Make-Up Moves: Foundation Part 1

Torrey is back this new year with a post all about the different types of foundations and how to choose the best one for you!

Foundations come in varying forms – powder, liquid, gel, or cream. When choosing your foundation, first decide what type of coverage you’d like. Some women like light or sheer coverage, where your natural skin can still peek through. Those of us who choose this type of coverage have minimal blemishes and imperfections and mostly want to just add an extra layer to smooth out the skin tone. Next, there’s medium coverage. This coverage is moderate. Your imperfections will be covered, but your natural skin still has a chance to peek through. Most times this is used for coverage moderate imperfections or for special occasions where photos will be taken. Finally, there’s full coverage. This type of coverage will cover any type of imperfection, freckles, “beauty marks,” and most other things you can think of. Sometimes this coverage can appear as though you have a second layer of skin, but when applied and blended correctly will be seamless.  Many foundations also have buildable coverage, meaning, you can add multiple layers to achieve a heavier coverage.
One important note: while foundation can mask/cover imperfections, blemishes, and the like, it can not cover texture. If you happen to be breaking out or have scars that are raised, your foundation will not magically make them disappear. What it will do is make all of the skin on your face the same color. One huge mistake women make is “caking” on their foundation, thinking it will make the more textured parts of their faces disappear. Foundation cannot do this. Only a healthy skin care regimen will assist in softening your skin.
The next decision when choosing a foundation, is determining what formula is best for your skin type. As a guideline, these formulas work well with these types of skin
  • Oily skin: powder, liquid
  • Dry skin: liquid, cream, gel

Types of Foundation:

  • Powder foundations come in a compact or a jar, if a loose powder.
    • Bonus tip: Mineral makeup is fairly new. It is in powder form but can work well with drier skin types. It seems to just melt right into your skin. Try a Bare Essentials near you to test their formula.
  • Liquid foundations come in bottles with or without a pump.
  • Gel foundations will come in a bottle as well, these formulas are a little thicker than liquids and have a jelly-like consistency (hence “gel”)
  • Cream foundations can come in either a compact or as a stick. Black Opal has a foundation stick that many women of color have raved about. It’s a great option that is fairly cheap and available in most drugstores.
    • Bonus tip: There are some cream foundations that will work for oilier skin types; however, most are designed for mature or dry skin.
Color selection can be very tricky. Some people say you should test on your wrist, I say no! Your face is usually darker than the inside of your wrist. The color you’d choose would be too light. I believe the best way to test foundation color is by taking a small swatch along your jaw line and blending. If you’re in between colors or are unable to decide which is best, a good tip brought by Urban Decay Cosmetics is to take 2 or 3 swatches side by side and blend, then you will see which color is best and why the other(s) is off.
Quick snippet: For whatever reason, MAC foundations in NC45 has become the standard for women of color. Please know, every woman of color is not an NC45. Try something different, it may be better suited for your color. Also, there are some foundations, including MAC, that oxidize. This means the color alters once your natural oils begin to produce.
I tried an NC45 foundation and around 4pm and I was orange. This is because the foundation oxidized. If you’ve experienced this, do not be afraid to try something different. And tell the Make-up Artist at the counter, “no, this does not work for me.” Just because they work at MAC (or any other counter, for that matter) does not mean they know every single person’s skin.
When applying foundation, there’s no right or wrong way. Here’s a pictorial on how I apply mine:
Brushes for foundation – you can choose to use a stippling, flat top, traditional foundation, small rounded, or oval shaped brush to apply your foundation. It’s all preference.
Make-Up Brushes
from left to right – Kirkland stippling brush, elf flat top blush brush, MAC 190 brush, MAC 109 brush, Real Techniques buffer brush, Real Techniques expert face brush.Flat top and rounded brushes like the MAC 109 are good for powder foundations. All of the pictured brushes can be used for liquid or cream foundations.IMG_0823Today I opted to use the elf blush brush and MAC Studio Sculpt foundation in NC44, which is a gel based foundation. This foundation is slightly too light for me. If you run into this problem, you can use a powder to set your foundation that is darker.Take a pump or 2, depending on how much coverage you’d like. This was actually too much for me, I didn’t use all of it.
My plain face…
To apply, I like to dot the foundation all over my face, then blend. You can also apply it in sections, for example, starting with your forehead and working down.
While blending….blend in circular motions to get the best coverage and to ensure the best blending.
FInished blending….be sure to blend into your hairline and neckline…
Once you’ve finished blending your foundation, use your pressed or loose powder of choice to “set” your foundation and make it last longer.
quick note: be sure to blend up into your hair line and down under your chin and on your neck and also your ears. You don’t want to have that ghostly film with your face being significantly lighter.
Well, that will wrap up Part 1!  Be sure to check back next week for Part 2 and learn how to contour and highlight your face!!

Your Chic is Showing,

love erika

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