How to choose the correct foundation for your skin …

I feel this is such an important topic to write about. As a Make-up Artist, it is the first and most important step you take when applying someone’s make-up. When training, there was always such an emphasis on this as a mandatory starting point. Yet so many people seem to get this wrong. So today I am going to write about how to choose the right foundation for your skin type.

I know it seems like it is all about the shade of the foundation, but there are a few factors to take into account before we get to choosing your shade.

Firstly, determine your skin type. Do you have Dry, Oily or Combination skin. If you have oily skin, try to go for foundations which tell you they are ‘Oil-Free’ or ‘Mattifying’. If you have Dry skin, using a ‘Moisture-Rich’ or ‘Hydrating’ Foundation will help your skin look more dewy and healthy. If you have combination skin, I recommend that you first decide if your skin is mostly dry or mostly oily before starting and go from there; perhaps try a Mineral of Cream-to-Powder Foundation.

The next thing to decide is, what sort of coverage you want from your foundation? Light, Medium or Heavy. If you are after a product with a light coverage, perhaps consider even going for a tinted moisturiser or one of the many new BB creams to hit the market recently. They are much better for your skin than foundation and there are so many which are well worth the spending. A prize product of mine is Estee Lauder Daywear – Sheer Tint Release. I have written about this product in a previous blog. Click this link to read more about it ( http://wp.me/p27fvX-1m ).

If you use a heavy coverage foundation to hide blemishes, please consider that the foundation may be the reason for your blemishes. So many heavy coverage foundations are packed with Oil and high levels of pigment which work wonders when it comes to blocking the pores in your skin, in turn causing breakouts and blemishes. If it is an option, try going make-up free for a period of time and sticking to a really strict skin care regime to help clear your skin, then move down to a medium coverage. In my opinion, heavy coverage foundations should really only be used on special occasions so that your skin can recover in between times.

When you are going to colour match a foundation intended for everyday use. It is important that you go with a clean face, free of any sort of tinted moisturiser, make-up or false tan.  When choosing the right colour, you will need  to work out what colour of skin undertone you have, warm or cool. A lot of people will find that their skin looks better when your wear either Silver or Gold Jewellery. If you find that Silver highlights your skin better, the chances are you have cool undertones and vice-versa, if you find that your skin illuminates when you wear gold, the chances are you have warm undertones. A select few will find that they can easily wear both Silver or Gold, meaning you have neutral undertones and will be able to wear foundation with either undertones. There are many websites and blogs online to give you tips on how to determine your correct undertone.

The ideal outcome for choosing the right foundation is, when you apply the foundation to your face (apply it just above your jaw line) that the foundation should seem to disappear. You shouldn’t use your foundation to change the colour of your skin to make it darker or more than tan. This will make your make-up look fake and unnatural, which of course is the complete opposite of what you want your make-up to do. If you are looking for a sun-kissed look, use a light dusting of bronzer over your foundation. Your foundation should never create a mask effect.

If you are going to a department store to be colour matched at a cosmetics counter, do not buy the product straight away. Ask them to apply it to your face and some counters may even give you a tester to take home to try for a few days. The reason for this is the lighting in department stores tends to be florescent tube lighting and an unnatural light. This will make the appearance of your natural skin tone change. So when you are matched, they aren’t actually matching to your real skin tone. So by having them apply the foundation for you, you can go outside and check in the natural light to see if it works or not. If it doesn’t work, you will be able to see whether you should be a shade lighter or darker.

When you buy your foundation from a department store counter and it is the wrong colour, they should always allow an exchange or refund if it turns out to be the wrong colour.

Take time when choosing a new foundation. Test it to see if it works in all the areas above over a period of time and remember your foundation should only enhance the skin you already have, not give the appearance of a different colour of skin.

If you have any questions or need any more advice on the subject, just drop me a line and I shall do my best to help.

Below are a few examples of how your foundation should NOT look.

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