For those who wear makeup every day or most days, one of the first big choices to make revolves around foundation. There are many different types of foundation out there, and which is right for a given person will depend on a number of factors.

At Collectiv Academy, this is just one of many areas covered in our cosmetology school programs. We’ll show you how to examine client skin and make makeup recommendations, including foundation. One big question many clients have is whether to use powder or liquid foundation – here’s a brief primer on a few basic tips you can give them.

Powder Foundation

In general, powder foundation is for people with younger, oilier skin. Powder is less likely to stay on any cover acne in general, but it’s easily brushed over concealer for a great matte finish. It won’t be absorbed in the same ways as a liquid will, which is part of why it’s so great for people with oily skin or who sweat often. It’s also commonly recommended for people with sensitive skin or want a quick application product.

On the flip side, powder foundation is known for being a bit tougher to apply evenly and smoothly. It can become patchy and appear caked on in some situations. For people who prioritize a smooth, glowing finish above all else, powder sometimes isn’t the way to go.

Liquid Foundation

Liquid foundation is perfect for covering acne and blemishes, and comes in many different formulas that work for different skin types. It lasts a long time without requiring touch-ups, and is often used by people with older or dryer skin. It’s also perfect for those who have wrinkles or might be sensitive to the sun.

Liquid foundation does take more time to apply than powder, and it takes some work to blend it evenly between the face and neck. It can be tougher to match to skin tone, and mistakes here can make the product look unnatural more easily than powder.

Can Both Be Used?

Absolutely! Many people choose both liquid and powder foundation to combine the matte and glow together. It’s important here to not over-apply, and to be sure to put the liquid foundation on first – applying the powder first will cause the liquid to just wipe off, since the powder doesn’t stick to the face.

While some cosmetology programs stop at the eyebrows, we believe that having a solid understanding of make-up basics is required to be competitive in today’s beauty market. That’s why introductory make-up is a standard part of our cosmetology program. For more information about the program, including start dates and costs, click here.

A big part of the salon world involves clients on the go who need quick services, and as a student in our cosmetology program, you’ll learn how to properly manage these clients within your schedule. One of the most common areas of need here is generally makeup – many clients may just need a quick touch-up or alteration before a big meeting or an important date.

We’ll give you the tools to handle all these sorts of requests at Collectiv Academy, but here’s a free taster: Some tips on quick makeup tricks for clients (or yourself) on the go.


For anyone trying to look less tired in a hurry, mascara should be the first outlet. A quick process around the eyes can do the trick in mere moments: First curl the lashes, then pull them inward and then back outward an equal number of times.

Then comes the major trick, where you paint each individual lash with the vertical want tip – this seems like it would be time-consuming, but in reality it should only take about 10 seconds per eye. Finally, wiggle the wand across the bottom lashes to pop them out as well, and you’ll have a wide-eyed, awake look.

Skip Lipstick

Lipstick can be a bit more of a time-waster than it might seem on the surface, and more importantly, you often don’t need it to create a great look. You can use a basic lip balm and a tiny amount of tone crayon or lip balm to blend your skin tone into the rest of your makeup – with the right gloss application, this will make your lips seem fuller and better-toned without the hassle and potential mess of lipstick.

Conceal the Right Areas

Knowing the right areas to conceal can save you boatloads of time for a quick touchup. You don’t necessarily need to cover the whole face to get rid of the little signs of tiredness or wear on the face. Instead, focus on these areas: Above and below the eyebrows, directly below the eyes following the cheekbone, at the bottom corners of the nose, and just between the lips and the chin. These are areas that are prominent on the face, and a quick touchup can give the look of a full-on makeup job.

Looking for more make-up tips and tricks? Read about how to combine make-up and sunscreen or the differences between powder and liquid foundation.