Foundation Resource Post!
Foundation, in my humble opinion, is one of the trickiest makeup products to work with. I’ve only been using it for five months or so and I still don’t feel like I know what I’m doing. I’m consistently worried that I haven’t colour matched right or that I look too orange or that people think I look ridiculous. I came to the foundation game pretty late at 23 so I feel like I have a lot to learn, I’m no expert by any means. That being said, I feel like being so new to this aspect of makeup is useful for this post because I can tell you the process I went through as I went out and bought my first foundation and the trial and error process I’m still going through. I am targeting these posts at makeup beginners but that doesn’t really have an age limit. Whether your 13 or 30, foundation is never going to be a walk in the park but I’ll do my best to make sure you can put your best face forward.
So You Want to Cover Your Face in Foundation
My first experience with foundation was not a positive one. I wasn’t even the one wearing it but most of the girls I went to high school with did. I’m never going to fault anyone for being a beginner or not knowing what they’re doing, we all have to learn, but the reason I stayed away from foundation for so long was because of what I saw. These young ladies, with relatively good skin, piled the stuff on and it never seemed to match their actual skin tone. I was in high school in the mid-2000’s when the foundation look du jour was looking as orange as possible. Ok, that probably wasn’t actually what they intended to look like, but I was surrounded by lovely young women who were doing themselves an injustice by slathering on foundation that just wasn’t right for them. It wasn’t until I was many years away from high school and working at my current weekend job, that I was introduced to a whole new world of foundation. The people I worked with who wore foundation looked flawless. They had foundation that matched their skin tone almost perfectly and it was applied beautifully. There weren’t people who were getting their makeup done professionally, they were sitting down at home in front of their mirrors and applying it themselves. I was in awe. We live in a time when foundation is more than just a paste to cover imperfections. Foundation comes in so many formulations, shades, and finishes that anyone can find the perfect product for them. Foundation isn’t a one size fits all kind of thing anymore, companies are making foundation that will work for you and with you to create the perfect canvas for the rest of your makeup.
If you’re new to foundation, like I was a few months ago, it can be a little intimidating. Finding a foundation that works for you can be both a fun and terrifying experience. The only advice I can give you to start is to be patient, do your research, and be prepared to experiment. A lot. You may find your holy grail foundation on your first try or it may be on your twentieth. Whatever the case may be, don’t be discouraged and know that there is a foundation soul mate out there for everyone.
Where do I Start?
If you don’t know what brand you want to try or what price range you want to dable in, start with the internet. If you’ve never heard of www.findation.com you aren’t living your life correctly. I came across this website on tumblr actually and it made my future search for foundation a million times easier. I’ve mentioned it before but I’m going to include it in this post because it’s so useful. Essentially, you enter two foundation brands you are currently using or think you might like to use and then what shade you think would best suit you. To be honest this will be slightly more useful if you have already tried a foundation or two but you can wing it if you just need a reference point before you hit the store. You will then be directed to a list of both high end and drugstore foundation brands that will best match the shade you entered. You don’t just get a couple recommendations, you literally get a recommendation for almost every foundation on the market. It’s fantastic. After you have an idea in your head of what you want to try, put that baby into Google or into Makeup Alley and see what people are saying. Of course, take everything with a grain of salt, it is the internet after all. Even if a product has a lot of negative reviews it may work wonderfully for you. The one thing I always pay attention too is the amount of people that say the product has broken them out. Everyone’s skin is different but if twenty people out of fifty say that a foundation broke them out, maybe stay away from it. Once you have a comprehensive list, get your butt to the store and start testing things out.
There’s so Much to Choose From, What’s Going to Work the Best For Me?
You’re right, there is so much to choose from, and at first, even with a little help from the internet, it can be overwhelming. I can only give you advice, with time, you will get to know what products work best for you but I’m going to start by talking about finishes. By that I mean whether a foundation is matte or dewy, lightweight or medium to full coverage. Of course, buy whatever you want! But sometimes you just don’t need to be wearing a full face of matte full coverage makeup. I’m going to give you a comprehensive list of foundations that fall under each of these categories. I’m also going to talk a bit about BB Creams and tinted moisturizers because those can be handy in your foundation arsenal as well.
-Matte Medium to Full Coverage Foundation
This is exactly what it sounds like. Matte foundations are shine free and leave skin with a powdery, flawless finish. I find that most matte foundations do tend to be medium to full coverage. This means that your face will be completely covered and no flaws will be allowed to show through. If you have oily, acne-prone or pigmented scars this is the type of foundation for you. A matte medium to full coverage foundation will work best with oily skin and it will also help to disguise active acne and scars. A full coverage foundation will basically blanket your skin and let nothing show through. You will have to take extra steps to keep your foundation in place and maybe do a little highlighting and contouring just as matte full coverage foundations can wash out the natural contours of your face. i personally prefer matte foundations with a little more coverage. I don’t have bad skin by any means but I like to have a fairly flawless canvas to apply the rest of my makeup.
