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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Makeup 101: Foundation basics

I'm starting a new series of posts called 'Makeup 101' which will cover exactly what it says, makeup for beginners. I thought I'd start off with foundation and how to decide which is right for you.

A rough guide to foundation choice.

Tinted moisturiser: For those who want very sheer coverage and just need to even out very slight redness or differences in skin tone.

Low to medium buildable coverage foundation: those that have a little more redness or uneven skin tone or who just want a sheer foundation

Medium to full buildable coverage foundation: For those that have blemishes or hyperpigmentation and more prominent uneven skin tone

Full coverage foundation: For those that have a lot of hyperpigmentation or scarring such as from acne. There are actually very few people who need full coverage and most people can get away with a lot less foundation than they wear.

Different Foundation Textures:

Powder foundation: best for oily skin. Also good for setting concealer while offering extra coverage to those areas.

Liquid foundation: best for dry skin but useable by all skin types depending on the formula used ie: oil-free version if you have oily skin and moisturising version for dry skin.

Cream foundation: best for normal skin and can be used by those with dry skin but should, for the most part, be avoided by those with oily skin.

Choosing your foundation colour:
Determine if you are cool toned or warm toned and choose your foundation colour accordingly. One way is to look at the veins on your wrist and if they're more green then you're warm toned and need a more yellow based foundation, if they're blue then you're neutral and need something that isn't too yellow or too pink and if they're purple then you need something with a bit more pink in it.

The main reason girls end up looking a bit muddy in the face is because they're wearing something that's the wrong tone. Darker skinned girls usually end up looking ashy if they use something that's too pink-toned and too light for their skin colour. Most important: match your foundation to the skin colour you are and not what you want to be!

Celina Jaitley: What a difference the right coloured foundation makes! She looks pasty in the first picture and radiant in the second

I see so many darker skinned girls who want to look lighter so they use a lighter foundation shade and then just end up looking really strange. Or I see lighter skinned girls who want to look tanned so they wear really dark or orange foundations and end up looking really tacky.

Christina Aguilera: What can I say? Looking more brown does not always equate looking healthier! In the first picture she looks downright weird but in the second she looks gorgeous!

All I can say is: embrace your colour girls! Light or dark, cool or warm- what makes skin look beautiful is an even skin tone! If you do want to look more tanned then use a bronzer once you've finished applying your foundation because it looks much more natural that way. If on the other hand you want to look lighter... well I can't really help you there but using light reflecting products such as luminizers can really brighten as opposed to lighten your skin and make you look more radiant.


  1. for I completely. disagree with the "color" thing.I agree with the choice/texture parts. I also disagree with telling people what foundation/blush,eyeshadow,etc they should wear, its rude.
    These women that were posted look PERFECTLY FINE! take their photos around the globe and people will agree with me. Some people prefer to look pale/paler...look at dita von teese instance, she stays clear from the sun to avoid darkening in an interview she told reporters that. Some people like to be darker and sun kissed with bronzer on top of that, its your personal preference.who is anyone to tell someone theyre wearing a too light or too dark foundation, because there is no such thing. Nicole and Sam from pixiwoo(huge makeupartists in Britain) sometimes wear paler or darker foundation and it looks gorgeous!People who are already light can wear any foundation they want and not look ashen. Celina is naturally very light skinned.
    if that's "too light" than the rest of the world wears LIGHTER! her concealer isnt light enough if anything! Celina looks perfectly fine. No rules of makeup,only rules of thumb. Some people prefer a matte finish,some like satin,etc. Ahalya, someone may call you out and say your foundation is "too light". What I found and others also found out is people who tend to be darker in skintone always want to tell others their foundation is tooo light. We all have personal preferences...whether its to be dark and bronzey or light and bright. Luminizers are very nice but some people prefer the more "matte" look :)

  2. Rin: Thanks :)

    GlossQueen: Thanks :)

    Sana: Thank you for your comment. I hope you understand that my reason for not posting your previous comment was not to stifle your disagreement but to keep my blog a hate free zone.

    I've told you before that I can appreciate that you don't like people telling others how to wear things but that's what a blog is. I welcome your disagreement as long as you can stay civil when voicing your opinion.

