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The Ultimate Foundation Guide & Checklist

Updated on August 3, 2012
Get flawless, dewy, and youthful-looking skin through the right foundation.
Get flawless, dewy, and youthful-looking skin through the right foundation.

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT

Advice on how to put on foundation without that cakey-face feel, and how to pick the right one depending on your needs.

My experience as a model doing VTRs, commercials, print ads, go-sees, and other tapings has made me wary of the foundation I use, and what I need it to do. Whether it is to impress a client personally, through a video, or on-stage, I try to pick the right foundation for the job. There are also those bad days where my skin requires extra care in picking the perfect foundation, depending on "the situation" at hand.

Based on these learning experiences I have had, including runny, cakey, and other embarrassing foundation experiences, I have learned to:

1. Pick the Right Formula

Choose the right formula for your skin type. For dry skin, try a moisturizing foundation; a powder foundation may appear to ashy. If your skin is oily, look for oil-free on the label to tame down the shine.

2. Get The Perfect Shade

Test the foundation on your jaw and not on your hand because it's a different tone compared to the tone on your face. Apply stripes of several shades of the foundation you are testing next to each other, then look at them in natural sunlight. Pick the one that fades into yours skin--if it disappears--it's the right color for you.

3. Apply it like a pro!

For powder foundation, brush it on with a powder brush in a circular buffing motion. keep in mind that no matter what formula you use, apply little amounts from the center of your face, working your way outwards. You can just gradually add product for more coverage. For cream, mousse, or liquid foundation, it is best to use a foundation brush, then blend with a sponge for the perfect finish.

And don't forget to...

Smooth on moisturizer first. Applying moisturizer 5 min. before foundation gives you a natural, healthy, and dewy finish.

Get your neck. Avoid a telltale line by blending your foundation down from your jawline once you are done with your face.

Seal with powder. For staying power, set your liquid, cream or mousse foundation by dusting translucent powder all over.

Another perk of working as a model is being able to interact with various expert and amazingly talented leading makeup artists, as well as being able to peek at their glorious makeup kit!

Every designer and multinational company has its favorite makeup artist, and I've worked with some many times, so I have had the opportunity to ask them for tips and for the very best among the best foundations. Not only did I get the best, but I also got the best picks according to your skin's needs AND your price range. Here are some of the most frequent foundation products spotted in leading makeup artists' cases:


IF YOU WANT TO EVEN OUT SKIN TONE...

These players don't only hide discoloration and hyper pigmentation, some have antioxidants, healing ingredients, and SPF to lighten and prevent.

Etude House BB Magic Balm

Etude House Bb Magic Balm Spf30/Pa+++
Etude House Bb Magic Balm Spf30/Pa+++

Etude House BB Magic Balm comes with a brush for easy application. Don't undermine the beautifying power of this magical creamy balm.

 

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10 for All Skin Types, No. 2c3 Fresco, 1 Ounce
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10 for All Skin Types, No. 2c3 Fresco, 1 Ounce

This matte finish foundation leaves skin looking polished and fresh. It stays put all day long.

 

IF YOU WANT TO GLOW WITH RADIANCE...

For an instant glow, try these products that won't disappoint. The vitamins and other beneficial ingredients in them nourish your skin, leaving you with a glowing complexion that doesn't come off.

Shu Uemera Water Perfect Smoothing Water-in Fluid Foundation

Loaded with moisture, this smoothing liquid makeup leaves your skin looking dewy and youthful.
Loaded with moisture, this smoothing liquid makeup leaves your skin looking dewy and youthful.

IF YOU WANT TO TONE DOWN REDNESS...

Most foundations cover up blotchiness just right, but these skin saviors have wonderful ingredients to make you look airbrushed to perfection.

Max Factor Second Skin Foundation

Max Factor Second Skin Foundation Foundation, No. 070 Natural, 1 Ounce
Max Factor Second Skin Foundation Foundation, No. 070 Natural, 1 Ounce

It stays extra long while making you look like you're not wearing foundation at all.

 

Time Balm Foundation

theBalm TimeBalm Foundation, Light/Medium
theBalm TimeBalm Foundation, Light/Medium

This cream formula gives good coverage without looking cakey. The bonus in this pot--it can stay on for up to 24 hours.

 

Cover Girl Trublend

CoverGirl Trublend Liquid Make Up Classic Ivory 410, 1.0-Ounce Bottle
CoverGirl Trublend Liquid Make Up Classic Ivory 410, 1.0-Ounce Bottle

True to its name, this formula blends perfectly on your skin. Even the most sensitive skin can trust it to be harmless.

 

IF YOU WANT TO SOFTEN FINE LINES...

Just what you would expect form a good anti-aging cream, the formulas below work to minimize wrinkles and moisturize, so skin emerges fresh.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua

Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra Light Skin Perfecting Make Up SFP 15 - # B40 Beige Desert - Chanel - Complexion - Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra Light Skin Perfecting M/U SPF 15 - 30ml/1oz
Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra Light Skin Perfecting Make Up SFP 15 - # B40 Beige Desert - Chanel - Complexion - Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra Light Skin Perfecting M/U SPF 15 - 30ml/1oz

This hydrating liquid foundation foundation with a light diffusing complex is ultra light. It glides on oh-so-smoothly, leaving skin luxuriously radiant.

 

L'Oreal Revitalift SPF20

A liquid foundation that is serum-fortified, this instantly lifts and prevents fine lines.
A liquid foundation that is serum-fortified, this instantly lifts and prevents fine lines.

Dior Capture Totale Serum Foundation

Dior Capture Totale Foundation Cameo 022 1 oz
Dior Capture Totale Foundation Cameo 022 1 oz

High-definition serum foundation with SPF 15--need I say more? Its fine and supple texture renders a satiny, radiant complexion.

 

IF YOU WANT TO HAVE BRIGHTENED, LUMINOUS SKIN...

Whether in a powder, liquid, or cream form, these foundation essentials are made specifically fo giving you that natural glow.

Clinique Derma White Bright-C Liquid Makeup

Derma White Bright C Liquid Makeup SPF 38 - # 05 Neutral - Clinique - Complexion - Derma White Bright C Liquid Makeup SPF 38 - 30ml/1oz
Derma White Bright C Liquid Makeup SPF 38 - # 05 Neutral - Clinique - Complexion - Derma White Bright C Liquid Makeup SPF 38 - 30ml/1oz

It promises to create skin that is bright and spotless with improved clarity. This lightweight Vitamin C-charged makeup protects with SPF 38, is long wearing and oil-free, too.

 

Dr. Jart Blemish Base

Dr. Jart Rejuvenating BB Blemish Base SPF 35 50 ml.
Dr. Jart Rejuvenating BB Blemish Base SPF 35 50 ml.

This Blemish Base goes on light and looks very luminous on skin. Its brightening effect lasts even after taking it off.

 

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