There are three things about foundation that we need to keep in mind;
- your Skin type,
- and the texture & coverage.
Foundation's main purposes are to create an even and uniform complexion, cover minor flaws ( for bigger/more prominent flaws concealer is required along with the foundation) and sometimes also used to change the colour of one's skin tone. If you think you want to cover everything using foundation you are going to end up looking like you are wearing a mask. The foundation needs to match the skin's tone perfectly and the best way to judge if the foundation suits your skin tone is by applying it on your jawline and seeing it in daylight.
The second thing, skin type, I have very oily to combination skin so I like to use foundations that are water based, for example; Chanel Vitalumiére Aqua, or mineral/powder foundations like The Body Shop Virgin Mineral Powder Foundation that has oil absorbing properties. If you have very dry skin you need a foundation that gives you lots of moisture, and if you have very dull skin you can buy foundations with light reflective pigments like the Revlon Photoready Airbrush Finish Foundation.
Thirdly, the texture depends on what coverage you are looking for, very liquid foundations or tinted moisturisers are for people who have great skin already and just need something to even their skin tone, a little thicker liquid ones with medium coverage is also good for every one and also for those who suffer from mild acne/blemishes as the coverage with these foundations is very build-able ( apply a thin layer first, and then go back and apply more on areas that need more hiding). You could also get more coverage from products like compacts, and powders that are tinted. There are foundations with very heavy coverage also available which are only appropriate for certain occasions and not really for every day purposes ( maybe as a first layer to cover up a tattoo).
There are basically three different types of foundations; Cream, Liquid, and Mineral Powder. Nowadays ,you get mousse, gel, BB and CC creams and all sorts of other concoctions, but these 3 remains the three basic texture, and there are various ways of applying the foundation depending on the texture. For all types of foundation, start applying it from the centre of your face and blend it outwards, towards the periphery, and bring it all the way down to your neck. I always begin by pumping the foundation on the back of my hand, and dotting it all over my face, starting from the centre, where most of us need maximum coverage. Your fingers are one of the best tool to apply and blend foundation, as the warmth in them makes it very convenient to blend the foundation easily.
For cream foundations, look for dense circular brushes with a flat surface, like the Real techniques Expert Face Brush or Sigma F80 brush, to literally press the foundation onto your skin when you swirl it around, and give you a very natural, pore-less, almost airbrushed finish.
For liquid Foundations, look for wide, flat and densely packed paddle brush, like the Lakme absolute Foundation brush to pat and blend the foundation on your skin. This brush really helps in reaching all the nooks and crannies of your face, like under your eyes, on the corner of your nose etc. A common mistake a lot of us tend to make while using this brush is that we use it in an up & down motion ( like painting a wall) but instead pat the brush in one direction (like only painting the wall downwards), from the centre of your face towards the periphery and you will get a seamless finish.
You can also use a stippling brush, like Vega Dual Fibre Stippling Brush, to pick up small amount of cream or liquid foundation onto the tips of the brush and gently stipple the brush over your skin repeatedly until all the dots overlap to give you an airbrushed finish.
For mineral powder foundations, look for stout, dense brushes like The Body Shop Kabuki brush, which are structured to disperse the powder foundation evenly onto your skin while we use a swirling motion. You'll instantly despise powder foundation if you don't use a right brush to go along with it.
There are also three different types of foundation finishes; Matte, Satin and Dewy.
Like the name suggests, foundations that have a matte finish has a very shine free finish, almost flat, soft and powder like. If you have very oily skin, I would suggest that you stick to this finish. Example; Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation.
Foundations with satin finish are neither too matte nor too dewy. These foundations have a very natural finish with a soft radiance. This finish is suitable for all skin types, and it will look good on anyone. Example; Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, Lakme 9-5 Foundation.
Foundations with a dewy finish has a very glowing, fresh, radiant, and luminous finish. If you have dry skin, then foundations with a dewy finish will suit you best. Also, if you have a mature skin type, a dewy finish will impart a youthful look to your skin. Example: Loreal true Match Foundation.
Take your time in choosing the best foundation for you, go through each and every aspect of it, if your skin colour changes when the season changes ( darker in the summer and paler during winter or vice versa) then keep that in mind when you choose the shade of your foundation. You definitely do not need a lot of foundations, once you find THE one, stick to it. Listen to your skin, understand what it wants, is it dehydrated, is it sensitive and then choose wisely. A wrong foundation shade or texture will haunt you, so do not fall into trends or sale tactics when it comes to buying bases. Make good use of samples, and if they don't give samples, don't be shy to try it on your whole face and neck, let in stay on for at least an hour to see if it oxidises and changes colour (usually a shade darker) and then make your decision. Do the rest of your shopping, come back and buy the foundation if you genuinely like it.
I wish I had a post like this when I first bought a foundation; It was a disaster. All of the afore mentioned points are solutions from the mistakes I have done in the past and I don't want the same to happen with you.
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