I’ve found that sometimes a flawless base really makes the rest of my makeup look even better, but sometimes it can be hard to achieve it and incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re struggling with acne, have lots of skin texture, large pores and redness. I’ve still quite new to makeup and have only been wearing it properly for the last year and a half but I've tried lots of techniques in that ‘short’ amount of time so that I can achieve that ‘flawless’ base. Now, I’ve struggled with hormonal ‘acne’ for 3 years and it has only recently started to quiet down a little compared to 2 /3 years ago where it was quite ‘severe’.


  • DO remember to wash your face twice a dayI might not have to say this but washing your face both in the morning before makeup and at night when you’ve removed your makeup is essential and can really help your skin to breathe and to unclog pores, especially after heavy makeup, and to also remove dead skin cells which could cause acne to worsen and/ or making your makeup not apply like it should. I recommend exfoliating when needed (or 2-3 times a week so you don’t irritate your skin) and using a cream or foam cleanser on the other days). I first like to wet my face with warm water or hold a warm, damp cloth on my face to open up my pores so that the cleanser can really do its job. To finish, I like to splash some cold water on my face to move any left over residue from the cream or beads from the exfoliator and to close the pores to prevent any dirt, or makeup in the morning, from entering and clogging them. Lastly, ALWAYS remember to moisturise after cleansing as it can sometimes draw out your skin’s natural oils, especially after using a clay mask, which can cause your body to over produce oils to make up for the lost ones, which can sometimes make acne and clogged pores worse.
  • DON’T apply huge amounts of foundation at a time- I used to hate hearing this saying when I first started out with makeup but less REALLY IS more. Applying thick layers of foundation at a time will lead to your base looking ‘cakey’. I recommend building up your foundation in thin layers until you achieve your desired coverage
  • DO apply foundation to the eyelids and brow area- some people don’t like to apply foundation to the eye area but I find it gives the face an even look. Also, it means you, if you do, use less concealer under the eyes, so it looks less cakey and will crease less. The foundation also doubles up as an eyeshadow primer as it is a little tacky which will give the eyeshadows something to adhere to thus preventing fall out.
  • DON’T match your foundation to your face or the back of your hand-  I see a lot of people test foundations to their face or the back of their hand which could lead to the foundation looking like a mask on the skin as it’s unlikely that it’s going to match the rest of your body. I like to put a stripe of foundations along my jawline leading to my neck so I know that my foundation will blend in well with the rest of my body and match it well. Also, I’ve found that the face can sometimes be a little paler than the rest of the body due to exfoliation and SPF. Match your foundation to your neck and/ or chest so that your body looks one colour and you don’t look like you’re wearing a mask.
  • DO remember to remove your makeup before going to bed- Trust me, we’ve all been there: it’s late at night and the task of removing your makeup and washing your face seems like a huge chore, but NEVER sleep in makeup as it causes your pores to get blocked and will, therefore, cause huge amounts of breakouts. If you are having one of those days where you’ve gotten home late and you just want to get into bed and sleep, my tip is to always keep a pack of makeup remover wipes so you never end up sleeping with a full face of makeup.
  • DON’T pick at your blemishes- I’ve learnt the hard way and as a result of that, I’ve been left with scars on my face. I know sometimes it can be tempting to scratch or try to remove them yourself, but resist the urge and you will be glad you did. But if the damage is already done, I like to mix a few teaspoons of baking soda with a little water to form a paste and apply it to the area of the scars and it clears them right up after a couple of uses. Don’t use too often as it could dry out the skin, maybe once every other day, and apply a good, thick moisturiser after.


I have really oily skin in the summer and combination skin in the winter which means I have to switch up a lot of my skincare and base makeup products. It’s important, in my opinion, to switch products every so often so your skin doesn’t get used to the product which could cause them to do less and less good things and eventually do nothing for you.

