February 9, 2015

Do You Apply Foundation All Over Your Face?

foundation application

Curious minds, do you apply foundation all over your face? Whenever I’m watching a youTube guru prep his or her face and they start blending foundation all over their face, onto their forehead, etc…I literally cringe. It’s not how I personally do it. Although it’s of course, depending on the coverage you personally need but the idea of foundation on my forehead seriously makes me break out into hives! I think I’d like be an oily mess if I applied liquid foundation or BB Cream on my forehead.

I typically don’t apply foundation all over my face, do you?

I’m likely the one in the wrong here but typically I apply foundation at the sides of my nose and face and blend outward from there. It’s typically two to three drops at most. I don’t use a lot of it because I want the most natural finish I can get. I want to ease dullness, brighten up my face, but not necessarily conceal anything as my skin is fairly good already!

I definitely appreciate others don’t do it the same and require more coverage or perhaps even less or not at all (lucky you!). But I do draw the line at applying to my forehead…! 🙂

How about you?

Any areas you don’t apply foundation to?

Or do you apply it all over your face?

Or perhaps just a small amount?

Do share your application method!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Libby

    I’m with you, Muse! On the rare occasions that I do apply foundation on my face, I typically use only 1-1.5 pumps (this depends on the foundation I suppose but I use Koh Gen Do’s Aqua foundation and 1 pump is more than enough!) and I apply it with my damp beauty blender concentrating on areas that need the coverage.

    Some people like full coverage but like you, I really like the natural look with my skin still peeking through. In fact, I don’t wear anything more than concealer around the nose and on a spot when I get them these days. I have a friend though that has acne issues so she uses a full coverage foundation. It really does depend on the skin-type/skin-needs.

    For concealer, I use the Eco-tools brush to apply it!

    • Isabella Muse

      you are correct! It really does depend on your skin needs 😀 I’m like you, just a small amount does me well!

    • Regina

      I am with you. I apply foundation on the areas that I need only to uneven skin . I don’t like to see women put it all over their face especially when their skin is already nice. I am so glad I am not the only one.☺☺☺

  • sassysoup

    for me personally, I only apply foundation on the areas where I get discoloration; like my cheeks. I put the tiniest amount and blend with a stippling brush.

    Whenever I see these self proclaimed “beauty gurus” on youtube put their foundation all over their face, I cringe alittle too. Then again, do whatever makes you happy! I just feel like it gets too cakey. :p

    • Isabella Muse

      true! whatever floats your boat 😀 but yeah, I’m always worried about either oily or looking a little too made up!

    • m pottyweasel

      me too! tbh i hate using foundation, i never even used foundation! for my everyday makeup, i usually just use a moisturizer with spf and then put on bb or cc cream with my fingers on some areas where i need some smoothing up or where there are some blemishes. im actually lucky to nearly not have any blemishes, but since i wear glasses i often find red spots where my glasses are. i also put it around my nose and under eyes. then i set it with a translucent powder and dust it all over my face to control oil and protect my face because my powder has spf in it. thats all really for the face. i dont like putting on too much anything on my face, because not only i want to keep it very natural, also i dont want to cover up my natural blush and let some of my bare skin be just there without being covered up. then i just curl my lashes and put on some mascara and done!
      easy and quick 🙂

  • kimkats

    I put it all over… :)I think it’s just more force of habit than anything b/c I started doing it when my skin was lousy (*many* years ago) and I just kept on. I just feel more comfortable that way.

    *defiantly schmooeys foundation all over face* ;D

  • ashley

    i do, i use a sponge and try to buff it out and blend. i try to use it sparingly. a little bit goes a long way.

  • Cinthya

    I’m the same way! I only apply foundation or concealer where I need coverage, since I have good skin. However, when I had terrible acne I would use it all over my face because I really needed it. Now that I got rid of my acne(Thank God!), I only use it where I need it. On days where I got all out on my makeup then I will use it all over my face. Right now I’m only applying foundation to my lid because I want to get rid of the uneven color. I don’t have dark circles right now so I don’t apply under the eye. When I do though, I do apply under the eye. I think it’s personal preference when it comes to foundation, just as well as with many beauty things. I really enjoyed this post! Thanks for posting:)!

