Saturday, June 19, 2010

Makeup 101: Foundation


The name "foundation" often makes us think that foundation is just that- a foundation to your makeup routine. While this is not exactly true (remember, good skincare is the real foundation!), it is usually the thing that makes or breaks your overall makeup. That's why the right foundation is most important- because in my opinion, there is no one "right" foundation for everyone. Here is a guide to some of MY favorite foundations.

Bare Escentuals' Bare Minerals: This is a loose powder foundation; it is also a mineral foundation, which has recently been a popular formula for many people, mostly because it is made of pure natural minerals, less likely to clog the pores or cause skin irritations. I have been using Bare Minerals for the past 3 years, and even when I try a different foundation, I always come back to this! It is also convenient that BE has recently come out with more shades to accomodate many different skin tones. There is also a Matte finish, which may appeal to oily skin types.

An assortment of shades/finishes 

The good: Easy to apply, natural looking finish. Doubles as a concealer, and in my experience, conceals better than most foundations. Great for most skin types, including dry skin. SPF 15.

The bad: Original formula contains bismuth (matte does not), which can irritate some users' skin. Mineral Veil is also needed with Original formula, so by the time you buy the Foundation ($25) and Mineral Veil ($19), price can get steep.

BONUS: Save 20% at from now until 6/20. Use code SHARE at checkout. 


^^Makeup Forever Duo Mat Powder: This is a powder foundation with a very matte finish. Can be applied with a brush for a lighter coverage, or with an included round sponge. Good for normal/oily skin types.

The Good: Flawless matte coverage; can be used as a blotting powder throughout the day, even if you didn't use it in the a.m.; Plenty of colors to choose from.

The Bad: Fragile- don't drop!; Expensive ($30+).

^^Makeup Forever HD: A foundation created with high def in mind; natural coverage for all skin types. Use with MUFE HD Powder (which lasts forever!).

The Good: Comes with a pump for easy application; versatile for any skin type; great for all skin tones including extremely fair skin (try 110!).

The Bad: Pricey at $40.


^^Revlon Colorstay Normal/Dry: Drugstore brand foundation that dries down to a nearly-matte finish. Note that Revlon Colorstay comes in either Normal/Dry or Oily/Combo finishes; I find that the Oily/Combo is not as flawless or long-lasting as the Normal/Dry. Check local grocers and drugstores for sales on Revlon for an even cheaper price. By far my favorite finish of any liquid foundation!

The Good: Perfect, flawless coverage; Lasts all day long, no touch-ups needed; Provides high-end quality at drugstore prices.

The Bad: Known to cause breakouts (did for me sadly); Glass bottle with no pump is hard to use; Color selection is limited, not many cool shades to choose from.

^^Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse:  Advertised to create a pore-free complexion, this foundation's finish is one of my favorites on the drugstore market. Colors are select, but can work with many different tones.

The Good: Pump bottle is easy to use; Sales on Maybelline are rampant making this very affordable; Beautiful, natural coverage.

The Bad: Not long-lasting; requires occasional touch-ups.

^^Maybelline Dream Matte Powder: A long-lasting powder with light coverage. I find that this is the best powder and sets any foundation without looking cakey or too dry. Compact includes retractable mirror and optional powder tool. Try with 168 or another dense, natural-haired brush.

The Good: Perfect and natural coverage; Extremely affordable; Mirror is handy. 

The Bad: Hmm...can't think of anything!

Mac Studio Moisture Tint SPF 15: For lighter coverage (ie you've got great skin!), try this tinted moisturizer. With tinted moisturizers, it is safe to try a shade darker than usual to give you a soft tan glow.
The Good: SPF 15; Light and easy to apply (try fingers); Doubles as a moisturizer in a pinch.

The Bad: Not heavy enough for all skin types or situations; May be too oily for most skin types and may require setting powder. 

One foundation that I forgot to feature are cream foundations (usually in a compact). Cream foundations are good for dry skin (liquids are not so good for dry skin), so if that's you, definitely consider one. I like MAC Select Moistureblend- it is almost a cross between a gel and a cream- applies effortlessly. And it is SPF 15!!

And now, for the tools!

For liquids, I honestly just prefer a sponge, but if you're not the sponge type here are a few brushes that I've had fantastic luck with. Also I find that natural-haired brushes seem to distribute product more evenly.

^^ MAC 109. Blend with small circular strokes, and use the sides of the brush to get rid of any leftover streaks.

Sephora #55 "Airbrush". Designed to provide a flawless "airbrushed" finish to your foundation

^^MAC 180. Currently discontinued, but can be found at CCOs, or any flat-top brush will substitute. It's large so it covers a lot of ground quickly, and provides a streak-free finish. 

^^Sonia Kashuk sponge. The many different facets of this sponge allow you to get into all the awkward places (by the nose, undereyes, etc). Reusable too! 

^^ Classic Triangle Sponge. Hands-down my favorite applicator for liquid foundation- fast and easy to use, nothing to clean, and cheap. Find them in bulk at Sally Beauty Supply.

Did you see your favorite foundation on the list? If not, what do you use? 


prettyaspeaches said...

Thanks for the reviews! This is such a handy guide. I need to check out the 109 brush now.

l0verlada said...

Great reviews. I have so much foundation and I love playing with new finishes! I usually apply with my hand though after trying a brush and sponge I always go back.