I started using the PC AHA/BHA in the morning, I have managed to omit the sunscreen step and just use BB cream – which I don’t like but am waiting for the tube to finish. I bought a sunscreen recently but it irritated me so much that I haven’t replaced it.
    We are heading into winter here, so sunscreen is not at the forefront of my mind.

    Foundation just doesn’t do it for me. No matter what I try it just looks too mask like. I have a couple of broken capilliaries that I like to cover and shocking dark circles under my eyes, but even those are not incentive enough for me to be comfortable looking so ‘even’. Weird I know, but I prefer to see freckles and skin (on me, others seem to pull it off well).

    Posted by Melinda | May 2, 2012, 2:32 pm
    • Well I’m glad that I could make you consider things from a different POV.

      Sorry to hear about the sunscreen issue, and I believe I’ve told you this before, but go for mineral based ones. Also, I’m sure you know this, but UVA rays are strong year around, despite being cloudy. I’d suggest wearing sunscreen, when you find one! :), all the time. 🙂

      I’m not sure what brands and products you’ve tried and what’s available in your country, but there are many foundations that look fantastic, light, and natural. But hey, if you like seeing freckles, and you don’t have a lot of redness, that’s great!

      Posted by John | May 2, 2012, 9:36 pm
      • Thanks John. I have looked for mineral sunscreens here, but nothing really stands out – but I will keep looking.

        I am fortunate that I don’t have to go out in the sun if I don’t want to (work from home, keep my own hours) so I tend to avoid the worst times of the day and wear a hat and long sleeves/long pants.

        I really just want to find my HG tinted moisturiser and find a treatment that actually works to remove the two obvious broken capillaries I have had three (or four) sessions of IPL on them and nothing changed – although I must say it was awesome for the pimples that I had at the time – they were gone the next day! Some smaller veins went too, just not my two cheek ones which are very stubborn. I think maybe I need to consider tinted moisturiser and a really good concealer. The other issue is that makeup wears off on me really quickly. I am destined to be relatively makeup free, so I think the best thing is to improve my skin.

        Posted by Melinda | May 10, 2012, 2:55 pm
        • That’s fine Melinda! I can’t even begin to imagine how hot your climate is! I’m pretty sure I’d die… if the rattlesnakes, scorpions, sharks, or spiders haven’t kill me first. Lol!

          But yeah, an excellent TM and concealer sounds great for an everday thing. I actually for the past week, have been only applying sunscreen mixed with a bit of primer, a light dusting of powder and some powder contour, when I go out during the day. And I’m absolutely loving how my skin looks and how easy my routine is! It’s also so much less work! I don’t have to worry about how my face looks throughout the day. 🙂

          I guess that goes to show that either my standards have gotten lower (which I hope not), or that my skin is really getting to the point where I don’t need any coverage at all! *Dances*

          Who knows? Maybe if I bump into one of the readers someday, he/she can tell me. Haha.

          Posted by John | May 10, 2012, 3:50 pm
          • That’s a cool idea – sunscreen and primer! I had a fleeting thought about powder too. I used one of those mineral foundations for awhile and I looked like a….(someone’s perfectly made up mother) but maybe there is a light powder that may do the trick. What do you use? I’m not troubled by oiliness, however, now that I remember summer (the horror, the horror) my face sweats like crazy.

            Rattlesnakes and Scorpions???? Sharks will only bother you if you do silly things like swim in the ocean – eww, sand and sun and stuff – I soooo belong in another country.

            Winter is just around the corner – yay, my favourite two weeks of the year 🙂

            Posted by Melinda | May 12, 2012, 1:45 am
            • Well, mineral makeup is the same as powder makeup. All use some form of “mineral” whether it’s talc, mica, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide, amongst other things. So if you like that powder/mineral foundation, why not just use a bit to set your face and give you a bit of coverage?

              But if you’re still curious about what I use, my favorite pressed powder for setting both sunscreen and foundation is the Bobbi Brown Sheer Finished Pressed Powder. As for loose powder, I’m still testing out several. I’ll be sure to do a post when I find my favorite complete “routine.” I want to keep this blog limited to mostly skin care, but I’ll occasionally write about makeup. 🙂

              Lol! That’s just the kind of stuff I think of when I imagine where you live: wild, scary, and deadly animals… Haha! And wow, I couldn’t imagine only having two weeks of “cold” weather. I’d go crazy. xD

              Posted by John | May 12, 2012, 7:12 am
  3. I don’t use foundation that often for two reasons: first because I don’t own a liquid foundation, and second because the powder one I own doesn’t match my skin tone that well.
    I’m very pale so finding a foundation that matches my tone is hell, the only one I came across was from Dior, cost 80€ and it’s texture wasn’t that great.
    The powder one I bought in a MAC store in Budapest, the thing is it looked fine there, but here in Portugal the light is different and one can see it is darker than it should be. So when I use it I have a very light hand. Luckily my skin has been ok lately, not much redness or breakouts so I don’t mind not using foundation, I just use little bit of blot powder in the places that need it.
    That being said, when I have samples I just use my fingers and lightly press a sponge in the end if needed, to take out any excess. The powder one I apply gently with a fluffy big brush.

