“How do I know which foundation is right for me?” This is probably the number one question I get asked and no wonder! There are hundreds of shades and formulas to choose from. Go too dark and you look like you’re wearing a mask. Go too light and you end up looking like Morticia Addams. So what’s a girl to do?? If you don’t have a makeup artist at your disposal, I highly recommend going to a department store, Sephora, or Ulta, or purchasing a sample from a reputible site so you can test out the products before you buy. You might spend a little more but I promise that it will save you time and money in the end. No more time wasted scouring the poorly lit aisles, peering through plastic packaging, trying to determine if that color is the one for you to only get it home...and nope, it’s another dollar down the drain. Now, if the drugstore route still appeals to you and you are digging your heals in, I suggest checking out a store with a great refund policy like Rite Aid.
So, let’s begin with formulas. Is your skin dry, oily, or combination? If you're dry, choose a liquid or cream. These have a creamier consistency that glide on the skin and will keep the skin nicely hydrated. Powders will only accentuate the dryness. If your skin is oily, use oil-free liquid, cream, or a powder foundation which will keep you shine free. If you have combination skin, I suggest going with an oil-free liquid or cream. It is also here that a good skin regimen and prep should come into play. The better your skin looks, the better your makeup will look....but that will be for another post.
Next, the daunting task of trying to find the right shade is no more!! Foundation is supposed to match your skin perfectly, so when applied the infamous demarcation line along the jaw is not present. And ladies, you are not supposed to match the foundation to your wrist! I don’t know about you but I want my makeup to match my face not my wrist. When testing your foundation apply it along your jaw line. When it blends beautifully into your skin and seems to disappear you’ve hit the jackpot! Another trick is to step near a window or go outside with a mirror during the day when trying on makeup. The harsh lights in the department stores can be tricky and so can some of the sales people. Let them guide you but use your best judgment. Let’s face it! You know darn well that if you don’t like the look or feel of it in the store, at home in the makeup drawer it goes never to be seen again.
I’ve searched decades (and no, I’m not exaggerating) for a foundation that I can call my favorite. None so far are drugstore brands BUT that’s not to say you cannot find a decent foundation there. If you have found one that you absolutely love and it matches your skin perfectly...congratulations!
Over the years I have fallen in and out of love with many foundations. Many times because they've changed their formula or I came across another that was a knock out of the park. Here are a few that I currently use in my kit and on myself:
RCMA: $23.00 (www.camerreadycosmetics.com or www.beautylish.com) A.ma.zing! This is a makeup artist's dream. What makes RCMA so different? It is highly pigmented which means little product equals light-weight buildable coverage. It is made without perfumes or lanolin (allergens), petrolatum, or mineral oils (produce excess surface oil). It is also long lasting which means little-to-no touch-ups, separation, or caking.
Face Atelier: $36.00 (www.camerareadycosmetics.com) This may be one of my OMG moments. At the suggestion of many artist, I purchased a small sample of Face Atelier from Camera Ready to test out (which I always do before I use anything on clients). It’s highly pigmented, long-lasting with a natural satin finish, and doesn't set in fine lines. It’s great for young, mature, troubled or sensitive skin. Another bonus - it sets without powder!
Cinema Secrets: $24.00 (www.camerareadycosmetics). They have a beautiful range of shades and again, Camera Ready is wonderful at sending samples before you commit. It is a highly pigmented foundation which provides a soft, natural, matte finish while being water and sweat resistant. It contains no mineral oil or lanolin and is not tested on animals.
Cover FX: $40.00 (www.coverfx.com) Cover FX has everything from full coverage creams to lightly tinted moisturizers. They have a full range of shades (over 20) which means your perfect match is out there! These are amazing products but the wide variety could get quite overwhelming so I highly recommend asking for assistance. I am also happy to report that they are oil, fragrance, paraben free and a little will go a very long way!
Good luck in search of your perfect match!! Check back as I will be discussing makeup techniques, product reviews, using the right tools, and how important it is to take care of your skin first!