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.

Cream foundation

Best for older skin and darker skin tones. Liquid formulas can fade away on dark complexions or older skin that may need extra coverage, but because creams don’t soak into skin, the pigments in cream foundations stay truer longer. This category of foundation includes creams, sticks, and cream-to-powder formulas. Since they are usually oil based they are a good option for very dry skins. Carefully blend in cream foundations so they don’t look "thick" on your skin. Take your time and work in good light to ensure you don’t leave any demarcation lines.

Mineral powder foundation

Best for sensitive skin. Mineral powder foundations get their coloring and full coverage from crushed natural earth minerals, such as zinc or iron oxides, and contain no chemical dyes, waxes, or preservatives, making them ideal for sensitive skin. You can swirl them on in layers for more coverage. They can be a bit chalky-looking on dry skin.

Aerosol spray foundations

Best for skin that needs a little extra coverage but with staying power. Aerosol spray foundations started as a makeup artist’s trick (airbrushing body foundation onto bikini models for flawless results), and are now offered by some beauty brands for the face. The refined mist gives you a flawless crease-free coverage that lasts all day. You can control the amount of coverage by using different application techniques. For heavier coverage, spray directly onto the face. For a more sheer look, spray it on a sponge that has been dipped into a little moisturizer, then apply. This is one of my favorite ways to create perfect looking skin.

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