I ABSOLUTELY LOVE stores like Sephora and Ulta- it's my candy store for beauty products. I always go in with an agenda of what I'm planning to purchase. But somehow my agenda is thrown out the window because I get sucked in by these huge visuals that say things like "INTRODUCING A BREAKTHROUGH FORMULA OF FOUNDATION". Fast forward about an hour later, I've racked up a bill of $100+ all because I'm constantly chasing that high of - WHAT IS THE BEST FOUNDATION!?!? And once I get these foundations home, I may use them once or twice but eventually I'll toss them to the side because they aren't meeting my needs or wants.
I've realized foundation shopping can be difficult and overwhelming. Mainly because there are thousands of brands that all claim to have "the best foundation". When people ask the question, "WHAT FOUNDATION DO YOU THINK I SHOULD USE", it takes me so long to answer because I have to become a CSI detective and ask a series of questions to recommend a foundation. Foundation is not one-size-fits-all, there are so many variables to consider when choosing a foundation to ensure its customized to YOU. So here it is- your DIY guide to help you find the best foundation that is customized to your needs and wants.
Let's start with the easy stuff:
WHAT ARE YOUR SKIN CONCERNS & SKIN TYPE?? (If you didn't get a chance to read my last blog, shame on you! Go ahead, scroll down and read the blog on SKIN before you continue reading this one). Since you already know your skin type and concerns, it will be easy for you to answer the next question-HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR SKIN TO LOOK??? Meaning, once you have applied your foundation, what finish or pay-off do you want your skin to have?? Think of the finishes that you have when choosing paint for your walls at home. Paint finishes come in flat, eggshell, semi-gloss and gloss. Each paint finish or texture gives a different type of look to your walls. It's the same concept for foundation finishes or looks - Matte, Natural-Matte, Natural, Natural-Satin or Satin.
- no shine/ flat
- looks powdery or velvety
- skin will not reflect light
- similar to matte but has a slight shine
- combination of shine and no shine
- looks like regular skin/ real skin
- "no makeup" look
- similar to natural but has a slight shine
- looks dewy or glowy
- skin will reflect light
Once you figure out the "look" you want your skin to have, next you have to figure out HOW MUCH COVERAGE YOU WANT! Meaning how little or how much of your natural skin do you want to show through the foundation? Sheer, sheer-to-meduim, medium, medium-to-full, or full-coverage are your options. Think of coverage like hosiery- sheer pantyhose, opaque tights, or leggings (and I know what you're thinking - but YES, leggings are apart of the "hoisery" family, not the "pant" family).
- see-through, barely there, a "veil"
- covers slightly more than sheer
- in-between sheer and full, hides some imperfections but some skin still shows through
- covers slightly more than medium
- completely covered, can not see through
By now you should know how much coverage you want your foundation to have. Now, lets talk about foundation formulas: liquid, cream or powder. When choosing a formula, its a personal preference.
- Liquids - come in different consistencies from watery, thin liquids to dense/ thick gel-like textures.
- Creams - creamy, smooth in consistency. Some creams come in a light moose texture to a cake texture.
- Powder - Powder foundations will either come in a pressed compact or loose form.
Concealers and setting powders?? Both products are optional. Concealers are great if you want to add more or less coverage in certain areas of the face. For example, you may want full coverage for the face, but something a little more sheer for under the eye. Or maybe you want a sheer foundation but you need a full coverage concealer to cover a blemish.
Setting powders are also great to add into your foundation routine. Setting powders usually have one or more benefits-
- use all over or in certain areas to add more coverage to foundation
- touch up foundation
- help longevity and durability of foundation
- control shine
(At this point, I'm sure you're wondering if I will touch on one of the more popular makeup techniques that is happening today - highlighting and contouring. YES! My next blog will be about using concealers to HIGHLIGHT & cancel-out unwanted discoloration and how to use powders to HIGHLIGHT & CONTOUR).
So we have finally reached the most difficult part of the process, finding the perfect shade of foundation. I purposely made this part of this process last because if you're not savvy at color matching or understanding undertones, you may want to leave this part to the professionals. But if you are at your local target with no professionals around, I want you to know what to look for. Now unless you are an alien, the average person will have undertones that are-
- Warm - think rosey/red
- Cool - think golden/yellow
- Neutral - an equal balance of rosy and golden undertones
Now, every brand has their own system that indicates the depth (lightness to darkness) of their foundation colors. So once you figure out your undertone, next you need to figure out the depth of your complexion. You will fall within the following catogories:
After figuring out your category, pick 2 or 3 colors that look closest to your complexion. If you are in a cosmetic store, ask one of the makeup artist to do a color/ shade match for you directly on your face. Can you use the back of your hand or the inside of your wrist?? NO!!! Your hand and wrist are usually a different color than the skin on your face, so you don't want to run the risk of getting a color that is too light or too dark. Swatch the 2 or 3 colors, side by side, from the center of the face to the jaw-line. The foundation that looks "invisible" or "disappears" will probably be the best match. Some women tan everything but their face, you can color swatch directly on the neck for foundation to match the neck and décolleté area. If you can't make a decision while you're in the store, ask for a sample of all 3 colors, take them home and try them on in natural lighting to see which color looks best. Now, if you are doing foundation shopping at your local superstore like Walmart, follow the same process as listed above. Since you can't take home samples (that would be called stealing!) or try it on in the store, my suggestion is to buy the colors that look closest to your complexion. Try them at home and return the ones that don't work.
The one thing you MUST keep in mind are the changes your skin may go through as the seasons and weather change. For example, during the winter your skin may be dehydrated, so you may want to opt for a foundation formula that is hydrating. Fast-forward to the middle of summer when the weather is hot and humid and your skin has a higher moisture level. You may want or need to change your foundation to one that will control oil. On top of your skin conditions changing, you may be a few shades darker from being in the sun. This means the color of your foundation will also need to change to a darker shade. It's common to have 2 colors and formulas of foundation, one for summer and one for winter.
Whewww, that was ALOT! Hopefully you don't feel overwhelmed. But if you do, LET' S REVEIW-
- Know your skin type and concerns
- Figure out the "look" of foundation that you want (think of the finishes or textures of paint)
- Figure out how much coverage you want (think of sheer pantyhose vs leggings)
- Figure out the undertone ( rosey, golden or a mixture of both)
- Figure out the depth of your skin (how light to dark)
- Color Swatch (the power of 3)
- Purchase or sample-it-up... all of these steps = Tymia Yvette did a FABULOUS job teaching you to how to choose the right foundation that works for you...
...UNTIL NEXT TIME, HAVE FUN FOUNDATION SHOPPING XO
If you need any help...comment below😉