The right way to wear foundation is to look bright and cheery. But more often than not, women end up with a mask-like mien that is shades lighter than their original complexion. What are we doing wrong?
1. KNOW YOUR UNDERTONE
Getting your foundation colour right begins with knowing your undertone. Rebekah Laguardia, Senior VP of Product Development of Milani Cosmetics said, “The main mistake women make is picking the wrong undertone for their foundation. This is very common among women, especially now that so many different shades are offered in a single line up.”
How do you know what works for your undertone? Laguardia advises that you pay attention to what jewellery looks best on you.
The main mistake women make is picking the wrong undertone for their foundation.
"If silver jewellery looks best, you most likely have a cool undertone. If gold jewellery is more flattering, you are likely to have a warm or red undertone. If both compliment your skin equally, you have a neutral undertone (a mix of both warm and cool undertone).”
The best way to do a match test, according to Laguardia is on the decolletage. “This usually shows the true undertone and you will definitely have a flawless match from face to neck.”
2. DON'T WEAR TOO MUCH
It is all too easy to get carried away but remember that foundation is meant to mimic your natural (but flawless) skin. “Women tend to forget that the main purpose of a foundation is to even out the skin tone and not conceal the entire face,” said Hera beauty trainer Rowena Chan.
Women tend to forget that the main purpose of a foundation is to even out the skin tone.
“Start with a pea-sized amount [of foundation] and dab lightly over areas that require coverage – under the eyes, around the nose and other problem areas.” Instead of swiping on foundation, Chan suggests applying foundation by patting with fingertips.
“This allows foundation to work its magic for pore coverage, and foundation tends to last longer when applied this way.”
3. PICK THE RIGHT FORMULA FOR YOUR LIFE
Consider not only your skin type but also your lifestyle when selecting a foundation. Understand exactly what you are looking for. Laguardia suggests asking yourself: "What is most important to you?"
Are you looking for lightweight coverage or long wear? Dewy or matte? If you can only spare a few minutes to get ready for work, then maybe a tinted moisturiser might be your best bet.
Here are some very good options to consider, sorted by function.
24-HOUR COVERAGE: HERA BLACK FOUNDATION, S$75
This full coverage formula works both as a foundation as well as a concealer. Chan says to apply a thin layer over the face to correct and even out the skin tone, then a second layer over the "heart zone" (working from the nose, cheeks and down to the chin) where redness, hyper-pigmentation and zits tend to show.
“Using a small eyeshadow blending brush, I buff foundation over areas with enlarged pores – usually around the nose and cheeks – to instantly fill out uneven skin texture for a smooth, flawless finish.”
ASIAN APPROPRIATE: SHU UEMURA UNLIMITED BREATHABLE LASTING FLUID FOUNDATION, S$72
This range of foundation is made with Asians in mind. There are 24 shades tailor-made to match most Asian skin tones. The formula also has a unique stretchable texture that holds pigments in place and a sponge-like ability to soak up sebum and sweat.
Beauty trainer Sophia Chia suggests using the petal 55 foundation brush to make the most of the foundation’s unique stretchable formula.
“Because the skin on the cheeks is thicker than the rest of the face, start applying foundation from the hollow of the cheeks, blending towards the cheekbones and the nose. Then use the excess foundation across the forehead and down the nose in horizontal strokes.”
2-IN-1: MILANI CONCEAL & PERFECT FOUNDATION STICK, S$21.90
A medium to full coverage foundation with a satin matte finish that looks like natural skin, this two-in-one formula eliminates the need for a concealer.
“There is versatility in the coverage, depending on how you apply it,” said Laguardia. “You can build up for a full coverage look without it ever looking cakey, or sheer out for a more natural coverage. It also contains oil absorbing ingredients, and antioxidant protection.”
And if your skin feels like it needs a little something extra, she suggests adding a small drop of oil or moisturiser into the foundation to provide a natural glow or even tone down a heavy foundation.
WITH SKIN CARE BENEFITS: BEAUTYBLENDER BOUNCE LIQUID WHIP LONG WEAR FOUNDATION, S$60
“This product is a game-changer from the formula to the package. It has a built-in palette for dabbing your beautyblender so you never have to pump your foundation on your hands again,” said Rea Ann Silva, the creative force behind the now-iconic beautyblender.
The formula has a hyper-whip texture that mimics skin – and its skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid and white birch offers a velveteen, matte finish.
A firm believer of prepping skin before using foundation, Silva said, “I love to use a primer. Depending on if my skin needs hydration, mattifying or SPF then I use a wet [do wring out the excess water] beautyblender to melt the product into the skin for a natural look.”