Foundation. The base. The saviour. The thing that can turn you from bright red cheeked, freckly, grey faced (that's just me) to fooling people into thinking you have the skin of a goddess. Well you've got to find the right one first. It's okay, no need to call 999, #theSOproject has you covered...
What do you want your foundation for?
What are you trying to hide or gain? Not all foundation will be right. There's different coverages and finishes so you need to know what to target. Thicker foundations with higher coverage can hide a multitude of sins but in summer months won't last too long if you get too hot and sweaty. Also they are harder to blend. Trying to look fresh faced and natural? A tinted moisturiser may be the way forward. So write a few bullet points of what you want from your foundation. done?
What type of foundation should I get?
As I assume you've done step one this should be a lot easier. This is a quick and brief list of what you should mainly look for depending on what you want to gain.
Tinted moisturiser - for less coverage but to even out skin tone. Great for drier skin and younger faces where you don't need to be wearing a full face of makeup. Skips a step in a routine as its two in one! Winner.
CC/BB Cream - Claims to be the Pippa Middletons bum of the foundation world, these offer a combination of SPF, moisturiser, foundation, anti ageing, brightening and concealing properties.. The list goes on! If you are looking for a multi purpose product for your routine these are great and everyone from Superdrug to Dior have their own.
Mousse Foundation - Has a very light texture and can be layered for your desired effect. These are more weightless so better for those of you that like a fresher feel to your skin.
Liquid foundation - The most common, the one I find easiest to apply. Buildable, offering all different types of coverage. Some are thicker, others thinner, it's simply down to finding your cup o' tea.
Powder/Mineral Foundations - Not something I have great experience with using, these are good for ladies with oily skin, great for summer when sweaty face could appear and it leaves your pores well alone.
Obviously I may have missed a few here but you get my drift, eh?
Which foundation should I get?
Well, the ultimate question and not a simple answer. Many factors to consider: what's your skin tone? Higher end brands tend to have a better colour selection than high street but doesn't necessarily mean they are better. You want to be illuminated or want a matte finish? Matte everything is a la mode this days but when you are ashen you want something that will brighten the face. Money is a big one, I favour YSL Touché Éclat foundation but also have a Rimmel one on hand which I use equally as much and there's a good 15 quid difference in price. Obviously, as you wear foundation for a long time, this is somewhere where spending serious moolar isn't wasted but just make sure it's in your budget, so when you run out you aren't left hight and dry sobbing in a corner as you either choose food or new foundation. Obviously I'm not speaking from experience here... At all.
Have a range of colours and types. In the summer you want a darker colour than in winter (unless you are a pasty ghost all year) and may favour a lighter coverage whereas in winter you'll want something with kick ass coverage.
Remember that how you apply foundation will affect the finish. Not going too much into tools here as there will be a post on it later in the series but finger application vs brush vs sponge all provide different finishes.
Go outside and test your foundation.
Shop lights make your foundation choice hard and deceiving. Get a mate to come along and ask if you look like you've been smacked with the makeup stick or look au naturale. Even if you are in a rush go outside... Just a quick glance and you'll know.
Less is more. You don't need to apply it all over your face, normally around the centre of the face. Also, more foundation will look less polished and less natural.
Hopefully this has been helpful for you. I have decided not to go into reviews of what I use as this post should guide you to choose your own. If you've any comments or questions, drop me a line here or on Twitter (I'm @chizzasaur).