Foundation is literally that – the foundation of your look. Everybody’s skin will be a little uneven with blemishes, slight tonal differences, etc. These are the wonderful things that give your fave character. But when you’re applying makeup to achieve a certain look, you want to set a uniform base layer so that you can build onto it.
But remember, you’re not trying to hide your face or lose that character. Don’t overdo it. Concealer also does what it says- it can help to cover up small blemishes (or big ones, depending on the type you choose) and it helps to create a uniform base of color that you can set everything on.
- Always use a color that closely matches your natural skin tone.
- Undertones are Cool, Neutral or Warm – an old trick to use to find your undertone is to go outside in natural sunlight and hold gold jewelry under your chin, if it makes your skin sparkle you have a Warm undertone. If not, hold silver jewelry under your chin, if it makes you look good then you have Cool undertones. If both work then you have Neutral Undertones.
- Finish is usually matte, semi-matte, or illuminating – matte is generally good for oily skin (but be careful not to over apply), semi-matte will work for most people (so if in doubt, go for this), and illuminating increases shine to try to reduce the appearance of wrinkles (not for oily skin). Today’s foundations can also be purchased in sheer, medium, or full coverage.
- Keep it similar to your foundation – think of it as being able to blend with the foundation.
- There are few options but unless you are very experienced or know that you have a particular skin type that needs something different, I would go with liquid concealer. Works for most skin types and will cover most blemishes.
- There are lots of different types- you don’t need to use the same type of finish s your foundation (e.g., matte foundation does not need matte concealer.) I’m not going to list them all however matte or semi-matte are usually safe default choices, but check your skin type.
- Start with the foundation (don’t start with concealer, it will just rub off)- apply it across your whole face, I recommend broad strokes and make sure to blend it in so that it looks even across your skin. Start with less; it’s easier to add more if you need to than to take some off if you go too far. You may not need as much as you probably think.
- Check your jawline, forehead, and by your ears – key areas where we often leave an imbalance or fail to blend properly.
- Concealer- I recommend just using a little bit on the areas where you see any particular blemishes or dark spots after the foundation has been applied. Again, less is more – if you dump a load of concealer it will probably just look uneven and you’re wasting an expensive product.
- Use a Kleenex to blot the concealer after you apply it, especially if you applied it near your eyes to cover up dark circles.
Excerpt from Pulling it all Together by Paul Wharton. Available on Amazon.