I have a whole bunch of your Q&A’s to add to my Ask Merry page as soon as I get the time to do so. Keep them coming and Thanks in advance!
(FYI – I do answer them promptly when clients text or email me questions – but I like to get permission before posting them here!)
One FAQ I’ve gotten is, “What’s the best foundation?” (closely followed by, “What’s the difference between Foundation and Tinted Moisturizer?”). So I thought I’d address that question here.
Since Foundations come in so many forms nowadays and the application of each could also differ from the good old fingers and sponge technique, to using a foundation brush or Airbrushing for HDTV, I usually ask my client a number of questions to try to narrow down my answer. Questions such as: Are you looking for foundation for yourself? (Sounds silly, but sometimes questions are asked by makeup artists for their clients, or friends looking out for products to recommend to others) and What kind of coverage are you looking for?
Simple answer: The best foundation is one that allows you to create a natural looking flawless complexion without masking or altering your skin tone (unless of course, that is your goal!).
Yeah, that answer doesn’t quite do it for most of my clients who are confused by all the marketing ads and glitzy packaging out there… So I tell them what I’ve been using on myself and on my clients (Laura Mercier’s Flawless Face range) and that I’ve used tons of base products over the years, and was always happy with them…until that is, I discovered something I found better for my skin tone and condition, or that of my client’s. Welcome to Part I of my Foundation 101.
Here are a few of my fave foundations (in no particular order):
Starting with Max Factor’s Lasting Performance line (This was the base I used when I first got into makeup in my high school years in England) with its 8 hours staying power and touch proof performance.
Clinique’s Superbalanced makeup- great for combination skin as it hydrates and absorbs excess oils where needed.
The Body Shop’s Powder (All-in-One Face base adjustable coverage for oily or combination skin) and Liquid Foundations (although I always found my skin tone to be in between their (02) and (03) shades).
Clarins’ Instant Smooth Foundation – a mousse-like base that has medium coverage for all skin types that smooths and refines its texture to create a soft matte finish that leaves a healthy glow.
NARS Oil Free foundation – provides a soft matte finish for combination, oily and active skin types, controls oil with kaolin extract and conditions skin with its vitamin enriched formula. I love NARS for it’s camera perfecting yellow under toned bases.
Giorgio Armani – Luminous Silk Foundation long-wearing oil free fluid foundation with micro-fil™ technology. Great finish with it’s natural glow and long lasting coverage, but a bit pricey ($58 USD).
Laura Mercier Oil free or Moisturizing liquid foundations, (or Silk Creme and powder foundations(!) which I use too) Long wearing yellow based and highly pigmented, adjustable/buildable coverage to be used only where needed to achieve a natural “no makeup” look. Contains Vits A and E. Laura’s Flawless Face products are staple items on InStyle magazine’s top 10 lists. (If you don’t already know, I’m a huge Laura fan). ($55)
Cinema Secrets Ultimate creme foundations- water and sweat resistant, long wearing and appears like second skin. The concealers are great for covering up and brightening blue, brown and purple under eye circles! Popular with professional makeup artists who work for shoots and tv for it’s camera ready finish and affordability. (Available online or at Yorkville School of makeup, 70 Yorkville Ave. Near Bay Station).
I can bring on at least 2 – 3 more, foundations I’ve used on clients/in shoots or ones my colleagues swear by, but I think I’ll stop here. There are other things to consider too if you’re on the prowl for a (new) foundation that fits your needs. Things like the formula or texture: (Tinted Moisturizer, Stick foundation, Liquid, Gel, Cream, Whipped, Mineral, Powder, Spray on) and of course, your budget. The most expensive brands aren’t necessarily the best, nor are the more budget-friendly drug store brands necessarily less effective. The price tags of cosmetic products are often influenced by the Brand name that carries them, their packaging (though if your wise, you’ll know that it’s what’s inside the packaging that matters!) and the ingredients.
Next: Back to Base Part II -Finding the perfect shade