This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to foundations or makeup in general. A lot of Indians suffer from uneven pigmentation and find that at least one area of their face is darker than the rest. It could be dark circles, acne scars, blemishes, darkness around the mouth, you name it! Because of this, wearing foundation gives a very unnatural look and skin looks either caked & made-up or dull & ashen in some areas. This is reason enough for some people to give up foundation altogether and shy away from using them.
I’ve had my fair share of foundation blunders and have disliked using anything on my face since my super oily skin makes any formula simply slide off or make me look unbearably greasy. But off late, I’ve discovered a few techniques that seem to be working well for me and by sharing them here I hope to help someone out there perfect their foundation routine or at least muster the courage to wear foundation occasionally.
Tips To Prevent Foundation From Looking White :-
You must have heard this a million times, but I’d like to reiterate the fact that skincare always precedes makeup. Makeup is art and an artist always starts on a clean canvas. So, make sure you begin by using a cleanser suited to your skin type. Follow up with a toner and then a “light” moisturizer since most foundations do have hydrating properties. You don’t want to be using a heavy, greasy cream since doing so will only make your foundation slide right off your skin and affect the staying power.
A primer is commonly a blend of silicones that helps to give a smooth base for foundation application. If you don’t have a primer, simply take an ice cube, wrap it in a hankey and gently apply all over your face. This helps to close pores and will ensure that your makeup stays fresh for longer.
Foundations come in various forms like liquid, cream, mousse, pressed powder, loose powder and so on. Select a formula based on your needs. For example, liquid or cream foundations suit dry skin. But there are cream foundations that set to a powdery matte finish which will suit oily skin better. Also take into the account the coverage you desire. Most mineral powder foundations and a bulk of liquid foundations (especially gel-based ones) give sheer coverage. These are apt if you have fairly good skin and you want a sheer, glow-y, natural finish. If you have skin concerns like blemishes, spots etc. and are looking for better coverage, opt for cream foundations or thick liquid foundations that claim to give more coverage.
Foundation Shade Selection:-
Here’s where most of us go wrong since it’s hard to find that one, perfect shade. It’s surprising that most companies in India only stock light shades although we have a good share of dusky-complexioned beauties here. It’s unfair but we’ll rant more on that some other time. One trick that has been working wonderfully for me is to get a shade that’s slightly darker than my actual skin color although I know this is what experts ask you NOT to do. Most people would advise you to get a shade lighter than your actual skin color. But I find that doing so only makes me look pale as a ghost and it becomes glaringly obvious that I have foundation on. Yes, using a shade darker does make me look a wee bit tanned but it’s a risk I’m willing to take so that I can fake even-toned, flawless skin.
Another important factor is your undertones. If your skin is yellow-toned, try to avoid using a foundation that’s purely yellow-based. My skin has strong yellow undertones but I find that using a neutral or beige-toned foundation gives me a more natural, day-time look. Use one shade darker during the day and a lighter shade at night. If your skin has pink undertones, then again neutral tones work better to conceal the redness.
I simply HAVE to mention this point under a separate heading since this is the main culprit being faces looking ghostly white in photographs. While a little sun protection in your makeup is good for you, it may not be the most practical. Most foundations that have SPF will give you a white cast. So the solution is to get one that has no SPF and use a separate sunscreen underneath or to get one that has relatively low SPF and does not give an unnatural finish. Test it out by applying it and then take a photo with flash.
Foundation Mix and match:-
If you have uneven skin tone, you’ll find that using a single shade will leave some areas of your face looking white or grey. For most people, this is usually under the eyes or at the jawline. The solution is to first use a layer of foundation that matches your skin tone and then use a concealer that’s one shade darker/lighter (based on the discoloration) only on areas that need more coverage. Follow this tip if you have acne-prone skin and have lots of spots/blemishes to cover. Instead of wearing layers and layers of foundation (which will only clog your pores and lead to more acne) use a single base-layer of foundation and dot concealer onto the spots and blend the outer corners. If you’re looking for a shiny/dewy finish, mix some luminizer/liquid highlighter with your foundation and then apply.
