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Ask The Makeup Diva
Welcome to Ask The Makeup Diva™! Our resident expert, The Makeup Diva, answers makeup and skin care questions sent in by readers just like you.

Q: No matter how I apply my liquid foundation, I always seem to have a makeup line around my whole face. How can I apply it correctly to avoid this line?

A: Foundation doesn't have to be tricky - all you need are the right tools and a few pointers. Here's what I do to get a perfect application every time.

1. Start with the right tools. For liquid foundation, have a clean makeup sponge ready. I prefer the flat, oval style over the triangular wedges because you have more surface area to blend the foundation on your face. Cargo Cosmetics makes an oval sponge for $5 that you can wash over and over and use for a long time.

I also like to use a clean cotton swab if the foundation comes in a bottle. By dipping the swab into the bottle, then applying it to your face, you keep germs from your fingers out of the bottle, and you save makeup because you aren't pouring it directly on the sponge.

2. Always choose a foundation that matches your skin color exactly. Don't try to make your pale skin look tan by using a darker shade, or make rosy skin look less pink with a very yellow makeup. If the color does not match your skin, it will look fake. Match the shade to your cheek near the jawline; a lightly blended swipe that is the right color will seem to disappear on your skin. If you can see a line that is dark, very light, pink, orange, or any color other than the color of your skin, it is the wrong shade. Wearing the wrong shade of foundation is almost always the reason for an obvious makeup line.

3. Once you have the right shade for your skin, gently shake the bottle, open it, and dip the cotton swab in. Let the excess run off into the bottle, then use the swab to draw lines of the foundation on your cheeks, chin, forehead and nose. Start with a small amount - you can always add more if you need to.

If you are using a long-wearing or transfer-resistant formula, draw the makeup on one part of your face at a time, blend, then continue on the rest of your face until you are done.

Once you have the lines on your face, use your sponge in downward strokes to blend the makeup. Your goal is thin, even coverage. Blend it all the way down your cheeks and under your jawline and chin, out to your hairline, and around your nose. Use short, light strokes with the sponge taking care not to blend so much that you are rubbing the makeup off.

4. Now that you have an even layer of foundation all over your face, check for any spots that need extra attention. You can either apply a bit more foundation there, or use a concealer. If you use more foundation, put a small dot on the area you are adding to and press it lightly into your skin with the sponge until it is blended in. This is a painting technique called stippling.

Follow these steps and you should be able to have a clean, even application of foundation every time.

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