The Basics: Foundation

the basics - skincare
This is the second post in the series, where I cover all of the basics in all areas of makeup, week by week! There will be a new post up every Friday!

Foundation is a probably one of the first products people think of when you mention makeup. Foundation is used to create an even, uniform colour to the complexion, to cover or minimise the appearance of flaws and, sometimes, to change the natural skin tone. However, foundation is not the only product on the market that can do that - there are also BB Creams, CC Creams and Tinted Moisturisers. Foundation is not essential, or another base product, but they can really make a difference to the overall look.

If you are going to use foundation though, it's vital to find the shade that is right for you. The best way to get a match is to get a makeup artist do it for you because it's easier for someone else to look at your skin, however, you can do it yourself. To get a match, you should start with 3 shades that you think are most likely to match your skin tone and apply a small amount to the skin near your jaw line. In natural light, that's important, you can see which shade blends out into your skin the best. You are unlikely to be the same shade all year round - in the summer you may be a shade darker than you are in the winter or possibly even a few shades if you're really tanned.

There is more to foundation shades than just the shade, unfortunately. (It can get a bitch tricky!) There are also undertones - Warm, Cool or Neutral. The best way to determine this is to have a look at the inside of your wrist in natural light while making a fist. Predominantly blue veins means you're Cool toned, green says Warm. If you have a mixture then you're Neutral, which means you can get away with having Cool or Warm toned makeup. After that there is the amount of coverage that you are after. There are foundation's that offer light coverage but that can also be achieved by using a tinted moisturiser, a BB Cream or a CC Cream. Foundation's can also offer a medium coverage, which some BB Creams may offer. Finally, foundations can offer a full coverage. I find that most people opt for a medium coverage and use a concealer when they need a little more coverage. 

The final differentiation between foundations are the formulation/state. There are quite a variety of foundation formulations available but the most common is liquid, such as Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation and YSL Touche Eclat Foundation. Then there are cream and mousse foundations, such as Maybelline Dream Matte Mouse and MAC Mineralize Foundation. There are also new spray foundations, such as the Dior Skin Airflash Spray. Not forgetting powder foundations, such as MAC Studio Fix Powder + and No7 Mineral Perfection. The key is finding what works for you and gives you the result you're looking for.

The difference between BB and CC creams is subtle. CC generally stands for “colour correcting” and the products are meant to address issues like redness or sallowness (usually with light-diffusing particles), whereas BB creams are like lighter foundation with a few skin care benefits thrown in.

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