Today's topic is really building up from yesterday's skin undertones and seasons post. Because, honestly, you need to know if you should be buying a warm or cool toned foundation, before you can just buy one. If you're warm toned, and you're applying a cool toned foundation, you really can make yourself look older, tired and sick!
So if you haven't yet, read yesterday's post before you go into today's topic.
NEVER do this!
Your hands, arms and any other part of your body will be a different shade than your face. It makes sense. When you drive your car, your arms will get more sun than your face, and even if you apply SPF they will be more tan than your face. And I can go on. Our hands are most exposed to the sun, so it's really not a good idea to test foundation there.
Another thing is the fact that shops are artificially lit. It's very seldom that you can find a makeup retailer with windows and natural light (in South Africa anyway). If the lights are more yellow, the foundation will appear more yellow, etc.
All these things make it more difficult! Ideally, you could compare the foundation in natural light, but since that is not always possible, I suggest you ask the help of one of the store clerks, especially if it is your first time going to buy foundation (or the right foundation anyway!).
If you're lucky enough to have natural light at your beauty store, great! You're going to need a mirror, a compact mirror will be fine. I suggest you take it along, cause you never know how busy the shop's going to be and if someone else is going to hog the mirror there. :) When you want to test a foundation, test it on your jawline. This is the best place to test it, because chances are your neck is a shade or two lighter than your face. This is normal! Your face makes an "umbrella" for your neck, and blocks some of the sun! So you need something close to the skin on your face, and you should always bring it down onto your neck and chest.
So now you know how to test the colour, but what type of foundation should you get?
You can apply it with your hands, a sponge or a brush.
Most people use this over their liquid foundation, to set it. But few realise you can use these babies by themselves.
Powder foundation should be applied with a brush or a puff.
The powder is usually applied with a kabuki brush, and is buffed in circular motions into the skin. The liquid and mousse alternatives can be applied with a brush, sponge or your hands.
They're priced around the same as liquid foundations, but you can get any amount of product depending on how it was packaged. You also get these in plastic tubes.
I personally despise this foundation type, since it tends to look really cakey and flaky.
OK. Lets talk about finish. This simply means the way the foundation will look after it's been applied.
* Matte : This means it will have no shine or dewiness.
* Semi matte : it'll have some shine and dewiness.
* Satin : this foundation will apply dewy, and look 'glowing'.
* Natural : It will have the most natural finish, and will be dewy in some parts and matte in other.
Matte and semi matte are best for those who don't like to look shiny and oily. These are also the best finished for oily or combination skin. Satin and natural are better for dry or older skin. And those lucky enough to have normal skin, can wear whatever they want to!
Coverage is another aspect we should look at, since your skin type, age and the condition of your skin plays a roll here.
* Sheer / Tinted : This will give a very light coverage, and beauty sport and freckles will still show. This is great for just evening out complexion, school or going to the gym (for those ladies who cant leave the houst without foundation!). It feels very light on the skin, almost like there is nothing there.
* Medium : It will give more coverage, and can be used to conceal the odd blemish. This is the normal type of coverage, that most of us will use on a daily basis. Beauty spot will still show, but it can cover freckles and small imperfections.
* Full coverage : This is the heaviest type of coverage, and will cover anything and everything. This is used on people with heavy acne breakouts, on stage, and, believe it or not, on brides. It also tends to have a thicker and heavier formula.
Another thing to consider when buying foundation is the formula.
* Oil free is best for women with oily or combination skin. If your skin is dry, please don't buy this one, since it'll dry out your skin even more.
* Mature skin should look for something with silicone in the formula. Silicone will 'lift' wrinkles and crows feet, and make the skin look more even. Apply less product in the wrinkly areas, otherwise your foundation can lay in the wrinkles and make them more prominent.
* Dry skin could use something with a moisturiser built in. This will restore some or the lost moisture in your skin.
* If you're going to be photographed, it's a good idea to get a foundation without, or with very low SPF, since the SPF can show up with camera flashes and make your skin look white. For everyday use, get the SPF though, specially if you don't wear a day cream that has it built in.
* If you can't find a sheer coverage foundation, or you want sheer coverage once in a while and medium the rest of the time, don't panic. Simply mix some foundation with your day cream and apply it like a tinted moisturiser.
I really hope this post will help you pick out the right foundation. It really is the most important part of your makeup, and if it isn't the right shade, or if it's too heavy on your skin, it can age you and make you look drawn. Spend some time with your foundation, and you'll look awesome all the time!