Nothing Beats a Good Foundation
By Brandi Barnett
Ace of BaseFebruary 2007
By Melissa Gulden
Remember the first time you were allowed to wear makeup? Going to the drugstore and picking out your liquid and powder compact under the buzzing fluorescent lights? It was usually too pink and left a telltale peach line around your face, giving your pale neck the appearance of a lollipop stick.
With trained beauty advisors and custom blending available at some counters, you will get a base hit every time. Foundation can be a delicate balancing act. Too matte and it looks like a cakey mask; too shimmery and it can take on a creepy sheen. There are challenges with every skin type, but if you follow some simple tactics, the foundation will melt over any imperfections, leaving skin looking like, well, skin.
Combination-to-Oily: Go with a foundation slightly lighter than your complexion, as most formulas darken a bit on oily skin. Skip formulas with all the bells and whistles, like sunscreen and anti-aging ingredients, as these can trigger breakouts.
Less is more for this skin type, too.Wear the sheerest layer of foundation you can pull off. Heavy makeup sinks into and accentuates large pores. A pearl-sized drop applied with a foundation brush should do just fine.
Dust loose powder on your oiliest spots, and if the powder leaves your skin too matte, lightly spritz your face with water or vitamin spray (I loveMAC Fix Plus!).
Be sure to store these types of foundations in a cool, dry place. Oil-free formulas separate easily and can become rancid in heat.
Normal-to-Dry: Start out by sloughing off any dead, dry skin with a gentle daily exfoliating scrub—or monthly microdermabrasion treatment—to enable foundation to go on smoothly. Avoid tinted moisturizers, as they can obscure the natural glow of pretty, normal skin,
leaving it looking dull and oily. If you are trying to enhance your complexion, a regular moisturizer, concealer, and shimmery bronzer is all you need.
I also recommend spreading a hydrating foundation primer after applying moisturizer (and before foundation) to plump up the skin and fill in fine lines. (I like LauraMercier Foundation Primer.) Drier skin can benefit from a foundation brush when applying makeup. Using your fingers can cause streakiness, especially on sensitive skin, and makeup sponges soak up most of your product.
Apply only the thinnest layer of foundation on your forehead, or none at all. Chances are you have fine lines and dry patches there, and makeup may exaggerate them.Most women tend to use too much foundation—they really only need it in certain areas.
For Combination-to-Oily Try:
Almay Nearly Naked Concealer Stick
Lancôme Teint Idole
For Dry Skin Try:
Lancôme Absolue Powder
Giorgio Armani Cosmetics Hydra Glow Foundation
Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Flawless CreamMakeup
For Normal Skin Try:
Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick
Stila Illuminating Liquid Foundation
Nars Balanced Foundation
Dior DiorSkin Icone Photo Perfect Crème-to-PowderMakeup