These are some of the products I've been using at the moment to achieve my ‘flawless base’:


  1. *Garnier Skin Naturals 3-in-1 Wash, Scrub and Mask-                  I mainly use this as a mask as I feel that it benefits my skin more as a mask than it would if I used it as a wash or a scrub. I can really rely on this product to clear up my skin and I really started to notice a difference within days. The salicylic acid in the product really helps to ease breakouts and the pumice, which is a natural exfoliant, removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores. I’ve repurchased this multiple times as I’ve not found another product to top this and it’s still working well with my skin. If you have dry skin, I wouldn’t recommend this product as it can dry out the skin, and as this also gives the skin a matte appearance, I don’t think this is the right product for you.
  2. *Lush Mask Of Magnaminty Self-Preserving Face Mask


Unlike the Garnier one, this mask doesn’t dry down which means it doesn’t leave your skin feeling so tight and stripped of moisture. I use this mask when I'm in the bath as the steam opens my pores and the mask can really do its job. The first time I tried it, it did break me out so I was a little hesitant to try it out again but I’m glad that I did. Not only does this mask work amazingly, it smells delicious; like mint ice cream! After leaving it on for 5-10 minutes, I remove it by scrubbing gently with my hands in circular motions as it does have primrose seeds and abduki beans which means it also doubles up as an exfoliator. I’ve gone through a 125g tub and I’m now half way through a 315g tub. A THING TO KNOW: Lush is a vegetarian company and is 80% vegan. All products are handmade and they use ethically sourced ingredients. Also, lush has fought against the use of animals for testing cosmetics for 20 years and doesn’t use animals to test their products.


Exfoliating Cleansers:

Maybe I shouldn’t do this, but I always use this before applying my makeup as I find that it leaves my skin a lot smoother and less bumpy which could lead to less even foundation coverage.

  1. Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Active Intensive Charcoal Scrub- This product is great for oily skin and is great for creating that smooth base for foundation. I’ve found that this product also helps with any scarring I have on my skin from previous breakouts that I became impatient with and stupidly picked at. This has been working wonders for my skin and has even given me the confidence to go out wearing no base makeup at all which is a huge plus for me!
  2. Lush Ocean Salt Face And Body Scrub-  If you’re looking for a more invigorating and ‘heavy duty’ scrub, this is the scrub for you. As the name suggests, it does have salt as the exfoliant but I’ve found that it can sometimes be too sharp and harsh for the more fleshy areas like the cheeks so I strictly stick to my nose, chin and forehead when using this product. It does leave your skin really smooth but incredibly tight after washing so moisturiser is a MUST.
  3. Lush Dark Angels Fresh Cleanser-   This product is a solid cleanser which means you have to take out a chunk, add a little water to create a paste and then apply to the face and scrub. I find this really good as you can add more water if you want a lighter scrub or add less to create more thick and ‘scrubby’.  This scrub has black sugar and charcoal to exfoliate and rhassoul mud to deeply cleanse. This can get really messy if you’re not careful as it is crumbly and really black in colour but wipes away fairly easily with a wet, soapy cloth.



  1. Lush Tea Tree Toner-   I like to tone before I apply my moisturiser if I'm applying makeup as the tea tree in it gets rid of any bacteria that could cause blemishes. Also, it contains juniperberry which is antiseptic and keeps the skin clean and clear. If I'm going bare faced, I like to keep this near me if I feel like my skin needs a refresh. The packaging on this is one of my favourites as it comes with a spray which produces a fine mist and evenly distributes the toner perfectly all over the face, but if you want a more precise application, pour or spray a little onto a cotton round/pad and swipe onto the desired area. Tea tree works great with my skin and really helps to get rid of any blemishes and/ or redness that I may have.



It’s important to moisturise before doing your makeup so that your foundation and concealer doesn’t cling to any dry patches that you may have and also to create a soft and smooth base.