  • MandyB

    For me it depends on the occasion. Daily I’ll probably just be wearing a tinted moisturizer, or a little foundation on my T-zone if I have to go out to see clients. That said, if it’s a special event, or if I’m doing someone else’s make up for an event that they will be getting professionally photographed, it’s full-coverage all over face and neck (+ ears & decolletage if they need it).

  • Jones

    Yes I do.

    My foundation of choice right now is the BareMinerals tinted gel .
    I love it.
    I buff in everything with my RT buffing brush.

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m loving the tinted gel now, good for all over coverage as it’s nice and sheer/lightweight!

  • Becky

    I like light coverage and use hardly any at all but I do put a dab kinda between my brows but a bit higher and blend it out but it doesn’t cover my entire forehead. I use a mattifying primer in my t-zone so it’s fine.. I’m mystified at the whole full coverage thing, EVERYWHERE. I don’t get it.

    • Isabella Muse

      haha me either but I really depends, some folks might feel they need it. but yeah ALL over even my forehead seems excessive!

  • amy

    I concentrate product in the area(s) I need it most, and blend away from the area. Typically, it’s the center of my face/cheek & nose area, so I start there & blend out into the perimeter of my face with the remaining product on my brush/sponge. I have a strong neutral undertone, and fairly light skin, so finding a foundation that that matches is difficult, and I find this method to make thinhs look even. I also use a light coverage foundation.

    Many Youtube Gurus self-tan, so I can see why they apply full-coverage foundation all over. Otherwise, there foreheads might be quite a bit lighter than the rest of there face, LOL!

  • Mackenzie Parham

    I apply all over. I have acne scarring and redness all over plus some of my foundations are a shade lighter or darker so I like to have an even base.

    • Dia

      Ditto. None of my foundations are a perfect match, so even if I’d like to get away with not applying foundation to my forehead, I have to do it so my face is all one color.

  • AnniLau

    I use BB cream and I smear it all over the place. Then I add 12 pounds of concealer to my dark circles and dabbles of it wherever else the BB cream isn’t doing the job. My skin isn’t bad but it is, as they say, maturing.

    • Isabella Muse

      haha 12 lbs eh? yeah me too! I def do 12 lbs under my eyes too! it’s tough getting old, damn puffy eyes!

  • barbara

    if I put foundation on I will put it all over, just to give an even skin tone. by the way the new bare minerals complexion rescue is perfect. I haven’t reached for anything else, not even my napoleon perdis. It just looks good and feels good. So easy to apply, as long as you get the right color. LOVING IT/

  • Solangel

    I apply all over, but just one drop, because I like to make sure my face is an even color. Then I might add another layer where I need to, but I don’t go too heavy with anything.

  • Jenny

    I do use it all over my face, but only because I use BB/CC cream and I want that SPF everywhere! I’m not really into traditional foundations, but on the rare occasion that I use one I concentrate it where I need it and blend it out really well so there’s no weird lines 😃.

  • Bonnie S

    Yes – all over the face, but lightly. I prefer to go one shade lighter than my normal skin tone, so therefore I need to ensure that my forehead matches my cheeks. I don’t use concealer because I find that an extra dab of foundation around my redder areas does the trick. Thirty seconds and I’m done. I use my fingers.

    I’m glad you brought this subject up. When I watch YouTubers, they definitely use TOO MUCH OF EVERYTHING! I stopped watching them because honestly, I haven’t got 30 minutes in the morning to do my face and even if I did, 30 minutes of makeup application is for the red carpet, not the officle cubicle.

    • Isabella Muse

      ya know the funny thing about youtubers is although the apply a lot of everything they end up looking like a freaking model afterwards, it freaking amazes me!

  • Dia

    I dot CC cream on my forehead, cheeks, nose, chin, and neck, and then blend it with a damp sponge so there’s a light layer all over.

  • Carrie

    I will IF I’m going for a full on flawless uniform look (special ocassions, etc) but for the most part, I try and limit it to my nightmare areas!

  • Janine L.

    Good topic! I think that it definitely depends on your skin type and potential skin issues.

