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Choosing Your Foundation Makeup:
Consider the Coverage Desired & Your Skin Type

Foundation is one of life's little mysteries: when and where should you wear it? What does it actually do? What are the best foundations made of and how should they be applied? Let's a look at the variety of foundations currently in vogue, discussing their pros and cons and looking at the latest in cosmetic technology to make sense of the stuff we're smearing on our skin.
Bridal Makeup

Who Should Wear Foundation?

Young women may think that foundation is a middle-aged game, but the fact is that the right foundation can protect your skin and keep it younger longer. Many foundations and moisturizers now come with SPF in them, so whenever you wear foundation, you're protecting your skin from the most damaging environmental condition short of cigarette smoke; the sun. Even young women with flawless skin can wear a light, more sheer foundation purely for the SPF coverage it affords.

A Few Skin Benefits of Foundation

In addition to sunscreen, the right foundation can provide additional moisturizing, which is useful if you work or go to school in modern, climate controlled buildings where the air is very dry. Keeping your skin well moisturized is another way to head off the signs of aging, so that, in a fascinating paradox, the more you wear foundation, the less you need it for coverage.

What is the Purpose of Foundation Makeup?

Foundation's cosmetic purpose is to correct skin irregularity, reduce redness, hide fine lines and generally provide a even base for the ret of your makeup. You can fix problems with wan or ruddy skin with the correct color of foundation, adding a slight blush or toning down redness by your choice of color. If you don't want heavy coverage foundation and want proper moisturizer with a little bit of tint, you can choose a tinted moisturizer instead of a thicker foundation.

Sheer Foundation Options: Ever Tried a Mousse?

After tinted moisturizer, the lightest foundation base is whipped or mousse makeup. Mousse has added air, so it goes on lighter and thinner. It's a spray, so puff some into your hand and apply a thin layer to your face. If you have dry skin that gets caked looking with thicker foundations or want to get better control by layering on thin applications of foundation, mousse is a good choice. If you tend to be in a hurry when applying your makeup, whipped foundation can also help you avoid the unpardonable sin of slapping on too thick a layer, which will look worse than wearing no makeup at all.

Traditional Liquid Base Makeup: Most Common

Liquid foundation is arguably the most well-known foundation type. Your mom's foundation makeup probably came in a bottle: she upended it onto a fingertip and then wiped it on, always stroking upward, because the beauty mavens say that helps prevent wrinkles (of course total myth). If you want to use it as concealer, liquid makeup can be applied with a tiny brush in layers just in places you need it like underneath your eyes and redness around the nose. Just make sure you have a great mirror and proper lighting so you don't end up with too much foundation in an area that cakes easily.

Add Concealer if You Want More Coverage Than Foundation

You can find all sorts of concealers, but they are mainly sold in tubes. Concealer is just a foundation with more of the water removed, making it thick and increasing its coverage. Most makeup artists agree that undereye concealer should have a golden hue to minimize the dark circles so many of us are prone to. Other concealers can be used to cover blemishes or even scars. The trick is in the application. You may find it works best to apply foundation first and concealer on top to only add more coverage to the areas you need it.

Waterproof, Smudgeproof or Long Lasting Foundations

There are foundations that purport to be impervious to rain, hugging and time itself, and some claims may be more honest than others. What is true is that these foundations, often in a liquid or cream-to-powder base, have to contain waterproof materials such as wax and oil. If your skin tends to be sensitive, you may find the various whatever proof foundations cause breakouts or roughened skin. If you spend a lot of time in the rains of London or flying from one destination to another with little time for applying new makeup, you'll want to try the waterproof, smudgeproof foundations, but be aware that they may have ingredients that aren't especially kind to your skin. Look for organic foundations with ingredient names you recognize.

About Cream to Powder Found in Local Drugstores

Newer base makeups that turn from cream to powder is partly marketing ploy, in part pretty cool idea with its own share of followers. The idea is good: you apply a cream, which goes on smooth and easy thanks to its liquidity. It then dries and sets, and the powder in it surfaces to form a flawless and lasting look. This foundation is popular with women who want good coverage without having to layer on foundation and then powder.

The Latest Makeup Craze: Mineral Foundation Powders

You've probably noticed that companies are coming out with what they call mineral makeup, and that it costs a lot more than the Cover Girl you're used to seeing at the local drugstore. Mineral makeup has a lot to be proud of: it's hypoallergenic, usually has and SPF of 20 per layer applied, comes in a thousands tints and has no added chemicals. Now, most makeup has some minerals in it; zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and talc are three minerals commonly used as makeup foundation colors and SPFs. Mineral makeup's claim to fame is that it omits many of the ingredients that are irritating to the skin—fillers such as talc (I know, it's a mineral, but not one that's good for your skin), starches, oils and dyes that can cause allergies. Minerals go on with a brush (a specific mineral makeup brush is best), so fine-spun that a little goes a long way and lasts a long time too, making the higher initial outlay more sensible than you'd think after all. And many mineral makeup wearers swear that not only does it provide them with great looking coverage, but that it actually improves their skin quality.

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