Choosing the Right Makeup Foundation
By: Teri Shookla
The most important makeup investment you can make is your foundation. It can help your skin look flawless and even help assist with skin problems. But choosing the right product for your skin tone and skin type can seem daunting. First, we’ll talk about skin tone. You want to choose the right color that matches both tone and depth.
But, first a little history, from about 1950 all the way through the 1970s women were told to choose the opposite of their natural skin tone for their foundation color. If you had olive under tones, you would choose a pink-based foundation, and if you’re under tones were pink, you used an orange-toned foundation. Then came the 80s and women were told to match their skin’s exact under tone. Well, you get the idea…
Then finally in the 1990s the cosmetic industry discovered that yellow under tones actually made the skin look more natural. The yellow helps to enhance the tones you want to see and counteracts the ones you don’t want to see. Today there are so many innovations that most of the time you don’t even know someone is even wearing foundation.
Now, I could get into a confusing discussion about the fifteen levels of depth to the skin, but I will make this simple as possible. Most women have warm under tones, and there are very few that truly have cool under tones. Even if you start out cool the minute you go out in the sun you become warm. If you are Italian, Hispanic, Asian, or African-American you’re warm. If you have brown or green eyes, you’re warm. If you tan well, you’re warm.
One of the biggest mistakes women make is thinking they have cool under tones. That is why it is important to conduct a “stripe test”. It is best to conduct the test in natural light. Usually, department stores have artificial light that mimics natural light at their makeup counters. That is why it seems so bright when you walk through those areas of the store.
If you have ivory or beige skin tones, conduct the stripe test from the jaw to the neck to get a true match to the neck. Select the one that most closely matches your neck. Women with bronze and ebony skin tones should do the test from the cheek area to the jaw area, because some people with these skin tones have “facial masking”, or lighter skin on the interior of the face and darker skin on the outer edges of the face. Again, see which one blends in with your tone the best.
Now, once you have the color that is right for you, what kind of foundation is best for your skin type? Foundation comes in many different forms and they range from stick foundation all the way to mineral powder foundations. If your skin tends to be combination to oily I have found the best for this skin type is mineral powder, but there are a few others you can use as well. That would include crème to powder, liquid foundation that are oil-absorbing formulas, and powder compact.
And for dry to normal there is liquid foundation, crème, mousse, and mineral powder. And you’re thinking mineral powder for dry skin? Yes. There are hydrating formulas of mineral powder foundation. And in addition, you should be using a good moisturizer appropriate for your skin type underneath your foundation. Of course there are many products you can use to enhance the look of your foundation but we’ll save that for next week’s article.