  1. Clean And Clear Dual Action Moisturiser- I like Clean and Clear products a lot because they always work how they say that they should. I always go for oil free moisturisers as I feel like they work better for my skin. I use this both in the morning and at night after cleansing as it always makes my skin soft and puts the moisture back in my skin that the cleansers might have drawn out. It comes with 100ml of product and I find that I’m going through it really quickly. I don’t know whether it’s because I use too much or something, but I feel myself going through 100ml of product in a few weeks, especially now because it’s still cold in England.



It is good to use primers as they create a smooth canvas for your foundation. My favourites are silicon based primers as I find they fill in pores, smooth over skin texture. Also, they provide a tacky base for your foundation to stick and adhere to which increases the longevity of it. Lastly, the create a barrier between your foundation and skin to prevent any clogged pores you might get.

  1. L’Oréal Paris Infallible Mattifying Primer- This primer is a silicon primer which, like I said in the little intro, means it fills in pores and smooths skin texture. I was searching for a mattifying primer to help with my oils. If you struggle to get your foundation to look smooth and not to sink into your pores I would recommend this primer. it doesn’t feel greasy or slippery on the skin and it is tacky to the touch which is what you want to keep your foundation on all day.
  2. Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm-   I’ve already done a fully and in depth review of this product on this blog so I won’t ramble on too much so I don’t risk repeating myself. This is great for if you have oily skin as I've found that it stops the oils from coming through to your foundation and making you look shiny. Like the L’Oréal one, this dries tacky which is great to adhere your foundation to. This does have a scent so if you’re sensitive to smells, this may not be the product for you. It does go away when you apply your base makeup but I probably wouldn’t recommend if you’re sensitive.
  3. Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer for Normal to  Combination Skin- I like this primer because it is specifically made for certain skin type. I have the normal to combination skin (blue packaging) but there is also one made for dry skin (pink packaging). In the summer when my skin didn’t need as much hydration, I doubled this up as my primer and moisturiser and it worked really well. This primer doesn’t really help to control oils like the other two but it does provide extra hydration which helps provide a smooth base.



  1. MAC Studio Fix Fluid- This foundation is thick and has a full coverage so if that’s not something that you like, this may not be the foundation for you. This foundation will cover any redness and scars or whatever it is that you want to cover without any effort. I like to use a damp sponge to apply it as I feel that that gives me a more even coverage and doesn’t emphasise any bumps or texture. It is incredibly long lasting, has a matte finish and is available in a wide variety of shades, separated into cool and warm tones, so it should be really easy to find your perfect match. If you find MAC really overwhelming like I did the first time that I went in, ask a worker to colour match you, explain your skin type and what type of coverage that you want to get their opinion on the perfect foundation for you. Also, they will be happy to give out a sample of the foundation that you want to try which will last you a good 5/6 uses. The only downside to this product is that you have to buy the pump separately.
  2. *Boots No7 Essentially Natural Foundation-   This was my first ever foundation and I definitely recommend this for beginners or younger people who don’t need a really heavy and full coverage foundation but still want a little coverage to maybe even out their skin tone. This foundation, in my opinion, has a satin finish but doesn’t overly dewy. This, like to MAC one, comes in a variety of shades and there is the option to be colour matched at the counter using a small machine which is held to your jawline/ neck and works out what shade you are. This isn’t as long lasting as the Studio Fix Fluid due to the finish but does last for a good 4/5 hours on its own. The packaging is a squeezy tube which sometimes can waste product if you squeeze out too much onto your hand and, overall, it’s just not my favourite.


