The Foundation of Your Make-Up Routine

Mar 2, 2011 by

Foundation is complicated, you walk into the drugstore and you are bombarded with terrible fluorescent lighting and 64,387.4638,946 different options. How are you supposed to pick one? How do you know what to look for, and what color is best? Don’t panic. There are a few simple steps that can ensure you are getting the right foundation for your skin type and color.

First you need to determine what type of skin you have. Are you oily, combination, or dry?

  • If you have oily skin you will want to look for something water based that says oil-free or a powder foundation, mineral foundations are a great option for this skin type too. Alternatively if you have dry skin you will want to look for something that says it’s hydrating or a  creme foundation, as they are generally thicker and offer more moisture. People with combination skin can go either way, typically though a liquid is best for this skin type.

Just narrowing down what type of foundation you are looking for based on your skin type will make the search exponentially easier. The next thing that you want to do is look for a color that suits your skin type. the easiest way to do this is to obviously look at the color in the bottle, in stores like Sephora and Ulta you can sample the colors. When you are shopping at drugstores you are generally not so lucky, so you will want to do the best you can.

  • Most of the colors will use words like: natural, beige, medium, and tan. When you see natural and beige, the undertones of the foundation are typically going to be pink based. Medium is generally going to be a yellow based color, and lastly tan will have brown undertones and occasionally golden. You want to match your skin’s undertones in most cases, so this is going to help narrow down the search even more.
  • For aging skin you need to stay away from powder foundations, they have a tendency to fill in fine lines and look crepy on the skin. Try looking for something with glycerin on the ingredients list, that will make it easier for the foundations to glide onto the skin, and it will help to minimize the look of fine lines.

Now that you have narrowed down several options that are suitable for your skin tone and type you want to see which choices will look the most natural with your skin.

  • When looking for a color that most resembles your skin choose 3 shades that you think are best. Put a swipe of each on your jawline, whichever blends in seamlessly with your skin is your match. You always want to sample them on your jawline because you need to blend the color of your neck and your face, if you only match one or the other it will look like you are wearing a mask.
  • Always check the shade of your foundation in natural light, incandescent lights add a pink glow to the skin, while fluorescents add a blue glow. A color that looks great in those lights can look ridiculous in natural light, if you are unable to try it in natural light aim for a balance of the two lights.
  • If there are several colors that seem to work on your skin, go with the yellow based one. Yellow is a general undertone that looks good on most skin types.

Once you have the perfect foundation for you, there are several things that you can do with it to change the look and feel, these changes call also save you time and money.

  • If you buy a foundation that is slightly too dark and you are unable to return it, the best way to lighten it is to add a drop of moisturizer. This will lighten the color, and moisturize your skin, just like a tinted moisturizer. It’s a win-win.
  • When the seasons change typically your skin tone does too. For most people this would mean buying a new foundation, if that is not in your budget you can add a couple drops of a liquid bronzer to the foundation to darken it.
  • For a big night out, or for a day that you want to look especially luminous you can add a few drops of highlighter to the foundation to brighten your complexion.

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