This is the second article in a series of posts that will discuss the criteria for choosing the perfect foundation.  (See here for Part 1 - Introduction.)

Generations of people have been shopping for foundation in department stores, where sales consultants will colour match you, apply a sample to your face, and then pressure you into purchasing the product on the spot. I'm always shocked when people buy a new foundation immediately after trying it in the store. There are SO many factors to consider before purchasing a new foundation! A bottle of foundation can last months to a year, so I ALWAYS get a sample and put it through rigorous testing before making any purchases.

To avoid wasting money and/or looking terrible for an extended period of time, consider the following when testing any new foundation:

1.  Lighting and Colour Match

  • The colour of your foundation should, in my opinion, be the perfect match to your natural skin. Some people prefer to use foundation that is slightly lighter than their skin colour. (Stay tuned for a detailed post on skin tone and colour.)
  • Lighting really affects the colours in foundation and it's nearly impossible to find the perfect match under store lighting. So be sure to look at your reflection under all of the following conditions: natural light, artificial light, day time, and night time.


2.  Photography

  • How your foundation looks in real life can be very different from how it will look on camera. So it's important to take a picture of yourself - with and without flash - under all of the lighting conditions I listed above. Also, I have an easier time determining if my foundation is a good match for my skin colour by looking at selfies.
  • Some foundations are specially formulated to look amazing on camera  (e.g. HD foundations for high definition). Matte foundations tend to help reduce shine on film, as well.


3. Longevity and Oxidation

  • When testing a new foundation, be sure to take note (and photos) of how it looks immediately after you've applied it, and 1, 4, and 8 to 12 hours after you've applied it.
  • Keep in mind that most foundations will oxidize when reacting with the air and your skin. This can darken the foundation or add an orange tint.


4.  Break-Outs and Allergies

  • I am prone to break outs from make-up, so I always test the same foundation for at least three days in a row. That's how long it takes for my skin to react.
  • Even if you're not prone to break outs, it's good practice to ensure that you don't have any allergies or skin sensitivities to a new product before purchasing it.


5.  Other Make-Up Products

  • When I test foundations, I choose not to use any primers or setting powders. This is the only way to know how good a product really is. Otherwise, you won't know if it's the primer, the foundation, or the setting powder that's working the magic. For this reason, don't try any new skin care products during the testing phase, either. 
  • Another thing to consider is application tools. Different tools (fingers included) work better with different formulas, so try a few techniques before writing off a new foundation.


Stay Tuned for Part 3 - Your Skin

Published by Alison F