  1. MAC Studio Finish Concealer- 

    Studio Fix Fluid + Studio Finish Concealer

      This is an incredibly thick pot concealer but when applied with a finger, the product warms up and is great for under the eyes but make sure you set it with powder straight away to prevent creasing. However, if your under eye area hasn’t been moisturised (i like to use the Simple Kind To Eyes Soothing Eye Balm) the product can look patchy and weird. This also covers any redness amazingly and blends onto the skin really nicely. A little goes a long way and it lasts for the whole day.
  2. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer- This concealer is also kind of thick on consistency but it is more liquidy which means it’s less drying on the under eyes and on top of blemishes. I mainly use this for under my eyes to create an evenly coloured base for my highlighting concealer which has less coverage. Like the name suggests, it lasts for a good amount of time before it starts to wear away. This is a great concealer for those on a budget as it is drugstore priced and is really full coverage. The only bad thing that I have to say is that it only comes in 4 shades and they don’t run that dark.
  3. Rimmel Match Perfection 2-in-1 Highlighter and Concealer- I love this on top of the other concealers that I've mentioned as it gives a nice glow to the undereye area. I also love this as a base for my highlighter . This concealer is great for anyone who is looking for a natural glow to make you look more awake without looking like you’re wearing a tonne of the product as it is also really lightweight in formula.


Setting Powders:

Setting powders are great for people with oily skin as it gives the skin a matte appearance, takes away the tackiness the foundation and concealer may have, and increases the longevity.

  1. MAC Mineral Skin Finish Natural-   Despite the really bulky packaging, this is one of my favourite powders to set my foundation and my eye primer. It adds a little coverage, not too much, but doesn’t change the colour of your foundation. With this powder, I’ve found that I don’t need to powder a lot throughout the day and it keeps my foundation really matte and I don’t get shiny as easy. The compact itself, in essence, is great for travelling as it comes with a mirror but it is really bulky and, in my opinion, I would’ve preferred it if it was in the same packaging as the Studio Fix powder if you’re familiar with that packaging.
  2. Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder- This powder is highly talked of on YouTube and I’m really not surprised. The powder leaves your skin feeling soft and doesn’t look like you’re wearing a tonne of powder like others from the drugstore might. I like this powder because it is easy to carry around in a bag as it is in quite thin packaging which means it doesn’t take up too much space. However, the packaging isn’t sturdy as, as the lid is plastic and comes off altogether, it breaks really easily. If you’re careful this shouldn’t be a problem but as I am really clumsy, it broke both times that I purchased it and for that reason, I've not repurchased it since, even though I love the powder. The packaging just lets it down for me.



The tools you use to apply your base products can really determine the overall outcome. Whether you’re looking to get the best and fullest coverage out of your foundation or looking for a more natural finish, choosing the correct tools for the job could make your application a dream.

  1. Real TECHniques Expert Face Brush- This brush is a great multi-tasking brush and is great for applying contour, blush, bronzer, foundation, powder and concealer which, I think, makes it a great brush to have in your collection. I mainly use this for foundation as the bristles are really densely packed which means you can achieve a full coverage without it looking streaky or having your product being soaked up into the brush. I love using this brush because it’s also really soft and doesn’t irritate the skin when you’re buffing in the product. Also, it is really easy to clean, I like to use the Real TECHniques brush cleanser and a Brush Egg.


*Real TECHniques Miracle Complexion Sponge-   This has been my go-to recently and I’ve been loving to apply Studio Fix Fluid with this to thin out the formula so that it sits better on my skin and doesn’t look as cakey. I would say to ALWAYS dampen your sponge, whether it’s with water or your favourite setting spray, to prevent the sponge from soaking up a lot of the product which, especially when using an expensive, high-end foundation, can be highly annoying. If you’re familiar with the Beauty Blender, I would definitely try this out first before investing in a more expensive sponge so you know whether or not you like the finish that a makeup sponge can offer. They are also available in a pack of two which I think is a great idea. I think I'm due for a new one as mine is starting to wear down and the pores in the sponge have started to enlarge. I’ve been using this sponge almost every day that I wear makeup for months now and even though it is starting to wear down, it still applies like the first time that I tried it so I think that this is a staple makeup tool that everyone should have in their collection.

Thank you for reading this incredibly long blog post that took me two days to write😆

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Published by Aimee Louise Smith