A Guide to Foundations
 

On twitter I am regulary asked all about foundation so I decided to put together a easy to follow guide to foundation. I take for granted that I have worked around makeup for a very long time so I just wanted to bring it back to basics. I have been asked a number of times how and a when to apply concealer, how to apply liquid foundation...... the list is endless so take peek at this.

 

When you are looking for the perfect foundation it is so important that you test your foundation correctly in the cosmetic halls. I see women all the time testing the foundation on the back of their hands. This can lead to a makeup disaster and a total waste of money as your hand can not only be darker than your face but also the skin texture is very different. Get the counter artists to test the colour on your face, even if it’s just along your jawline, ask them kindly for a hand held mirror and check the foundation in natural day light or best possible light available. Some of these beautiful cosmetic halls have terrible lighting so this step is crucial.

 

Basic Foundation Application

 

  • Apply your normal skin care and primer if you are using one.

  • Apply a little of your liquid foundation (about the size of a penny) to the back of the hand opposite to the one you write with. This works as your painter’s palette and your body's natural temperature will help warm up the product so it can be spread easily.

  • You can apply the liquid foundation anyway you like. With your fingers, a sponge or my personal favorite a foundation brush. Dab your chosen applicator into the liquid on the back of your hand and apply a dot you nose, both apples of your cheeks, center of your forehead and finally your chin. Blend outwards and up if you are using your fingers or sponge because we do not want to aid Mother Nature in the aging process of our faces by pulling our skin down. If you are using a foundation brush then buff the foundation into your skin with a small circular motion, there should be no visible streaks from the brush and if you do then keep buffing. This could even take a few minutes depending on how much you are applying.

  • For liquid, stick, or cream foundation wearer, now is the time you would conceal. We do it this way because the foundation should have done most of the work already and we would have just rubbed it all off in the foundation application.

  • Lastly we powder the liquid foundation with a setting powder to set the foundation making it last longer and prevents shine. You do this by sweeping some powder across your face paying attention to your t-zone.

Powder Foundations

  • Apply your normal skin care and primer if you are using one.

If you are applying a powder product apply your concealer first! If you conceal after you have applied the powder foundation you are a risk of creating a cakey finish, we don't want that, we want a flawless finish. When you are ready for foundation swirl the brush, puff or sponge into the powder. Now, if you are using a brush, dab the brush into the product lid, this will shake off any excess powder. I see woman blow on the powder brush or sort of whip it around in the air to get the powder off, this can lead to a wardrobe disaster. Who needs an outfit covered in foundation powder, it can be very hard to remove. All you trainee makeup artist imagine doing this to a couture gown during London Fashion Week? Disaster!

  • Stroke the powder across your face with either you powder puff, sponge or brush until it’s all blended nicely and you are happy!

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So there we have it, the basics! Foundation, THEN concealer, THEN powder. You must apply the concealer after the foundation because the foundation will wipe off any concealer you carefully applied and its a waste. Also you must allow your foundation to do its job! It will cover some little flaws, meaning less concealer. Now, we aren't finished yet. There's a lot to go through so make yourself a cup of tea and have a seat!

 

When you are looking for the perfect foundation it is so important that you test your foundation correctly in the cosmetic halls. I see women all the time testing the foundation on the back of their hands. This can lead to a makeup disaster and a total waste of money as your hand can not only be darker than your face but also the skin texture is very different. Get the counter artists to test the colour on your face, even if it’s just along your jawline, ask them kindly for a hand held mirror and check the foundation in natural day light or best possible light available. Some of these beautiful cosmetic halls have terrible lighting so this step is crucial.

Foundation Terms

Light Coverage: Think of this coverage as still seeing freckles, skin, slight imperfections, and pores. It’s basically like a polished version of you!

BB Creams: BB stands for Beauty Balms. They are a one-stop serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation and generally SPF. I do recommend that you use them with your normal everyday skincare. Yves Saint Laurent Top Secret All-In-One BB Cream is a hydration powerhouse packed full of Vitamin E and peony extract and topped off with SPF 25. Dior Hydra Life BB Cream SPF 30 offers the hydration, plumpness and protection from free radicals with a light coverage foundation. 'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

CC Creams: These are pretty much the same as the BB Cream but the CC stand for Colour Corrector. The Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream is an oil free formulation that is very hydrating and is a broad spectrum sunscreen with a SPF 35.

