Are you doubtful about applying foundation? Trust me, 90% of the people I have asked this have replied affirmatively. Foundation is without a doubt the most anxiety-inducing product in our makeup bags. Forget what you think you know about foundation—it’s come a long way since the cakey, war paint stuff women used to wear 20 years back. Let me take you through the world of foundation and settle all your worries.
Here’s how to get in on the miracle.
The right color
I guess, a few thick books have been written on this intimidating topic! Not difficult a topic at all. Test foundation on your jawline and check it in the daylight. The color is correct if it disappears/ matches without blending.
Please don’t try to alter the natural color of your skin. That is the biggest foundation disaster you can ever make. If you want a tanned look, there are the amazing bronzers for it. If you are deeper brown, make it flawless with foundation but don’t try to lighten it with paler foundation.
If can’t find none that match perfectly, opt for mixing 2 shades together, one shade lighter and one darker that your skin color.
It’s even better to have more than one shade of foundation – your skin shade’s changes every season even if you can’t notice at times.
The right texture of foundation
This is as important (and equally mind boggling!) as choosing the shade of foundation.
- If you have dry skin, go for a cream compact foundation or a liquid with a more emollient texture that will settle into the skin and not get caught on dry patches. No matter how moisturizing your foundation be, don’t ever skip moisturizing beforehand, though. Your skin needs it no matter what.
- Oily skin? Oil-free foundations were made for this skin type. The natural oils of the face will combine with the oil-free foundation and create a beautiful, natural finish. You can try the powder foundation, cream to powder and mousse foundation formulated for oily skin.
- Need a lot of coverage? Go for cream foundations as they’re the most opaque.
- You should also figure out which kind of foundation to use depending on the weather, as that makes a good difference. Your skin might love the moisturizing cream foundation in the cold and dry winter months but tend to be oily with the same in summer. The thumb rule is to stick to lighter, non-oily formulae in summer.
Liquid foundations are sheer and great for most skin types. They even out skin well and cover blemishes and scars. It’s the best option for normal skin that doesn’t have any particular problems.
Stick foundations provide a heavy coverage, great for blotchy skin but needs a good blending on skin.
Cream foundations offer the best of both worlds to women with dry, flaky skin. Provide total coverage and contain rich moisturizers.
Powder foundations are used to control shine, mostly for oily skinned beauties. They deliver a great matte, even finish. You’ll find it lighter than the creams so it’s perfect for women with normal to oily skin. But this foundation can show off your dry skin and blemishes.
Mousse foundations are cream foundation in a whipped consistency. It gives a lighter coverage. A great option for older skin because mousse foundation doesn’t settle in fine lines and wrinkles.
Spray on foundations are great for acne scars and post-surgical skin to help the make up last longer.
The right finish of foundation
Foundations not only differ in shade and texture but also finishes. Although, the brands may have specific terminology to describe the finish of their products, foundations mostly come in the following four textures.
- High gloss
Let’s have a look.
Matte finish is also known as powder finish. This texture leaves the skin with a no-shine, powdery finish. It has always been the preferred choice of many, due to the perfect clean and soft look that it leaves on the skin.
Result– No shine
Perfect for– Combination, oily and very oily skin. This is one of the most long lasting finish among all, so they are a great option for events when you need your makeup to last.
Avoid – skin which are super dry, or have issues of fine lines and wrinkles. The powder finish often highlights the fine lines and imperfections by settling on them, so it may not be suited much for mature skins. And also this will not be a good option for dry skin has matte foundations can make dry patches look worse.
Satin finish also known has sheen /cashmere finish. This texture is semi matte giving a natural smooth finish. It’s one of the most flattering and natural looking foundation formulae.
Result- Silky finish, keeping the skin looking natural with a soft glow. This finish is intermediate as it is not as shiny as luminous not as flat as matte.
Perfect– For most skin types. Set the foundation with a translucent powder to help it lasts longer. This is not very suitable for very oily skin, specifically in hot or humid climatic condition. Those who have slightly oily skin carry around a blot powder and apply over the T-zone to reduce any shine that may appear during the wear.
Avoid – if you have super oily skin, or have a very problematic skin with a lot of scars or zits. You may need to keep on powdering the face to avoid excess oil during the day.
Luminous also known has dewy/pearl finish. It’s one of the most popular finishes for creating the shiny look. It is also famous in creating the flawless skin look at weddings /events. This type of finish looks glossy and flawless but it doesn’t last as long as matte or satin finish.
Result– It leaves the skin with dewy finish. Skin looks intensely moisturized.
Perfect– for people with normal to dry skin as it can add the shine which these lack of. It can also be a great option for adding radiance to mature or parched skin.
Avoid– if you have large pores or blemished skin, as luminous finish tends to highlight them. Stay away if you have super oily skin as luminous finish will make your skin too shiny even with a setting powder.
