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Home :: Trends / Features / Foundation
Editorial Makeup Secrets
by Elke Von Freudenberg

Foundation: Choosing the Right Color

Get the color right. The number one time-waster is having the wrong color to begin with. Want to make sure you have the right shade? Try these two tricks first to save valuable time.

First, take your foundation of choice, and apply on a piece of white paper. Great to do at the makeup counter before you hand over your hard earned cash. What are you looking for? The actual color really. Against white, you can actually see the undertone of the foundation. Do you see yellow? Pink? Orange? Red? Green? (Yes, green.) If foundations tend to turn color on you, THIS is the color it will turn. Can't get a foundation to blend in right? It's because THIS color is interfering with your own skin color. By seeing it on white paper, you'll be able to make a more educated choice. Best bet? Go for the soft yellow undertones. Not only will you match your skintone better, you'll get the added bonus of calming down the pink/red tones in your skin as well. Just make sure that the yellow tones are can also run in to the opposite problem of it being TOO yellow, and you'll end up looking like a yellow squash. Just like too much pink, too much yellow can be a bad thing too.

Okay, you think you got a sure thing, now on to the second test. Try it on. On a clean jawline, apply a small dime sized dab along the side. I repeat, dime-sized. See how fast it takes to blend the edges of the foundation into the skin. The edges, not the center. You want it to disappear in 1-3 strokes. The key is in how fast. I can make any foundation blend in if I sat there and blended it long enough.

This takes too long to apply. The one thing I like the least, whether it's applying on a model, or on myself, is foundation application. Why? One, you have to get the perfect match on the first try (even more so in photography) and two, it just takes too darn long to apply.

The best time saver? A foundation brush. A great one to try is from The Body Shop (actually named "Foundation Brush" in their catalog and stores nationwide). Or try a short round chisel cut blush brush. Just make sure that the hairs are short, soft and chisel cut (i.e. not blunt cut on the ends). To apply, just pick up with the brush, foundation from the back of your hand, and brush down along the center of the face. Then blend outwards with your brush. By applying with a brush, you get exactly the right amount on every time, superb blending, it feels great on your skin, and it's quick. You can easily apply foundation alone in 2-4 minutes. A life saver.

Why does this look different?
Understand that the technique you use to apply your foundation, changes the look of it. Pure and simple. So if you're expecting your heavy coverage foundation to cover everything when you're applying it with a sponge, it's ain't going to happen. Why? Your technique was wrong. In our next part, we'll clarify the various techniques.

Editorial Makeup Secrets
Foundation: Choosing the Right Color
Foundation: Application Techniques

Do you have a specific makeup question? Email us! We'll include it in our Ask the Expert section.

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