I'm in my early-mid 30's and I just started wearing make-up about a year ago. Since then, I have become obsessed with finding the perfect foundation for my skin type and tone. I've read countless articles and reviews, talked to many make-up consultants, collected various foundation application tools, and tested dozens and dozens of different foundations. I'm incredibly picky about foundation, because, in my opinion, people should barely be able to tell that you're wearing it. (Unless, of course, you're wearing it for photos, videos, stage, etc.) Turns out, it's incredibly difficult to find a foundation that makes your skin look flawless and still natural. It took me a lot of research, trial and error, and effort to learn the basics of choosing the right foundation, so I wanted to share what I learned from a beginner's perspective.

First off, if you plan to wear foundation daily, then you will actually need at least two different, but equally perfect, foundations: one for the winter months (when your skin is more dry and fair) and one for the summer months (when humidity is an issue and you're tanned).  You might also want to find the perfect full coverage, HD formula, foundation for nights out and special occasions. 

I also want to note that once you start wearing foundation, you will need to purchase all of the following additional make-up products:

  1. Brushes and/or tools for applying the foundation
  2. Primer (not a must-have)
  3. Setting powder (if using cream or liquid foundation)
  4. Blush
  5. Bronzer or contour product
  6. Highlighter (not necessarily a must-have)
  7. High quality make-up remover and cotton pads (Note: Stay tuned for a review on low end vs high end make-up removers.)

I'm mentioning these items, because when I started shopping for foundation, no one told me that I would need to purchase other make-up products in order to wear foundation nicely. It seems counter-intuitive, but you really do need more make-up to make the foundation look natural. These products help the foundation apply more smoothly, they set the foundation so it stays-put for longer, and they bring dimension (i.e. shadows, highlight, and colour) back to your face. To make things easier on your budget, I'd suggest splurging on setting powder and saving some money on the other items.

Finally, I'd just like to warn you that the more make-up you wear, the worse your skin will be and the more make-up you'll need on a daily basis. I learned this the hard way and had to spend even more money on a Clarisonic (facial cleansing device). Don't forget to take very good care of your skin, because the goal really is to have skin so beautiful that you don't need make-up. So if you think I'm trying to talk you out of buying and wearing foundation, you're right! :) If you're not convinced, then follow me for the upcoming posts in my "How to Choose the Perfect Foundation" series. 

In case you were curious as to why I started wearing make-up: 

  1. I was recovering from a bad concussion and needed something to do that wasn't stimulating or involving electronics.
  2. I decided that just because I felt like crap didn't mean that I had to look like it.
  3. I noticed new and undesirable skin changes that came with age.
  4. I loved it as a creative outlet. It's literally like painting!
  5. I also loved that there was so much to learn! Different techniques, colour combinations, products, tools and brushes, etc.
  6. I found that while I was applying my make-up, I was very mindful and completely absorbed in the process. This actually helped me with my anxiety, depression, and ruminations.

This introduction is the first of a series of posts that will focus on different criteria for choosing the perfect foundation.  See here for Part 2 - How to Test a Foundation.

Published by Alison F