High gloss finish also known as shimmering finish. This is one has the highest shine among all textures of foundation. This type of finish is not much in use for general purposes and it’s mostly used for high glamor functions like on catwalks and in editorial shoots. It’s suggested to be paired with a lot of face sculpting to maintain the face defined. This texture is often not available easily as ready to use but makeup artists can create this by adding illuminators into the luminous foundations.
Finish– Its gives a very glossy finish.
Perfect for – This texture won’t suit well for casual use. A skin which is super dry may be able to carry this texture that also with a blot powder handy. This texture is primarily used for editorials and photo-shoots.
Avoid – if you aren’t on a glamorous photo-shoot for a magazine cover or walking down a ramp.
The right tools
Fifty-two percent of women don’t use a tool to apply their foundation, but most makeup artists insist that using brush is a must for an even, flawless finish. Just notice the difference between the effect of brush application as opposed to finger application.
Choose your perfect foundation brush and never have a bad makeup day again! The right tools make a huge difference with makeup application, especially with foundation. Invest on a good brush.
Brush Shape Matters
The type of foundation brush you choose depends on the type of foundation you wear, as well as the coverage and finish you prefer. Here is a look at our favorites for every type of foundation.
Flat Brush: like, Mac 190 Foundation Brush
Best for: Liquid, cream or cream-to-powder foundation
This creates medium to full coverage. Use this brush to apply foundation with smooth, downward strokes starting in the center of the face and working outward. For fuller coverage, use a stippling motion to gently press the full side of the brush into skin, and then use the tip to blend out the edges.
Stippling Brush: like, Real Techniques Stippling Brush
Best for: Liquid/cream foundation
This foundation brush is with a flat head that builds sheer to medium coverage. Stippling brushes are also good for blending makeup and creating a smooth, lightweight finish. Apply the liquid foundation directly to the brush, and then dab it onto the face. Blend in swirling motions and gradually add more foundation until you’re satisfied with the coverage.
Kabuki Brush or Buffing Brush: like, Sigma F80
Best for: Liquid, mousse or powder foundation
The densely packed bristles make it easy to apply a more concentrated amount of foundation to skin. This type of brush is excellent for achieving medium to Full coverage with either liquid or powder products. Blend in swirling motions and gradually add more foundation until you’re satisfied with the coverage.
The Sponges: like, the Beauty Blender
Best for: Liquid/cream foundation
This age-old process of applying wet sponge has worked for long. The velvety damp sponge mimics moist fingers and gives a medium to heavy coverage. With the advanced materials being introduced the texture of the sponge has come a long way from good to better! The best way that I have found to use this is that instead of dipping the sponge directing into the foundation, first smear a light layer all over the face and then use the sponge in a stippling motion. First stipple and then blend in swirling motions and gradually add more foundation until you’re satisfied with the coverage.
Prep your skin
For the perfect canvas, make sure your skin is clean and moisturized. Keep your skin regularly scrubbed as no matter how good your foundation is, it will not sit smooth if your skin is laden with dead cells. Before applying foundation,
- Wash skin with a non-drying wash,
- Massage lightly with some some light moisturizer.
- Wait five minutes before you apply foundation to let moisturizer sink in.
- Remove any excess moisturizer with a tissue paper; foundation sits pretty on moist skin but slides off from oily skin.
Primer is a skippable step for many but I don’t recommend skipping it. Primer, minimizes pores, smoothens but mattifies skin, helps your makeup to spread evenly holds your makeup intact for a good long time.
Tip: Use primer alone on lazy days as a quick complexion smoother.
Swipe it on the right way
For everyday coverage, dab foundation only where you need it to hide pimples, camouflage redness or even out your T-zone. To get an airbrushed finish, blend makeup all over, including the eye area, starting in the middle and working your way out. Try a downward motion or follow the direction of the growth of the fuzzes. Just don’t pile on extra for big events or photos. Moderate amount is just good but more is definitely not the better. And the most important act, blend, blend and blend. Nothing more tacking than harsh lines and streaky color on your face. Blend at the jawline, hairline, on and around ears. Check if your ears and neck area matches the face, if not make sure to apply foundation on those areas and blend.
Do concealer after foundation
If you apply it before, you’ll use more than you need. The base of foundation keeps concealer crease-free. Look for a lightweight liquid in a color one shade lighter than your skin. Going too light looks very fake like reverse raccoon eyes. Use a small brush to cover the darkest part of under-eye circles—usually right below the inner and outer corners.
If other little skin flaws aren’t quite covered by your foundation, dab on a tiny bit of concealer there too. Remember, you might need different concealers for different issues. The concealer you use to cover the bluish under-eye area might not cover the zit mark or rosacea at all.
If a pesky zit or mark is still poking through, go back and hide it with an extra layer of concealer.
Dab it onto problem areas with a pointed brush instead of slicking it on from the tube. Right on top of the blemish, it’s not meant to be totally blended in but to avoid cakeyness, use your ring finger or pointed blending brush to pat its perimeter outward until smooth.
Need some tips on under-eye concealer? Here it goes..
“Best tips for choosing under-eye concealer!”
Thanks a ton for the exhaustive reading! Do let me know if you find the post useful.