I find that it’s actually a little hard to find a good drugstore matte foundation. Some people swear by Revlon Colorstay as they do offer a matte formulation, but I can’t find a colour match. My personal favorite is Rimmel’s Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation. Not only does it have a beautiful texture but it’s also incredibly cheap. It averages around $7.99 CAD but I always find it on sale and bought my most recent tube for $6.30. If you have the money to spend, higher end matte foundation is a bit easier to come by. I’m in love with Makeup Forever’s Mat Velvet + which is, in my opinion, the best matte foundation there is. That being said, I can’t always afford it as its around $42 CAD for a pretty small bottle. A good matte foundation is hard to come by so you may need to do a little experimentation to find one that works for you.
-Dewy Light Coverage Foundation
When I say dewy foundation, I mean foundation that has a more “natural” finish. It has a more true to life healthy skin texture. This foundation is meant for people with dry-normal skin. This finish can tend to look oily if you already have oily skin and it won’t stay on your face for very long. These foundations tend to be lighter coverage. Of course you can layer your foundation but it won’t be nearly as flawless as a matte foundation would be. A dewy, light coverage foundation will work if you have fairly normal to dry skin and don’t have many skin issues and are just looking to wear a foundation to even out skin tone. These foundations are a little easier to come by. I don’t have a lot of experience with this particular foundation finish but there are a few I can recommend. You can give Covergirl’s NatureLuxe Liquid Silk Foundation a try. It’s fairly cheap and easy to apply. If you have drier skin this foundation would work great as it does contain cucumber oil and several other moisturizers. Or you can give Maybelline’s Fit Me! Foundation a try as well. I like this foundation and used up an entire bottle of it. I do find this to be a bit too dewy for me and its a little sticky when it dries but it is a great foundation. L’oreal’s True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Foundation is also an excellent foundation if you’re looking for a dewy, luminous finish. These are all drugstore foundations and easy to come by!
-Tinted Moisturizers, BB Creams, and Lightweight Foundations
If your a bit younger or have relatively young, good skin this might be the range of products for you. I find that if you’re quite young, a full face of makeup ages you and you really don’t want to look older than you are. If you also have young skin with few complaints and only the occasional bout of acne, don’t slather it in a thick layer of makeup. Foundation is just supposed to be a base, it’s supposed to even out your skin tone and provide you with a clean canvas. Of course, it can be used to cover up acne, but if you’re not constantly dealing with acne or you’re acne isn’t very severe, something lightweight is going to work just fine for you.
Tinted Moisturizers and BB Creams are a good place to start. With a tinted moisturizer or BB Cream you don’t have to worry too much about a colour match. There usually aren’t many shades to choose from because these products are really just meant to even out your skin tone and blur slight imperfections. If your younger, this is an excellent place to start. Personally, I have never used a tinted moisturizer so I won’t go into too much detail concerning those but I can tell you a thing or two about BB Creams. BB Creams or Blemish or Beauty Balms, are a beauty product that were made popular by Asian beauty brands and when they found their way to the rest of the world, they caused quite a stir. BB Creams are multi-purpose products that are similar to tinted moisturizers. They contain skin benefiting ingredients and treatments and are meant to not only even skin tone but to improve skin with continued use. The BB Cream available in North America aren’t quite as diverse as Asian BB Creams but if you want to give an Asian BB Cream a try you can certainly find them on the internet. If you don’t quite want to go to the trouble of ordering online or it’s just not something you can afford, there are plenty of drugstore and high end BB Creams available wherever you live. I don’t have any experience with high end BB Creams but I’ve found some really good drugstore products. My personal favorite is Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB 8-in1- Beauty Balm. There is a pretty good shade range for these little babies and its a great product. It contains sunscreen (yaaaay!) and it claims to blur the look of imperfections, create a natural looking glow, leaves skin looking visible smoother, compliments skin tone, hydrates all day, feels fresh, and is oil free. This is great to just slap on and go. You could set it with powder if you really wanted but it isn’t necessary. I also gave Garnier’s BB Cream a try and wasn’t as much of a fan. Not because the product isn’t good but because it’s too orange on me. These are both available at the drugstore and are easy on the wallet.
How Should I Put This Stuff on My Face?
-This is probably going to be the easiest part of this whole process! You can put foundation on any which way you please. I started out using my fingers! I do prefer using my Beauty Blender now but you can use pretty much anything. It doesn’t have to be expensive and there are so many options for all of you cuties out there. You can use a brush, a makeup sponge, or your own digits. I like to use a sponge or stippling brush because I find that these tools give the most flawless finish. It really is up to you and what you find most comfortable!
Ok, So I’ve Found the Right Foundation for Me, How Do I Keep This Stuff Looking Good All Day?
-I think, more than anything else, what you start with and what you finish with will either make or break your whole foundation experience. By that I mean what you use as a primer and what your use as a powder and setting spray. These two products, if used correctly, will leave you looking flawless and will keep your makeup in place all day. I’m going to separate this section into products to use for dry skin and for oily skin just so it will be easier for you to find the products that will work for your skin type!
