Why you can't find the right foundation
Have you ever had your makeup done, or had your foundation colour-matched, only to find that when you apply your foundation yourself, it sucks?
So off you trot again to try a new foundation, only to get it home and find it sucks too.
Why is the perfect foundation so hard to find?!
Let me tell you a little secret: it's not the foundation.
The perfect foundation lies not so much in the product itself (although that's a part of it), but in the way you prepare your skin before applying your foundation.
If your foundation always slides off your skin: there's an issue with how oily your skin is before applying your foundation. Some things that could cause your skin to be too oily before makeup application are:
- you've applied too many face oils, or too much face oil, or simply too many layers of skincare; or
- you're using a greasy sunscreen; or
- you haven't washed your night-time skincare products off properly or at all before applying your foundation; or
- your skin is dehydrated and produces excess oil during the day; or
- you have oily skin and need to control the oil before applying your makeup.
If your foundation seems to disappear from your skin: your skin is too dry before applying foundation. When your skin is dry, it's either:
- flaking off, taking your foundation with it during the day; and/or
- it's craving moisture, and it thinks your foundation is a source of moisture. So, it drinks your foundation up, literally sucking it up and making it disappear!
If your foundation separates, or you struggle to apply it and make it sit in place: it's time to look at how you're prepping your skin. When it comes to primers:
- not every skin type needs a primer
- not every primer offers the same benefits (some primers offer a nice irridescent glow, some offer a more matte appearance, some offer a super-dewy glow, some are specifically for smoothing the skin or creating a longer-wear)
- primer doesn't need to be applied to every part of your face (if you're trying to control shine, for example, it's best to keep primer to the porous areas of your face that produce shine)
- not all primer formulations are a match for all foundation formulations (keep in mind that foundations can be oil or water based, so your primer needs to be able to work with the base of your foundation).
If your foundation doesn't give you the expected level of coverage: have you bought a foundation that offers full coverage, but you're seeing a medium coverage? It all comes down to your application. Foundation can be applied using:
- fingers/hands: this will give you a super light, sheer coverage
- dense, buffing brush: this will give you a light to medium coverage if you use a circular, buffing motion; or a fuller coverage if you use a stippling motion
- beauty blender: a pressing or stippling motion will give a fuller coverage, whereas a swiping or wiping/dabbing motion will move the foundation around the face, giving an uneven and/or sheerer coverage
The way you use your tools is one thing, but the condition of your tools is another. If your hand/fingers, brush or sponge are dry, they'll suck up a lot of the product you're using, which therefore won't make its way to your face. On the flip side, using some water or a hydrating spray on your brush or sponge, or ensuring your hands are hydrated and moisturised, will ensure your tools won't absorb all your product, so it can makes it way to your face and give you the coverage you're looking for.
Your foundation comes off because you touch your face a lot: stop touching your face! Makeup is not infallible, so it's important to stop expecting it to resist absolutely everything you throw at it.
Your foundation pills, flakes, separates, or does other weird things when applied: you're prepping your skin (yay!) but not necessarily with the right products - the ingredients in your skincare need to be compatible with your primer, your primer needs to be compatible with your foundation, and so on.
If the idea of prepping your skin and applying your foundation with allll of the above in mind sounds tricky AF, book a makeup lesson with me and I'll not only show you how easy it actually is, I'll also show you how to best use your own products before you throw yet another foundation in the bin. Plus, you get to play with my products and brushes too, so you can stop purchasing products and tools with a trial-and-error approach.