By Sheila Arkee
Base, most commonly known as foundation, is the backbone of a completely painted face. With what seems like a million and five options available, how do you know which foundation to choose?
Is foundation absolutely necessary? No
Does foundation help complete and polish a painted face? Yes
Does choosing a foundation have to be similar to completing an advanced physics course? No
At the very basic level, foundation is a combination of pigments, water, and binding agents that cover the skin to varying degrees. Foundation can be used to create a uniform skin tone, to correct skin conditions, and create different effects with the skin.
Ultimately, choosing the perfect foundation comes down to figuring out your skin as well as your personal goals in terms of coverage.
Step 1: Determining Your Skin Type
Oily? Oily to normal? Dry? In-between any of those things? Figuring out how to classify your skin type can be the biggest piece of the puzzle. I think most of us are well-acquainted with the skin we’re living in, but in case you are unsure, there are some easy at-home ways to determine your true skin condition. Check out this simple test that helps break down differing skin types.
- If you have oily skin, choose products that won’t exaggerate or promote oily skin. Look for matte or semi-matte finishes.
- If your skin is dry, look for satin, cream, or any products that include moisturizing ingredients.
- If your skin is combination, you might need to use a combination of products, but it’s generally safe to stick with matte finishes or semi-matte finishes.
Step 2: Dressing Your Skin – What Is Your Goal?
With so many foundation options available, selecting one is akin to picking clothes out of your closet. Some days you’ll want something light and breezy, and some days you’ll want to razzle dazzle ’em with something sparkly and fun. There will also be days when you just want to throw something, anything on, you know how that goes!
My general goal with foundation is to be able to cover uneven skin color and give my skin a little polish by using a tinted moisturizer set with translucent powder. However, every once in a while I like to pull out all the stops and use a full-coverage foundation that gives my skin a little glow.
Step 3: Learning About Different Finishes
This is the part where we get roll up our sleeves and get down to business. The beautiful thing about most foundation types – except for powder products – is that the coverage can be varied by including a little moisturizer to sheer out the original coverage, but here’s a list of some options in their original state.
– Tinted Moisturizers
– Liquids, including spray foundation
Now what does this all mean? Here’s a deeper explanation of foundation types.
1. Tinted Moisturizers
- The most basic layer of foundation products.
- Good for all skin types, but if you’re oily proceed with caution and set with a powder. Dry to normal skin folks can get away with wearing tinted moisturizers on their own.
2. Cream Foundations
- Medium- to full-coverage, can be lightened with use of a moisturizer.
- Emollient, and good for dry and mature skin types.
- Great for layering and covering scarring.
3. Mineral Foundation
- Easy to apply
- In their purest form, great for sensitive skin types. Avoid ingredients like mica and bismuth oxychloride.
- Come in both powder and liquids.
- In powder form, easy to transport and reapply.
- Extremely versatile.
- You can easily control the coverage you receive.
- Easy to apply.
- Easy to add to, such as illuminators or bronzing gels.
Foundation is an enormous topic, and we definitely have a lot more ground to cover! In the next part of this series, we’ll talk about how to choose the right color foundation for yourself, and in part three we’ll talk about different application methods.