-You will want to find a good moisturizing primer. You can pretty much use any primer you want unless you have sensitive skin and ingredients are an issue for you. A good silicone based primer will work great for you. If you have dry skin you may find that your foundation will cling to any dry patches you have so a primer will act as a barrier between your dry skin and your foundation. You may also want to look for a primer that has added skin benefits such as e.l.f.’s Mineral Primer or Maybelline’s Baby Skin Instant Pore Minimizing Primer. Both are moisturizing and non-irritating so they won’t bother your sensitive, dry skin.
-If you have oily skin a primer is going to be the difference between your makeup slipping off or staying in place all day. If you have oily skin you may also have larger pores so you may want to look for a primer that acts to blur imperfections and large pores. Primers such as Benefit’s Porefessional or NYX’s Doll Skin Primer would work great. Both of these primers works to fill in pores, keep your skin matte, and give you a smooth canvas to apply foundation. A mattifying primer may also work to your advantage. I’ve recently discovered Rimmel’s Stay Matte Primer which not only keeps your skin matte but it also keeps your makeup glued to your face all day.
-Whether you have oily or dry skin, some sort of powder if always beneficial. If you have oily skin you may need to use more powder than f you have drier skin, but a dusting of the stuff no matter what your skin type will always help.
I generally tend to stick to translucent powders. Coloured powders discolour foundation in my experience and I find that they tend to make you look cakey. There are endless powders out there from drug store to high end and there is a powder out there for everyone. I have been using Rimmel’s Stay Matte Powder for a few months now and I will always recommend this product when I can. Its just a basic setting powder that will work for almost anyone. I do have pretty dry skin and I haven’t found that this makes me look cakey or accentuates patches of dry skin I may be dealing with. NYX, MAC, e.l.f., Makeup Forever, and Maybelline all make excellent setting powders and this will probably be the easiest product search you go on.
-This isn’t something that is totally essential but it does make a difference. You can use setting spray to set more than just your foundation as well so it can be a multi-purpose product. I am a fan of Urban Decay’s line of setting sprays. Though a little pricey, it’s one of those products that is worth every penny. I use their All-Nighter Setting Spray which is sort of an all-purpose long lasting spray. However, if you have oily skin try their De-Slick Setting Spray or if you have dry skin they offer a moisturizing version. However, there are many companies that offer setting sprays in their makeup lines. Of course, you can try MAC’s Fix + and I know that NYX and e.l.f. both offer pretty decent setting sprays for a bit cheaper.
Whew! I think that’s it! I hope that’s it because my hands feel like they’re going to fall off. Like I said, I’m no expert, but this is the knowledge I have accumulated so far and I want to share it with all of you! Foundation is one of the trickiest aspects of makeup. Whether you can’t find a colour match or you have problem skin, sometimes it just seems impossible. The best advice I can give? Experiment. Try everything you can and eventually you will find that one product that will make applying foundation something you look forward to. If you have any questions don’t be afraid to message me!
Much love and happy foundation applying!
Product of the Week!
The Body Shop’s White Musk fragrance reminds me of my childhood. My Mom and her friends used to wear it and I have loved it since I first smelled it. The scent has been around for 25 years and is one of the Body Shop’s longest standing product lines. They are also one of the first companies to manufacture a cruelty-free musk. I made the mistake of searching out where and what musk is. It’s a little gross and I’m pretty glad that we’ve moved away from how it was originally manufactured. I haven’t owned a White Musk product since I was a young teenager and what prompted me to buy this was actually finding a fragrance I really liked and the similarities between the fragrance and White Musk. Being a little strapped for cash, I thought I’d buy myself a bottle of this stuff and hold off on the perfume. I;m glad I did though, I forgot how much I love this smell.
This scent has many components. It’s main ingredient is musk mallow, which adds the musky smell but also moisturizes the skin and is incredibly soothing, naturally comforting, and softening. This is layered with notes of lily, iris, ylang ylang, geranium, basil, rose, vanilla, amber, patchouli, oakmoss, vetiver, and peach. This is all encompassed in a base of Community Trade Shea Butter, Community Trade organic babassu, and Sweet Almond Oil. Not only does this smell great but its also incredibly moisturizing. This is the perfect lotion as warmer weather arrives. The scent is light and fresh and the formulation of the lotion is thin and silky. It also has a slight sheen to it? I don’t know if it’s actually supposed to be like that but that’s what I’ve always found. I have been slathering myself in this several times a day since I bought it. I love how it smells on my skin, light, sweet and powdery. Its a perfect bridge between heavy winter scents to the lighter ones of spring. I decided on the lotion as opposed to the actual perfume because I want to layer this with other scents I’m wearing right now. I may go back for the perfume version of this but I’ll see. They have other variations of this scent including White Musk Libertine and White Musk Smoky Rose. I haven’t tried either of these scents out but I’d be interested to. White Musk kind of seems like an older person fragrance, but I absolutely love it. If you find yourself in the Body Shop, give White Musk a smell. You might just love it too!
cassieeishhh asked: How was makeup school?! Did you finish already? You never told us any deets on it:)
I haven’t started yet! I was supposed to at the beginning of April but they had to move me to a later session in June!
cassieeishhh Thank you! I’ll make sure to keep you all updated as soon as I start!