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Foundation Fundamentals

By Julia Brown

1. What types of foundations are available?

Creme foundations

Creme foundations are usually the top choice of most makeup artists. Available in sticks and compacts, these provide very good facial coverage. This consistency and texture deliver a rich and perfect finish that can be applied easily resulting to a fine complexion.

Liquid foundations

Offering sheer and complete facial coverage, it gives the face a very natural appearance. Available in oil based and water based formulations, this is preferred by most women since it can be easily applied and matches the skin well, almost resembling the skin itself. To get a foundation that will perfectly match your complexion, make sure to select one that is based with the color yellow.

Dual active powder foundation

These are so called quick fix foundations, that starts as cream that is applied and spread over the face easily ending in a powder form. Having this function, it is a powder and a foundation all in one.

2. What foundation is best for my skin?

Facial foundation for normal skin

In the selection of a foundation for normal skin, there are a lot of things to be considered, as there are so many lines of cosmetic foundations available, and in various shades. Often, their main difference is their price. The label will be your best guide. Read the label and make sure it is for dry to normal skin and that it is nonacnegenic so that it will not clog your pores.

Facial foundation for acne prone or oily skin

For oily skin, the best foundation to use is water-based. These usually come in liquid form, and they offer sheer and total facial coverage, with the downside of lasting for only a maximum of four hours. This problem can be very well addressed by using a loose powder after application of the foundation to help the foundation last longer as well as absorb excess oils. A product labeled as oil controlling is great for oily skin. Again, choose a product that is nonacnegenic, as this will ensure you of unclogged pores and will not worsen your acne condition. For oily skin type, find labels such as oil free or oil controlling on a product - usually these products are water based.

Facial foundation for dry or sensitive skin

For dry or sensitive skin, cream based is often recommended, the ones with with moisturizing benefits. As they provide full coverage on the face, they too can stay longer. Keep in mind that before any makeup is applied on the face, the face should be cleaned thoroughly using a mild facial wash along with a moisturizing cream; this also enables one to apply the foundation easily as the moisturizer will help to smoothen the foundation. For dry skin, a moisturizing foundation is best, such labels as moisture rich or hydrating are to be looked for.

Foundation for combination skin

For combination skin, select a product labeled as skin balancing, which would be perfect for this kind of skin type. If you can't find such a product, a combination of liquid foundation and a powder in translucent form will help take off the shine on your T-zone. For combination skin, you have to know if you have skin more on the oily side, or the dry side and select the appropriate formulation - foundations that are cream-to-powder based are recommended for this type of skin.

3. Choosing your foundation:

- Know what type of skin you have. Before you shop for the right foundation shade you need to determine first what formulation is right for your skin; is your skin dry? Oily? Or a combination of both?

- Remember to go without any foundation on. Your face should be clean so that you can easily test a shade on your face and see clearly whether it matches your skin tone or not.

- Pick out three or four shades that you think match your skin tone. They need to look as natural as possible. Usually, the yellowish based shades will give all skin tones a natural look. For a very light or fair skin, a pink shade of foundation will be best.

-Test the foundation by applying a small amount near your jawline (not on your wrist!), then decide.

- Study the shade of your foundation as to the shade on your jawline. Examine it carefully with a mirror in an open window, where there is natural light. The shade to choose is the shade that you can not see, as it blends well on your skin.

It is best that you buy a foundation in a small container first. Once you're home, try it out again. Return it if you feel the shade isn't right. Then if it is perfect for you, you can go ahead and buy a bigger container.

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