Perhaps the biggest beauty fault of all time is what we’ll call the “line of demarcation”: that abrupt foundation line that separates your neck from your face at the jawline (yikes!). This is the same faux pas that makes you cringe when you notice it on someone else. Let’s be real, though, we’ve all been guilty of committing this beauty sin at one point or another (er, like when you’ve hit snooze one too many times and was doing your makeup on the subway), which is why we’ve rounded the 4 steps to preventing this mishap from ever happening again.
Step 1: Note the difference between your skin tones
This is the most essential step of them all: Making sure you are aware of the color contrast between your neck and décolletage is key to finding the best foundation color for you. Be sure to examine your skin tones under sufficient, natural lighting—near a window is best.
RELATED: 3 Ways to Feel Good About Your Neck
Step 2: Choose the type of foundation and color that’s right for you
Choosing an appropriate foundation formula and correct color will help create a uniform look. We suggest matching your foundation to your face because the neck is usually lighter (this typically has to do with sun exposure). Whether you opt for a liquid foundation or take the powder route, be sure to select the formula type that suits your needs.
Selecting a liquid foundation:
If you’re looking for a weightless feel and luminous finish, go with Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation ($62; bloomingdales.com). For a more airbrushed look, try Revlon’s PhotoReady Airbrush Effect Makeup ($15; ulta.com).
Selecting a powder foundation:
When it comes to powder, for a natural matte finish, choose Make Up For Ever’s Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder ($36; sephora.com). It even doubles as a setting powder—score! For long-lasting coverage and added sun protection, bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation ($28; ulta.com) will do the trick.
Selecting the best color:
To choose the right hue, simply test out a few similar shades that you think might match your complexion. We suggest applying them directly to your jawline. When using liquid, always choose the color that disappears into your skin easily.
Step 3: Use the right tool
Evenly applying makeup from your face all the way to your décolletage could be tough, which is why your fate rests in your choice of applicator.
Best applicator for liquid foundation:
We suggest sticking with a Beautyblender ($20; sephora.com) or Stila’s Double Ended Blending Sponge ($12; ulta.com). To apply correctly, dampen with water. Not only will this allow for easier blending, it also prevents too much makeup absorbing into the sponge. Apply in a downward motion, starting at the jawline.
Best applicator for powder foundation:
When using powder for the neck and décolletage, it’s imperative that you own large, fluffy brushes. Enter: EcoTools’ Face & Body Sculpting Brush ($12; walgreens.com), which is perfect for blending your shoulders, neck and décolletage. Simply coat with your desired powder foundation and apply in a downward motion. Similarly, the dome shape of Make Up For Ever’s 130 Large Powder Brush ($55; sephora.com) allows for quick, easy all-over application for both face and body.
RELATED: This Is the Best Brush for Liquid Foundation
Step 4: Tie the look together with bronzer
Just like every fairytale, applying makeup to your neck and décolletage requires a happy ending. That’s where your bronzer comes to the rescue, ensuring that you glow like never before.
We suggest using Sephora’s Classic Bronzer Brush ($28; sephora.com) to apply product evenly on your face, neck and décolletage. For extra shimmer, try Nars’s Bronzing Powder ($39; sephora.com). For a lightweight feel, Guerlain’s Terracotta Bronzing Powder ($53; sephora.com) or Clinique’s True Bronze Pressed Powder ($26; sephora.com) are ideal. Heading to the gym? Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer ($30; ulta.com) will ensure a lasting look no matter how intense your workout. Did we mention the beautiful packaging? Win.
PHOTOS: Steal A Base: Find Your Perfect Foundation Shade