What Is A Makeup Foundation And How Important Is It?
I believe that there is not a single woman in the world who doesn’t understand the value of a clear and healthy skin. To be able to step out into the world everyday without having to worry about makeup and covering facial flaws would just be liberating, to say the least. Women born with perfectly smooth, clear, almost like photoshopped skin are always the envy of other women. However, that is a gift that only very few women are blessed with and, sadly, not the reality that the rest of us is probably ever gonna wake up to. For most of us, we have no other choice but to “get by with a little help from our friends” – cosmetics (particularly, makeup foundation)!
First, I must briefly define what a makeup foundation is and what it does for the face – the foundation is a type of cosmetic that is commonly used as a base for makeup. It helps enhance the facial complexion, even out skin tone, and hide skin imperfections. Many define makeup as the art of face painting. Well, as the “artist”, you need to prep your “canvas” – which is your face – before you begin your art, right? That’s what the makeup foundation is for!
The makeup foundation is not a necessary part of our daily beauty regimen. For daytime and more casual activities, a tinted moisturizer or face powder should normally suffice. However, the makeup foundation is an absolute must-have for special occasions, or activities that require a longer wearing makeup.
Straight to the point: There is nothing more ridiculous (other than a pencil drawn pair of eyebrows) than a foundation that’s too white (or too dark) on the skin that it leaves a woman looking like she’s got someone else’s head attached to her neck, or worse, looking like a mime artist!
So this post simply aims to review the basic guidelines to follow when choosing the right foundation for your skin tone. Let’s begin then.
First Things First: Coverage
Coverage refers to the opacity of the foundation, or how much of your flaws it is able to cover up. Depending on your present skin condition and what particular skin issues you feel the need to conceal, use the following as your guide in selecting which type of coverage you need:
- Sheer is the most transparent or least pigmented; it will help in slightly minimizing the appearance of skin discoloration and maybe help make your skin appear a little bit smoother, but it will not be much help if you need to conceal dark spots or acne marks.
- Light can slightly fix blotchiness and uneven skin tone but again, not opaque enough to hide dark spots and acne marks.
- Medium can cover discoloration, blotchiness and acne marks well enough, especially if set with a tinted powder.
- Full Coverage is heavily pigmented and very opaque, it is often referred to as camouflage or corrective makeup, and is also what makeup artists use for professional photo sessions, films and stage performances since it can effectively hide any flaws.
Choosing The Right Formulation Next
Before you worry about the shade, you need to choose which formulation for the makeup foundation suits your skin type. If you have oily skin, I would recommend that you get either the water-based, oil control, oil free or mattifying formula. If you have dry skin, then you will need the oil based, moisture rich, moisturizing or hydrating formula.
- Oil-based is the oldest type of formulation for makeup. It has a very thick and very dense consistency. It stays moist, thus giving your skin the dewy appearance. It often provides medium to full coverage and is slightly water resistant but it has the tendency to smudge, fade or discolor after long hours of wear.
- Water-based provides medium coverage but with a lighter, more natural appearance and feel than the oil-based.
- Mineral makeup foundation most commonly refers to any foundation in loose powder form. Minerals such as mica, bismuth oxychloride, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and talc are the most common minerals used as the base for this type of makeup, hence, the name “mineral“. Mineral makeup foundation provides sheer to light coverage.
Finally, Choosing The Right Shade
Now let’s move on to picking the right foundation shade for your skin tone. When testing a foundation at the cosmetic shop, apply a tiny swipe along your jaw line and blend it evenly into your skin. Don’t be too shy to excuse yourself and find a way to quickly step out of the building and into the sunlight, take out your compact mirror and look at the color of the foundation on your skin. What you want is for the foundation to closely match the color of your neck yet appears almost invisible on your face. Take note that I did not say “you want a shade that matches the color of (the skin on) your face. Why? Simply because most of us have a slightly different skin color on the face due to various environmental and genetic factors that affect our skin and if that’s the case, we surely don’t need a foundation to match that color but something to correct it.
So why test it along the jawline? That’s because that is the line that separates the neck and the face! So the color you’re looking for has to balance, or sort of “marry” the two colors together, making that line almost undetectable, and still has to come out as natural looking as possible.
Take Note: Cool Skin Tone vs. Warm Skin Tone
If for some reason, the cosmetic shop does not provide a tester for the foundation you’re thinking of purchasing, one way for you to determine which shade would match your skin tone the closest is to first figure out whether you have a warm or cool skin tone. How the heck would you know?!
Look at the underside of your wrist. If your veins appear mostly greenish in color, then you have a warm skin tone. If your veins appear mostly bluish or purple, then yours is a cool skin tone. The right shade of foundation for a warm skin tone is one that has a yellow, gold or peach undertone; whereas if you have a cool skin tone, you should pick a foundation with blue or pink undertone.
Ready to Go Makeup Shopping Now?
So that’s it, folks! Very easy and simple guidelines to follow the next time you go shopping for your makeup foundation. Just another reminder though – if you have extra shopping money, you should also buy a makeup primer and make sure to apply it first before your makeup foundation, ayt?
If you would like to learn more about how to achieve a healthier and clearer skin complexion so that makeup is totally optional and NOT a requirement, check back again next week and visit this other post which I will be working on next. :)
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