Foundation Basics 101

As a woman, you are a unique work of art! Your face is the focal point for all to view, a foundation of confidence for who you are. You want to look your best in the most natural kind of way. Every woman has different needs for her face. In the array of make up products, foundation is what sets the tone for a woman's appearance. Learning the basics of choosing the correct shade and proper application can showcase your natural beauty.

The clear objective for applying foundation is to even your skin's tone. However, there will be a range in how much you apply due to your varying needs. When choosing the right foundation for you, one shade does not fit all faces. Foundations on the market tailor to your type of skin. The vast array of foundations for your skin are produced in liquids for normal/combination skin, creams for dry/climate enhanced, compacts for oily, tinted moistures for normal to dry and powders for all skin types. Is it necessary to own two different shades of foundation? A light shade for winter and a darker shade for summer? Absoulutely. Our skin color changes with our amount of exposure to the sun.

Not everyone has the opportunity to test the shade of foundation in the store before purchasing. Many stores offer smaller samples of the shades you are interested in, to purchase at a reasonable price. You should test at least three sample shades you feel are appropriate for your type of skin. Once you are facing the mirror, ready to take the test of shade, how do you determine which the best is for you? Always test your foundation on your jaw line or forehead... These simple steps will help you determine your correct shade:
  • Choose the shade you believe to be closest to your skin tone and apply it to your jaw line.

  • The next lighter shade should be applied above the jaw line.

  • Apply the darker shade of foundation below the jaw line.
The correct shade of foundation for your complexion will be the shade that equally blends and disappears into your skin. If the color of your skin changes, it is an indication to change your foundation shade.

You've chosen the appropriate shade for your skin tone with our simple test. How do you create this flawless canvas upon your face? Remember the objective is to even your skin tone. Make sure your skin is cleaned and moisturized, prior to applying foundation. For added exposure to the neck area and elimination of obvious lines on the jaw line, open your mouth when applying your foundation.

The following steps will enable you to accomplish a soft, more natural focus to your face:
  • Apply a dime-size dot of foundation on the forehead, cheeks and chin.

  • Smooth the foundation outwards in short, overlapping strokes across the cheeks.

  • Gently blend foundation over and under the eye area towards the temple and into the hairline.

  • Move down and outwards into the jaw line. (For optional coverage, continue to the neck area and down the other side.)

  • Next start at the chin blending over the mouth, upper lip, around the nostrils and over the nose area.

  • Continue smoothing foundation up through the bridge and then between the eyebrows and blending out the forehead area, into the hairline.
Generally, when you place the foundation in the center of the forehead, chin and cheeks, you will have less as you blend outward and approach the hair and jaw lines. To avoid a foundation line around the jaw, use a little moisturizer in your hand and blend it down your neck. In turn, you will create a smooth and even coverage for a more natural finish. Natural light is the ultimate test. After you apply foundation, go near a window and look in a mirror to make sure it looks natural.

Once you have achieved this complete look of confidence, it is important to maintain it. To make foundation last, apply moisturizer first to give the foundation a base. It is especially difficult to keep it looking fresh on hot days. Be sure to set your foundation in the morning using a loose powder and puff, then do regular touch ups throughout the day. To have a sheerer look to your face, apply your foundation with a sponge. To achieve more coverage use your fingertips. Makeup can sometimes leave you with a matted look. To give your skin a dewy finish, moisten a wash cloth in an astringent and gently pat your already made up face. The astringent will remove the matted look and leave your skin looking radiant.

Today's woman is faced with so much to juggle and so many challenges. Applying make up does not have to be one of those challenges. Finding the right shade for your skin and knowing the basics of how to apply the foundation can only enhance the beautiful woman you truly are.