Beauty Tips & Tricks


Want to Find Your Perfect Foundation? Here's What NOT to Do

29 May, 2018
By Andie Reeves
Thanks to the improvement of our phones’ front camera quality and, as always, the Kardashians, we really are living in the era of flawless skin. If you want in on this trend, which doesn’t look to be going anywhere any time soon, all you need is the right foundation (a contouring palette and some good genes wouldn’t hurt either).

But walking down the foundation aisle can leave you super confused. Am I a dewy finish or a matte look kind of girl? Am I warm beige or honey beige or natural beige? Is caramel the right colour for my skin? And what are undertones again?

We’ve got you covered. Here are the most common mistakes people make when choosing foundation, so you don’t have to make them:

#1. You Don’t Let the Product Oxidise When Testing Out Different Shades

We are going to assume you know the cardinal rule of choosing foundation: don’t match the shade to the skin on your hand. In case you didn’t know by now, the skin on your hand is usually much darker than the skin on your face.

So unless you’re planning on covering up a hand tattoo with your foundation you’re probably going to want it to match your face more than the back of your hand.

When shopping for foundation you need to make peace with the fact that you’re going to look a little strange while doing so. Swatch about three shades that you think might work for you along your jaw line or cheek. Now walk around the shop for a bit (this is the part you’re going to look weird for, sorry). This gives the product a chance to oxidise, but more on that later. Once a few minutes have passed you can look to see which shade is blending the most seamlessly with your actual skin.

So, what is oxidising? Have you ever noticed that your foundation looked perfect when you left the house, but a couple of hours later it looks a few shades darker? This is due to a chemical reaction called oxidation. It’s what happens when the product reacts with the natural oils and acidity levels found on your skin, which can turn the formula much darker or even orange.

Everyone’s skin reacts differently, so it’s important to let the product sit on your skin for a bit before committing to a whole tube of it. Some peoples’ skin reacts to foundation so much that they buy the product in two or three shades lighter than their actual skin tone to allow for the oxidation process.

#2. Going with The Wrong Foundation Formula

Before you choose your foundation, you need to know your needs. Do you like an all-over matte look? Are you more of a dewy finish person? Or do you love the barely-there look?

For those who hate the feeling of make up on their skin you need to try a powder formula. We often write-off powders because they remind us of what people used in the 1920s, but the formula is weightless and gives a chic matte finish. Ideal for someone who spends most of their day blotting away sweat or oil. Try Revlon Colorstay or Yardley Even Complexion pressed powder.

A cream base is great for someone on the move or if you’re the type who only puts foundation on a few key areas. But it can also be layered to give fuller coverage and a smooth pro finish for a big night out. Our fave (because it’s a two-in-one) is Revlon Colorstay 2in1 Compact Makeup and Concealer.

And liquid foundations are the most popular because of how easy they are to blend and because so many people want that glowy look right now. Our picks: Maybelline Fit Me and Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation.

Read More. All You Need to Know About Choosing the Best Foundation for You

#3. You’re Not Embracing Technology

Turns out computers aren’t just here to steal human jobs and secretly track your every move; they can be used for good too!

Do a bit of research before you head to the make up counter to streamline your experience and ensure you walk away with a product that has been tested (and loved) by women all over the world.

Try the foundation finding feature on Temptalia, which will ask for your skin tone and undertones and recommend products for you. Then search for reviews on the products you think look best suited to you and read what customers have liked or not liked about them.

Now you don’t have to find out the hard way that a certain product has a tendency to cake or waste your money on something that is prone to oxidising.

#4. You’re Not Prepping Properly for Your Shopping Trip

When going foundation shopping you need to be bare faced (because testing foundation shades on top of foundation you’re already wearing or on dry, flaky skin is just not going to work), but not totally bare faced. You wouldn’t slap your foundation on totally bare skin so don’t do so now either.

Before you head out have an exfoliating session to get rid of any dead skin cells. Then apply your regular moisturiser and your primer and you’re ready to get testing.

Our primer picks: BioNike Defence Color Primer Tone Evening Base, Rimmel Fix & Protect Makeup Up Primer and Almay Smart Shade Perfect - Correct Primer.

#5. You Aren’t Considering How Your Foundation Works with Your Other Products

Unless you are happy to buy a whole new make up bag it’s important to consider what other products you use alongside your foundation. Your blush, highlighter, concealer, bronzer and contour powder all interact with your foundation, and if you mix the wrong formulas you could end up looking ‘muddy’.

If your other products are generally liquid or cream-based then choose a foundation in a similar formula. And if you love your highlighting powder and pressed bronzer then be sure that your foundation is a matte finish, like a powder or a liquid foundation specially formulated to give a super matte look.

Our matt product picks: L’Oréal Infallible Matt and Yardley Stayfast Foundation.

