July 8, 2014

Makeup 101: Choosing the Right Foundation Type for Your Skin

Some of the most asked questions I get in my inbox on Facebook are about foundation-- how to choose the right color, how to choose the right formula, my preferred brand, etc. I totally understand the confusion and frustration. It's hard going into a store and picking up a random bottle and trying to match it to your face without opening it. You get home and it's the wrong shade, or doesn't sit well on your skin. Or maybe you go to a store like Sephora or head to the MAC counter only to find that the person helping you has mismatched you. The sample they gave you was nice, but you realized that it was clinging to your dry patches like nobody's business. No worries, I am here to help. I even break it down for you. First let's start with the obvious:

Why do I need foundation?
Well, if you think about the meaning of the word, it's where everything starts. You wouldn't build a house on a rocky surface, so why would you start your makeup on an uneven surface? Foundation is meant to help even out your skin tone and cover imperfections. The right shade and formula will give you a natural glow without looking like you're wearing anything at all. People will talk about how beautiful your skin is rather than solely complementing your makeup. That's the ultimate goal, having people think you woke up like this.

or maybe more like this...

Knowing your skin type is crucial.
The most important thing to remember other than choosing the right shade is to pay special attention to your skin type. If you have dry skin powder is the absolute last thing you need. Powder foundation will only cling to the skin, highlighting the rough patches. Oily skin will want to look for a formula that is oil free and/or oil absorbing to keep from looking like sweaty mess. Your skin does change as you get older, as I noted in the last post about my skincare regimen. Paying attention to your skin type will help you choose foundation that will last longer throughout the day.

What types of foundation are available?
Now that we have that covered. there are several types of foundation that you can choose from while shopping. 

L'Oreal True Match Liquid, W8-$9.99 Drugstores
NARS Tinted Moisturizer in Seychelles- $42 Sephora
One of the most popular and widely available formulas in stores, you can find one that suits almost every skin type. Oily skin can find formulas that have oil-absorbing qualities, or oil-free formulas. Dry skin can find products that contain emollients to  keep the skin hydrated and fresh. Many brands also carry formulas for normal and combination skin. Coverage for a liquid foundation can generally be built up from sheer to medium, making it heavier than a tinted moisturizer but not as concentrated as a stick foundation or other cream.

Tinted Moisturizer
The sheerest of all formulas, this is like mixing a dollop of liquid foundation into a moisturizer (which you can totally do, by the way.) It's almost like wearing nothing at all. I call it "taking the edge off." You know, for those days when you want to look presentable but a full face is out of the question. It's just enough to even out your skin tone and make you look fresh, making it perfect for summer time. Bonus: most formulas contain SPF to keep you pretty and protected.

RCMA KO palette- $65 at Camera Ready Cosmetics
Cream foundations are very smooth and creamy, making them great for normal to very dry skin.  They tend to be of a heavier consistency, which will give you amazing coverage that looks natural. I carry creams in my kit because of their versatility. If you only have minor imperfections, you can skip a separate concealer in your routine and stick with this.They can be thinned out when mixed with a bit of moisturizer on the back of your hand or, if you prefer, you can apply it with a damp beauty sponge.  Flaky skin should steer clear of this one because it will make you look dull and give you a major case of cake face. Mature skin should skip this as well,since the heavy formula may settle into fine lines. Remember, the goal is to make you look radiant.
Mary Kay Mineral Foundation in Bronze 4- $18 MaryKay.com
Cover Fx Total Coverage Cream in G80- $42 Sephora

Mineral Powder
Usually in loose form, it's suitable for normal to oily skin. Mineral powders are good for people with sensitive skin because of the vitamins included in the formulation and the lack of some chemicals contained is various brands. You use a brush or sponge to apply it, which can make it quite tricky. Build coverage from sheer to medium, but naturally the more layers you apply, the heavier the coverage. If you're not careful, you'll end up looking cakey and dry.

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation 8.99 at drugstores
Stick foundation  equals cream foundation in push-pop form. The pigments are just as concentrated, and the stick form allows you to get coverage right where you want it. This makes it the perfect double duty product, since it can work as concealer. Formulated for normal to dry skin, you want to be sure to blend the product out  very well so that you don't have any problems with it sitting on top of the skin, especially if you don't have many blemishes to conceal. It can look very heavy.

Powder Compact
This is usually one that I reserve for touch-ups because it's nice a portable. It provides coverage that goes from sheer to medium depending on your choice of sponge or brush. Normal to oily skin benefits most from this type of product. For younger girls that are just starting out with makeup,this makes a nice choice. It's pretty easy to apply without adding excess oil to the skin.

Cream to Powder/ Mousse
Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup- $15 at drugstores
These are pretty much what they sound like. Usually found in compact form, cream-to-powder foundation formulas starts off creamy but dry down to a powder finish once applied to the skin. The great thing about these is that for oily skin, they don't require any extra powder to set the makeup and it helps kill the extra shine throughout the day.

For me, mousse foundations count for this category as well. Mousse foundations are creams that have been whipped to a fluffy consistency and have become very popular, especially in drugstore brands. They are great for aging skin because they almost seem to melt into it rather than settling into lines.They usually come in a jar, so you'll want to apply  them with a clean sponge or a brush, since your fingers will put germs directly in your product. Applied correctly to avoid being to heavy, mousse foundations can look very natural,even when you build the coverage.

It is also worth noting that there are plenty of affordable drugstore options as brands like Maybelline, Revlon and L'oreal work to put out comparable products the compete with higher end beauty brands like Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever. Just be aware that sometimes, the price reflects better quality ingredients which might play a factor in your decision, especially if you have sensitive skin. Buy the best that you can afford that is complementary for your lifestyle. There's no need to spend $40-50 on something you use four times a year. Likewise, it might be a stretch to spend that kind of money if you go through it quickly. Do your research to get the most for your money.

That's all I have for you today, beautiful. Stay tuned for the rest of my flawless face series to get the low-down on choosing the best products for putting your best face forward. Do you have any product suggestions to add?  Tell me about your faves in the comments section, or you can find me on the internet at the links below. Let's be besties!
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