At every stage in life, it seems we are searching for the right foundation for our skin as it changes with age, season, health changes, etc. There are so many types of foundation out there, it makes it hard for the average consumer to even know where to start. Advertisements trick us with words like "mineral," "oil free," and "airbrush," but the truth is, those may not be the best option for your skin type. In my career and in my personal life, I have used every type of foundation out there. When I was younger, I needed a lot of coverage due to hormonal acne and wanted a matte finish because, God forbid I ever have a little bit of shine! As I get older and my skin has changed to normal-to-dry with occasional breakout, I now prefer a more "dewy" look and use a more moisturizing formula. Whatever your skin type, there is a foundation out there for you. In this post, I will share with you the different types of foundation out there and which skin type they are best for.
Oil Free- Oil free foundation is a good thing, but I think most women are tricked into thinking oil is bad at a young age. I can always tell the women in their 50's that struggled with acne as a teen, because they are very concerned that the foundation I use on them is "oil free." The truth is however, as we age, oil-free is not always the best option. If you are between the ages of 14-25 and are struggling from acne due to over-active oil glands, then by all means, use an oil free foundation. Also, make sure it is non-comedogenic, which means it will not clog your pores. However, if you are above the age 25 and have normal to dry skin, you do not need to be as concerned about whether your foundation is oil free. You may prefer a matte finish, which most oil-free foundations can provide, but if you are concerned about your foundation sinking into lines/wrinkles and pores, choosing a lighter-weight liquid foundation may be a better option for you. An oil free foundation that I recommend for those also looking to reduce breakout from oily skin is Neutrogena's Skin Clearing Oil-Free Makeup. Its inexpensive, can be picked up at your local CVS or Walgreens, and contains salycilic acid to treat your breakout as you cover it up. This foundation will provide you with more of a matte finish.
Matte Finish-Lately, the matte look is back. Women are ditching their "J-lo glow" and reaching for a more "airbrushed" look. This look always reminds me of "Old Hollywood Glam" and I love it! Unfortunately, it is not the best look for my skin type. I do suffer from breakout, but my skin is dry (a very frustrating combination). The matte foundation look can really make any fine lines or dryness more apparent and can make you look older. When we work to age people for movie parts, we use matte foundation and matte powder to help them look older. Get my point? This does not mean, the matte finish is out for you. If you have been given the awesome skin genes and your skin is not yet showing signs of aging, or your skin tends to be more normal to oily, this is a great option for you! Also, if you are having professional photos taken for any reason, a matte finish is great for photography. Having a matte-finish in your inventory is never a bad option. The one that I prefer and I am sure you have heard about is Make-up Forever's Ultra HD Liquid Foundation.
Moisturizing Foundation/Tinted Moisturizer- If you are over the age of 25, have signs of aging and dry skin these are the foundations for you! A normal moisturizing foundation will give you more coverage for redness due to dryness, broken capillaries, or scaring. The tinted moisturizer is great for those who need less coverage, but would like to even out their skin tone. I love to keep a tinted moisturizer handy for when I am running errands, going to the beach, or doing any activity that I want to even out my skin tone without looking like I am wearing makeup. It is so lightweight and freeing. A couple of years ago, companies came out with "CC Creams," these are basically tinted moisturizers. They provide your skin with light-weight coverage that keep it looking youthful and glowy. If you feel like any of these foundations leave you too shiny, you can always keep a compact pressed powder on hand to powder your t-zone. Avoid using powder around the eyes, mouth, or any area where you may have fine lines. My favorite moisturizing foundation and tinted moisturizer is from Laura Mercier, who by the way also has the BEST concealers. I love her Moisture Supreme foundation and Tinted Moisturizer. Both can be found at any Laura Mercier counter or your local Sephora.
My favorite pressed powder to throw in my handbag for "shiny nose syndrome" is Mirabella's Pure Press Mineral Powder. Mirabella can only be found in salons, a hint that it is probably a good product.
Mineral Powder/Liquid Foundation: The idea of mineral foundation is great. There is nothing better than knowing your makeup is made up of vitamins and minerals to help your skin. Not to mention, a lot of mineral foundations are anti-inflammatory, so they help with redness and inflamed breakout. With the emergence of brands like "Bare Minerals" women are reaching for products that they believe are truly helping their skin. A lot of mineral brands even try to advertise that wearing mineral makeup is like not wearing make up at all and that you can even sleep in it. This is NOT the case. In fact, mineral makeup can be very heavy and if you struggle at all with enlarged pores or fine lines, mineral makeup can make these imperfections more noticeable. I don't care what cosmetics companies tell you, you ALWAYS need to wash your makeup off at the end of the night. Also, a lot of mineral brands advertise that they are 100% mineral, but this is not always true. Make sure you do your research if you are truly looking for a 100% mineral product. Hint.....Bare Minerals is not 100% mineral. Do your research. My favorite brand of mineral makeup is Jane Iredale. These products are not sold in malls or drug stores, but can be found at salons and physician offices. The best part is, Jane makes both a powder and liquid mineral foundation. For those with normal-to-oily skin, the powder would be best for you. For those with normal-to-dry or aging skin, the liquid foundation is best. Mineral foundation goes a long way, so use sparingly. It can tend to look very heavy with too much product.
Cream-to-Powder Foundation- This is a type of foundation that you don't see very often. It is the perfect combination for those looking for a foundation that goes on smoothly like liquid, but gives you more of a matte finish once applied. I like to use cream-to-powder foundation on days where I feel I need a little more coverage, but want it to look like I am not wearing a ton of makeup. My favorite cream-to-powder foundation is by Mirabella, one of the few companies that still carries a cream-to-powder foundation option. It is called Mirabella Skin Tint Cream-to-Powder foundation and can be found in salons only. You can search which salon carries it near you. Hint....we carry it at Tanya's Image and Wellness Salon. ;)
My two favorite foundations currently are Lorac's Sheer Porefection and Urban Decay's Naked Skin Weighless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup. I was using the Urban Decay foundation for a while, but found that it was starting to look a little too heavy. This doesn't mean it is the wrong foundation for you. It gives the best coverage and is great for combination skin. I moved on to Lorac's Sheer Porfection because it gives me a lighter coverage, but still evens out my skin tone very nicely. Best of all, it doesn't hide my freckles. Because, I happen to like my freckles thank you very much! You can now find Lorac at Kohls, of all places, and Ulta. Urban Decay can be found at Sephora.
Finally, I am often asked which is the best way to apply your foundation. Should you use a sponge? My fingers? A brush? I honestly feel like this is up to you. I have done it each way and come up with similar results. I like to think that using your fingers is great because you use less product and your body temperature helps the foundation blend into your skin. When applying foundation to others, I use a brush and sponge combo for sanitary reasons. I just invested in a foundation brush for personal use, and really like the way it "buffs" the product into my skin. I picked up Sephora's Classic Multi-Tasker Brush, which is actually designed like a Kabuki Brush to apply loose or pressed mineral powders, but I love using it for liquid foundation.
I hope you enjoyed this post and it answered some questions you may have about foundation. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for with more questions or schedule a Make-Up Lesson with me at Tanya's Image and Wellness Salon in Hyde Park, so that I can help you find the right foundation for you.