#6. Choosing A Formula with The Wrong Base for Your Skin Type

Most foundations are either water-based or oil-based, which can make a huge difference to how they wear on your skin.

If you have oily skin you should look for formulas that have water, also listed as ‘aqua’ or ‘eau’, as their base (it will probably be first on the list of ingredients). Or look for ‘oil free’ on the pack.

For dry skin use an oil-based product. This will give your skin some much-needed moisture while you’re wearing it. A lightweight option for normal to dry skin is Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid Foundation.

Read More. The Natural Look. Why BB Creams Are Your New Best Friend

#7. Forgetting About Your Undertones

Choosing shades according to your undertones is not only important when choosing the perfect red lip or the most flattering eye shadow colour. Everyone’s skin has cool or warm undertones, and because foundations are based on skin colours they have undertones too, making it vital you match up yours to the foundation you choose.

If you’re still not sure how to know what your undertones are look at the veins on your inner wrist. If they look blue or purple you have cool undertones (you probably also look best in cool colours and silver jewellery). If your veins appear more on the green or olive side you have warm undertones, which usually means you look fab in warm colours and wearing gold jewellery.

Warm undertone skin should choose foundations that use words like golden, beige or honey on the packaging, while cooler undertone formulas look a bit more pink in the bottle.

#8. You’re Choosing the Wrong Coverage Level

Foundations range from full-coverage (think Photoshop-level perfection) to lightweight coverage (which looks like your skin, just slightly more even).

What level of coverage you choose is totally up to what look you’re after. If you’re a bit of a novice then always choose a light to medium coverage product. It’s much easier to layer up if you want more coverage than to try and strip back a fuller coverage formula.

Our product picks: For a lighter touch, Essence Soft Touch Mousse Makeup, and fuller coverage, LA Girl Pro Coverage HD Long Wear Foundation.

Read More. The Ultimate Pro Guide on How to Do Foundation Perfectly

#9. Not Checking the Shade in The Right Light

The lighting in shops and malls is usually far from flattering, and contains different hues, which can confuse the way we look at colours. Daylight is the light you can trust the most as it’s unfiltered and hits the skin evenly.

Pop outside or stand near a window to check your colour swatches in the light. If you don’t have a pocket mirror your selfie camera will work too, just remember to switch that beauty filter off.

#10. Neglecting the SPF Step of Your Make Up Routine

Putting sun cream on every day is no longer an option, unless you’re okay with risking skin cancer, wrinkles and sun damage in general. But you’re not alone if you are constantly forgetting this step in your morning make up routine. Why not simplify your life and shelf of face products and start multi-tasking?

A lot of foundations now contain SPF. This means you can’t forget to apply it, plus there is none of that stickiness that regular sun cream often leaves you with. Try Almay Even Skin Makeup which includes an SPF of 15.

#11. You’re Forgetting Your Tools

It’s all very well to walk out with the perfect shade of foundation, but what are you going to put it on with?

If you like a natural look that blends in with your skin seamlessly use a beauty blender. For medium coverage use a stippling brush or a long bristled-synthetic brush. And if it’s full-on heavy coverage you’re after then a flat top kabuki brush will pile on the product while blending it into your skin too.

If you prefer using your fingers that’s fine, as long as you’re using a cream or liquid formula. It will give you medium coverage and actually warms up the product while you’re applying it, making it melt into your skin easier.

Our product picks: Cala Kabuki Brush, Barbara Hoffman Silver Foundation Brush and Cala Makeup Blending Sponge.

Read More. A How to Guide on The Brushes You Need for Super Easy Flawless Makeup

Shop Your Products Now

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Almay Even Skin Makeup - Naked
R 299.00

Almay Even Skin Makeup - Toast
R 299.00

Almay Smart Shade Perfect - Correct Primer
R 259.00

Barbara Hofmann Silver Foundation Brush
R 119.00

BioNike Defence Color Primer Tone - Evening Base
R 299.00

Cala Kabuki Brush
R 119.95

Cala Makeup Blending Sponge - Pink
R 74.95

Essence Soft Touch Mousse Makeup 02
R 79.95

Essence Soft Touch Mousse Makeup 50
R 79.95

La Girl Hd Pro Coverage Long Wear Foundation Nude Beige
R 175.00

LA Girl Pro Coverage HD Long Wear Foundation - Warm Caramel
R 175.00

Loreal Infallible Matte Foundation 20 Sand
R 215.00

Loreal Infallible Matte Foundation 30 Honey
R 215.00

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Matt And Poreless - Caramel 350
R 102.95

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Matt And Poreless 220 Natural Beige
R 102.95

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Matt And Poreless 330 Toffee
R 102.95

Rimmel Fix & Protect Makeup Primer
R 116.95

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25H Foundation Medium Beige
R 165.00

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25H Foundation Sand Beige
R 165.00

Yardley Stayfast Foundation Medium Beige
R 139.95
Images: Pinterest

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