I have written before about how tricky my combination skin is. Part oily, part dry and part mature skin, it is a challenge to find the right foundation products to suit my skin type.
Recently, I spoke with Kimberly Soane, Director of Artistry at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Kim was one of the Bobbi Brown PRO artists who worked backstage at several New York Fashion Week shows. She has done it for several years and has worked with all kinds of skin types.
Kim shared with me her hot tips on how you can get the most from your foundation and how to get that perfect foundation application.
What type of foundation should you use for different types of skin?
The best way to know what formula foundation type is best for you is to test your skin first. Use a cream stick foundation and wipe it across your clean cheek. If it drags and shows texture you should use a liquid hydrating formula. If it glides on smoothly and looks smooth then you can try a cream formula. Extremely oily skin can definitely use a powder foundation and extreme dry can try a balm or tinted moisturizer formula.
How to make sure that the colour of the foundation will suit the colour on the face of your skin?
Choose three shades of foundation that look like they would match your skin tone. Swatch long stripes from the top of your cheekbone to the jaw line. The shade that disappears is the correct one. You can double check the shade is right and make sure it also disappears on your forehead.
For women who may have two tones of skin on their face, first swatch on your forehead which may be darker and then on the face and the cheek. An option is to buy two shades and blend where needed, or you can choose the shade that is more golden or richer. Don’t compare the shade to how the shade looks to the colour of your skin on your neck. The neck is always lighter than your face. You can always blend bronzer onto your neck if you want to warm it up.
What are the best tricks to blend foundation for all skin types and ages?
To Prepare: Make sure you start with the correct moisturizer. Many skins are dehydrated and need enough moisture for foundations to look right. You can always layer moisturizers too, if the first one didn’t give your skin enough “slip.” For normal to dry skin your skin should have a slip before you apply foundation. For oiler skin your skin should feel smooth and not wet before foundation.
Fingers: I often use my fingers to give the most sheer coverage
Sponge: Best with cream formulas (they can soak up too much liquid)
Foundation Brush: This gives a medium coverage
Full Coverage Brush: This gives a full coverage, so you can buff the foundation onto the skin.
Application: Always start at the centre of the face and blend outwards. This helps to avoid putting too much makeup around the hairline and jaw line.
Most women need the most coverage in the center of the face, so the best rule is to start where you need it most.
Other tips and tricks that you use at the fashion shows and photos shoots?
Backstage we use very little moisturizer because under runway lights the skin can often look really shiny. If we want a glow, we apply a face oil or balm at the end, on top of the makeup, to give this effect.
Always use a lip balm on the lips as soon as you start skincare- this helps to prep the lips for any lip look you are creating.
When you are done the makeup, take a step back and see what needs to be fixed or perfected- it’s a good way to check your look.
Always put moisturizer on your body. For your décolleté, your arms, your legs- this gives them a healthy glow. Adding a sheen to the skin can be beautiful too. I recommend trying a product that illuminates the skin, such as Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick, which is gorgeous on top of moisturizer.
Sephora shared with me some of their top tips on how to have the best foundation experience on your skin:
Pick the right color. To be confident that it acts as a great base, choose a foundation that completely matches your skin tone. Also, it is a great idea to start with a primer. A primer can help hide pores and also keep your foundation in place all day long. Try shades of foundation on your face (instead of on your hand or neck).
Choose a medium. Foundations come in different textures and mediums, including creams, liquids, aerosols, loose powders and compact powders. Experiment with different versions to decide which one feels best on your skin.
Brushes are your best friend. You can apply foundation with your fingers, a brush, or with a sponge. Some people say that applying the foundation with your fingers allows for better blending but the experts like brushes. They are sanitary and help prevent bacteria from spreading.
Make your foundation flawless. With your brush, finger or sponge make sure that you put a small amount of the foundation on when you start. It is easier to add than it is to take away. Start with small amounts and gently blend until even along your jaw line, face and neck. A great trick if you have your blouse or top on is to drape a towel around your neck, so the foundation doesn’t flake on to your top or blouse during the application process.
Perfect challenging spots. After you have applied the foundation and looked over to see it is blended thoroughly. Then go over the skin again with a concealer to smooth over any challenging areas. If you can try and apply your concealer with a brush, it can make a big difference with the application going on evenly!
Complete your foundation. Complete your foundation with a setting powder. This is a sheer, matte powder that will help keep your foundation in place and prevent oil from shining through.
I am going to use these helpful tips as I continue to expand by beauty ideas this spring! I love the idea of smooth glowing skin.
Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to live life to the fullest. Let’s have the very best 2015!