    I have dry skin so I need some extra moisture. I apply a thin layer of tinted moisturizer all over with a concealer on my spots that need a little extra covering.

  • Amber T

    I apply foundation all over. My skin gets oily and red, so if I skipped an area there would be a very noticeable difference between the bits with foundation and the bits without!

  • Krystle

    I apply foundation everywhere but my nose. That thing is the epitome of combination skin. It’s oily mostly, but as soon as a drop of foundation, BB, CC, even tinted moisturizer (!) hits it, instant Sahara. After that, it’s a guessing game. Will it stay a flaky gross mess, or become a greasy slick mess?

  • Codename Duchess

    I apply my foundation all over. I actually have pretty nice skin (only get an occasional zit around my period, no noticeable acne scars) but it’s ruddy so I use foundation to even out my skin tone. I could probably leave my forehead alone as my ruddiness is just around my cheeks, nose and chin, but even though my foundation is a good match I think it looks weird/unfinished if I completely skip an area. The texture of my skin just looks a little different/better with foundation. My forehead isn’t that oily though, so I’m not worried about foundation looking oilier in that area. My combo skin has more of a cross/lower case “t” zone than a traditional T zone when it comes to oily areas. But I don’t use a ton of foundations and prefer ones with light coverage. As for how I apply it, it depends on what foundation I’m using. Currently I’m using Maybelline’s Dream Wonder Fluid which has a wand attached to its cap, so I use that to lightly dot my foundation over my face and then I use a brush (currently using the Velvet Luxe Buffing Foundation brush by It Cosmetics for Ulta) to spread the product and blend it out. Sometime I’ll follow that up with some extra blending with a beauty blender, but I usually only have to do that if I’ve gone a little too long between brush deep cleanings.

  • Chynna

    When I wear it (I’d rather sleep in than put makeup on), I do it all over. I choose sheer foundations, but I worry that if I don’t put it all over, I’ll look patchy.

  • TropicalChrome

    Yes, a light coat over my whole face. I have yet to find any foundation that is a perfect match for my skin tone (ok, I did once, they discontinued it after I bought my second compact, so it doesn’t count anymore), so if I use it, I use it everywhere.

    I’m on the other side of the half century mark, and my skin simply isn’t as even as it was when I was younger. Life does that to you. For me, foundation simply evens it all out and acts a moisturizer (I still have very oily skin, if I use most products aimed at women my age, they just slide off my face).

  • krankenheim

    I apply foundation over my entire face, blending it down my jawline and neck. I typically don’t use concealer. I used IT Cosmetics “Your Skin But Better” CC cream for a couple of years but now it burns and irritates my skin. Stupid citrus ingredients. =/ I’m using ck One 3-in-1 Face Makeup now – Ulta exclusive. It’s very gentle, doesn’t contain citrus, and has a great finish for me.

  • Alessandra

    I am SO glad you ask this question! I have been asking this for a long time. I only recently came to admit and thus accept my insane obsession with all things beauty and thought to myself, “I don’t want to look like a made-up mannequin!” I am a physicist actually and it’s really looked down upon to wear loads of makeup at work – especially in academia. Anyway, I won’t get into that whole discussion because we’ll be here forever!

    My point: I don’t apply it everywhere, but from these YouTube gurus I get the feeling that I SHOULD, and that makes me crazy because not everyone wants to look like that. To each their own, I don’t care what the next person does as long as it make them happy! I’m not one to judge, but I don’t want to look like that so I’ve been putting it only places that I get red or have some imperfections. I do what you do, put in the center and blend out and buff away.

    I just feel like sometimes the YouTube gurus are imposing some sort of cultural standard, just like magazines. But it’s ultimately up to me to ignore and do what I want.

    Rant over 🙂

  • mae

    I thought I was the only one who thought this! Personally, my skin is pretty clear on my cheeks and forehead so I focus on applying on my nose and blending from there, adding concealer underneath my eyes etc. A lot of the youtube beauty gurus are young and have fairly nice skin, I can only imagine how cakey they look in person? It’s seriously uneccessary for everyday wear!

