Sunday, 21 October 2012

Beauty Beginner Series: What is Foundation?

To start off this new series, I thought I would answer a question that I know a lot of beginner's struggle with; what is foundation?

I will split this up into several mini-quesitons such as:
What is it?
What does it do?
Types of Foundation
How to find my shade?
How to apply it.

First off, What is Foundation?

Foundation can come in many forms, i.e. liquid, powder, mousse, loose powder etc, but they all do the same thing. Foundation is basically flesh coloured, and is applied to the face. It is used to even out your complexion and to cover flaws. It gives you the look of flawless skin. There are mainly four types of coverage you can get in a foundation:

  • Sheer - this is the lightest foundation you can get. It contains the least amount of pigment, so it is very transparent. It wont hide discolourations, but can minimise the contrast between the discolouration and the skin tone.
  • Light - this contains slightly more pigment than sheer, so it covers unevenness and slight blotchiness, but wont cover freckles.
  • Medium - this is usually the coverage that most people who have problem-skin go for. It covers freckles, discolourations, blotchiness and red marks left by blemishes and acne.
  • Full - this type of foundation is very opaque, and is used to cover birthmarks, vitiligo, hyperpigmentation and scars. It also known as corrective or camouflage makeup.

Types of Foundation:

Nowadays, there are so many types of foundations, from thick, heavy, full coverage creams, to light and moisturising tinted moisturisers.

  • Tinted Moisturiser - this is a great product to use if you just want to even out your skin tone and relieve dry skin. They contain a hint of colour, just enough to even out the skin tone. Concealer may be needed to cover problem-areas.
  • Mousse or Whipped Foundation - this is easier to apply in thin layers than liquid foundation, meaning you have more control. Mousse foundation is liquid foundation with air whipped in, making it lighter and smoother, so it wont feel as heavy on the skin as a medium to full coverage liquid foundation. It is designed for all skin types, but can be especially nice to dry or ageing skin, as it goes on smoothly, and doesn't look cakey in fine lines, and dry patches.
  • Liquid Foundation - this is probably the most used and most popular foundation out there. It is readily available in all high street stores, and applies so smoothly. It is also good for around the eyes, where you may want a bit more coverage, using a small lip brush for best control. People with sensitive skin should be careful when using waterproof or 24 hour versions of liquid foundation, as these contain oils and waxy ingredients, so may create a slight skin irritation. If any problems do occur, then switch to a non-waterprrof type and see if that helps, or try using a natural one, made with organic ingredients and essential oils.
  • Cream-to-Powder Foundation - this foundation is also quite popular. It goes on as a liquid,but dries to a powder finish that minimises oil and lasts all day. These can be quite confusing, as they are not packaged like a traditional liquid foundation, rather in a compact that looks like powder. The main advantage of this foundation is its easy application, and you don't have to apply a powder for full coverage.
  • Minerals - these are the latest thing in the makeup world. They are very popular at the moment, due to the foundations having very few ingredients, and the ingredients they do contain, tend to be mainly minerals, making it perfect for people with allergies or sensitive skin. 

How to Find Your Shade:

Instead of writing a short essay on this, I will link you to a great article HERE, which explains all that you need to know about finding your shade of foundation.

How to Apply Foundation:

Foundation can be applied in many ways. It can be applied using a foundation brush, using a cosmetic sponge, and the good old favourite, your fingers.

Start in the centre of your face, and work outwards, and downwards. Make sure you blend it in really well, as you don't want any obvious orange lines, especially around your chin and hairline, as this looks really bad, and you can really tell you've got make-up on. You don't need to use foundation all over the face if you don't need it. After you have applied foundation, if you need to, you may want to apply concealer (a corrective cosmetic, used to cover up dark circles and blemishes), to achieve a flawless appearance, and a full coverage.

THIS video explains how to apply foundation in a bit more detail.

Well, that is the first of my new series completed! I hope this has helped at least one person, and you have enjoyed. I also hope it hasn't been too lengthy or boring.

As I am nowhere near an expert, I would strongly advise anyone who is really struggling to visit a makeup stand, either in a department store or a high street store, such as Boots, and ask them for a skin-consultation, as they really know what they're talking about, and will be able to suggest things that are perfect for your skin and needs. The No7 brand at Boots, have recently brought out a brand new invention which tells you your perfect shade of foundation. So, no more guessing in the bad artificial light of the stores. After it has chosen your shade, you then have a skin consultation with a member of the No7 team, deciding which is the right foundation for your skin and the coverage you are after. Although I haven't actually got round to trying this service out yet, I think that this is a must for everyone, especially you Beauty Beginners, even if it's just to get your right shade.

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