Foundation is an ever evolving product for me and one that I think will continue to shift and tweak as the years go by. My limited experience in the field has taught me a few things that I would like to share with you and I hope I can shed some light in a simple straightforward way. If you are on the hunt for a new foundation or fancy a revamp here are the fundamentals you need to consider:
The idea behind foundation is to create an even skin tone and texture; we want to make our skin look better, clear and smooth yet natural.
First things first – what skin type do you have? This will help a great deal when looking for foundation because there are so many different formulas out there. If you have dry skin, you don’t want a very matte finish otherwise your skin may look cakey and if you have very oily skin, you don’t want a very moisturizing foundation otherwise you’ll look too oily.
Once you have considered your skin type, here’s what you’ll want to look for:
Normal/Dry Skin: Look for hydrating, moisture rich, and ‘dewy’ formulas. Tinted moisturizers are great especially if you want light/sheer coverage. For medium to full coverage look for liquid foundations that are hydrating.
*Remember – you can always ‘build’ foundation. Apply a light layer and blend into skin well, then apply another coat over areas as needed.
Combination: You want something that is going to balance the skin – hydrate in dry areas and absorb oil in oily areas. Whipped foundations are good as are oil free liquid foundations.
Oily: Look for formulas that are oil free, control oil or give a matte finish. Oil free cream foundations are also good for a medium to full coverage.
Mature skin: I wouldn’t suggest a full coverage or heavy formula foundation. A light coverage liquid foundation or tined moisturizer is better for younger looking luminous skin.
* If you are unsure, test the foundation on the back of your hand to determine the feel and texture.
*A point about coverage – you might also want to consider seasonal changes. I prefer a lighter more matte foundation in the summer and a thicker creamier foundation in the winter.
Finding the right shade
The correct shade of foundation will disappear on the skin. You want the shade to be even and match the skin tone from your face, neck and chest area – you don’t want a face that looks like it has been in the Bahama’s on top of your neck and chest that pale as goats milk – this is why we test foundation on the cheek and neck so that you look even toned.
Once you have decided on a formula, test a couple shades on the side of your face between your nose and side of the cheek to your jaw line (note – 99 % of people have yellow undertones so you’ll probably want a foundation that is yellow based.) The correct colour should disappear – see the picture below – the middle shade is most like the natural skin colour.
Tips for finding your perfect foundation
Always test out foundation in natural light, the swatch that disappears is the right shade.
Samples, samples, samples. If you are going to invest in a pricey foundation try it out first. High end brands should have samples. Bobbi Brown put together 2 different formulas in little sample pots for me to try after testing me for the right shade, they were both too moisture rich for me so that saved me from spending R700 on a foundation that didn’t suit. If you are in a department store ask a few counters and go home and give each a proper trial run. I would recommend testing out Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Dior, Clarins and Estee Lauder.
Don’t freak out if they are out of your price range – there are many mid range and ‘drug Store’ foundations that are excellent. Loreal is made by the same company as Georgio Armani and some of their foundations are practically identical. Rimmel, Loreal and Revlon would be first on my list.
Avoid shopping for foundation online unless you are certain of what you are getting.
SPF – this can make your skin look ghostly in photographs. For everyday use an SPF is great in your foundation but best avoid in the evening and/or if you are going to be photographed. Don’t worry if you don’t have an SPF in your foundation, you can always apply one separately or have it in your moisturizer.
A note about primer
A primer primes your skin (duh!) but even a good moisturizer or something like Clarins Beauty Flash balm is great. I find a primer and a foundation can feel a bit much so I only tend to wear it if I am going out in the evening or for an all day outing. They can help to mattify your skin and smooth over large pores. Some help things like redness, colour correcting ect and Smashbox have a great range but they’re a bit pricey. Catrice have a decent one but I think my favorites the Body Shop Insta Blur ( they also do an eye one which I love), the Clinique Pore Refining Solutions and Benefit’s Porefessional (hopefully hitting our shores soon).
In part 2 – I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorites and recommendations…
Love Wrendley X