How To Find The Right Foundations For You
When you properly apply the right shade of foundation, you can hide imperfections and give your skin tone a naturally even look. On the other hand, if you don't know how to properly apply foundation, or if you've got the wrong shade, you could end up with a fake, caked-on look.
For most of us, lip gloss and a few strokes of mascara across our lashes are about all we have time for in the morning before we rush off for the day. Here are a few tips on finding that perfect foundation and how to apply it once you do.
Choose Foundation According to Your Skin Type
No matter what your skin type is, you want to start your right foundation search by looking for words like, "sheer," "light," or "medium," when the label mentions the type of coverage. These types of coverage give you the perfect blended look without making it so that you can't properly apply your makeup.
- Sensitive Skin: Because sensitivity often causes a lot of redness and other pigmentation, you want to find a product that can properly conceal it. Choosing a stick foundation gives you the benefit of having a mixture of concealer and foundation which delivers more pigment into the skin.
- Oily Skin: The trick with this skin type is to remember that oily skin means your skin has too much moisture; the last thing you want to do is add more to it. If you prefer liquid foundations, choose ones that are oil-free and mattifying. You could also try a mineral powder foundation; both of these products absorb excess oil and help you avoid looking shiny.
- Dry or Normal Skin: If your skin is dry, you want to add extra moisture to it, and if it's normal you want to keep moisture levels where they are. Both of these things can be accomplished by choosing a moisturizing foundation. Anti-aging products are also good; just check labels for ingredients like glycerin or Vitamin E which will help keep skin nice and soft.
Find Your Shade
Finding the right foundation can be overwhelming because it seems like each brand has more shades than there are days in a year. The best way to tackle it is to find a few shades that seem close to your skin tone and give them a try.
Most people test the shade on the back of their hand, but this really does no good since your hand and your face are seldom the same color. All you can really do is match as closely as possible and hope for the best when you get home. Just make sure you save your receipt since the majority of stores will allow you to return foundation that ended up being the wrong shade even after it's been opened.
If you forget everything else you've learned about the right foundation, just remember this; it must look natural. Even if the shade is slightly off, you can make it look natural by the way that you apply it.
First, it's important to start with nice, clean skin. Artists begin a masterpiece on a brand new canvas and you should do the same. Wash and moisturize your face and allow your moisturizer to sit for a couple of minutes before you apply your foundation. The key is to only apply it where you need it; it is not necessary to cover your entire face if you only have a few problem areas. Spot treating gives you a much more natural finish.
After you've treated each spot, blend the foundation outwards, toward your jaw or hairline, to make sure it is properly blended. For liquid foundation, you can simply use your fingers to blend. A damp sponge is also a great option since it slightly dilutes the makeup and gives you a much lighter coverage.
For powder foundations, a Kabuki brush is the only way to go. These are large round brushes that look a lot like the brushes in men's shaving kits. Simply dip the brush into the powder, tap it on the side of the container to remove loose particles, and then apply in a circular motion.
You can never blend enough when it comes to foundation, and the more you blend, the more natural your makeup will look. Also remember that less is more. It is better to apply less and add more than it is to remove it when you've used too much.
Set and Finish
If you've used a liquid foundation, it's good to dust some translucent powder over your face to set your makeup and make sure everything stays in place. If you used a powder formula, or if you have very dry skin, you can skip this step.
Updated October 25, 2011