Nov 13, 2011

Makeup Essentials: Foundations

Ages back, the only foundation I knew of was the one buildings are built on.  Older, wiser, and many beauty blog follows later, I would say the one we put on our face is just as important.  A foundation (the makeup kind) is the one product which when applied properly can take a face from dull and splotchy to healthy and flawless in no time.  Despite being an essential basic makeup product, foundation is also the most difficult to get right.  I have gone through quite a lot of tubes and compacts myself, and every year I manage to find a new "the perfect foundation for me."  I learn a little with every new purchase, and here are some things all of us need to know about foundations:

Makeup Essentials How To Picking Right Shade Foundation Skin Type

Types of foundations

Stick, compact, mousse, cream - foundations come in a variety of formulations, and it's definitely not a one-size fits all product.
  • Compact foundations:  These generally combine foundation and powder in one easy to apply product - so a better choice for the 5-minute makeup.
  • Liquid foundations:  On my skin at least, liquid foundations give the best finish and coverage.  I feel like the liquid consistency helps them adapt to uneven skin better.
  • Mineral powder foundations:  These seem to give the least bit of coverage, but are great for anyone who is not comfortable with more makeup or is just looking for something more than a powder.

Picking Foundations Based on Skin Type

This is perhaps the easiest mystery to solve.
  • Mature and/or dry skin - creamy foundations that are rich in antioxidants/anti-ageing ingredients, vitamin E, etc., to help keep the skin moisturized.
  • Oily skin - Foundations with mattifying ingredients.
  • Sensitive skin - Look through the ingredients lists for any known irritants, like silicones for instance.
  • Normal skin types - These lucky people can use anything and get away with it.  Let's just ignore them.
Makeup Essentials How To Picking Right Shade Foundation Skin Type

Things to keep in mind while shopping for Foundation

The perfect shade of foundation should mimic your skin as closely as possible.  My big foundation blunder is ending up getting a shade lighter and looking ashy.  Oh well, you live you learn :D
  • Test the foundation shade on your cheek, along your jawline - not on your wrist or arm.  One good method to decide on the shade is to pick the 3 shades that you think closely match your skin, and draw stripes side by side with each of the shades. The shade that disappears into your skin is the one that you need to get.
  • Always check the shade in daylight, never in store lighting.
  • Even if you do find the perfect shade, don't buy it right away.  Apply the foundation and wait at least 30 minutes to check for any oxidation or change in color before deciding on the shade.  I personally prefer to get samples to try out for myself.
  • Also, I try to go to the counter with just my moisturizer on if possible, so I know exactly how the foundation looks on my skin without any other product interfering with it.  I know you can wipe off whatever makeup you are wearing before trying it on, but I like to know how the foundation reacts with the moisturizer I use rather than what is available at the counter.
Makeup Essentials How To Picking Right Shade Foundation Skin Type

That was my checklist for getting the right foundation.  Do you have anything similar that you follow when you go makeup shopping?

Foundation Reviews:
Max Factor Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation
Chanel Mat Lumiere Powder Makeup - SPF 10


  1. Those are all great tips...that's usually what I try to do when I go foundation shopping. Despite all of that, it's still such a hard task, and it's so very easy to come home with the wrong shade! Ugh.

  2. Woww..thats a great post bookmarking it!! :D

  3. I remember I had such a tough time getting a decent foundation close to my skintone, when I was shopping at Germany..luckily I did some homework before going there this time..unlike last time when I didn't have any idea and picked up totally wrong shades.

    Thankfully this time my foundation shades are pretty close to my skintones, with a bit of variation, but nothing too weird..I usually mix and match to create my perfect skintone!! :D

  4. Aww..thank you :) Mixing shades is such a good's just that I would never use up two full bottles of foundation..I don't even finish one on time :D

  5. took me some time to get used to that mixing technique..but me now pro in it..he he..thanks to my foundation choosing disasters!! er... How many foundations do you have Rads? I remember seeing Chanel.....and when did you get that Nordstorm foundation? Is it good?

  6. That's the small sampler thing...they give foundations samples in that. I had got a sample of the Chanel foundation to try before buying, and the SA packed it in this and gave.

  7. ohh okiee..thats a cuuute dibbi na!! :D

  8. Ya is cute..we don't see like this in India me keep it safe. Ppl staying here will be thinking I am nuts :D :D

  9. I c I c... YSL! :D

    aw my found trips and choice still remains a slight disaster :| probly cos i use them v little (no! not that i have great skin :D jus used to feel suffocating!)

    EL, MAC, Shiseido, Maxfactor and now Rimmel... still feel i can get a better one :D

    this time i had loads of time and so have been trying found on my face and leaving it in for the day. After trying TBS, Chanel, Lancome and Rimmel, i settled for the cheapest he he. but i quite like the Rimmel 12 hr Mattifying one.
    though am lusting the Lancome Tient Miracle which seemed closer and felt better than Chanel :p but need a paycheck for it lol...

  10. Try a stippling brush, Gaea, it makes a huge difference in the finish of the foundation. Some of the drugstore foundations here get awesome reviews online, but I can't try testers to swatch and buy :(

  11. The YSL foundation...I got hooked to YSL all because of you :D :D

  12. yes yes, i tried stippling. foundations that dont work with hand does give a better look. but i just... am lazy? and my arms pain stippling lol!

    am surprised the drugstore brands dont keep even testers! :( try a slightly specialised store that stocks makeup?

    ha ha YSL cos of me. no way. and i jus have that lippie. no more for me :((

  13. Haaa ya I get does take a bit more time than just patting on with my fingers and my fingers get away with a regular soap and water wash to get clean :D :D The only slightly specialized store I go to is Sephora and that place is like a candy store...soooooooooooooooo many products to swatch and play :D :D :D :D :D And of course you are to blame for any YSL that I way you are going to escape that!! early does the sun rise there...or are you just awake at the oddest hours thanks to the lil brat?

  14. lol used to be an early riser but am up by 7:30am max. and yes my brat rises way earlier than the sun :| but its his dad who enjoys the view before sunrise he he

    :D I will try more stippling when I can... and so want to do some EOTDs etc., am on mode 'wait wait wait....'

  15. Your son is supercute :* :D :D Which stippling brush do you have? I have the one from MAC, but I want to try the Ecotools stippling brush..not finding it anywhere. Do you get Ecotools there?


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