|The Key To
Flawless Foundation - Party Makeup
Types of Foundations
Most of us keep our foundation as close
as our ATM card. And just like crisp cash, we tend to "spend" too much
of it. That's the most common problem women make -- putting foundation
all over their face when that's very rarely needed. When you get the
right shade, and you know how and where to use it, you'll find you need
But first -- which form do you choose?
There are sticks, liquids, creams, and powders.
If you have normal skin, you're fine with anything. Dry skin is best
with a cream or liquid -- these glide easily over the skin. Oily skin is
best with an oil-free liquid but a powder foundation's even better.
I almost always advocate the sheerest
coverage possible. I like to see real skin through any foundation. It
has life in it -- freckles and little idiosyncrasies are what
make you... you . Liquid is the sheerest form of foundation.
Powder and dual finish powder are less sheer. And cream can be the
heaviest, most opaque of all.
Once you choose what to use, you can
still control the amount of coverage. With a cream or liquid, use a damp
sponge, foundation brush, or -- my favorite tool for applying foundation
-- fingertips. I typically squirt some from my favorite pump formula
onto the back of my hand and dab on from there. This warms it somewhat,
and I don't have to deal with a dispenser while I apply.
To build more coverage, apply in thin
layers, using a gentle patting motion so you never pull on the skin. You
can also go super sheer by blending cream or liquid foundations with a
bit of moisturizer. With a pressed powder foundation, you can apply wet
or dry with a sponge. Wet, you get more coverage. Dry will be more
It's also good to think ahead to what
makeup you plan to apply over your foundation. Cream products are
compatible with cream foundations. Powder colors work best over powder
So -- cream blush on top of a dual
finish foundation? Bad idea. The powder will "grab" the cream blush and
you won't be able to blend it into place. Powder blush on top of a
liquid or cream foundation? Also a bad idea -- unless you brush loose
powder over the foundation to create a compatible surface for your
powder blush. Similarly, cream eye shadows should go over a cream
foundation; powder shadows over powder.
A final word about finish: If you've
used a cream foundation, your face will be dewy. If you want creams to
go matte, add a final dusting of loose powder.
What Color Is Best?
Foundation should always match your
skin tone. Don't try to fake a porcelain face when you aren't that fair.
Likewise, don't try to fake a two week vacation in St. Bart's if you
aren't that dark. Anything other than your real color will look like a
When you put foundation on, it should
disappear on the skin -- then you know it's the right shade. Another
plus to a perfect match is that you won't have to wear it over your
entire face, which is important because (I can't say this enough) most
women don't need foundation all over.
- Always test foundation shades on
your face, not on your hand. Put a bit on. Blend it out. If you no
longer see it, it's perfect.
- Don't shy away from shades that look
yellowish in their packaging. On your face, they'll look great.
Foundations with a yellow tint neutralize pink tones on your face.
(This same tip holds true for concealers and powders.) You might think
if you have pinkish skin, you need pink in your foundation. Not so.
What you're after is a neutral tone, with no pinks or blues.
- If your skin color is between two
shades, go with the darker shade. A too-light foundation is more
noticeable -- it will appear to be sitting on the surface of the skin.
If you can't get a perfect color match, make sure to blend over the
jaw line and onto the neck. But with all the choices out there, I
doubt you'll have a problem.
- Don't be surprised if you need to
switch shades with the seasons. If you go in the sun (with a smart
sunscreen, of course) your foundation should change to match your
tawnier skin tone. Most women need one shade for winter, another for
Where Does It Go?
Always use foundation over the eyelids,
even if you aren't using eye makeup. It cleans up tiny veins and uneven
skin tone. Simply blend over the entire lid, and powder to set. Go under
the eyes, too, to take minor circles away (really dark circles need
concealer, then foundation). This is a great nude eye look on its own,
also a great primer before applying eye color.
Another key spot: around the nostrils.
Most people have some redness here to cover. Foundation around the eyes
and nostrils makes such a difference, many women learn that's all they
need. Everywhere else is an option.
I also like to put foundation over the
lip line (not over the whole lip), so when I do the lips later, lip
pencils glide easily. This gives you a clean line to work with -- and
also hides any unevenness of your lipline.
If you want a full face application, go
for it. But the idea is to use foundation to perfect the skin, not hide