21 Jan 2011

Foundations of makeup

Over the years I have used quite a few foundations on myself and on my clients. I now keep certain brands for for certain purpose. Some of the ones that I will talk about today are:

For Asian  and Afro Caribbean skin tones, I think MAC and Bobbi Brown do a fantastic range of colours with various finishes. So, if you have fantastic skin with no scars / marks or spots, you could get away with MAC's Face and body range in C3 onwards. If you need coverage medium to heavy, you can use Studiofix MAC liquid foundation and powder with any translucent powder. If you have oily skin or are concious of your T- zone shining, then MAC's Studiofix powder foundation is the way forward. Available in Selfridges and at other retailers.

MAC and Bobbi are good for Asian skins as these brands do yellow based foundations as opposed to most other brands which have more of a pink tone, good for Caucasian skins.

Bobbi Brown also does a variety of foundations, so depending on the coverage you might need and your skin's condition, you can chose one that has a matt or dewy finish. I have Bobbi Brown's University Palette which is a makeup artist's best friend; it contains all their colours in their stick foundation range (which gives medium to heavy finish) and all their concealers. So, a brilliant one to take to a fashion show or a wedding party, it covers any skin colour possible! Bobbi colours cover anybody and everybody! Available in Selfridges and at other retailers.

Laura Mercier does fabulous foundations but they are predominantly for Caucasian skins as they are pink based . If you are a very fair Asian, you can use them. They too have different finishes like matt and dewy.

Makeup Forever brand has been widely recommended by some of my makeup artist friends, but again I would use them on my Caucasian clients / models as they are pink based. This is tried and tested but most Caucasian models and clients I have worked on are either 117 or 120 in their HD Foundation range. The finish with this foundation is medium but can be layered to heavier one and looks matt, This is a great one for Photography and Weddings. Makeup Forever can be bought at a few selected retailers in London. Guru Emporium in Fulham and   M.A.P shop near Shepherds Bush. Otherwise you can chose an online option.

Kryolan is a brand familiar to makeup artists around the world. Their foundation sticks are used a great deal in the Sub continent for wedding or fashion makeup. The finish achieved is flawless with a heavy coverage. It is brilliant for anything Photographic or bright lights like TV, Theatre, Wedding, Model shoots etc. You can also use this if you have pigmentation problems or scars to give good coverage. 

A word of advice - please match your foundation in good day light on your jaw bone, not inside a store with artificial lighting. Once on your jaw bone, take a mirror and exit the shop to check. The correct colour will sink into your skin and not show as opposed to a shade darker or lighter that will.  Please do not try and buy a foundation by matching it on the back of your hand as hands can be darker or fairer than your face.

Unless you have hormonal issues or pigmentation problems, the correct foundation should match your face and neck. People with hormonal issues tend to have darker necks so might need a slightly darker foundation to blend better.

Not a day goes by when women write to me about foundation problems. The thing is unless I meet you and match you I cannot tell you the exact match and sending me pictures (which have flashes etc) is not a solution. You just have to try and test, eventually you WILL find your colour. 

Another problem is that often a foundation changes colour on your skin. This is quite normal as it oxidises, usually turns redder so people think they look dark. This is a huge problem for some people as they do not like to look darker! My advice is get a sample of the foundation you want to buy, wear it with your regular moisturiser (changing that can also change the finish of your foundation) and then if you like it, buy it.

Last problem is foundation cracking. Think about it, if you have lines on your face around the mouth or around the eyes (which is quite normal) and you will use a thick creamy foundation, this is bound to happen. You need to wear less and powder lightly and frequently. 

A foundation is not a mask that you wear once in the day and expect it to be the same as when you  put it on. Your body chemistry (walking around makes you sweaty), touching your face, wearing a scarf around or wearing and taking off clothes will all move it. If you are concious of your real skin and colour please carry your foundation with a translucent powder to touch it up from time to time.

Lastly, if you don't spend a day shopping around and trying foundations, how will you know what suits you?! Get shopping then :)