DD Cream: These are pretty much the same as the BB and CC cream but the DD stands for Diminish and Disguise.

Tinted Moisturizers: This is a combination of moisturizer and foundation. They are hydrating, light in coverage and most likely contain a SPF a lot like the BB, CC and DD creams. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is infused with beautiful botanical ingredients to hydrate the skin and is oil free. 

The foundation for someone that does not like the look of feel of foundation: Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion is weightless. Its, contains no water or powders and is complete matte. Its volatile oils such as lotus oil mixed with the finest pigments and is so thin in texture. The oils are designed to distribute the pigments then evaporate so all you are left with is pure pigments. You can build this foundation for more coverage if necessary but it is true remarkable. Lancome Miracle Air de Teint is so light and beautiful delivering a matt glow everytime! 

Medium Coverage: This is the most popular variety. It covers flaws and patchy skin. I find that if you wear a medium coverage foundation then you probably will not need as much concealer as you would with the lighter coverage foundations. I tend to apply this with a brush but sponges work well too. I personally do not like to apply medium coverage foundations with fingers as I find you need to work them in causing the skin to drag and I don't want my skin to be any looser resulting in more lines and wrinkles..... Dior Skin Star is one of the first medium coverage foundation that contains a higher SPF 30. This foundation blurs away imperfections and is a perminent fixture in my own makeup bag. Georgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is like a magic wand waved over the skin and is so beautiful I could probable eat it. Its oil free, water based and delivers a dewy finish! Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation is a semi matte foundation that is great from normal to combination skin types as its helps disguise pores, acne scars and skin roughness.

Full Coverage: This is the more traditional foundation that can come in a liquid form or even in a compact and stick. This foundation is for individuals that want maximum coverage. These need to be applied with a brush or a sponge and will need to be powdered for hold. Lancôme Teint Visionaire and is buildable so you simply apply more if you need more and there is a matching concealer in the lid. MAC Full Coverage Foundation is long wearing, easy to blend, water resistant and will offer coverage to hide everything from birth marks to acne.  

Anti-aging Foundations: These foundations contain anti-ageing ingredients as well as full coverage. Dior Capture Totale intensely corrects all signs of aging and will leave you with a youthful radiance. 

Cream Foundation: These foundation are thick and creamy and we tend to not see so many of these on the market. They are heavy in coverage and can be good for people with dry skin. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift & Firm Makeup SPF 15 is a great cream foundation that is the infused with Ceramide Triple Complex delivering a firm, smooth and plumper complexion.  

Oil Free Foundation: These are generally water based and will give you a matte finish best suited for oiler skin types that want to control shine

Moisturizing Foundations: Oil based foundation that will give you a dewy finish. Best suited for drier and mature skin types that need extra moisturizing.

 
 
 

Cake or stick foundations: These foundation are full coverage, they are generally used more so professionally for shoots and stage makeup. They are not so common and will give you a matte finish. Bobbi Brown Foundation Sticks are so easy to use, all you do it draw on where you need the foundation and blend out. You can add more if you need more coverage or simply blend out the foundation for a sheer finish.

Powder Foundations: These come in a powder form either loose or pressed in a compact. They need to be applied with either a brush, powder puff or a sponge. They are probably the easiest to apply when applied from the pressed powder compact. The loose can be a little tricky when traveling as it’s easy to spill! Dior Skin Nude Powder Compact is a fabulous foundation. You can set lighter coverage foundations with it by using a brush or use it on its own for a light matte finish by applying it with a sponge. Definitely worth keeping this foundation in your handbag for touch ups throughout the day! 

Mineralized: These generally come in a powder form are great for people with high sensitivities like talc or fragrances. They are made up of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide so they offer a sun protection which I like. MAC Mineralized Foundation SPF 15 uses a combination of powders to diminish fine lines and imperfections..

Spray Foundation: These come in an aerosol can and can be sprayed directly onto the skin but can also be sprayed onto a brush such as a kabuki and buffed in the skin. You can use this all over the body, legs, arms..... The Dior Air Flash has buildable light to full coverage depending on how much you apply and is water resistant. The Dior Air Flash Matte Touch is a spray powder that is perfect for a quick powdering and is great for men that feel they are a little oily but don't want to wear a traditional powder.