Whether you’re covering an errant bruise, concealing a birthmark or just want to even out your skin tone overall, applying foundation to your body is a great way to do it. And although many of the same foundation application rules still apply, there are a few things to know about body foundation — like which colors you shouldn’t wear and how long it’s safe to wear it — before you jump right in. For the full breakdown, we tapped makeup artist Andrew Velázquez who shares his best tips for achieving a smooth, transfer-resistant finish.


First things first, identify what it is you need to cover — whether it’s a birthmark, a tattoo or an uneven suntan. That will help you choose the best technique and help you decide on the kind of foundation you need. If you need both coverage and have discoloration, Velázquez recommends adding a color corrector to the mix, too. For example, a dark mole or birthmark calls for a peachy-toned corrector like Urban Decay Color Correcting Fluid, which will help the foundation to completely cover the spot when layered on top. It’s also a good idea to choose a foundation designed specifically for your body like Dermablend Leg and Body Makeup, which has high-performance pigments and is smudge- and transfer-resistant.


Prep Is the Most Important Step

Prepare your canvas by exfoliating during a shower, says Velázquez. This will help to remove dead skin cells as well as any product residue like tanner. Next, moisturize and prime the area using Dermablend Insta Grip Jelly Primer, which will help the makeup adhere to the area until you’re ready to remove it.


Color Selection Is Key

When choosing a shade of body foundation, don’t immediately reach for the same shade as your face. Instead, try to match the skin closest to the area you’re trying to cover. If you need to cover a larger area, Velázquez recommends matching your legs, arms, neck and back. To find the perfect hue, “hold up several shades in warm and cool tones next to the body area you want to cover and choose two that match the best, then mix and customize to your skin complexion”, says Velázquez, who adds that it will help ensure a skin-like finish. If you can’t choose, pop over to your local makeup counter and ask — nothing beats a professional opinion.


Brush It Up!

Although you likely have your blending skills down pat, Velázquez tends to stay away from beauty sponges when applying body foundation. He recommends using your hands or a large buffing brush like IT Brushes for Ulta All Over Powder Brush #211 instead. Once you’ve applied your body foundation, it’s crucial to set it with a powder like Dermablend Illuminating Setting Powder to lock it all into place.


Whatever You Do, Avoid Wearing White.

No matter how transfer-proof your foundation is, Velázquez cautions against wearing white. Even with all the primers and setting sprays, makeup is makeup and it will eventually come off throughout the day.


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