Picking a foundation is a rather tedious job and can be expensive if you get it wrong multiple times. There are secrets to getting this right. First things first, NEVER be afraid to return something if it is not what you expected. Stores expect this so don't feel bad. And don't let miss/or mr.. counter person make you feel bad. But, how often do you get the third degree from a dude about your makeup being wrong AND the ladies should understand.. so why the snarly face or snake eye? It just didn't work it, it turned my face purple so just give me my refund...
So, when it comes to choosing your perfect foundation; some things to remember!
1. Always check it in the sunlight.
2. Always use the nose - cheek area for a strip test, NEVER use your hand or neck. Hello, they are different colors than your face.
3. When using the strip test; never rub in, after it dries if it is the right color for you, you will hardly be able to notice the makeup strip on your face.
4. Always apply makeup in a well lit area. Not your closet. Set yourself up with a nice area for applying makeup; invest in a makeup mirror that has a bright light on it and use it. Who knows you might even notice some other things when you look in that little bastard!
5. Determine how much coverage you need... Most woman think; wow I need full coverage.. I have news for you; unless you have peperoni face, birth marks, or some skin discoloration you don't need full coverage. I would venture to say that for about 80 percent of women light coverage is more than sufficient. Anything heavier than that and you are going to look like a Geisha.
6. Heavy coverage / full coverage is for people who have some serious "flaws" to cover. Freckles don't hardly count. They are cute; embrace them, they will never go away! So enjoy the extra color they bring to your face and work them to your advantage.
How to do a strip test.
Remove all makeup from face. Take a Q-tip dip into the foundation that you are testing. Then strip from the nose across the cheek. This is were most of your color variation comes from in your face so this is the area you should always test. Always look at this under the brightest light you can find. Sunlight is best.
How do I know what formula to use?
This is when you are REALLY going to have to look at your skin texture and type. What I mean by that is; are you prone to breakouts? Are you oily in some places but not others? Are you dry? Does your skin change depending on the year. My best recommendation here is do your homework; ask for help, go to a makeup counter; my favorite is Clinique. They will sit down with you to help determine your skin concerns and help you correct them. If you have acne prone skin there is foundation that will help combat that. For dry skin there is anti-aging makeup. The more dry your skin is the quicker you are going to age. So really take care of that by using the right makeup. If you have oily skin you will want to use a makeup that is oil free or that will help remove excess oil from the skin without over drying.
How do I apply the foundation?
There are lots of variations. And really it falls into whatever works best for you. But always start with the foundation in the center of the face and work your way out; that way you don't have streaks for a hard line.. (you know what I am talking about) I start with a dab of foundation in my fingers, I rub it a bit to warm it up then I apply, preferably before my moisturizer is dry. If you have acne prone skin; things are a bit more complicated for you. You can use your hands however; you MUST wash your hands before and after you apply your makeup, otherwise you can do future damage. What is recommended for acne prone skin is using throw away sponges. Use them once and toss. Don't even look back. You can buy them just as cheap as cotton balls. If I had the luxury... (dreaming.. maybe one day) I would airbrush my makeup on, allowing me to achieve the perfect balance of coverage and color!
How do I plan for my summer face?
Now for summer foundation; I have a totally different set of rules. For summer I suggest going with a tented moisturizer with SPF (at least 15, the higher the better). A tented moisturizer is going to allow you to more flexibility for color. And the bonus is that is still has some great coverage without others being able to notice an increase or decrease in color. Now they also have SPF protection for your lips as well! I highly recommend. I LOVE the clinique lip gloss formula! But that is a completely different topic!
How do I Finish the look?
You should ALWAYS set your foundation and the rest of your makeup with a loose powder. You might be thinking well, what in the world will this do? Or will it make me look chalky? Absolutely not! What this does, and it works fabulously for all skin types is set the makeup. Apply loose powder with a brush and sweep it over the skin in circular motions. I use Clinique Gentle light powder. It has a light, silky feel and leaves a very subtle shimmer behind.