    I received your apology and while I appreciate the sentiment, I also don't agree with a lot of what you said. It seems that you apologised not because you were sorry for being rude but because you'd found that I was of a lighter skin than you initially thought.

    I understand that you may have your own reasons for being so offended by issues surrounding skin colour but I hope that you realise that promoting a love of ones natural skin colour no matter how dark or light is not meant as an insult against someone of a particular colour.

    My goal for foundation matching is always that the colour I wear looks like my skin colour and correct tone. As much as you say girls with lighter skin can wear light makeup and not look ashen it's not true. If a yellow toned person wears a pink toned foundation they will look ashen. That's just colour theory.

    I also think you're misunderstanding what I mean by too light and too dark. Of course there are people who wear lighter foundation but my point is that if you're trying to match your natural skin colour, a shade that's perfect for someone else may be too light/dark for your own skin tone.

    I come from a culture where girls are constantly bombarded by the idea that only being of a fairer skin tone looks nice. I'm considered light for a Sri Lankan but I don't think skin colour has anything to do with how attractive a person is and some of the most beautiful women I have seen are of a much darker skin tone.

    I know you may think that you're just standing up for those people that are of a lighter skin tone who you think are being attacked but you also need to understand that in the reverse, you seem like you're being quite offensive against darker skinned girls by automatically assuming that they're 'jealous' and must want to be lighter because that's not true.

  3. I get your point about cultures. However, everyone has their own personal preference. I know of whit people who love the pale look. I posted a comment on youtube and I said the same thing and overnight I got 98 thumbs up!Im also saying that if a person prefers lighter skin that doesnt mean they hate dark skin, they just find more beauty in light skin. You can even look at ancient art...they always depict women with long dark hair,light skin,wide beautiful eyes. If a woman prefer dark skin thats on her, thats what she finds beautiful.We cant blame the media or society, some people naturally are attracted to lighter skin. Just like some people loove darker skin. Dita von teese and many other women prefer that lighter skin tone. Even Kim Kardashian at times goes darker and really light, her skintone is very light to begin with. Even Alek wek who is a very dark skinned beautiful model with amazing dark skin..for photoshoots goes even darker.
    I again disagree with you on the pink and yellow foundation thing,thats completly wrong. Some people are yellow toned which is light but with alot of splotches of pink. Ive seen many clients who are light/yellow but certain foundations made them look like "jaundice/yellow" they complained.The right combo of pink and yellow made them soo bright and radiant. Its all on personal preference,thats all.Our skin is very diverse. One of the world's biggest makeupartist said everyone in the world can at least use 2 foundations, many people can wear 3 or more. It depends on what you are trying to bring out the most. On some days some people prefer to look more rosier so they use a pink undertone. Some people want that more rosier undertone because it looks fresher/young. We all know that NC is gold and NW is pink in MAC. NC is lighter than NW, NW is more reddish/pink. An NC40 and NW40. There are people who see both yellow and splotches of pink on them like I said. A yellow person will not look "ashy" when wearing pink undertones, they will look PINKY. Usually we humans are not one tone! we are not all yellow! there are fair skinned yellow people with pink undertones. Its actually preferred to use a combo of tellow/olive and red/pink undertones. You have to experiment. If you are yellow and use only yellow foundation than you will appear more flat( which is great if thats what you like) but addingpink makes you look rosier and many people love that. SO I and other people who worked in the makeup industry can and will disagree with that.
    So you cant clearly say yellow tone for yellow tones and pink is for pink undertones. There are MANY exceptions. People dont pick it out that way. There are even people who get into arguments at makeup counters because they are a cool and someone insisted they were a warm.
    Alot of times darker toned women like African American/carribean women have to mix more than one foundation ,everyone on earth is different. I worked as a makeup artist for years. I am in no way insulting darker skin women, please dont put words in my mouth. I have only said that darker skinned women alot of times like to tell others their foundation is "too light" out of jealousy. Low self esteem and the computer is a horrible combination.
    My overall stance on this is people should do what they see personally suits them.
    I meant no disrespect, I just wanted my point across. Thats all. I do agree with the texture and choice part of our blog. I have many people who tell me they like that nice matte/powder finish or oothers who looove that luminized skin. I guess its different strokes for different folks :D
    no hard feelings ahalya!