Welcome to the first installment of the foundation basics series where we will be exploring all there is to know about foundation makeup. The purpose of foundation make up is to create the appearance of an even complexion. Your foundation or base makeup creates smooth canvas to put your other make up on top of. It should be comfortable to wear, natural looking and undetectable to the eye with no demarcation lines. A great foundation adds polish to your overall makeup application giving your skin a refined look. It should not make your skin look dull, ashy, orange, dry, flaky or wet. There are many options available for foundation based on suitability to skin type, undertone, lifestyle and other preferences. For example, if your skin is oily you may want a mattifying foundation, perhaps you fancy a dewy, luminous finish. If you have fine lines you may be in need of a hydrating or moisturizing formula, me personally, I like full coverage all year long, but if you live in a warm climate you may want a light, sheer foundation.
There is no one size fits all foundation because we are all different. Understand that a foundation that works for your mom, your sister or friend may not be the right choice for you. Keep reading to learn about different foundation formulas, selecting an appropriate one for your skin type and lifestyle and what options exist for the most flattering finish.
Foundations come in several textures and forms including: liquid, stick solid, cream, loose or pressed powder. Liquids can be lightweight or heavy with creamy consistencies in a bottle that you can either pour or pump the product from. Stick foundations can be quite heavy in consistency but great for mixing or diluting with a moisturizer for a more sheer product. The creamy or mousse foundations are not as popular as liquid and powders but are favored among consumers with mature skin due to its moisturizing properties. These will make mature skin with lines appear softer and more dewy. Powder foundations in a compact have always had their place in many a makeup bag due to their portability. However loose powder foundations have become wildly popular because they are so light weight. I also feel that for teens powders are the best solution for an age appropriate makeup look. It will even out the complexion without giving a heavy makeup look. Those with mature skin should be careful with powder formulas however because it has a tendency to accentuate fine lines and wrinkles.
Different formulations are available in sheer, medium or full coverage. Sheer coverage foundations will give light coverage and are great for summer time or for those who do not want or need full coverage. Medium coverage will give you more coverage than sheer and usually “buildable” meaning you can layer the foundation as needed to provide more coverage. Full coverage means it will thoroughly conceal discolorations and blemishes with little to no concealer needed and give a flawless appearance to the skin. There are some foundations labeled as “maximum coverage” these can be used without concealer and even fully cover tattoos.
There are multiple types of finishes available today. The two most popular finishes to be aware of are called by most companies either Satin or Matte. The rest fall between those two categories. are some of the words used to described he variety of foundation finishes available. A Satin finish will give you a soft glowing sort of appearance. This finish tends to reflect light and appears dewy. This is important to remember when taking photographs, especially for brides on their wedding day. A Matte finish wil reduce the appearance of shine. It will neither have shine or look dry. Matte foundations are preferred for flash photography as they will not reflect any light. No matter which foundations you choose be sure to not skip the moisturizer and prime your face before applying. Read Foundation Basics 3: Types of Foundation Finishes for more information.
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Apani Smith is a professional licensed cosmetologist, avid beauty junkie, also a revered Indie Hip Hop Icon, sleep deprived mom and foodie extraordinaire. Get social with @apaniclassic on Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest to see more original work and life imitating art.