Monday, April 25, 2011

A Perfect Base

Foundation is probably the biggest part of any makeup wearer’s collection, and it is very easy to get wrong. With some simply understanding, you can be seconds away from achieving a stunning base.
1. Decide if you actually need to wear foundation. I’ve seen far too many people, (mainly younger girls) caking on the foundation when they have beautiful skin without it. This causes a few problems, the biggest one is, especially with young skin, foundation is pore clogging and this can cause pimples and spots. Mature skin will look lifeless and dull if there is unnecessary foundation piled on. Exactly the same as all other makeup, it needs to be a personal decision if you decide to wear foundation or not. If you want lighter coverage than that offered by foundation you can consider a light concealer or tinted moisturizer.

2. Find your correct shade. This is very to get wrong, due mainly to the OHS requirement of having to test makeup on your hand, but also due to bad lighting that changes the colour. DON’T put any store makeup tester on your face; because you don’t know what other disgusting hands have been touching it. The colour needs to blend seamlessly into your jaw line. This can be a problem for pale skinned people such as me because of the lack of extremely pale tints. This afternoon I spent about half an hour trying to find the correct shade. I know that many ‘popular’ makeup brands sell pale tints, but where I live often only the second palest shade is available. For pale Gothlings, there is the touchy subject of pure white foundation. I personally do own a pot of Manic Panic’s Goth White Foundation (which comes in a pretty black organza bag. Fancy!). In all honesty this is the closest shade to my natural skin tone, but is messy and difficult to blend. I believe that Stargazer creates a liquid white foundation, which can be blended together with a different… but more on textures later. I am sorry to anyone who has gorgeous olive, chocolate or dark skin as I have no experience finding makeup colours.

3. Decide on the ideal texture. Foundation nowadays comes in many different textures and formulas. So many that it would be ridiculous to attempt to discuss them all, so I am just going to mention the main ones.
Liquid- The most common form of foundation needs to be carefully blended as lines can form easily. Often it sits reasonably heavily and can be very pore clogging.
Mousse- Somewhat of a recent in the foundation market, this air whipped formula provides full coverage, blends really easily and is ultra light. Mousse foundation is probably one of my personal favourite textures. The best effects are achieved by using mousse foundation only where necessary as it sometimes has a crumbly texture. Although I myself have never tried it, smooth mousse foundation is now available and I assume that is doesn’t have the crumbly texture.
Mineral- Even more recently, mineral foundation has boomed in the makeup market, with some brands only selling mineral foundation. According to packaging (which are not always the best thing to make a decision on) mineral foundation can improve problem. Curious I was, I recently bought Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc Free Mineral Loose Powder to see if there were any results. Although one must consider that I have never had serious problem skin and that my skin is almost clear now that I am eighteen, I have to admit that my skin DOES look better with the mineral foundation, even though I am not wearing it every day. Although many foundations can be pore clogging, wearing foundation is not necessarily the cause of a spot or two. In regards to wearing mineral foundation, the coverage is super light, often difficult to apply and can be super messy. I wouldn’t recommend mineral foundation to any lady who has beautiful, full bosoms as I do myself, as it is hard to get off clothing (especially black). Shade wise, it is often paler.
Stick- Similar in texture to concealer, foundation in a stick is essentially really thick liquid foundation. I would avoid this personally because of the heaviness. It is best reserved for performance and theatrical makeup, or as a concealer.
Powder Foundation- is different to mineral foundation in the chemical compounds. I could research it, but I have limited internet as I am writing right now, and am just using Word. (Random tangent: I really should get myself a book on the chemical compounds in makeup. That’s make my writing so much easier!) I personally don’t use powder foundation alone as it needs a sticky base (I’ll mention application later) and can be very drying due to the talc. Some powder foundations have minerals in them, but they’re not mineral foundation.

4. Tools of the trade. Different textures of foundation need to be applied with different tools. Liquid foundation is best applied with a foundation brush with nylon bristles or a sponge (Also today I bought a foundation brush and the magical label that well all trust said that synthetic bristles are better because the product does not clump together, making them cleaner and so less foundation is wasted). Mousse is best applied with feather light, clean fingertips. Stick really needs to be applied with fingers, or if it’s being used as a concealer, a hygienic applicator so bacteria does not spread. Brushed and sponges do need to be cleaned regularly.

5. Application of foundation. You should always moisturize before applying foundation as this creates a thin barrier between your skin and the makeup. Let the moisturizer soak in, as foundation sticks best on drier skin. If you have really oily skin you can carefully blot some using a tissue. Powder, on the other hand, sticks best to sticky skin, so it’s best to dust your skin straight away afterwards. Finally, always remove your foundation at night. Even if all my foundation has slipped off, which it does do a lot in sunny Australia, I will always wash my face. If there is fresh foundation I use makeup remover and then wash my face.

I hope this helps. Please tell me your comments and experiences!

xxx Lilly


  1. I first started using powder foundation (Manic Panic Anemic specifically because it fits my skin the best!) to cover the shine of sun screen. I still think it feels too thick though.

    I've also found that in NSW where the humidity is almost death, powder is much better as it kind-of absorbs. In my opinion, it feels like your face is melting but when checked looks perfect!

  2. I hope that you're right, SaryWalrus. I use powdered mineral foundation and have always loved it, but I've never tested it in humidity, and I just moved to a much warmer/wetter place. We'll see how it does in the summer. Thanks for the detailed tips, Black_Lilly!

  3. Thanks for the tips! I am looking for a good foundation and you definitely helped, thanks again :)

  4. Sorry, for the late replies. Sary I tend to agree. Here it is less humid so I don't have that problem quite as much. I find powder to be too drying generally, unless there's a nice layer of liquid underneath.

    Becky and Orillia, thanks for the good feedback. xxx