Mix Your Makeup for a Custom Glow

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on September 19, 2013
From the WebMD Archives

Does your makeup match your skin? If not, try these pro tips to get a more natural shade that fits you better.

Be a Glow-Getter

Boost the glowing effect of your makeup by mixing your liquid foundation with a drop of a radiance-boosting serum.

To ensure an even blend, add one or two pumps of each product to the back of your hand, mix it with your finger, and apply with a foundation brush.

Use Bronzer With Blush

Bronzer gives your skin a warmer look, while blush adds color and shape to the cheeks.

Dust bronzer at your hairline, across your cheekbones, and on your neck. Apply blush only to the apples of your cheeks. To ensure the colors blend flawlessly after you've applied them, use an oversized, clean powder brush or a makeup sponge to blend and sweep away any extra makeup.

Makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor, who has worked with stars such as Anne Hathaway, Kerry Washington, and Jennifer Lawrence, recommends blending your foundation with skin treatments that have "primer-like" effects. A bonus: They can make your skin look better when you're not wearing them, too.

Think BB creams and tinted moisturizers, which can ease redness, enhance sallow complexions, and balance out uneven pigmentation. The barely-there tints can give you glowing skin, and the silky finish helps your foundation go on smoothly.

Pair Like With Like

If you use an oil-free moisturizer, pair it with an oil-free foundation.

If you use a richer or anti-aging moisturizer, pair it with a moisturizing foundation.

Dark Skin Secret

If you have a dark or olive skin tone, you may have trouble finding the perfect foundation match. The solution: Mix several together.

"Women with dark skin should have two or three foundations that they can blend on the face to create a more natural-looking foundation with greater dimension," says celebrity makeup artist Scott Barnes. Dark skin often has two or three tones.

"When applying foundation [with a brush or sponge], you want to try to mimic the natural coloring of these different tones," Barnes says. Otherwise, your makeup could look unnatural and too light or too dark overall.

Fast Fix

You don't have all morning to apply and blend your makeup. Spot-conceal instead by applying concealer only where it's really needed, such as under your eyes, around the sides of your nostrils, and over any blemishes.

"Just make sure you blend these places really well," Barnes says. "Adding a quick dusting of translucent powder on top will help with this."

Blend for a Smoky Eye

To ace this look, you should blend a couple of colors together instead of using just one gray or black shade.

"Using a warmer eye shadow for the base is a good idea if you also intend to use darker colors to create a ‘smoky’ look," Barnes says. "The warmer color helps soften the look overall by blending the line between the darker and lighter sections of the eye."

For example, start by applying gold eye-shadow on your lid, in the crease, and under the eye. This creates warmth and brings out your eye color. Then layer burgundy eye shadow over the gold in the crease of the eye to create more dimension.

Show Sources


Andrew Sotomayor, celebrity makeup artist/DIY beauty expert.

Scott Barnes, makeup artist; author, About Face, Fair Winds Press, 2010.

© 2013 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. View privacy policy and trust info