Choosing a Foundation
Foundation should always match your skin tone exactly. Yellow-based foundations work best on most skin types, because they neutralize any pink or red undertones and blotchiness from acne, and result in a clearer complexion. Avoid pink-based foundations, which often end up looking too pink or ruddy on the skin and make acne redness look worse. Most often, foundation with yellow undertones works best for most skins unless you already have a lot of yellow in your skin. In that case, you would look for a shade with no yellow but a more taupe/beige neutral shade to tone down the yellow in your skin so you won’t look sickly.
When choosing a new foundation or other makeup, take a picture of yourself in it to see if it matches your skin tone, hair and eyes-you’ll be able to tell better in a photo. It may be difficult to choose a base color with products that are sold over the counter at your local drug store. Ask the clerk if you can try it and step outside in day light with a mirror to check the color for correctness since fluorescent lights can drastically change the way it matches. Always test on your jaw line and allow foundation to dry. If you see a spot or the color, it's not right, it should be invisible. Why wear something you can't see? It’s meant to even out skin tone, remove blotchiness and create a fresh, healthy looking complexion (not a mask). Then, you factor in contouring, blush, concealer and powder. All these steps cover what you want to cover. Foundation is like priming a canvas. Don't try to darken your skin with the foundation step. That is where contouring and bronzers come in (for contour information, see “Professional Photography Makeup Contouring” under “Model Tips” category). For women with darker complexions who want to avoid ashiness, this occurs when the color is too pink or blue based, or if the foundation is too light.
Types of Foundation
Offers light to medium coverage. Available in moisturizing formulas with a satin finish for dry skin or oil-free versions with a matte finish for oily skin.
Offers light to medium coverage, slightly heavier than a liquid and great for dry skin. Avoid creams if you have oily or combination skin.
Foundation sticks can also double as concealers. The new gel or powder finish formulas are not as heavy or greasy as the older "pancake" type formulas.
Dual-finish compact formulas (liquid to powder or cream to powder):
Light coverage which is great for combination skin, but should be avoided by those with excessively dry skin since it can be drying, or those who need heavier coverage.
Can be used under foundation or alone for minimal to no coverage. Almost like a liquid bronzer.
Mineral Makeup Powder:
These are powders that go on smooth and can be layered for more coverage. They are good for all skin types and problem skin as well.
Applying foundation makeup can be done in many different ways. It all depends on what you’re comfortable with and what kind of coverage you want. You can use your pointer finger and tap a tiny amount on problem areas, blemishes, redness, discolorations and under eyes until it fades into skin for a natural look, covering just the areas needed without using too much. You can use a soft brush and swirl it on for a polished look. I personally teach girls to apply it with a synthetic makeup sponge and stipple like you’re stipple painting a wall, applying in the center of the face where most of the discoloration is and sweeping the remainder on the sponge outward toward hairline and under jaw line. Using a clean sponge each time will help prevent bacteria from contaminating your foundation which is important for those prone to breakouts. Your fingers also have oil in them and that will spread to your foundation if using your fingers and if you’re using oil free product you don’t want to introduce any oil to it. However you decide to apply it, never swipe or wipe it across your skin since that will just remove it and you’ll end up using more product. Tapping, stippling, blotting or swirling applications work best where you just spread the product around to even it out.
To help makeup last longer, use foundation sparingly and don’t use your fingers to apply since the oil on them makes product fade faster. Always use loose powder to set foundation. Never use pressed powder in a compact to set your makeup. The reason pressed powder stays solid in the compact is because they add oil to it so it sticks together and you can’t set makeup with oily powder. Save the compact to keep in your purse for touching up shine on your nose or dust a blemish during the day. If you find a foundation that matches your skin perfectly, use a true translucent powder that will not add any color, which would change your foundation color and give heavier coverage.
Makeup primers are used like lotions and applied over your moisturizer in a thin film but under your foundation. It helps your makeup last for hours and evens out bumps creating a smoother finish to skin. Makeup will go on easier and blend better if you use a primer underneath. Be sure to use an oil free moisturizer under primers since they don’t stick to oily surfaces and let moisturizer soak in about 10 minutes before applying primer. Foundation is the first step to beautiful make-up application. Spend a few extra dollars for a foundation that you can try on at the beauty counter at a good department or makeup store