    • Isabella Muse

      I dunno, they might just look amazing in person as they blend it to death so it really looks super airbrushed 🙂

  • Heidi

    If I do foundation or tinted moisturizer I put it all over my face, but often thin it with a drop of oil or a drop of luminizer and focus more on trouble spots. Often I’ll sort of “buff” it to get rid of excess where I don’t want it as much. My skin is normal to dry — the forehead isn’t oily at all anymore (thanks, turning 40!) so now the concern isn’t oiliness but lines and dryness. If the skin is in good shape, though, I prefer just to use tinted moisturizer and a dab of concealer where needed.

  • Alessandra

    Maybe it is because they are young 20-somethings? And yes, their skin looks pretty clear before the makeup.

    I go back and forth between “Daaayum her skin looks AWESOME” to “holy cow how can she stand it? It must look and feel so heavy!” I’m sure I’m jealous somewhere inside because I’m no longer 23! haha

    I just turned 30 and concealer goes instant-crease under my eyes all of a sudden, no matter what I do. But ya, they might look totally airbrushed and amazing. Who knows! I always want to meet them in person to determine if it’s just the camera!!

    • Isabella Muse

      lol! aw me either! I find in my older age I live by more is less when it comes to foundation 🙂

  • Cindy

    Foundation all over my face for sure! I don’t even want to imagine the unevenness that would occur if I put it “here and there.” I’m VERY fair, have rosacea, and want everything to look even. I’ve never applied foundation any other way, even before I had rosacea.

  • Louisa

    all over my face. Because BB cream is supposed to be used this way! If you have the correct foundation, bb, cc cream, it does not make you look cakey or oily. I have an oily t-zone, if I DO NOT use make up. But my bb cream and powder (I set the bb cream with CEZANNE UV Foundation EX PLUS make up) makes my skin stay matte ALL day.
    I work out in the gym, go hiking all day or even swimming in my make up.
    Even after sweating a bucket, I look fine.

  • Fancie

    I have pretty good skin so I rarely wear foundation but I apply it all over when I do. I have some slight discoloration so I like to use a light layer of foundation to even everything out. It just seems weird not applying it all over lol. Unless I’m applying my concealer first but even though I’ll go over it a bit so it all blends seamlessly

  • Liz

    I don’t think there is a right or wrong! Whatever works for you works! My skin kinda sucks so on days where I do wear foundation, I wear it all over. I use my beauty blender to bounce it on though, so I feel like I get good coverage without it being too heavy or cakey. On days where I’m home I wear nothing, or if I have to only do a quick errand I’ll just do a quick dab of concealer where I need it most (under my eyes and usually to cover redness around my nose) and go.

    • Sjofna

      That’s pretty much my same routine when it comes to foundations and concealers.

  • HeavnsGirl

    Yes, I do put it all over my face, however, it’s what I put UNDER it that makes the biggest difference. I put moisturizer on my (sensitive, dry, rosacea-prone) cheeks, and I put a salicylic acid treatment on my T-zone. If I skip those steps or (god forbid) try to reverse them, my whole situation would go haywire.

    I use a liquid-to-powder foundation (Hourglass), on my entire face, powder my under-eye area to set the concealer (hereditary dark circles), and I’m all good.

  • Phyrra

    It depends. If I’m having a bad skin day, I apply all over my face. If I’m feeling like my skin looks awful, all over my face. If I’m having a great skin day, I apply where I get red / discolored – nose, chin, forehead, under eyes and center of cheeks. Sometimes I really hate my skin. When it’s not red, I love it.

  • Dee

    I think out of habit I do, but I tend to go lighter in some areas than in others. Depends on how my skin is looking in the morning.

  • karman

    i also do not apply foundation all over my face! typically, i apply it on the centre of my face (T zone, inner part of my cheeks, and above my lips) for a brightening effect 🙂 my skin isn’t that uneven, so it doesn’t require a full on foundation routine! and i don’t think you’re in the “wrong” for applying foundation in a different manner! if it suits your skin and needs, then it’s the right way for you 😉

  • Heather F.

    Super pale + weird undertones + uneven coloring = foundation (BB cream, technically) everywhere. I can’t find a perfect foundation match, so leaving my forehead bare would look pretty odd. 🙂 Plus, my BB cream has SPF and feels really good on my dry-but-sweaty skin (I don’t get oily, but I do live in the tropics), so I wouldn’t want to leave it off my forehead even if I could.

