I see a lot of women in my line of work that have been given a bum steer at the makeup counter re: their foundation. And since they are relying on the expert advice of the person who served them, it is not their fault that they have committed foundation faux pas. Too often they are sold a product that is wrong for them in either the colour choice or texture…. so here are the sins and how to make a better choice next time you are at the beauty counter.
1. USING A POWDER FOUNDATION
Most times when a women says to me that she is using a mineral powder on her face I notice that her skin is not so good. It looks clogged and spotty. It seems that mineral powders have been touted as the safe , natural way to beauty but not all mineral powders are created equal and can contain harmful ingredients like bismuth oxychloride, dimethicone and talc to name a few. But besides all of that , mineral powders and powder foundations in general do not give good even coverage. If you have dry skin it tends to get caught in these patches, and if you have open pores it gets stuck in them and creates an uneven look. And worse still if you have fine lines it gets caught and accentuates them. I tend to stay away unless you have an immaculate, dewy complexion that can take a fine dusting and look amazing ( a rare few!) Cream foundations are much easier to blend onto the skin and even out skin tone, leaving your skin looking youthful and dewy.
2. USING AN OIL FREE FOUNDATION WHEN YOU HAVE DRY SKIN
Quite often when you go to buy a foundation the person serving you will forget to ask what skin type you have so they can determine which is the correct formula for you. Using an oil free foundation on oily or oily /normal skin is fine because it balances out the skin but often I see women wearing foundation that is too dry for their skin, and usually it is an oil free one they have been sold. This will only accentuate the fine lines and wrinkles leaving the skin looking flat and aged…. something we are trying to avoid. Make sure when you try the foundation on in the store that your skin looks slightly dewy and there is no crepey look .
3.TESTING YOUR FOUNDATION ON YOUR HAND OR JAWLINE
When I test someone's foundation I like to test it all over the face , not just in one spot. The back of your hand or the inside of your arm is never a good place because that is not the colour of your body. It is always best to let the sales assistant sit you down and apply the makeup to your whole face, matching the colour to your neck and your décolleté - since our face is always lighter than the rest of our body. In this process you need to determine whether your skin colour is a pink base or a yellow base. This is a common mistake women make too getting this wrong. Sometimes your skin can be a mix of both pink & yellow. My favourite brands to use if this is the case are Ellis Faas or Chantecaille who both do shades that fall into this category and the texture of both of these products leave the skin looking like silk. Their colours in their respective ranges swing neither too far pink or too far yellow but fall somewhere in between.
The picture below is quite a famous one of the gorgeous Emily Blunt who clearly did not get her foundation matched that day and is a prime example of what NOT to do. It should be the perfect colour blend all the way from you face right down to your chest.
4. NOT USING A PRIMER
Most people look so much better when they use a primer. It lays down a really smooth base by filling in the pores and allowing your foundation to last much longer. There are a lot of different primers available now that soften the appearance of wrinkles with serums, mattifying to control shine and boosting radiance. The difference of applying a primer before your foundation is noticeable. A couple of my favourites are Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer with SPF15 and Eve Lom Flawless Radiance Primer which hydrates the skin.
5. APPLYING YOUR FOUNDATION WITH YOUR FINGERS OR A SPONGE
Not that there is really anything wrong with using a sponge or your fingers but using a sponge is a costly way to apply as most of the product is left in the sponge so you will find yourself going through your product a lot faster and using your fingers just doesn't give you the same silky look as using a makeup brush designed for applying foundation. The foundation glides on smoother and less cakey, using far less product than both fingers and sponge. When looking for one make sure it has synthetic bristles, not animal hair - that combination does not mix well at all!
And don't forget to wash it regularly in warm soapy water to keep it clean and free from bacteria.
6. APPLYING TOO MUCH FOUNDATION
Foundation really should be about enhancing our skin , not camouflaging. I see a lot of young girls who have the most amazing skin who should be making the most of the fact they still have it , and yet they have sooo much foundation on ( and usually 3 shades darker than their skin tone ) and I want to scrape it all off and show them how gorgeous they can look with just a fine veil over their skin that would make it look like velvet. We don't need to plaster it on with a trowel and especially as we age - less is definitely more. For older women I like to just put a small amount on the forehead , each cheek and the chin and blend it out to the edges then down the neck to give the illusion of a full face of makeup , with only minimum applied. You are really only looking to even out skin tone and give the skin a dewy look.
So use this as a guide next time you visit the beauty counter armed with more knowledge :) x
I have been a makeup artist for over 20 yrs and am passionate about beauty and helping women to look the best they possibly can. I believe that women are beautiful at any age , and being older myself, am constantly on the look out for products that will help the skin retain its glow and beauty. From a very young age I have paid attention to my skin and have always gone looking for new, innovative - or even tried and true products that make a difference. I take inspiration from my friends and women I meet in my work. These women are the reason I started this blog , so that I can pass on my knowledge and help women to keep looking, and feeling amazing . I love finding new looks that inspire and you can adapt to your own style . I am also a mum with 3 boys which keeps my life very busy ... and never dull as anyone who knows me will attest to! All items posted on this blog are chosen because I have personally tried them and like them. I hope you find something here that you will love and will work for you.