Saturday, July 30, 2011

Foundation 101

You would be amazed at how much makeup I use to make someone look like they are wearing none at all.  The keys to natural looking makeup are taking care of your skin, picking the right colors and blending, blending, blending!

Makeup only looks as good as your skin does, so take care of it.

When wearing foundation, it is crucial to know that you have chosen the right shade.  It is difficult to make the wrong color look good.  A perfectly matched shade will improve the appearance of your skin no matter how amateur your application techniques.  The right color and formulation will instantly change the way your skin appears. This is not the product you use to make your skin look darker or more tan.  That is the job of a bronzer.  Foundation is intimidating to a lot of women simply because it is misunderstood.

The solution is simple.  Seek help.  This is the one product you need to invest in.  To make sure you are wearing the right shade, you must try it on.  Therefore, I suggest you go to a makeup counter and get help making the choice.  First, determine which formula meets the needs of your skin type.  Then, choose a shade.  Every shade will have either a golden, neutral or pink undertone.  Once you determine the tone of your skin, you simply need to find the depth of color that matches best.  The easiest way to find a match is to pick a few shades that resemble your skin.  Apply a dab of each along your jawline.  Line each shade up next to each other and choose the color that matches best.  You must check the match in natural light.  Indoor lighting can affect the way colors appear on the skin.  Do not be afraid to go outside with a mirror before purchasing. 

Once you have the foundation that is right for you, the next step is to blend, blend, blend.  Always apply foundation to the skin with your fingers and then blend with the tool of your choice (your fingers, a sponge, or a brush).  Besides your finger, never dip a tool directly into your foundation because it will cause you to apply more than what you need and you will end up replacing it more often than you should.  I recommend a sponge to blend larger areas and a brush to target smaller nooks and crannies.  Brushes allow you to blend product with precision while controlling the amount of coverage.

Concealer and powder go hand in hand with foundation.  Once your foundation is blended, apply concealer to the areas that you believe need extra coverage.  Do not forget the inside corner of the eyes and around the nose. Loose powder is often used to set a foundation and keep makeup on longer. 

It is a shame that so many women wear foundation that is too dark, concealer that is too light and have no idea what powder is supposed to do. Most women want a natural look but have no idea how to achieve it.  Sometimes a small change can make a big difference.  Start with foundation.  When you get this right, we can discuss the rest. 



  1. After years of being a makeup artist. The rule stands true. There are no rules to makeup, only rules of thumb. Nothing called "too anything".I disagree with telling anyone how to wear their foundation/blush/powder/eyeliner/eyeshadow. Makeup is subjective. Everyone has their own makeup style. Many light people tend to go light/lighter or mix it with a luminzer to make themselves brighter/radiant/porcelin like. A great example of this would be dita von teese, who even stays out the sun to maintain her light skintone and wears light foundation. Others prefer to be dark/darker and darken in the sun or use bronzer all over their skintone. Different people have different preferences. If I spelled "Horse" "Howrse" than there is no "ifs" "and" or "buts" because grammar isnt subjective. What is wrong is wrong!However. Makeup is subjective. I hate nude lips. Does that mean its right to say "dont wear nude lips" ? No.
    I might not like it but someone else might. There is no rule to makeup. Thats the beauty of being a makeup artist. There are soo many different styles.
    I hate bronzer. But maybe there is someone who loves that deep bronzed look. I cant go to them and say "dont go soo deep in the bronzer" and say its "constructive". There are soo many different styles.who is anyone to tell someone theyre wearing a too light or too dark foundation, because there is no such thing. Nicole and Sam from pixiwoo(huge makeupartists in Britain) sometimes wear paler or darker foundation and it looks gorgeous! as long as people blend it to the neck its fine....some people prefer to look bright and radiant
    Some people are yellow toned which is light but with alot of splotches of pink. Ive seen many clients who are light/yellow but certain foundations made them look like "jaundice/yellow" they complained.The right combo of pink and yellow made them soo bright and radiant. Its all on personal preference,thats all.Our skin is very diverse. One of the world's biggest makeupartist said everyone in the world can at least use 2 foundations, many people can wear 3 or more. It depends on what you are trying to bring out the most. On some days some people prefer to look more rosier so they use a pink undertone. Some people want that more rosier undertone because it looks fresher/young. We all know that NC is gold and NW is pink in MAC. NC is lighter than NW, NW is more reddish/pink. An NC40 and NW40. There are people who see both yellow and splotches of pink on them like I said. A yellow person will not look "ashy" when wearing pink undertones, they will look PINKY. Usually we humans are not one tone! we are not all yellow! there are fair skinned yellow people with pink undertones. Its actually preferred to use a combo of tellow/olive and red/pink undertones. You have to experiment. If you are yellow and use only yellow foundation than you will appear more flat( which is great if thats what you like) but addingpink makes you look rosier and many people love that.

  2. Dear Anonymous, I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and comment on what I have written. I think it is important that makeup artists support each other and share what we have learned. Although, being a makeup artist yourself, I feel that you misunderstood the intention behind my post. The reason that I call this blog "my stories" is because they are all based on "my experience". I have worked with a lot of women who are intimidated when choosing one foundation let alone two or three as you are suggesting. I was directing this information to the readers of my blog who are missing out on the benefits of foundation because they do not know where to begin. As an artist, like you, I customize the mixture of products depending on the client I am working with. I often blend a few shades of lip color, use multiple formulas of mascara and mix two to three foundations to create the perfect shade. That being said, it is not the advice that I would give to someone who is choosing a foundation for the first time. In general, I do not disagree with your comments. My entry was not intended to be a statement of judgement on people who knowingly choose to use foundation to lighten or darken their skin tone. This was simply intended to encourage women to wear foundation at all. Therefore, I stand by my advice. LH