Making use of foundation

By Bill Michel

Opinion Editor

 

 

A good foundation is the key to success when it comes to makeup application. Finding the right foundation includes knowing which shade looks good, which formula is best and, most importantly, how to apply it.

There are many types of foundation on the market today. Some are liquid and might wear off easily, while others are powder-based and touted to last longer.

The best way to select a foundation is to try many different kinds. Don’t be lured only by the price, shop around to see which you prefer.

Don’t be intimidated by the people working behind cosmetics counters in department stores, use their knowledge to your advantage. When you have extra time, plan to go to a mall and hunt for a friendly face working for one of the cosmetic lines. I can tell you from being one of those cosmetics experts Tuesday nights are normally the slowest. Go on your mission then.

Walk around each cosmetics counter at least once to get a feel for the market they’re trying to reach. If you want something quirky, fresh and new, I wouldn’t suggest looking to a smaller, yet established line of cosmetics for that product. Whereas, if you are looking for a conservative, minimalistic look, I don’t think an outlandish and over-the-top line is for you.

Once you have found your niche cosmetics line, approach the person who looks like you will mesh with the best. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but friendly faces are easier to approach. Tell the salesperson your concerns and ask to be educated on the different types of foundation they offer. While you are there, make sure to ask when their gift with purchase event happens. To sound like an insider, simply ask, “When is the next GWP?”

If you don’t buy the product, either remember the details or write them down. There is nothing worse than getting good information and forgetting it while driving home. If possible, ask the salesperson for a small sample of the best foundation. If it is a liquid, that will be possible; if it is a powder-based product, it might not be. You might be told, “Oh, I’m sorry but we don’t give samples.” Here is another insider tip: If you go to the store with a small container, ask them to pump a few squirts of the product in it for you to try at home. These containers can be found at the beauty bar at Central Market.

Once you have the sample, use that product to search around for a less expensive brand in a discount store like Target or Walgreens. However, remember that if you do purchase the product from a department store, they normally have a better return policy than one of the discount stores.

Application is everything when putting any foundation on, make sure to blend it so that there are no visible lines.

Don’t stop exactly at the jawline, be sure to blend it just a little below, using a feathering motion, so there is no point where the foundation abruptly ends. Make sure to dab a little of the product on your eyelids as well even if you aren’t planning on wearing eye shadow. It will make a great eye shadow base if you do your eyes, and your skin will look incomplete if you don’t.

As for using your fingers or a sponge, try a foundation brush. It is the application method most used by makeup artists and it works the best in my experience.

For your first foundation brush, I would suggest buying a cheaper one. Learn the technique (there are several videos on YouTube showing how to use a foundation brush), then invest in a better brush when you are ready.

Whatever and however you choose to apply it, the most important detail to remember with foundation is “shade and blend.” Say that phrase to yourself when shopping for makeup. You will never forget it.

Bill Michel is a former makeup artist for Christian Dior with more than 20 years experience.