A good face of makeup always starts with a good foundation. No matter how sculpted your contouring skills, how perfected your winged eyeliner or how long your lashes – if you don’t nail the basics, flawed foundation can deter from your entire makeup look in an instant.

Trust me – I’ve been there. Obvious makeup lines, shiny skin, orange tones and caked-on masks – I’ve had them all and the worst part is, most of the flaws were pointed out by others! Can you say awwwwkkward?!

Many women misunderstand the importance of foundation – it’s the base we build all our makeup onto. Like the foundation of any building structure, if we don’t spend time on getting the base right nothing else we build on it will stand (or, it will stand out for very wrong reasons).

This week, I’m sharing my top five foundation tips to ensure a flawless face:

Bite the bullet and buy the brush

My makeup life changed when I discovered the power of a good foundation brush. These babies maximise your product, ensure smooth coverage and go a long way in removing awkward makeup lines from the edges of your face. Fibre-optic foundation brushes ensure smooth application and can help achieve an airbrushed look, while flat foundation brushes are quick and easy to use, helping you contour or highlight your skin.

Prepare to prime

I always thought primers were a moneymaking scheme by the big brands and totally unnecessary. Until I started using one. Actually, it wasn’t until I ran out and stopped using the product that I truly noticed the difference it made – it ensures better coverage of your cream products (allowing them to glide and spread over your face, preventing any stickiness on dry spots and avoiding absorption, which means you use less product). Plus, it helps blend the foundation to my skin tone. No primer equals an orangey tone for me. No thanks!

Get colour matched

I did this years ago, amidst some awkwardness, and it has made all the difference. Head to your local beauty counter to get a free colour match – wear the product in shopping centres, in natural light and while snapping selfies and make sure you’re happy with its performance in all settings. If you fake tan during summer, you may need to get colour matched in different seasons too.

Avoid your under eye

The skin under your eyes is a lot more sensitive, and should be reserved for a sturdy concealer. Avoid taking your foundation underneath the eye, and fill it in after the base of your face has been completed. Applying a powder to seal it works well too.

Know your skin!

Is it dry, oily, sensitive, or a combination?! It pays to know how your skin behaves. And find out whether your products are oil or water based – if you’re using an oil-based moisturiser, it won’t work with a water-based foundation. Choose what’s best for your type of skin, and make sure all your products follow suit.

Never underestimate the power of a good base for a flawless face. Check your handiwork in natural light (I’ve fallen victim to poor blending or inconsistent coverage far too often) and don’t be afraid to try a few products before you find your perfect match. Your entire face will thank you for it!