17 Jun Everything you need to know about Foundation
Foundation: it’s the ultimate multitasker in your makeup bag.
Perfect for evening skin tone, providing a foundation for your makeup, and hiding blemishes, foundation is a versatile product that you don’t want to live without.
But where did this little wonder come from, and what do you need to know about picking, applying, and caring for it?
Here’s your complete foundation roadmap – from its origins to how to pick the right shade.
The History of Foundation
The ancient Greeks and Romans were the first people to use foundation, although their version was a bit different from the formulas we know today. Early foundations were made of white lead (which sometimes caused fatal poisoning after use), or a mixture of ground-up chalks. Both styles of foundation were used to lighten the complexion and create the illusion of fair skin.
During ancient times, fair skin was associated with privilege, and women used these primitive foundations to paint their faces for special events like weddings and parties.
Things changed, however, many years later in seventeenth-century England. During these times, women started using dark makeup to cover the pale complexions they got from spending all their time indoors, trying to avoid the black plague.
The trend was short-lived, though, and pale skin came back into fashion in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
In 1914, cosmetics maker Max Factor introduced pancake makeup and people started matching foundations to their actual skin tones. As the number of formulas and shades grew, it became easier for women to use foundation to enhance their existing beauty, rather than covering it up.
The Main Types of Foundations
Right now, there are dozens of types of foundation on the market. Each is designed to suit a different skin type and complexion.
The main types include the following:
- Liquid foundations. Liquid foundation is the most popular type of foundation out there. It’s easy to apply and has a finis that varies from matte to dewy. It’s also conveniently packaged and easy to transport.
- Cream foundation. Cream foundations come in pots or sticks and are ideal for dry or mature skin or for people who live in cold climates. The finish is dewy, unless you set it with powder.
- Cream-to-powder. Cream-to-powder foundations go on as a cream and end as a powder once they’re on the skin. This creates a matte finish that feels light and airy.
- Pressed powder. Pressed powder foundations are good for oily skin. The matte finish covers shine and creates even coverage.
- Mineral powder foundations. Mineral powder foundations are popular among people with sensitive skin. Ideal for light coverage with no shine, these feel breezy and dry on the skin.
- Cushion foundations. Cushion foundations got their start in South Korea and have since become popular throughout the world. Press the sponge puff into the formula and you’ll get a dewy finish that offers ample coverage.
10 Tips to Make Your Foundation Work for You
Whether you’re new to the world of makeup or you’re looking for ways to find your ultimate foundation formula and get a beautiful look every time, these ten tips can help you get even coverage without the headache:
1. Test Foundation on Your Neck
Conventional wisdom says you should test foundation on your arm. But you’ll get a closer match if you test it on your neck, instead. When you’re trying out varieties, spread a bit of each along your neck, just beneath your jaw line. The one that disappears into your skin is your “true match.”
2. Understand Which Foundations Mesh With Which Skin Types
While many people begin using liquid foundation, this might not be the best choice for your skin type. In fact, liquid is dewy and can conceal more, but powder is better for light, matte coverage, and works well on oily skin.
3. Know Your Skin’s Undertones
Understanding your skin’s undertone makes it easier to choose the makeup that will blend best with your complexion. An “undertone” is the color under your skin’s surface. There are three categories: cool, warm, and neutral.
- Cool undertones. Pink, red, or blue.
- Warm undertones. Yellow, peachy, or gold.
- Neutral undertones. A mixture of warm and cool.
Need some visual assistance? Check out the graph below for more help:
4. A Lighter Foundation is Better Than a Darker One
If you’re between two shades, choose the lighter one. Foundation has a tendency to deepen as it warms on your skin, so lighter tones are a safer bet for a good match. If you get very tan in the summer months, you may want to keep a darker foundation on-hand so you don’t look too pale when you apply your makeup in August.
5. Use a Primer to Help Your Foundation Last Longer
If you have a problem with your foundation melting off in the middle of the day, a primer could offer some relief.
Designed to create a smooth and stable base for your foundation, primer blurs pores and moisturises the skin to create a soft, matte finish. Plus, it feels lightweight and helps your foundation stay put.
If you have combination skin, you can use a primer just in your T-zone to blot up oil and help your makeup stay put all day long.
6. Moisturize Before You Apply Your Foundation
When it comes to applying facial makeup, follow this pattern:
To make your daily look more stable, allow about ten minutes between your moisturizer and your foundation. When your moisturizer sinks completely into your skin, your foundation can spread more evenly and will last longer.
7. Look into Skin-Clearing Formulas if You Have Frequent Breakouts
If your entire skincare routine is dedicated to preventing breakouts, don’t stop at your foundation. Skin-clearing formulas use antioxidant blends to improve complexion over time and help you avoid troublesome clogged pores. Many also contain SPF 20 or higher to protect you from UV rays.
8. Know how to Apply Foundation
If you’re going for a low-coverage look, you can apply foundation with your fingers. If you want buildable coverage, though, you’ll want to use a sponge to apply your foundation. Sponges leave the right amount of foundation on the skin, and make it easy to dab coverage where you need it, like breakouts or the T-zone.
As you apply your foundation, start from the centre of your face and work your way out. This creates a natural finish and prevents that dreaded mask-like look that happens when your foundation is visible at the edges of your face.
If your foundation offers full coverage, blend it down your neck and into your chest for a seamless finish.
9. Put Foundation on Your Eyelids to Reduce Redness
Red eyelids make you look tired. Combat this by adding a swipe of foundation along the eyelids. This hides redness caused by superficial capillaries that can become irritated and inflamed when you are tired, have allergies, or have been rubbing your eyes.
A quick trick that makes you look like you got the best night of sleep ever, this is a great idea for when you’re going out bare-faced.
10. Apply Foundation With Your Fingers for Light Coverage
Wondering how to apply a beautiful coat of foundation with your fingers? Start at the centre of your face and move outwards, blending a small amount of foundation with the pads of your fingers.
For more even coverage, pat and rub the formula into the folds and lines of the face to create a consistent base. If you want more coverage, allow the first layer of foundation to dry and apply a second and third coat the same way.
How to Store Your Foundation
Extend your foundation’s lifespan and make sure it continues to provide the coverage you need by storing it correctly. Here’s a breakdown of best storage practices for each type of foundation:
Pigmented powder products like blushes, eyeshadows, and foundations can break down over time, so you want to store them in a way that protects their colour. With this in mind, keep them in a place where they’re out of direct sunlight and heat. A drawer under the sink or a makeup bag that sits on your bathroom counter will do just fine!
Want your liquid foundation to last as long as possible? Consider keeping it in the refrigerator! Because the compounds in liquid foundation will go bad over time, keeping them at a cooler temperature can increase their stability and save the product from breaking down too early.
If you’d rather keep your beauty buys in the bathroom with you, opt to stash them in a makeup bag in a drawer. This protects them from light and keeps your liquid foundation fresh longer.
Foundation: The Makeup Master-of-all-Trades
A complexion perfector, primer, and redness-reducer all in one, foundation is by far one of the most versatile types of makeup out there. If you’re looking for a foundation, you’ll want to wear every day, head to PinkLust and check out our selection of sleek, sexy foundations and other makeup now!