Foundation must be the most complex of all beauty products, therefore we bring you a guide to the best foundations and how to wear them. There are myriad finishes, formulas, textures, formats, brushes, and ways to apply it. But you know what? There’s a pretty fool-proof and (fairly) easy way to get gorgeous, luminous skin.
We searched some makeup artists who regularly perfect the complexions of the girls backstage, on photo shoots, and on the red carpet (hello Emma Stone, Miley Cyrus, and Lea Michele!) to bring you the ultimate guide to trying, buying, and applying foundation. You’ll learn everything from how to score the perfect pick to which foundation formula actually heals acne scars.
Step 1: Prepare Your Tool Kit
1. “The BeautyBlender sponge (similar) is a great tool for pressing foundation into the skin without leaving any trace,” says celebrity makeup artist Melanie Inglessis. In fact, she soaks this little sponge in iced rosewater before use it .”Icing it is great because it’s refreshing on the skin and helps to make larger pores look smaller and tighter,” she says. (Always use when damp for best results.)
2. “Foundation looks much more like ‘real skin’ when you use a combination of a sponge and brushes,” says Miley and Kate Bosworth’s go-to artist, Pati Dubroff. Shiseido’s Perfect Foundation Brush is renowned in the industry for being one of the best of it’s kind. You’ll want to tap it repeatedly into the skin, then pass over it lightly with your sponge.
3. To make it really luxe, Dubroff spritzes her sponge with a bit of floral water to boost the skin’s radiance. Try Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir for super-refreshing results!
During Fashion Week, makeup maestro Tom Pecheux is known for (among other things) his legendary facial massages. That’s how he gets radiant complexions on all the girls (even if they’re on their fifth show of the day). “Think about your body in the morning,” he said last season. “If you sit down, take time, have a nutritious breakfast, you feel better during the day. You nourish yourself. It’s the same with your skin—you must take time and take care of it.”
Pecheux uses a mix of oil and moisturizer with a lymphatic massage technique (check out this YouTube video for a quick tutorial) to get the most out of his foundation products. As you’ve probably heard, there’s no such thing as good foundation without good skin.
“Primers are golden to help reduce the need for foundation,” Dubroff insists. “Great skin is the goal of foundation, so ideally you only need apply the most minimal amount of product.” Here, a (very) abbreviated guide to the primers you should try now.
1. “I like a primer that has an illuminating aspect to it to give me a smooth canvas and a brighter base,” says Inglessis. If you’re tired or sallow, try the game-changing new Dior Glow Maximizer Light Boosting Primer. (As a bonus, put it on under your eyes to delete dark circles.)
2. If you’re dry, try something a bit more hydrating. Sunday Riley’s Effortless Tinted Primer is a cult favorite for imparting a healthy hint of color and instant radiance.
3. “If you’re oily, your T-zone will need a mattifying primer,” says Dubroff. She recommends L’Oréal Paris Miracle Blur to camouflage pores and keep oil at bay.
Finally! According to a survey Teen Vogue conducted, 20% of the readers are most likely to splurge on the perfect foundation. In fact, a great foundation is a purchase worthy of your piggy bank savings. It really can make all the difference! Here, some can’t-miss formulas:
1. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk: This is easily the go-to for a gorgeous red-carpet complexion. Armani’s hero product is also incredibly easy to work with, super-blendable, and delivers exactly what the label says: Luminosity.
2. Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation: This Japanese foundation takes three times the amount of time normally taken to manufacture similar products in its category. There are two types of light-reflecting powder particles and many moisturizing botanicals to support the skin. And, the best part? It goes on just like a tinted moisturizer, so you don’t need to be afraid of applying it. It’s used on television and movie sets everywhere, so trust us: This is one beauty product worth the buy.
3. Tom Ford Traceless Foundation: It’s the most expensive foundation on the list (and maybe ever in the history of foundations). But both of our artists recommended it, so we had to mention it. Tom Ford delivers an actually diverse shade range and a beautiful liquid for full-coverage foundation that doesn’t look mature. If you’re a beauty junkie looking to buy yourself a present, put this at the top of your list.
4. Hourglass Immaculate: This liquid-to-powder formula won in our Beauty Awards this year for its insanely innovative technology. If you prefer a matte finish that lasts all day, this is the product for you. Plus, 80% of wearers reported a visible improvement of acne scars, with 83% reporting a decrease in oil production.
The funny thing about foundations is that everyone’s looking for their perfect shade. That is, quite obviously, half the challenge. (If not more.) “Try a sample of the product on three different parts of your face: the jawline, side of the nose, and in between the brows,” says Inglessis. Then? “Go outside!” (That’s an order, ladies!) If it’s doing anything but blending in, it’s wrong. Go back in the store, ask for the next shade, and repeat the process. Trust us, your Instagram selfies will greatly benefit from this experiment.
But another part of the foundation application is crucial: Your skin is unlike anyone else’s. So you want to customize the process to suit your needs.
“Adding moisture can really ‘open’ the foundation,” says Pati Dubroff, who sheers out her formulas by mixing with Weleda Skin Food.
“I mix mine with a liquid luminizer to create a really dewy finish. You can also mix with a tiny liquid bronzer for a sun-kissed effect,” Inglessis says. Nervous about the result? Go buy the Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminators at your local drugstore and mix a drop in before you apply. Legendary artist Gucci Westman (one of Emma Stones’s favorites) swears by them—you’ll immediately notice the difference.
NARS artist Uzo created radiant skin by dabbing the Multiple in Copacabana(a sheer, opal shimmer) on tops of the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, and on the chin before applying foundation. Now you can really get glowing.
All that amazing information comes from Teen Vogue, which I subscribe and recommend it, here <3
Selma v Schönburg