Foundation used to be one part I always skip before I dove nose-deep on makeup. Looking back, it was like, "What I was thinking?" There's a reason why foundation is called foundation - it's the basic and most important part of makeup. Some girls can do away with everything with moisturized lips, good brows, and foundation. Foundation not only creates an even canvas for the face to be colored on but it also evens out skin tone and creates a very flawless look.
In this entry, I would like to talk about foundation, since it being the most important, a lot are curious to what foundation to use.
Choosing foundation depends on the user's preference, color, and skin condition. Preference meaning if the user would prefer powder foundation for daily use, a light liquid foundation, or cream foundation. For me, I like using powder foundation for everyday since it's not heavy and it also serves the purpose of oil-control. I like MAC Studiofix Powder Foundation because of its coverage and wide array of shades suitable for Asian skin tones. Also, MAC Studiofix is one of MAC's bestsellers, with compacts flying off the shelves day after day. Sometimes, I use mineral powder foundation if I want a light glow on the skin. To hide some flaws, I use concealer first and then buff mineral foundation or press powder foundation on the skin. I use liquid foundation for special occasions or when I want to feel more glammed up. Cream can be used with photoshoots where coverage is important amidst the intense studio lights. However, for these types of foundation, I suggest setting them with powder to make them last longer. Cream foundation, like MAC Studiotech or Shu Uemura Nobara foundation, for example, can be set with loose powder so it won't look so heavy on the skin. Liquid foundation, I sometimes set this with sheer loose (or pressed) powder or dual foundation like Studio Fix, if I'm doing a shoot.
Oily skinned girls can do with a light and oil-free liquid foundation set with powder. Dry-skinned girls may need moisturizing formulas. Dual powder, every so often sometimes is enough. However, before foundation, always remember to use sunscreen if the foundation doesn't have sunscreen. Also, always remember to set liquid foundation with powder so it lasts longer.
Natural light is best when testing the right foundation. Natural, white, bright daytime light shows the true color of your skin. Yellow and "mood" lighting tints the skin into a different hue so sometimes, we purchase the wrong foundation. The place to test foundation is not on the palm or back of the hand but the jawline. In buying foundation, swipe a bit on the jawline. If it blends in, then it's your shade. Foundation should look like skin, not a different color (unless you're doing a character or concept shoot). This also serves as an allergy test too. If you experience hives or bad reaction to the swatch, do not purchase the product. Your skin will be thankful.
After testing the foundation, walk around wearing the foundation and check the swatch again. Did it darken or change color? If it darkens, your skin might be acidic. Acidic skin means makeup reacts to the skin's chemistry. On most girls who are acidic, the makeup darkens moments after skin contact. With that fact known, adjust the shade by choosing a shade that's a half or full step lighter than that shade.
YELLOW VERSUS PINK, LIGHT VERSUS DARK
Generally, Asians look better with yellow-toned foundation to suit their skin as too-pink foundation could gray us all out. If the exact shade of foundation can't be determined, we're generally safe with foundation a half-step darker since that looks more natural. If you're OC like me, you could mix two colors together to customize your own shade.
CREAM BEFORE POWDER
The rule is liquid/cream before powder to prevent cakeing of makeup. If you're using dual powder foundation, apply concealer first then powder foundation. Creamy and liquid makeup would be harder to blend if applied over powder. Liquid cheek tints should be applied before loose powder or powder foundation. Try applying cheek tints after powder and the look is streaky, patchy, and totally unnatural. Once you powder, everything else is powder.
Tool preference is really up to the user. I use my fingers to apply foundation on myself too. The advantage of this is that the warmth of my hands help with the blending. Brushes are also okay, especially for professional use. The dual fibre brush is my favorite due to the airbrush finish it gives plus the fact that it blends my foundation really fast. Creamy foundation, like my Kryolan Ultrafoundation, I use a flat brush such as my MAC 190 since this deposits the product well. I'm not fond of using sponges to purely apply liquid foundation since the sponge ends up eating the product. I use sponges to blend the foundation into the skin and applying dual powder foundation since sponges deposit the powder on the skin better.
In applying foundation, I start on my cheeks, where skin is thickest and then move to the forehead, chin, and nose. I use a brush or fingers to deposit the color and blend with a sponge. I set this with powder and continue blending up to the neck and hairline, so color stays even. I make sure that the makeup is not sticky too, so it doesn't slide much. I blend really, really well. That's always been the secret for the "second-skin" foundation that I love. Sometimes, I apply concealer after foundation, because sometimes, foundation already covers up the flaws. But for bigger zits, disoclorations, and flaws, I use concealer before foundation.
Airbrush makeup is a very popular technique where makeup is applied using an airbrush gun, the same way as how a car is being painted. This technique is very popular in weddings and print ads and the result is flawless and picture-perfect skin. Some makeup artists use airbrush makeup for foundation and contours and proceed to applying makeup using the traditional method for the rest but there are some who do airbrush makeup from foundation down to lip color. Foundation used for this technique is usually thinner than traditional foundation and are usually ordered abroad. There are airbrush tutorials in the Internet and some schools also specialize in airbrush makeup, so it's better to leave the airbrush gun and compressor to pro makeup artists, as this could get expensive for everyday use.
So that's what I have to say on foundation. With the right techniques, products, and of course, practice, the natural, fresh-looking skin could be achieved. :) Have fun!