Sunday, 31 May 2015

A Guide To: Foundation

Hi Guys,

This is my next part to my A Guide To series, covering foundation! I asked on Twitter what you would like to see after my previous two on Primers, which are HERE. Foundation, Eye Shadow and Lipstick was all brought up but I thought Foundation was probably the most natural thing to move onto after Primer!
There are so many things to consider when buying a foundation and constantly new formulations arriving, its so difficult to pick when they all promise so many amazing things! I think one of the hardest things with foundation is picking your match, with a lot of companies offering multiple coded names for different tones.

MAC use a system of NW or NC, NW being Neutral Warm (Pink Under Toned Foundation) and NC being Neutral Cool (Yellow Under Toned Foundation). Which is great as long as you know if you have cool or warm skin. If you look at the veins inside your wrist and they appear more blue in tone and have pink/rosy skin, then you have a cool tone to your skin. If you have more of a yellow undertone to your skin and you have more of a green tinge to your veins, then your warm! (P.S. the MAC System is slightly opposite, which is why if you have pink undertones you're NW!)
Once you finally work out your shade match, Thank you confusing MAC system! Then you should have a think about the coverage you're looking for in a foundation. My favourite for a really sheer yet build able coverage is MAC Face & Body. Its water based, so its very lightweight on the skin, but if you were to buff this in, it becomes thicker and gives more of a coverage nearing to medium.

Though my favourite Medium Coverage Foundation has to be my holy grail Illamasqua Skin Base, coming in 25 different shades, they are fantastic for finding a perfect match. Skin Base is very versatile, you can get a full coverage from it as well as medium and if you are to mix it with their primer, you can really sheer it out and get a lovely glow too. 

I personally have very dry skin and love Clinique Beyond Perfecting as a full coverage foundation, its comfortable to wear and gives a long lasting full coverage finish to the skin. It also doubles up as a concealer and I have done a full review of it HERE. Though if you do have more of an oiler skin type, then the ever so popular Estee Lauder Double Wear, may be more of a better suited full coverage option for you.
NYC Natural Matte was the first foundation I ever wore. It has a very matte finish, but isn't drying on the skin if you do have dry skin. Though I usually find that if you have an oiler skin type, then a matte foundation is more of a favourite to use. It does last for quite a while, obviously not as long as a lot of other high end foundations, but its also not as full coverage as a lot of them too. So if you're looking for a matte medium coverage foundation, then this one is still a favourite of mine. 

Glowing skin has been such a huge trend and nothing makes my skin glow more than Clarins True Radiance. I personally find the Clarins Foundations are not raved about enough, they sit beautifully on the skin and have a medium coverage that could be sheered down by buffing in or even built up. This foundation also contains SPF 15, SPF is a tricky one sometimes as if you are using it with flash photography you may get the dreaded white powder look. I find the Clarins ones don't Flash back but always test them before hand if thats what you plan to use them for, Clarins also do a very helpful sample service.
As well as your traditional Liquid Foundation there is also the very popular mineral powders. The leaders in the pack being Bare Minerals Original Foundation, if you are looking for a loose powder or Bare Minerals Ready Foundation if you prefer a pressed version. The Original gives a very natural glowing finish to the skin and offers between a sheer to full coverage depending on the amount used and how much buffing you do. Powder foundations are usually always a lightweight option if you prefer something you cant feel on the skin. The Ready Foundation has an SPF of 20, 5 more than the Original. However if you're looking for a Sheer coverage this one isn't as great, it offers more Medium to Full.

A favourite for makeup artists and using for theatre is Cream Foundations. They mainly come in palettes just like the Ben Nye Essential HD Foundation Palette and are usually quite full in coverage. they feel heavier on the skin, but if you are looking for full coverage then these give you it due to the higher levels of pigment. Having a palette is also useful if you like to contour, as using them all together will give a very natural contour as they are all cream. 
(Swatches: Left To Right - Face & Body, Skin Base, Beyond Perfecting, True Radiance, Natural Matte, Ben Nye & Bare Minerals Pressed)

There are of course lots of different options for each type, I just mainly prefer more of a High End base. But there are plenty of High Street foundations that offer the same finishes and coverages. However it is a lot tricker to find your perfect match tone wise as they just don't have the sheer range that Higher End counters do. I have also tried to include all of my own favourites from each category and NARS Sheer Glow would also be up there too! But I went and smashed my bottle!

I hope this has helped explain the whole other world that is foundation and not been too confusing, especially that MAC system!

Eloise x


  1. Fab post! I own the Face & Body Foundation from MAC and love it - I have quite yellow toned skin, so a dead on C1 x

    Everything But The Kitchen Sink

  2. Great post! I think I'm defo going to try the double wear light, as my skin is turning a little more oily. Can't wait to read the next posts :)

    Tarnya /

  3. I really want to try the MAC face and body.
    Great review

  4. I haven't tried any of these foundations but Mac face and body sounds pretty good! xx

    Gemma Louise | Just Little Things

  5. I'm always looking to try out new foundations and I've actually never tried any of these. Definitely want to try a MAC foundation next, heard so many good things! :)

    Sarah / Sarah Smiles

  6. Love the Illamasqua foundations <3 I also want to try some from MAC xx

  7. Super post - very detailed! I really could have used this when I was make-up shopping last week, but I'll know for next time! I've switched to Mac Studio Sculpt, the review will be up on Wednesday if you're interested!
    x Síle
    Any Idle Sunday

  8. This post is so thorough! I never understood the MAC system, and that Clarins one looks really nice!

    Harriet Rosie |

  9. Hello xx I've just followed you on bloglovin and liked your facebook page..visiting from twitter! Foundations can really be tricky sometimes, which makes it sort of impossible to buy online. If I don't research any other products, I ALWAYS research a foundation before I buy it. I'd like to purchase a high-end medium-full coverage foundation; I've been lusting after the NARS luminous for months!

  10. This is so helpful. I always struggle with foundation being so pale so that whole tone thing is really worth knowing!


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