Archive for category Foundation

Airbrush Routine

Hey, this went up last night, but I forgot to post the link… Here ya go!



Review: OCC Skin Foundation

Please be kind; this is my first video review (I definitely think I’m more eloquent in writing).  I probably skipped some stuff, so if you still have questions, let me know in the comments!


Big Pores and Flaky Skin and Foundation Woes, Oh My!

Maya wrote to me complaining of enlarged pores on her otherwise relatively healthy skin, and was wondering what I could suggest to combat them.  She also suffers from mildly dry patches that seem resistant to manual exfoliation, and look awful when hidden under a heavy foundation (her pale skin also prevents her from finding a suitable, not-so-expensive option).

Well Maya, let’s tackle these issues one-by-one.

  1. Pores: Assuming that you can’t shell out for my beloved Clarisonic, I’ve got bad news for ya: pores really can’t be shrunk once they’ve been enlarged.  Pore size is partially genetic, and may partially be due to stretching (potentially from ripping them with harsh abrasives or tugging on them when attempting manual extractions).  Of course, clogged pores will look larger than clear ones, so keeping what you have clean is important.  The only way to possibly “shrink” pores is through professional microdermabrasion or laser skin resurfacing, which forces multiple layers of skin to regrow and gives you the hope that they’ll be back with smaller pores.  If that’s not an option, check out my discussion of my favorite cheap manual exfoliator, and I’d recommend investing in a product with a low percentage of salicylic acid to provide some chemical backup and keep those skin cells rejuvenating. Read the rest of this entry »


Whip Shine Into Shape

Anonymous complains about shine appearing on her makeup (even though she has normal/dry skin) after only a few hours, and wonders if there’s any way to combat this.

Well, normally, I’d point you to using a mattifying agent before your foundation to prevent oil production throughout the day.  My favorite is Philip’s Milk of Magnesia (before you balk at this, check out my review of it by clicking the link).  However, the fact that she has normal/dry skin makes me believe that there may be another problem here.

The first thing I’d do is check every product you use on your face to see whether it is oil or water based.  Remember that really old experiment you do in elementary school where you pour oil and water together in a beaker, and then wait a while for them to separate?  Well, putting both oil and water based products on your face is basically the same thing.  You’re just asking for your foundation to curdle.  This could cause even the best, most long-wearing products to detach from the skin and and separate into its components, which could definitely be causing the shine.  Another simple, though not very common cause, is using a product with silicone along with a product composed mainly of water.  When mixed, water causes silicone to curdle, which could be causing this shine as it microscopically clumps and collects, reflecting light.

Read the rest of this entry »


Trial Run: Graftobian High Definition Glamour Color Creme Foundation

So I decided to give my Graftobian creme foundation a go again.  Our school just installed these horrific fluorescent lights (kinda like the ones in Sephora) that make my Revlon Colorstay just not suitable (Buff is a slight bit too pink, and while not noticeable in any other light, it’s relatively obvious now).  Here’s my test run from tonight.  This pic is from 3 hours in.  Please forgive the lack of hair styling; I’m getting it cut and colored tomorrow, so I couldn’t use anything in it today…


I know that my face looks lighter than my neck.  Trust me, it’s the lighting (and the flash).  This shade matches me perfectly.

So, whadya think?  How does it photograph?


In Between Shades? Go Darker.

Anonymous asks whether to go a shade lighter or darker when matching foundation if you’re an in-between shade.


Well, first of all, solving your problem may be as easy changing where you match your foundation to.  To find out if you’ve been doing it wrong all these years, check out my article on MBB: What’s the Best Place to Match Your Foundation? If you’re lazy and don’t like clicking, here’s the quick synopsis:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Which Brush is the Right Brush?

Inudela wondered what brushes I like to use for different types of foundations.

  • Liquid: I hate those paddle foundation brushes. Honestly, I get the point of them, and I’ve seen beautiful work done with them, but more often I see streaks and uneven application.  Instead, I prefer a dense stippling/buffing brush, which distributes product evenly and gives a poreless, skin-like application.  Try the Sephora Platinum Professionnel #55 brush for sheer to medium coverage, or the Sigma F80 for a range of coverage (is is seriously my favorite brush ever).
  • Cream: The only brushes I use for cream foundations are the Shu Uemura Natural 18 brush or the Sigma F84 (a slightly cheaper, relatively good dupe, although it is synthetic…).
  • Powder: I never use powder foundations, but for those who feel so inclined, I love the Everyday Minerals Flat Top brush. It applies powder evenly and allows it to be built up in sheer layers for fantastic spot concealing.

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Which Came First: The Foundation or The Concealer?

Anonymous asked whether I prefer to apply foundation before or after concealer.

Ah, the age-old question.  I think it really depends on your situation, what type of products you’re using, and how much of each.  So let’s cover both.

I recommend concealer before foundation…

Nearly 99% of the time.  I find that if you apply concealer first, you often use less foundation.  It’s more of a visual trick.  If you hide your real problem areas first, everything else looks much better in comparison, and thus you feel like you need to use less foundation to even everything out.  As well, I find that this method allows for your foundation to cover any discrepancy between your concealer shade and your skin, giving a more natural, even finish.

I only recommend applying concealer after foundation…

If you use a very sheer coverage foundation.  This way, you can really target only the areas that have issues (hopefully just your undereyes and around your nose if you’re using a low coverage foundation…) maintaining a relatively bare face.

In either case, always follow the rules of layering: creams never go over powders.  So if you use a powder foundation, always use cream concealers first.  If, for some reason, you use a powder concealer, always apply after foundation.

If you do apply concealer first, you must stipple over the area.  You cannot buff or swirl.  Doing so will simply remove the concealer you’ve already applied.  If buffing is your preferred method of application, apply concealer afterwards.

So, for the most part, I recommend concealer first for a more natural, even coverage.  But if you have something going, keep to it!

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Oxidation Woes

Anonymous wanted to know what it means when one says that a foundation “oxidizes”.

Now, I’m no chemist (skipped Chemistry all together in school), but a simple answer is that the foundation changes color (usually turning darker or orange) when it interacts with the oils in your skin.

For a more in-depth answer, this is what I understand of the process.  Oxidation occurs when an oxidative agent interacts with another substance, removing electrons from that substance. Somehow, this reaction causes a change of color.  Oxidation is also responsible for the rusting of metals, which is the closest I can liken the process that foundation undergoes.

So, in this case, the oils (and possibly the oxygen present in the air) are the oxidative substances.  Therefore, people with oily skin experience this product more more often than those with dry (trust me, I’ve been the victim of this many a time… it’s not fun).  Quite a few seemingly-good foundations have had to be returned because of this issue.  I’m not at all sure what makes some foundations oxidize and others not, though I’m certain it must be the presence of some ingredient or the ratio of one ingredient to another.

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Foundation Routine

Rachel asked what my preferred method of foundation application is.

Fantastic question!

Beforehand, apply moisturiser/sunscreen and a primer if you use it, and allow each to absorb for five minutes or so.

Then, check out my entire post about it here!

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