Foundation Applicator & Application:-
This, my ladies is what I believe is the most important step! I fought my foundation phobia only after I invested in brushes. There are many types of foundation brushes available such as the traditional flat brush, duo-fiber/stippling brush, flat-top buffer brush, kabuki brush etc. Pick one that you’re comfortable with. Using a brush that’s slightly damp helps to blend foundation easily without giving any streaks or stark lines. Don’t forget to apply foundation on your neck, ears and hairline.
Don’t be disheartened if you can’t afford high quality make-up brushes or simply can’t find any. Here’s a tip you can follow: Dot foundation all over your face and using your fingers, blend downwards (never use circular motions and rub foundation into the skin). Once you’re done, take a regular blush brush, spritz some rose water (or even plain water) onto the bristles, shake off the excess liquid and then proceed to blend the foundation with the brush. Hold the bristles together (so that they appear tightly packed) to achieve better results. This will give you a glow, even, non-streaky finish. I personally avoid using sponges since I feel they soak up a lot of product and lead to wastage. Plus, they give very heavy coverage and washing them is a pain. But if you’re comfortable using them, please do so and then blend with a brush as a final step to even-out the foundation.
Foundation Setting powder:
Set your makeup using translucent, loose powder. Instead of using a powder brush, try using a regular powder puff and press the powder gently into your skin. Don’t rub since this will sheer out your foundation and erase the coverage you achieved. After pressing the powder into your skin, dust off the excess using a brush. You can do the same using compact pressed powder as well. If you have dry skin, apply powder only to areas where you’re likely to see some shine.
Here’s a tip: If you still want more coverage that what your foundation alone gives you, set your makeup using powder foundation. Apply it using a flat-top buffer brush and buff the product well so that it does not look cakey. Use pressed powder foundation if you have oily skin and mineral powder foundation if you have dry skin. This gives you a teeny bit more coverage and will help to blur your flaws.
A hint of color on your cheeks can sometimes bring so much life to your overall look. When it comes to blush, you don’t HAVE to stick to pure pinks. Try earthy brown-based pinks or peach since they look more natural. If you have a round face, contour your cheekbones or use a bronzer. If you’re not too familiar with contouring (or just can’t seem to get it right), stick to highlighting. Take a slightly shimmery white shade and apply lightly on the high point of your cheeks, bridge on your nose, brow bone and cupid’s bow.
What’s that, you ask? This is perhaps the best tip I can give you since it is not only the final step but also one that works well with ANY foundation, ANY application method, ANY skin type and makes a WORLD of difference. So… after you’re done with all the above mentioned steps, take a face towel that has been dampened with cool water (make sure it’s only “damp” and not “wet”) and gently press it against your face (do not rub). A better method is to place the towel in the freezer for some time and then press it against your face. This will gently lift off excess makeup, close your pores and give you a dewy, natural finish. It also helps to control oil and make you look fresh and awake. If you have very dry skin, use a moisture boosting spray (or even plain rose water that’s been refrigerated) and spritz directly onto your face. You can let it air-dry or dab a towel to remove excess liquid.
Now that you’re all done, take a mirror in your hand and survey the results under different lights. Go outside, stand near the window, switch on the tube light etc. and make sure you’re happy with your work. Don’t bother with yellow lights since even the wrong shades look flattering under yellow lighting and you’ll be in for a surprise when you step outside.
Phew! That’s all folks. I hope I have not missed out on anything. Please do bear in mind that I’m no expert and the above tips are based on my personal experience and tips that I’ve picked up on the way. What suits me may or may not suit you. The key is to experiment until you discover the technique that works best for you. Really hope this helped.
P.S : All images have been sourced from Google
Do you have any tips on foundation application that you’d like to share?
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