perfect your foundation skills
Lay the right foundation and the rest of your makeup will come easy. Here’s your guide to complexion perfection
From new formulas to bestsellers, these are your base essentials.
Makeup trends come and go, but getting your base right is forever. Lucky, then, that foundations are on the up and up. At makeup mecca Sephora, the base category has experienced major growth in the past year. “We’re finding that women now opt to have a wardrobe of foundations in rotation to suit varying occasions and the time of day,” confirms Gillian Ridley Whittle, Myer’s group general manager of cosmetics and lingerie. Dress your face right with these top tips and hit picks.
MEET YOUR MATCH The biggest blunder you can make with foundation has less to do with how you apply it, and more to do with how you buy it. So invest your time in finding your perfect colour match. “The lights in a store can throw you off, so don’t rely on the mirror. Ask for a tester, take it home and wear it for a few days,” advises makeup artist Molly Warkentin. If you prefer to do your groundwork online, websites like Findation and Match My Makeup let you input your current base shade then suggest perfectly coordinated alternatives. KNOW YOUR TONE “If you have olive skin, you need a yellow-based foundation. Fair skin usually needs a cool, pinkbased shade, and if you’re in between pale and warm, choose a neutral hue,” says makeup artist Elsa Morgan. If you’ve reached adulthood without
“I USE A FACE OIL TO MASSAGE INTO THE SKIN FIRST. IF SKIN IS HYDRATED, FOUNDATION GLIDES ON AND YOU USE LESS OF IT”
understanding exactly what you are, here’s a quick trick: flip over your wrist and check the shade of your veins. If you have yellow or golden skin and a greenish shade to your veins, you’re warm-toned. If you’re pinkish with blue veins, you’re a cool tone. If you see a mix of those shades in your skin and veins, congratulations, you’re neutral and are way easier to match. You can probably wear a few colours just fine. PREP AND FORGET Any makeup pro worth their concealer wand will tell you the real magic of a base happens before you even touch your foundation. “Skin should be well-hydrated. I use a face oil to massage into the skin first. If skin is hydrated, foundation glides on and you use less of it,” says Warkentin. For best results, take a few breaths between the two steps as well. “Let the moisturiser or oil settle in for a minute or two before you apply foundation, otherwise it just dilutes the coverage. If you aren’t already doing this, it’s a game-changer,” says makeup artist Jasmin Lo. FIND YOUR LIGHT You know how good lighting makes all the difference when you take a selfie? Same goes for base application. “Putting foundation on in bad lighting will give you major blending problems. Find that spot in your house – or your car! – that has the balance between being not too dark and not too light, and do your makeup there every day,” suggests Lo. CENTRE YOURSELF No matter which base you choose, it pays to start your application in the middle of your face. It stops coverage being too thick around the edges, where you’re more likely to see it. “I get the best results when I use my fingers to blend from the centre of my face outwards toward the hairline, then down the neck,” says Morgan. “Then I buff over that using a brush or sponge to make it flawless.”