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Makeup foundations and base layers even out skin tone to create a smooth complexion. They come in many textures, shines, finishes and shades. Picking the right foundation is an art in itself.

A good foundation should not crease, dry out nor feel ‘heavy’ on the skin. It should be buildable (meaning, you can add more or less, to get the coverage you want, without cakey-ness).

A mineral makeup foundation provides several benefits over traditional foundation. High quality mineral makeup is usually free of synthetic ‘bad’ chemicals, such as petroleum products or paraben preservatives. They also don’t use talc or wax to build their substance. They are as ‘pure’ as possible. This gives you a better product, with more ‘bang for buck.’ Good mineral foundations are not only full of pigment, they offer sun protection and skin support too.

Learn more about good-quality mineral makeup (including foundations) at the links below:

For some people, picking a foundation is easy. Their skin is ‘normal,’ their shade is predictable and they are great blenders, possessing all the skills and tools needed to create a flawless look. For others, the equation is not so simple. But - fear not! Below, we’ll provide a few tips for picking a makeup foundation or base layer:

  • Start by determining your skin type. Just like you would pick a moisturizer and cleanser based on how dry or oily your skin is, you’ll want to do the same with foundations.
    • If you have oily skin, you will most likely prefer a powder foundation.
    • If you have dry skin or sensitive skin, you may prefer a liquid-based, mineral foundation. Or, choose a base layer designed to treat your condition, first (such as All Calm™ Clinical Redness Corrector).
    • Normal skin can often tolerate any type of foundation, so it’s a matter of preference: do you like the shine in liquid foundations, or matte finishes in powder foundations?
    • The most difficult of all is combination skin. Combination skin tends to do better with powder foundation, or a liquid, but ‘dry’ foundation. Or, use both, alternating based on the area of skin you’re covering.
  • Understand your skin’s undertone. Skin tone and colour can be different. Skin tone refers to whether you exude neutral, warm (peachy, orange, brown) or cool (blue, green, grey) hues. These colours appear on your complexion year round. A great explanation for finding your skin’s undertone can be found in this video. When you know your undertone, you can pick a foundation colour much easier, based on how you want to appear.
    • Some people choose to offset their undertone by using foundations with ‘opposite’ colours in them. For example, if your skin is red, choose a foundation with mild, yellow and green tints. These can help neutralize your facial colour.
    • If you are warm, stick with shades that match your golden hues.
    • If you are cool, rosy-up your face with some peachy colour, without going ‘orange.’ Cool undertones can also maintain a bit of that ‘grey’ look, since it closely resembles their natural hue.
  • When you know your skin tone, you can move on to skin colour match types. This is where the terms “ivory,” “fair,” “light,” “medium,” “beige,” “tan,” “mocha,” etc. come in. Many makeup companies have different names for these foundation shades. However, they generally run on a spectrum, starting with the lightest skin colour to the darkest.
    • Use your jawline to determine your skin colour. Never use your hand, wrist, or the middle of your face to pick a foundation colour. This is because you want your foundation to blend into your neck seamlessly. There should not be a large contrast between the colour of your face, and the colour of your neck and decollete.
    • Remember that foundation colours can darken slightly when they dry on your skin, much like paint. This is called oxidation. If you’re on the fence about two shades that suit you, it’s likely that the lighter one will work best (at least during winter months).
    • A very good foundation will be able to blend with your natural skin complexion easily, even if it only comes in a few shade options. Still, you’ll want to find your closest match, based on both your skin undertone and colour.
  • Use makeup enhancers to contour and refine your base layer, and to camoflauge any spots or blemishes. Then, go in with your eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick, mascara and all the rest.
  • Remember to use moisturizers and primers to get the smoothest results when using any foundation. Some SPFs can be moisturizing, and some serums can act as primers. However you choose to do it, the basic principle is that a regular, good skin routine will prevent creasing, flaking and cracking of makeup during the day. A hydrating mist can help with this, too.

Given the above points, it's best to pick a foundation in a store, where you can test shades in person. However, if you know your skin type, tone and colour fairly well, you can use online guides to help you choose the one that’s right for you.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask us! Book a virtual consultation with one of our aestheticians, and they’ll help you as best as they can (as far as computer screens let us do that!).

Better yet, visit our makeup counter in person! We’re located in central Surrey, near Vancouver, B.C. We’ll let you sample all our products in-store. We’ll test foundation shades until we find the base layer that’s right for you.

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