1. Prep Properly
"A primer fills in pores and fine lines so that foundation glides on evenly instead of sinking into imperfections," says makeup artist Joanna Schlip. But using a primer, a moisturizer, a sunscreen, and a foundation results in too many layers - and a cakey finish. Instead, choose a multitasker to prep your skin, like triple-duty Stila Hydrating Primer with SPF 20 ($34, Sephora).
2. Lay the Right Base
Picking the right foundation shade and formula guarantees a natural, not masklike, result. "A yellowy-beige - based color works for most women," says celebrity makeup artist Sarah Lucero, "and on aging skin, liquid formulas are more forgiving than powders." To find the right hue, swipe some on the side of your nose, the area that tends to have the most discoloration. Use a finger to blend; then evaluate. If you're between shades, go slightly darker; a too-light base makes skin look ashen.
Related: The Clear Skin Makeover
3. Soften Lines
A subtle touch of luminescence makes fine lines look less apparent. For foolproof application, "mix one part liquid luminizer to two parts foundation. There is no risk of overdoing one spot, since you'll be applying it all over your face, " says Lucero. Choose a luminizer with a warm golden base: Try Sonia Kashuk Super Sheer Shimmering Highlighter ($10, Target).
Related: Nine Skin-Care Mistakes
4. Conceal Correctly
To hide undereye circles, select a cream concealer like Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer ($22, department stores). A hydrating formula helps keep the product from sinking into and highlighting wrinkles. Save stick concealers, which are drier, for covering imperfections like sunspots elsewhere on your face. In any case, apply concealer after foundation: Your skin will already look more even, so you'll be inclined to use less.
Related: The Dry-Skin Workbook
5. Blend at the End
Sweep a clean kabuki brush across your entire face after applying all your makeup, including blush or powder, for a truly flawless finish. The wide diameter and flat bristles make it excellent for seamlessly blending any residual product or lines of demarcation, says Schlip. Try Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Airbrushing Kabuki Brush ($11, drugstores).
Tell us: What's your skincare regime like?
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