I wanted a makeover so desperately so I asked a friend from school to come over to my house one day so that we could make ourselves beautiful. Cue the contents of my mum's make-up bag and along with it the sad realisation that her abandoned cosmetic relics were no more suitable for her than they would be for me. I figured back then that mum really didn't care for these frivolous things which I so hankered for.
So out came this glass jar of Max Factor cream foundation in a shade called 'Warm Almond'. It was dark. A deep, burnt caramel waxy cream.
Friend: "Are you sure this is the right colour for you?"
Me: "Well, mum and I have the same colour skin" (which is very pale olive FYI)
My friend carefully rubbed the beautifying foundation over my puffy face. I looked at her expectantly with big hopeful eyes as she stood back to admire her work.
Friend: (doubled over in fits of laughter) "You look like me!!"
My friend was Indian.
Thus I learned (humiliatingly) the cardinal rule of colour matching. I later asked mum why she had such a dark foundation. She told me that she just bought it without trying it and didn't seem to care much. To her credit she never wore it so at least she didn't commit the sin of dark brown face, white neck.
The bottom line about foundation is this:
YOU SHOULDN'T BE ABLE TO SEE IT.
If you can see it sitting on your skin it's not making you look good, it's just making you look caked in make-up. Fair enough if that's the look you're going for, but most women just want to look like they have great skin naturally. Every day I see so many women with very obvious foundation 'masks' due to the following:
- Wrong colour (too pale / too dark / too orange)
- Wrong texture/consistency (too oily / too drying)
- Foundation not blended (obvious streaking / patchiness)
- Foundation applied to thickly ( hence 'mask-like' effect)
- Thou shalt not buyeth a foundation without trying it first.
- Test not on thy hands. The colour must matcheth thy neck therefore test it there. If it blendeth completely and you cannot see it then the colour be right.
- Sales assistants cannot always be trusted (particularly in Belgium and Italy!). Use thine own eyes to determine if the colour matches or not.
- Though shalt knoweth thy skin. Be it oily, dry, combination, sensitive, thou must select an appropriate formulation. e.g. Dry skins should avoid more drying, matte formulations.
- Thou shalt procure testers if at all possible to trial at home. Beg, borrow or steal.
- Thou shalt not steal. (Just in case thy took me in the literal sense)
- Applyeth thy foundation with a light hand. Less is more.
- Blend, blend, BLEND! So important I sayeth it thrice. Most don't blend enough. Even a slightly too dark/too pale foundation can be rectified by blending in really well. Use thy fingers, a brush, a damp sponge, whatever-eth.
- If thou wish to take photos then thou shalt be aware of SPF. Too much SPF photographs WHITE.
- Thou shalt change foundation shade when suntanned. Pale face - Bronzed body: Just say no!
So there you have it. Basic rules for your base. Now go forth and apply.