how-to: flawless foundation

by Kishana Naidoo

Do you ever spend 5948 hours doing your makeup, only to take a picture and find that your concealer is creasing, foundation is caking & your "mattifying" powder ain't mattifying anything. 

Me too. 


In this blogpost I share my favourite ways to ensure my makeup glides overtop my skin, looks flawless & stays that way, all day.


1. Exfoliation & Hydration

This is pretty self explanatory, you cannot expect foundation to glide overtop dry & rough skin. 

Slough off those dead skin cells! You can use an enzyme exfoliator, facial cleansing brush ( I know clicks & dischem stock some decent ones ) or my favourite, a pore cleansing pad. To sum it up this tool does the job, lasts forever & most importantly - it is super hygienic. 


Moisturizing is simple, you know what works for your skin. I use Olay. So did my mother & her mother & her mother. You get the point, its been around for generations & IT WORKS! I use the pink bottle ( its extra hydrating ) its lightweight and isn't loaded with fancy ingredients that claim to do things, then don't. 

My trick is locking in that moisture using an beauty oil. Not the kind that sits on top of your skin & makes you look shiny, but a lightweight formula thats easy for your skin to drink up.  


2. Starting off slow

What a lot of us tend to do is take a whole dollop of foundation, slap it on and expect to blend it away for it to look flawless. NO

Start off with a small amount, buff it in and build up coverage. You will be left with a second skin effect, instead of a mask effect.


3. Tools 

They say "A sloppy workman blames his tools"

While that may be true, it doesn't mean that a good workman needs to have crappy tools! 

I kid you not, there is no better feeling than finding "the one" 

The foundation applicator that does it all, ticks every box.

While I am a rabid fan of my beauty blender, the fact that you have to replace it ( at R300 ) EVERY 3 months is a major turn off. Also, the fact that you have got to dampen it before every use is a big no no for me because 1. its time consuming, when I'm doing my makeup in a rush I don't want to be wasting time unnecessarily and 2. Everyone knows wet sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria, ew. 

SwiitchBeauty stocks some great foundation brushes, my favorite of which is the LuxeSphere. There is something about the density of the bristles that always leaves me with an airbrushed finish. Aside from the fact that it is very regal looking & its shape lets you get a good grip when you're buffing in product - the tool does the job, and it does it well. 


 We also sell the #S19TotalBuffer, this is also a stunning foundation applicator.

4. Don't ever use a brush full of old foundation! 

You know this ladies. If your brush is caked up with old foundation and you're trying to apply a fresh coat you're going to end up with a streaky mess. 

Just. don't. do. it. 

5. How to set face powder without looking like a crazy, cakey hot mess! ( Source: 


I spent my first, formative makeup-using years thinking dewy skin was the devil. I would PACK. ON. THAT. POWDER. If matte skin had a poster girl for the years of 2001-2004, it was my teenage face. The particular product I had was also two shades too light for my skin tone, so not only did I look like a chalky, overdone terror, i also looked like I was celebrating Halloween all year round. Special s/o to Mum for not telling me I looked ridiculous!

Thing is, because my introduction to powder was go hard and fast and take no prisoners, I was pretty put off by the product once I worked out that the all over the face look was not good. So for a few years I refused to touch the stuff. But the reality was, powder wasn’t the enemy here. It was a) how I was using it, and b) the product I was using wasn’t right for me. Now, over a decade later, powder is a mainstay in my beauty bag and I use it every single day.

Plenty of people are still put off by it though. Or using it in the completely wrong way. So I figured I’d try and convince powder cynics that, if you use the right product the right way, you’ll find your makeup lasts longer, you’re shine free and – biggest benefit – it all looks incredibly flawless.

In my opinion the best powder from a suit-anyone perspective is one that’s translucent, loose, and has a sort of soft-focus finish thanks to some light illuminating elements. You honestly can’t go wrong with one along these lines. Translucent powders can vary in color – many are white, but don’t be put off by that. They don’t apply white unless you pack it on like crazy (we’ll get to that in a sec). Others are beige, or slightly pink/peach. But generally if it says translucent it should go on without depositing any noticeable color.

Now, I say loose because I find loose powder is more versatile than a compact. Compacts are FAB for a party clutch or your handbag, like on the go stuff. Loose powder can be used more heavily on top of concealer, as well as to set makeup in general, so that’s why I prefer it.

If you’ve got really oily skin, you can skip over my ‘soft focus’ suggestion and go for the heavy duty mattifying powders if you like. The reason I’m for a soft focus finish is, because it lets the texture of your foundation shine through. Basically, you can still look dewy and glowy, but anyone with oily skin who really needs some control would probably say their skin is glowy ENOUGH thank you very much.

The biggest mistake I was making as a teen was literally wiping that powder across my face with the complimentary powder puff. Which, side note, was never meant to be used as a bloody FACE WIPE. It’s to pat powder on – and while it’s not my tool of choice  when you use it properly it can still give a good finish. Basically, powder doesn’t need to be applied and applied and applied until your face cracks when you smile. Think of it as more of a little added extra as opposed to part of your base coverage. Some swear by only adding it to oil prone areas like the t-zone. I personally apply it all over my face, because I have a weird thing where all my foundation disappears in like, 2 hours if I don’t really set. One thing everyone who uses powder effectively will tell you is – start light. Only use what is absolutely needed! And don’t buff it in, powder is meant to be dusted on gently. Dabbing your brush into the loose powder, tapping off excess, and lightly dusting what is left across your face should do, to be honest, with maybe one more go over the t-zone.


If you find your face looking overly powdery / cakey - try spritzing some hydrating makeup setting spray over the top!