I always start with a freshly cleansed and lightly moisturized face.
Next, I apply concealer to the under-eye area. For simple, demonstrative purposes, I'm using a Maybelline Coverstick in White. You don't have to use a starkly light concealer if you think that it's a little too much. I would just recommend a shade at least 1-2 shades lighter than your natural complexion. The reason for the light-toned concealer is to brighten and smooth the under-eye area where dark circles can make one look haggard and tired.
After applying concealer to the general under-eye area, you'll want to gently blend it into your skin. You may use your fingers or a concealer/foundation brush to do so if you prefer.
Next we will apply our foundation in a two-step process. My foundation of choice is pressed powder because I really like how lightly it settles on my skin. Cream and liquid foundations oftentimes feel too heavy and greasy on my face, especially since I have oily/dry combination skin. Here I'm using Lancome's Dual Finish Versatile Powder Makeup in Matte Wheat II. It's my absolute favorite pressed powder foundation. It smells lovely and wears so lightly I can't even feel it. At $35.50 a pop, it isn't cheap and definitely more than I can afford by way of makeup, but I happened to have a gift certificate. =) When I can't get my hands on Dual Finish, my next favorite is L'Oreal's True Match Super Blendable Powder. It's just as good, minus the trademark fragrance, and only costs $8.99 at Target.
I start by using a compact powder puff to set the concealer we just applied. I swipe a little powder onto the puff and pat gently just on top of the concealer. This will tone down the exaggerated brightness that we created by a considerable amount.
The ensuing result should look much more subtle, like this:
We then move on to the second and final step of applying foundation. I like using a kabuki brush, but you could use a powder/complexion brush if you'd like. I just find that kabuki brushes pick up more product and distribute powders more evenly. Here I'm using E.L.F's Studio Kabuki Brush. Not only is it super-cute with it's dual-tone bristles, but it only cost me $5! I love a good bargain!
You'll want to swirl your brush into the pressed powder and then buff all over your face in small, circular motions, including the area under the eye were we set the concealer.
This evens out your complexion for a more smooth, flawless look.
See the difference? It's subtle, but noticeable. My face looks smoother and brighter now. The benefits to a nicely applied foundation is not only for the appearance of a perfect complexion, but also to prime the skin's surface in order to apply the rest of your makeup evenly and flawlessly.
I hope this has been helpful. Supplemental tutorials including brows, eyes, cheeks, and lips coming soon!