Thursday, December 17, 2009

Foundation Nation

How many of you beauties have had a difficult time finding the right foundation to match your skin tone and skin type? Penny has been challenged with this herself for years. Not only is it hard to find the right shade, it is also hard to find the best formula for your skin type.  As you all know, foundations today come in liquid, cream, stick, powder, mousse (whipped), and even as tinted moisturizer formulations. Foundations also cater to your skin's needs as they are available in the following:
  • oil-free
  • oil control
  • moisturizing
  • mineral
It is important to use the formula best suited to your skin's needs. People considered to have 'normal' skin, can use just about any formula including whipped, stick and tinted moisturizer. Oil-free and oil control liquid, cream or powder formulas are recommended for those with 'oily' skin. And moisturizing liquid or cream foundation is recommended for 'dry' skin. Those with 'combination skin' can now also find foundations both with silica to help soak up oil, and lecithin to hydrate the skin. Moisturizers and oil-control primers can also be applied before your foundation to help balance the skin. (Read full story...)

You will also have to decide on how much 'coverage' you want from your foundation, and whether or not you want it to actually help improve your skin. The newest trend in make-up is mineral-based foundation. Mineral make-up is said to be made from 100% micronized minerals and contains no chemicals that usually irritate the skin. All mineral makeup products are free of talc, fragrance, silicones, chemicals, rice powders, mica, fillers, oils, wax and are dye-free. Mineral make-up is suited for all skin types and considered to be the 'healthier' choice since it is not as harsh as other types of make-up. It is recommended for oily skin types since the minerals absorb oil (but be careful - oily skin can change the color of powders). Moisturize properly as powder make-up could look pasty if the powder sits on top of dry skin.
Finding the right shade:
After choosing the best foundation for your skin type, the next step is choosing the right shade. The correct shade of foundation should disappear on the skin. Here are some quick tips to help you:
  • Always test foundation in 'natural light' - the department stores will not oppose if you want to walk by the doorway with the hand mirror to see the foundation in outdoor light.
  • Test several shades - the best place to test foundation is on the side of the face from the cheek to the jaw line since foundation color should disappear into the skin and blend seamlessly from face to neck. Test a darker shade and a lighter shade next to the one you think is right for you, for contrast. Again, the right shade will disappear. NOTE: If you want to buy a drugstore brand, check their return policy first since there are usually no testers available.
  • Double-check the selected color on the forehead - Some people have a darker skin on the forehead and the foundation shade that matches there will work better with the whole face.
  • Adjust your foundation if necessary - If you get tanned in the summer or after a trip, you might need to purchase more than one shade of foundation. If your skin type/texture changes like Penny's, you may also need to change your foundation formula.
Due to dark under eye circles and other blemishes, Penny also has to find the correct shade of concealer. A stick foundation formula that is a shade or two lighter than your correct shade, can be used as a concealer for the under eye area and to cover blemish marks. Stay tuned for another post about choosing the right concealer and/or corrector for you. Also see my previous post where I review the LORAC Double Feature concealer product I'm using now.

Using the right tools:

Foundation can be applied with your finger tips, a sponge, or a foundation brush (shown here). Most foundation brushes have synthetic bristles and is full and flat edged, allowing the product to spread evenly across the skin. In Penny's experience, the tool you use depends on the coverage you want and the formula you're using. Sure any of the tools I mentioned will work with any formula. However, I use a sponge for my cream foundation because cream is heavier and I want more coverage; then I use a brush or my finger tips for my liquid foundation for more control and a lighter coverage. When using a sponge with liquid foundation, most of the foundation goes into the sponge and you may have to apply another layer for better coverage. Penny also recommends that you use the correct blush for powder foundations; brushes give a smoother, more flawless application of powders. Be sure to know what type of brush to use for your powder. Natural hair brushes are best suited for mineral make-up as they allow for the right amount of product to be applied to the skin. Mineral powders are slightly more intense so less is more.

Right now, my skin is dry and often irritated because of the cold, dry, winter weather (and my eczema that comes with it). *sigh* I found that a moisturizing cream foundation was not only soothing to my skin, but provided the right amount of coverage as well. However, since my skin produces more oil in my T-zone during the warm summer months, I use a lightweight liquid foundation with SPF 15 instead. If I'm able to get a tan, I prefer to use less foundation or none at all. I often use only powder to minimize shine and even out my skin tone in the summer time. [NOTE:  Penny is currently using Bobbi Brown Moisturizing Cream Compact in Honey; and their Skin Foundation Liquid  w/ SPF 15 during the summer in Honey or their new shade, Warm Honey].

Be blessed. Be beautiful.

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