Art of the Touchup: base



Maybe you have an event or a hot date after work and you don’t want to have to wash off whatever slap you have on already and reapply your skincare/base (which takes the longest for me).

For the longest time, makeup artists have been saying that you should touch up your base with pressed powder, no matter what type of base product you originally used (liquid/cream/gel/powder foundation). I totally disagree!

I LOVE using liquid foundation as it gives a dewy healthy glow that is impossible to achieve using powder products. Do take note that I adore a healthy glowy finish and DO NOT strive to look absolutely matte (even on my t-zone).

^ This is what my makeup looks like freshly-applied.

At the end of the day, my combination-dry skin tends to dry out especially on the cheeks and expression lines. Over my t-zone, foundation/concealer tends to slide around.

I will be showing you how to perk up your base and regain that glossy supple finish that only non-powder products can give.

First off, some basic rules:

  1. Rehydrate: All bases look better on moisturised skin. But reapplying moisturiser will simply mess up your makeup. A good tip is to moisturise properly in the morning before makeup and invest in a good makeup setting/hydrating spray. These will take your base a lot further.
  2. Do not pile on: Touching up is about redistributing makeup on your face not about piling on more! More foundation/concealer (especially powder-type/very thick textures) will not blend properly with your 10-hour old base and will sit on the surface looking very obvious. You can cheat a bit with runnier textures but these tend to shift the base that has already melded with your skin.
  3. Target areas: Highly-mobile areas like the periorbital (around the eyes), nose, mouth and chin areas have the most base slippage followed by the cheeks (mixed mobile and static areas) and finally the forehead and jawline. Target your touch-up priority in this order. The more mobile the skin, the less forgiving and easy it is to successfully touch-up.

Now the step-by-step. Let’s start with a look at what my makeup looks like at the end of the day.

Photobucket ^ There is some mascara transfer around my eyes and slippage around the nose.

These are the basic tools you need:

^ Rehydrating spray (I decanted some into the Lunasol bottle as it gives a finer mist) and foundation sponge with leftover foundation from the morning.


I like to use whatever foundation that has soaked into the sponge as there is the perfect amount there. All those brush junkies who shun sponges for “eating” foundation, see there is a good side to having a foundation reservoir!

PhotobucketTo activate the residual foundation, dampen the sponge with the mist.


If the sponge is too wet, it can make your base slide around instead of just being blended, so dab off the excess. The sponge should feel slightly damp but there should be no visible surface moisture.

I like to start with the undereyes as that is the driest part of my face.

^ Blend out the smudges with a patting motion.

^ Start from the inner corner blending outward.

Do not swipe/drag the sponge as this can remove your base.

Photobucket Photobucket

Sometimes a couple of gentle pats on the nose.


If you pat too much on the oilier parts, base will tend to be lifted off. In this case, it is better to remove all residual foundation and dry skin flakes with your sponge and start again.


Reapply moisturiser and sunblock, then your usual foundation and concealer. Always remember to work only on moist skin if not blending your fresh base with the old will be very difficult.

Et voila! As good as new.

This is the result. Fresh and dewy, looking almost freshly applied.

Hopefully this unconventional approach to touching-up will get you thinking about makeup conventions. Do try this out and share any tweaks that work for you!