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A Perfect Complexion with Powder Foundation? Yes. Here's How.

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How to get a perfect complexion with powder foundation_Lindsey Beamish_Cover FX

If "powder foundation" and "pancake face" go together in your experience -- well, now I'm distracted with a sudden craving for pancakes. Anyway, the point is that sometimes powder foundation fails us in our quest for flawless coverage. Either we pack it on so thickly to hide redness and blemishes and get pancake face, or we use a restrained hand then wonder why we even bothered as oily skin takes over and wins. But with a few key brush techniques, it is possible to get that perfect complexion with powder foundation. We asked Cityline expert and Cover FX makeup pro Derek Selby to show us how.

how to get a perfect complexion with powder foundation

MAC StudioFix. Right? The first powder foundation I ever tried, way back in the early 1990s, it was a game-changer for many women looking for fast coverage, and women looking for foundation that could stand up to oily skin.

how to get a perfect complexion with powder foundation_cover fx n20 and n220 pressed mineral powder foundation

Like many women lured by the easy-to-use format, in trying to achieve a perfect complexion with powder foundation I had my share of colour mishaps, too-thick applications, not-enough applications and so on. I tried it with the enclosed sponge dry, I tried it with a wet sponge, I tried it with a brush. My best success was with a powder brush and a few dabs of sponge, especially after my skin cleared up (thank you glycolic acid). Above: Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation N20, N110.

I wish I'd had makeup pro Derek Selby for instruction back in the early '90s. But we have him now! Derek is a regular Cityline expert and the national retail director for Cover FX. He knows how to achieve a perfect complexion with powder foundation. Here he demonstrates his technique on Lindsey Beamish, a marketing manager also at Cover FX. (Thanks, Lindsey!)

See? The secret to getting a perfect complexion with powder foundation is in the layering + brush techniques we use to apply it.

brush techniques for a flawless finish with powder foundation

1) Start with a light dusting of powder applied with a fluffy powder brush all over the face. Load up your powder brush by pressing the powder into the tips of the bristles and apply in long strokes.

2) In areas that show redness or need more coverage -- often the middle of the face -- you want to push the side of your powder brush into the pan, then press and roll it into place on the skin.

3) If you have a little darkness under your eyes, you can skip cream concealer and instead use a flat concealer brush with powder foundation and press it into place in the inner corners over the shadows. (If you prefer to use cream concealer, apply it before powder foundation.)

4) Derek didn't do this in the video, but in the comments Tracy reminded me that lightly spraying your face with a hydrating mist helps to set the makeup with a more natural, less powdery finish. (Thanks, Tracy xo)

In the video, Derek uses a Cover FX Powder Foundation Brush ($42 at and a Cover FX Concealer Brush ($20 at, as well as Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation in N30 ($35 at

How to get a perfect complexion with powder foundation_cover fx powder brush and concealer brush

Fun fact: MAC StudioFix powder foundation was formulated by a cosmetic chemist named Victor Casale. He was a founding partner of MAC, the chief chemist and managing director. He's also the man behind Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation.

why is cover fx pressed mineral foundation talc-free?

In the video you'll hear Derek mention Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation was made without talc. Talc has a tendency to give skin an ashy cast, especially when the wearer has a darker complexion. Skipping the talc in the Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation formula results in a more natural finish -- that perfect complexion with powder foundation -- and looks great on dark skin. I have more geeky details about this talc-thing; stay tuned.

Do you ever wear powder foundation? How has it worked for you so far? Do you think Derek's tips might help? Also, who else wants pancakes now?