|Facial foundation is applied to the entire face, used on a daily basis, and worn for an extended period of time. For this reason, facial foundation plays an important role in skin treatment, but it is also the facial cosmetic most likely to be problematic. Many women avoid foundation, because they’re scared of an unnatural, mask-like effect. In fact, finding the right product for you is simpler than you might think.
There are two keys to success, the first is to pick the right formulation, and the second is to choose the perfect shade for your skin.
FIND YOUR FORMULATION
Four basic facial foundation formulations are available, oil-based, water-based, oil-free, and water-free or anhydrous forms. Oil-based products are designed for dry skin, while water-based products can be adapted for all skin types. Oil-free formulations are used in oily skin foundations, while anhydrous forms are extremely long wearing and used for camouflage or theatrical purposes. Choose one to get the best coverage for your particular skin-type.
Oil-based foundations are water-in-oil emulsions containing pigments suspended in oil, such as mineral oil or lanolin alcohol. Vegetable oils (eg, coconut, sesame, safflower) and synthetic esters (eg, isopropyl myristate, octyl palmitate, isopropyl palmitate) also may be incorporated.
Water-based facial foundations are oil-in-water emulsions containing a small amount of oil in which the pigment is emulsified with a relatively large quantity of water. The primary emulsifier is usually soap (eg, triethanolamine, nonionic surfactant). The secondary emulsifier, present in smaller quantity, is usually glyceryl stearate or propylene glycol stearate.
Oil-free facial foundations contain no animal, vegetable, or mineral oils. They contain other oily substances, such as the silicones dimethicone, or cyclomethicone. These products usually are liquids packaged in a bottle.
Oil control facial foundations simply contain additional blotters, such as talc, kaolin, starch, or other polymers designed to absorb sebum in higher concentration. Usually, they are based on dimethicone; however, mineral oil may be added to some formulations.
Water-free or anhydrous foundations are waterproof. Vegetable oil, mineral oil, lanolin alcohol, and synthetic esters form the oil phase, which may be mixed with waxes to form a cream. High concentrations of pigment can be incorporated into the formulation, yielding an opaque facial foundation. The coloring agents are based on titanium dioxide with iron oxides, occasionally in combination with ultramarine blue. Titanium dioxide acts as a facial-concealing or covering agent.
These are a cross between a moisturizer and a foundation, as they’ll soothe your skin while giving a little coverage.They’re ideal for young or clear skins.They’re also great in the summer, when you want a sheer effect or to even out a fading tan.Unlike other foundations, you can blend tinted moisturizers on with your fingertips.
These are the most popular and versatile of all foundation types, because they smooth on easily and offer a natural-looking coverage.They suit all but the driest skins.If you have oily skin or suffer from breakouts, look for an oil-free liquid foundation, to cover affected areas without aggravating them.
These are thick, rich and moisturizing, making them ideal for dry or mature skins.As they have a fairly heavy texture, make sure you blend them well into your skin with a damp cosmetic sponge.
Again, these are quite moisturizing, and ideal for drier skins.The best way is to dab a little of the product onto the back of your hand, then dot onto your skin with a sponge.
These are all-in-one formulations, which already contain powder.They come in a compact, usually with their own sponge for application.However, they actually give a lighter finish than you’d expect.They’re great on all but dry skin-types.
These are the original foundation, dating back to the days of Hollywood.They have a heavy texture, and so are best confined for use on badly blemished or scarred skin.Dot a little foundation directly onto the affected area, then blend gently with a damp sponge.
How to select the perfect Shade
Once you’ve chosen the ideal formulation for you, you’re ready to choose the perfect matching shade to your skin.There is a good selection of foundation shades from a pink-toned English rose to a yellow hued, olive skin, as well as from the palest skin to the darkest one.Here’s how to select the perfect one for you.
- Ensure you’re in natural daylight when trying out foundation colours, so you can see exactly how your skin will look once you leave the shop or counter.
- Select a couple of shades to try, which look as though they’ll match your skin.
- Don’t try foundation on your hand or on your wrist- they’re a different colour to your face.
- Stroke a little colour onto your jawline to ensure you get a tone that will blend with your neck as well as your face.The shade that seems to “disappear” into your skin is the right one for you.
- Apply foundation to freshly moisturized skin to ensure you have a perfect base on which to work.
- Use a cosmetic sponge to apply most types of foundation – using your fingertips can result in an uneven, greasy finish.
- Apply foundation in dots, then blend each one with your sponge.
- Dampen the sponge first of all, then squeeze out the excess moisture – this will prevent the sponge from soaking up too much costly foundation.
- Check for tell-tale “tidemarks” on your jawline, nose, forehead and chin
High Performance Foundation
Companies these days have made wonderful improvements to their foundations.Here are some benefits to look out for.
- Many companies have added sunscreens to their foundations, so they’ll protect you from the ageing effects of the sun while you wear them.Look out for the the words UV protection and Sun Protection Factor (SPF) numbers on the tube or bottle.
- Look for the new “light-diffusing” foundations, which are great for older skins.
They contain hundreds of tiny light -reflective particles that bounce light away from your skin – making fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes less noticeable.
Colour corrective foundation can be worn under your normal foundation to alter the skin-tone.They can seem quite strange at first glance, but are, in fact, highly effective at toning down a high colour or boosting the colour of your complexion. Use them sparingly at first until you feel confident that you have achieved an effective, but subtle, result.
- Green foundation cools down rosiness and is great for those who blush easily. Princess Diana wore it under her normal foundation on her wedding day.
- Lavender foundation will brighten up a sallow complexion, and is great for when you’re feeling tired.
- Apricot foundation will give a subtle glow to dull skin, and is a great beauty booster in the winter.
- White foundation gives a wonderful glow to all complexions, and is perfect for a special night out.
Facial foundations are a rare cause of allergic and irritant contact dermatitis. Usually, the fragrance or preservative ingredients account for most cases of allergic contact dermatitis reported. Irritant contact dermatitis is much more common, since this product is worn by patients with dermatitic skin for 8 hours or more on a daily basis. Facial foundation can be open or closed patch tested “as is.”