Foundation 101

How to match your foundation to your skin tone:

Foundation was first developed for people in film to enhance their features on camera. Now all kinds of women use foundation to give their skin a fresh, enhanced look.

IMG_0002The first step to matching your foundation to your skin is figuring out the undertone of your skin (there are yellow undertones, pink undertones, and neutral undertones). If you are having a hard time deciding your skin’s undertone, an easy, quick way to figure it out is to look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If the veins are blue/purple you are cool/pink toned. If the veins on the inside of your wrist are are green then you are warm or yellow toned. Sometimes you won’t be cool or warm, you’ll be right in the middle which is called neutral. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ORANGE UNDERTONE.

After you’ve figured out your undertone, then you have to find a correct shade. For the shade of your foundation you should match it to your neck/chest area. This will be helpful for those who exfoliate their face and have a lighter skin tone on their face than their body. You do not want your face to be a different shade from the rest of your body; this defeats one of the biggest purposes of foundation. 

Another thing to take into consideration when choosing a foundation is how much coverage you want. There is light coverage that gives a more natural look and tends to just give a little extra life to the face, and medium coverage which gives a medium look for people who want a little more than light and a little less than full. Medium coverage foundation is usually for people who have small imperfections they want to make less noticeable or for people with better skin who want to simply enhance their skin further. Full coverage foundation is more for special occasions or for people who have large imperfections they want to cover. Full coverage foundation can also tend to look more cakey and noticeable if not applied correctly.IMG_0003

On top of the coverage of the foundation, there are pressed powder, loose powder, and liquid foundation options. Liquid foundations look the most natural and can give a wide range of coverage no matter how applied (since most liquid foundations can be layered). Most powder foundations are harder to make look natural and still get some coverage.

Some common mistakes girls make with their foundations is layering powder foundation on top of liquid foundation; this is one way to get a “cake face”. If you do wear liquid foundation, you don’t always have to set it, but if you do want to set it there are finely milled setting powders that help prevent your face from looking cakey. If you do notice your foundation is looking too powdery one thing you can do is use a mist/spray on your face (i.e. MAC Fix+, Mario Badescu facial spray, L’Oreal Infallible makeup setting spray, Urban Decay makeup setting sprays). Using a mist/spray will wet the powders on your face and make them look more like your real skin rather than a powder sitting on top of it.

So, please ladies, take some tips and try new things with your foundation. You might be surprised with how much better it looks by changing a few simple things.