Foundation 101: How to apply foundation

Applying foundation can be tricky. What Not to Wear's celebrity makeup artist Carmindy gives tips on choosing and how to apply the perfect type of foundation for your skin type.

Apr 27, 2007
Foundation 101: How to apply foundation

A beautiful complexion (natural or achieved via the tips I give here) is like a canvas -- it sets the stage for a more radiant you. When you get it right, your skin will glow; you'll look younger and your makeup will look better. Faking it doesn't require fancy tricks -- if you make the right product choices.


Finding the perfect foundation can seem like a daunting task for any woman, no matter what her age or skin tone, but it is easier than you think. Foundation formulas have become so advanced that you should never feel like you're wearing a mask. Foundation should not be used to re-create your skin, but rather to enhance it.

Choosing the right shade

The right foundation color will disappear into your skin. To find the perfect shade, narrow down a selection of hues to the three closet matches of your skin color. Next, dab a stripe of each on your jaw, to see which one matches your skin exactly. You should look at the stripes in natural daylight -- run outdoors, peek into a mirrored compact. Note: I have found that some women with rosacea or sunspots may have a much darker skin tone in their face compared to that of their neck and chest. When this is the case, choose a color that falls between the shades of you face and neck, smooth it in from your face down over your jaw, and feather it down your neck. This will ensure that everything blends together. Remember: always purchase foundation that you can either test before you buy or return if the color is wrong.

Tinted moisturizer

Best for normal to dry skin that's naturally flawless. Tinted moisturizers can contain a little bit of color that adds the barest coverage. These moisturizers are so sheer that they require little blending. Many also contain sunscreen, so you can cut out that extra step in the morning.

Liquid foundation

Best for all skin types. This classic foundation offers a step up in coverage from that of a tinted moisturizer. Liquid foundation feels light but helps downplay minor imperfections like tiny scars, acne, or unevenness. Available in oil-free, regular, hydrating, firming -- whatever you need, it's out there. For more coverage, let it set for a minute, then add another layer where needed.

Learn about creams, mineral and aresol foundations on the next page ...

Skin trouble? Get our quick skin fixes here!

Excerpted from The 5-Minute Face by Carmindy. Copyright(c) 2007by Carmindy. Published by arrangement with HarperCollins Publishers.


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