Most makeup-wearers can probably agree that smooth foundation is a top priority. However, between any skin texture issues you might be dealing with or environmental challenges, it’s not always an easy feat. As a result, foundation tips and tricks are constantly circulating — especially on TikTok. The app has become a haven for tutorials of all kinds, but users seem to have a particular passion for base routine hacks, some of which are pretty outlandish. So, are any worth trying? To find out, TZR tapped celebrity makeup artist Shadi Malek to share her thoughts on five TikTok foundation hacks.
Some are fairly simple (like applying foundation with your fingers for a more natural, skin-like finish), while others are major head-scratchers. The latest puzzling trend involves soaking drops of your foundation in a glass of water before applying, which is said to give your skin a boost of radiance, without excess oil, while making your makeup last longer. You may remember one of the earliest foundation hacks on TikTok, which suggested switching up the order of your base routine to get the smoothest, longest-lasting foundation.
“Everyone, including me, is loving TikTok and the viral makeup trends that are very entertaining to watch,” Malek tells TZR, “but technique-wise, they’re not always accurate and can be very misleading for a consumer.”
From the no-brainers to the highly questionable, Malek is here to share the truth about TikTok’s most popular foundation hacks.
TikTok Foundation Hack #1: Applying Foundation With Your Fingers
According to TikTok user @YoungCouture, the answer to flawless foundation is simple — just swap your makeup brush for your fingers. “Literally apply it like it’s a moisturizer,” she says in a video that has racked up over 755,000 views. It may seem like a no-brainer to some, but as her caption calls out, a lot of people are turned off at the idea of applying foundation with their fingers. As Malek points out, there are also some risks to the technique.
“Applying foundation with your fingers works but is not always the most sanitary,” she says. “Applying foundation with a good brush does a better job.” Of course, if this appeals to you, thoroughly washing your hands or using sanitizer before applying your makeup will work.
TikTok Foundation Hack #2: Setting Spray Before Powder
Setting spray has long been used as a tool for helping makeup stay put as well as a mid-day skin refresh. However, according to TikTok user @RoseAndBen, your spray might be doing more harm than good. In a viral video on her page, she explains that the moisture of setting spray “could cause your makeup to crease and even lift.” Instead, she suggests spraying a powder puff with setting spray and pressing it over your foundation and concealer (before it sets) and then applying your setting powder.
According to Malek, this is actually a super effective technique. “Lately, I’ve been setting my face with the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray between every cream product and I am shook with the results,” she says. “It lasts all day and the way the powder sits seamlessly on top is flawless. I kept getting compliments like ‘your skin looks airbrushed’, and I noticed it was only when I was using this technique.”
TikTok Foundation Hack #3: Powder Before Foundation
This foundation hack basically broke the internet when it first emerged, and users are still putting it to the test. In a TikTok video, creator @LeilaniGreen tries out the viral method which involves switching up the traditional order of base products. After moisturizing, apply a translucent powder all over the skin. Then, spritz on some setting spray, followed by a makeup primer. Now it’s finally time for foundation; and, according to this hack, it’ll look as smooth as ever.
“It looks nice, but I do not see how that would work because of the way products are formulated,” Malek says. “I do not suggest users try this at home because once you have powder on your face we don’t suggest you go over it with a liquid product.”
TikTok Foundation Hack #4: Mix Foundation With Water
The latest TikTok foundation hack is perhaps the most outlandish yet. Users like @stxph.h have been soaking their foundation in water, a technique that’s said to achieve a radiant, hydrated finish without excess oil — not to m mention help makeup last longer with no transferring. In her video, the creator dispenses a few pumps of foundation into a full glass of water before retrieving it and applying it to her face. “Okay, I love how this foundation is sitting on my skin right now,” she says after application. “It looks filtered yet super skin-like and dewy.”
While Malek admits she has tried this technique and liked the results, she doesn’t recommend it. “To be honest, it’s messy and a little gross and I think you can totally achieve that same look using a foundation that has a glassy sheen, such as the Makeup Forever HD SKIN.”
TikTok Foundation Hack #5: Mix Foundation With Powder
If you love a full coverage look, consider this hack that involves mixing your setting powder and foundation together for a flawless base. This one will likely have to be tailored to your skin type (for example, those with dry skin might want to only use a small amount of powder), but in theory, would probably be a simple way to boost coverage simply by thickening the texture of your foundation.
“‘This video] didn’t convince me that that would actually work,” Malek says. “I tried it for myself and found that the product separated and didn’t sit right on the skin. I’d pass on this one.”