the Basics | Foundation

Sunday, 23 November 2014

When you're just starting out with beauty or dipping your toe into the online beauty community, the amount of products and information can seem overwhelming. It's difficult to find just the basics of what terms mean and how to use different products. I've been there, I completely understand. So, here I am bringing you the simplest explanations of the very basics in a new series. Every Sunday I'll tackle a different makeup field but please feel free to request something you're trying to figure out. This week, we're starting at the bottom: foundations.


Foundation, like the name suggests, forms the foundation of a face of makeup. This is the product you use to create an even, uniform base across your skin so that the makeup you apply on top can work to the best of its ability. Foundation can be used to even skin tone, cover hyper-pigmentation, reduce redness, cover blemishes, blur large pores, etc. etc.

These products can also be used to give your skin a different finish. Dewy is a glowy, highlighted look and leaves a sheen across your skin. Satin finishes are more natural and sit about in the middle of the finish spectrum. A matte finish is the most unnatural and forms a flat, shine-less base. You could think of it like paint finishes and what kind of result you want the end product to have. Dewy finishes are generally more suited to dry skin and matte finishes to oily/combination, but it's entirely up to your preferences and what works best for you.

Another thing to consider is the level of coverage you want to achieve with your foundation. Products can range from light to medium to full coverage and anything in between. Consider whether you're hoping to cover a lot, like scaring or acne, or if you just want to even out your skin tone. Don't be afraid to try a few samples and see what you're most happy with.


There are heaps of different textures and formulations of foundation so I won't go into all of them here but I will cover the three most common. Different textures can be used for different application techniques or to achieve a different finish but, again, use the one that best suites you.

The most common foundation texture and the almost exclusive one in the drugstore is the liquid foundation. These can vary from thick to thin and produce any finish. Typically you'll find these ones sold in a bottle (hopefully with a pump!) and almost every makeup company will have its own spin on this texture. No matter your skin type, you're likely to find a liquid foundation to suit you if you're willing to shop around and test things out because there is a very wide selection available.

Alternatively, there's the mineral or powder foundation texture to try. These are typically marketed at normal-oily skin as powder can dry out dry skin. Powder foundation can be found in a pressed compact or loose powder and will often produce a satin or matte finish. A good quality powder foundation is excellent for achieving an airbrushed finish as it minimises the appearance of pores and generally blurs imperfections.

A less common texture is the cream foundation. These are often more available through high-end brands though every once in a while, a drugstore brand will release one. These are much thicker in texture than liquid foundations and can come packaged in a compact or jar. Cream textures are usually used to achieve a high-coverage but can vary in finish.


There are three main ways to apply foundation which suits different formulations, textures, and finishes differently. You'll find that some foundations just work better with a different application technique so playing around with this aspect can be really beneficial for achieving your ideal base.

The easiest application is to simply use your fingers! Make sure you've washing your hands to keep your skin and your products hygienic. Place some product on your fingers, dot it on your face, rub it in, and you're good to go!

If you'd rather use a tool then you can try a brush. There are different kinds of brushes to use depending on the texture and application technique you're using but a paddle brush or kabuki are the most common types. Alternatively, you can use a sponge. Just make sure you wet the sponge and ring it out before applying your foundation as this prevents the sponge from simply absorbing your foundation. Sponges tend to be more time consuming but they're great for achieving a perfectly blended base.

There you go! All the basics that you need to know about foundations. If you have any questions or comments, please share them with me below. I hope that helped!

xx Julia

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