- Concealing: Choose a creamy, easy-to-blend formulation in a shade lighter than your skin tone, and look for something with a yellowish undertone to help neutralize the purple tones common in undereye circles. Next, pat the concealer into the skin, allow the product to dry, and repeat if you still need coverage. For some great options, check out MAC and Benefit, the most popular of your favorite concealers of 2009. Tip: For pimples, choose a coverup that's the same shade as your skin.
- Foundation selection tips: If you're not sure what color is appropriate for your skin tone, do a stripe test by applying three (or more) swipes of foundation on your cheek. The one that disappears is your shade. If you've got oily skin, choose a powder-based or oil-free liquid foundation, like Stila Natural Finish Oil-Free Makeup ($38). For dry skin, opt for a mousse, liquid foundation, or tinted moisturizer formulation, like Stila Sheer Tinted Moisturizer ($34).
- The application: Dot your foundation on the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. Using a sponge, begin at the center and work outward, making sure that you're blending downward so that any peach fuzz you might have lies flat. Tip: For more coverage, use a dry sponge and a stippling motion. For less coverage, use a wet sponge with long, smooth strokes.
- The finish: To keep your flawless application from going south, simply allow your foundation to dry, and then lightly blot with a tissue. Next, use a yellow-based powder on the t-zone to set your makeup and reduce shine.