Everyone wants that airbrushed skin look, but how do you get it? Foundation is really the key to achieving that flawless look. It evens out skin and can give you a dewy or matte finish, depending on your preference. Plus, once you get the seven quick steps down, it is easy to set it and forget it, and your skin will look great all day. Read on for how to master the flawless foundation look.

Step 1

Make sure your skin is cleansed, exfoliated, and moisturized. Your skin should look as good as possible without foundation, so that foundation makes it look even better. If your skincare routine includes toners, topical exfoliants, and serums, be sure to let each product sink into skin before applying the next one, usually about a minute or two between each. After the final product (ideally, a moisturizer with sunscreen), wait another few minutes before moving to step two.

Here’s how to find the perfect step-by-step skincare routine for each skin type.

Step 2

Apply primer. Primer readies your skin for foundation and helps makeup stay true-to-color all day. You can choose from a variety of options to help improve skin, whether you need more moisture, color correction, or pore-filling. You want to let your primer sink into skin for at least two minutes, if not longer so that the foundation has something to cling to. I like the Laura Gellar Spackle Hydrating Primer, as I have dry skin. For oily skin, the Smashbox Photo Finishing Pore Minimizing Primer works really well.

Here’s how to know what primer is right for your foundation.

Step 3

Apply foundation. I prefer to apply with a brush, such as this one, especially for full coverage, or with a sponge, for more sheer coverage. Using a brush or sponge ensures streak-free coverage and a perfect finish. Plus, the oils in your fingers can break down the foundation before it even touches your face. My favorite foundation is the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation. I love that it is long-wear and full coverage. The Makeup For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation is also great (plus, it can go in your carry-on).

Step 4

Set your foundation. I like to set my foundation with a matching powder, whether loose or compact. This holds foundation in place and readies the skin for additional makeup. If not applying additional makeup, you can just skip to step 7. I use the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish powder quite often, which also contains a mineral complex and vitamin E to support skin.

Step 5

Apply blush, bronzer, contour, and highlight, if using.

Step 6

Use a finishing powder, to blend everything and set it again. This is the time for a translucent powder, such as the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder.

Step 7

Spray with a setting mist. The gold standard is the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, but the NYX Setting Spray is also a good option. Both brands have mattifying versions if you want that.

Remember not to touch your face during the day, and your skin will look flawless for hours!