I’d like to talk about the world of foundations, from barely there to completely covered. It can be challenging to find the right foundation with the correct shade and finish. Foundation, previously dry and chalky with a flat, lifeless finish has definitely made a huge improvement in the cosmetics industry. You can now find an endless array of beautiful, skin-enhancing, foundations, many of which have added skincare ingredients, along with sun-protection and built-in primers. Foundation has become a sort of skincare/cosmetic-hybrid. Consumers are more savvy now-a-days when it comes to what they want. They do their research and sometimes even know more than the average professional. So I figured I’d like to do some basic educating for those feeling a bit out of touch on this topic.
When working with a client, I hyper focus on their skin. I find this is where I see the most impact, the awe-ha! moment. When our skin’s discoloration is evened-out, skin can appear brighter and this is when we actually start to see the eyes pop. For me personally, I’d take beautiful glowing skin over a well-designed eye-look any day! Skin becomes uneven and dull over time, so adding brightness to the complexion gives a more youthful look. You’re fooling yourself if you think sweeping some eyeshadow or mascara on will do the trick. Get your foundation game on. Don’t make any more excuses! And no, it doesn’t have to look caky!
Here’s some advice on the what’s what and how to:
- Know your skin type and choose a foundation/primer based upon that. There’s no if, ands, or buts, on this one! This plays an enormous role in how the product/s will sit on the skin.
- Finding a primer is key for a smoother and longer-lasting application of your foundation. Primers can also minimize the look of enlarged pores, fine lines and soften textural issues with the skin. Again, keep in mind your skin type.
- Choose a foundation based on what kind of coverage and finish you’re trying to achieve. Sheer-to-light coverage will tone down any redness, but can’t disguise any spots or scarring. Light coverage will be more natural and fresh faced. Medium-full coverage will even-out the skin tone almost completely and can significantly reduce the look of imperfections. This would be considered a flawless, more glamorous look.
- Foundation finishes are a personal preference. Typically I’ve found if you’re a dry skin type, you’ll want to add some radiance to your skin. Find a product that’s more hydrating and lends a slight sheen or glow with the finish. Combo/Oily skin types will usually opt for something that is water-based and oil free with a natural-matte to natural-satin finish, this way you can avoid excess shine.
- Selecting the actual foundation shade….dun dun dun! This part can seem intimidating, but take a deep breath. It’s gonna be ok. I know there’s a slue of colors to choose from, and it feels impossible to find the right one. My advice is to take a look at your skin everywhere but your actual face! I know, it sounds crazy. The face has many different tones and not to mention, discolorations from many contributing factors. Warm, cool and neutral tones are the terms to know. Warm=peachy/golden tones. Cool=pink/porcelain tones. Neutral=mixture of both warm and cool tones. I recommend a visit to the makeup counter and to have a makeup artist select 3 or more foundation shades. Go with the one that blends in seamlessly and is undetectable. Areas I like to swatch foundations are, against the jawline, neck, chest or cheek. This will also help to clarify which undertone you are. If you find there are a few shades that would work, I would err on the lighter side. Foundations can sometimes oxidize as they sit on the skin and can darken a bit after application.
- Tools are your best friend when it comes to painting your face. This can help you achieve a beautifully blended foundation application. They are used to layer or build a foundation for more coverage or can create a sheer effect. It is essential knowing your tools and how to use them. The 3 tools I use and absolutely love are: my fingers, a damp sponge (I am obsessed with the Beauty Blender), and synthetic brushes (I am also obsessed with Real Techniques). A damp sponge can sheer out a foundation and also add a bit of hydration to the skin. Use it in a bouncing or stippling motion.
Fingers allow you to feel what is taking place and can pat or push products into the complexion. Synthetic brushes buff and blur, use them in circular or swirling movements. Always wash your sponges and brushes to keep bacteria from spreading on your skin. I like to use a gentle facial cleanser or baby shampoo, but you can always find brush cleansers.
- Apply your foundation in thin layers and a little at a time. Focus through on the center of the face, as the outer edges don’t need much. Blend outwards. This is my motto: three thin layers of foundation are always better than one really thick one.
- After you’re satisfied with your application, then set your foundation with a loose, ultra-fine translucent powder. If you’re super dry, you can skip this step.
- I like to finish with a hydrating mist or setting spray ( Fix + from Mac Cosmetics or Skindinavia setting spray). This helps to keep the skin from looking like you have too much makeup on, almost giving the skin a more natural finish.
Whether you’re an all natural beauty or a makeup junkie, there’s a foundation for everyone. I love foundation, and I hope after reading this that you feel more informed, confident, and become a fan as well. I’d love to know what your favorite foundations are. Please feel free to share them with me, leave comments or suggestions. Below are a few of mine.