    Posted by Ana | May 1, 2012, 5:49 pm
    • Well I’m guessing that your skin is good enough that you don’t have to wear foundation. Lucky you! As for having really light skin, you should check out this video that Lisa Eldridge did about liquid foundations that have really pale shades. Here’s the link:

      See if any of those are available to you. Since Lisa is based in the UK, the brands she mentions might be more accessible to you.

      Posted by John | May 1, 2012, 8:50 pm
      • My mother doesn’t use make up, so when my acne was bad in my teens I never had access to it, now my skin might not be perfect but I’m not bothered by it anymore. Guess if I survived those years without foundation now I mustn’t need it that much either.
        Thank you, I’ve already seen it, love Lisa :). The problem seems to be that brands must think everyone here is very tanned so they never bring the lighter colors in their ranges. Except for some of the more high end brands, and I must confess in those cases I rather spend it in skin care, why hide it if you can make it better? 😉

        Posted by Ana | May 2, 2012, 3:33 am
        • Well, I mean, as you know, I had awful skin too when I was younger, and I still find that foundation just makes everything look SO much better. But hey, if you are good with your skin, that’s great! But yeah, isn’t Lisa great? She has so much knowledge when it comes to makeup.

          Isn’t Bourjois considered like “drugstore,” meaning that it’s cheaper? Maybe you could try that?

          Posted by John | May 2, 2012, 1:51 pm
          • Well everyone looks better with makeup, I might not use foundation but I always do 2 simple things: filling in my brows and using a little of highlighter and if for some reason I forget or don’t have the time to do it people usually ask me if I’m sick. It’s very awkward how minimal details make people perceive us so differently.
            Yes it is, but there aren’t as many shades available here as in UK 😦
            I’ve been thinking about buying a BB cream online though, color match isn’t as critical once it is very sheer and I don’t like heavy coverage anyway , plus asians tend to like fair skin so I guess I might have some luck with their products 🙂

            Posted by Ana | May 2, 2012, 3:10 pm
            • Haha yeah makeup is amazing! Yeah for me too, brows > foundation. If I don’t fill in my brows, my face just looks… boring. xD

              And if you find a BB cream AKA a tinted moisturizer that works for you, then yay!

              Posted by John | May 2, 2012, 9:38 pm
  4. I buff foundation powder after applying sunscreen. Would buffing powder help to remove the sunscreen too?

    Posted by Vanessa | May 1, 2012, 9:36 am
    • Well as long as you use a really light hand, the buffing action of just powder should be okay. Have you ever tried using the “tap and roll” method? That’s how I apply powder, because instead of swirling the powder, I’m more pressing it in to the skin. It really helps set my foundation and sunscreen better. But it’s completely up to you!

      Posted by John | May 1, 2012, 2:13 pm
  5. Hey, the sunscreen is the really important part; I don’t blame you for being careful!

    Posted by ladyisla | April 30, 2012, 5:49 pm
    • Yeah I’m quite OCD about that. How do you apply foundation? Any favorites/favorite tools?

      Posted by John | April 30, 2012, 9:23 pm
      • When I do apply foundation (not that often) I just use a cosmetic wedge…I’ve thought about a foundation brush because the wedge is messy and absorbs too much (and doesn’t cover much area at a time)…but a brush would probably move the sunscreen around too…stippling seems like the best idea! I might need to invest in a good kabuki for those occasions when I do use foundation.

        I usually apply tinted moisturizer that way too (with a wedge) but I usually end up using fingers after the wedge gets too saturated/messy.

        Posted by ladyisla | April 30, 2012, 10:10 pm
        • Lucky you, not having to wear foundation! The Sigma brushes really are fantastic! I’m sure you see a lot of gurus on YT rave about Sigma, but the synthetic (SigMax) brush really are fantastic. Super dense and super soft. They don’t absorb a lot of product, are easy to clean, and don’t shed. I can’t speak of their natural hair brushes though.

          They have a Mr. and Mrs. Bunny set that has all kinds of brushes with the SigMax synthetic hairs. 🙂 I own the Mr. Bunny Travel Set since I don’t need a million brushes.

          Posted by John | April 30, 2012, 11:12 pm

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