  • Sara

    Yeap I do it all over my face too because I feel while I don’t need the coverage in terms of spots and concealing, I do need to even my skintone out. Though the amount I use on my forehead is usually the remnants from having blended the foundation out so I don’t put a full dollop on there, just some sweeps for a bit of coverage and voila!

  • AmyBS

    No matter what product I am using – tinted moisturizer, BB cream, foundation – it always gets cakey and weird right between my eye brows and on my forehead. I feel like I’ve tried everything, so finally I just started skipping those areas and you can’t even notice. So weird but what are you gonna do! It’s nice to see everyone has their methods!

  • Anna

    I usually do BB Cream all over, or at least at the central areas of my face-t-zone, cheeks, chin, forehead, but if I use a foundation I’ll often skip the forehead and the cheeks or just do some very light blending there.

  • Erica

    I don’t really wear foundation, and when I do it’s powder dusted all over my face.
    I actually never considered not applying it in certain areas of my face. I though you were suppose to put it everywhere. *makeup novice*

  • Tracy

    I do apply foundation all over to even out residual redness from past acne break outs. I don’t like a full coverage foundation and usually forego concealer since I am putting product all over my face.

  • Erin

    I apply foundation all over. I typically use a medium coverage foundation and then control the coverage by applying the product in thin layers and blend with a beauty blender. I think the beauty blender also helps thin out the product.

    I personally could never understand how a person could use foundation (especially medium -to-full coverage) only in certain portions of their face.
    I mean, even if the foundation matches your skin tone perfectly and you blend until tomorrow, I can still tell the difference between foundation and bare skin. Or maybe I’m just too critical 😉

  • Dia

    Yep, all over! My face is an entirely different color than the rest of my body, so if I want it to match I have to go pretty hard on the foundation. I like to powder it too, but I *don’t* use concealer, blush, bronzer, highlighting, contouring, etc. so it’s not actually very heavy.

    I think when it comes to YT makeup videos, it’s important to just focus on the ideas and techniques that you like and that apply to you. They’re not the makeup police and you shouldn’t let their tastes limit you or make you feel bad.

  • Rose

    Unfortunately not everyone has perfect skin, some of us literally NEED foundation all over our face, plus extra layers on especially problematic areas. For me I actually cringe when I see people only put foundation on parts of their faces, it just looks so weird to me.

  • KohakuSueda

    I have acne scars and large pores so typically with foundation I start with a few drops around the center of my face and blend outward accross my face. I then go back to places where I need extra coverage. So technically yes but I also try to keep it focused where I need it. However if its a SUPER full coverage foundation, then I pretty much have no choice since I want it all to match :p

  • cas

    Even though my skin is pretty clear, I still put foundation all over my face. I apply it lightly with a brush or sometimes mix it with primer to thin it out, but I have darker eyelids and under eyes. I need to even out my skin tone. Occasional redness in my cheeks and nose, along with super oily skin, make it necessary to apply everywhere to even me out 🙂

  • Notsoperfect

    Wow I really wish I could only apply to necessary areas. However I feel like I need to apply it everywhere and then it still ends up looking terrible and definitely not a natural finish, which is what I strive for. 🙁

  • C

    I usually only apply full coverage foundation to my chin area, where i have redness. If my skin is properly exfoliated and oiled i can apply
    (a little) foundation to the forehead, but if i don’t take the time for that every day (which i don’t because my forehead needs breaks from exfoliating every day) , foundation turns into crusty scales on my forehead. Looks way worse than leaving it well alone. It always seemed like an odd idea to me that one’s face needs the same color all over. Healthy skin has color variation. When i see someone with the same color all over their face, it gives an artificial vibe.

    And I’m sure the YouTubers look like they have masks in real life. They look awesome onscreen, but in real life that much stuff is going to cover the natural beauty of pores and fine hair. There’s no way it couldn’t. It’s changing that natural fine texturing that makes a face mask-like. Only in cases of severe skin problems is that mask like look desirable, IMHO.