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Foundation is the essential piece of the makeup puzzle, and the key to those “Wow, your skin looks amazing” compliments, but it’s so easy to get wrong. Which is why we’re dedicated to helping you nail the right shade, formula and application technique (read: tools) to ensure surreal skin.
NATURAL SELECTION: Don’t aim to change the colour of your skin with your foundation. The purpose of foundation is to even your skin, not mask it. Choose a colour that blends with your natural tone and complements the rest of your exposed skin, especially if you’re being made up for an occasion.
TESTING...1,2,3: When trying out shades, test it on your face, as opposed to your hand or neck, and assess it in natural light. Also examine how a foundation sits on your pores in a magnifying mirror. If it looks good at x3, it will look amazing to the naked eye. Book a MECCA Flash appointment and get professionally shade-matched by a one of our colour experts to experience foundation nirvana.
MAGIC FORMULA: Cream, stick, liquid, powder—the choice is yours. It depends on your skin type, and the finish you desire, but it can also be informed by your mood. Foundation formulas have become so highly sophisticated that it’s worth exploring different options. Some down-play shine with oil-free formulas like Chantecaille Future Skin and Stila Stay All Day, while others calm the complexion with nourishing ingredients. Ellis Skin Veil and bareMinerals BAREPRO Performance Wear are all good-for-skin formulas. If you’ve been thinking about trying a stick foundation the Westman Atelier Foundation or bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydration Foundation Stick are great places to start, and so quick and easy to apply directly onto the skin.
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LIGHT TOUCH: Foundation always looks best when applied in thin layers rather than a lot at once. Building your base gradually also ensures longevity. Use a small brush to give you more control when you apply and a clean kabuki or fluffy powder brush to help you blend. Prefer a more sheered out finish? Try mixing a moisturiser through your foundation for a lighter coverage that lets your real skin show through. For a finish that glows, mix your foundation with an illuminator, a couple of drops is all you need.
TOOLS UP: Your tool choice is as personal as your shade, formula and coverage, but as a general rule, thin formulas work well with fingers, thicker ones with brushes, and damp sponges lend the sheerest coverage. Soft, fluffy brushes are excellent for buffing powders, while flat foundation brushes are ideal for getting in close to the hairline, brows and eye area.
HANDS ON: The warmth of your fingers helps to diffuse foundation and ensures seamless coverage. It’s also the best way to get the most out of your product because it isn’t being soaked up by a brush or sponge. NARS foundations are actually designed to be applied with fingers to achieve the most skin-like finish.
FINISHING SCHOOL: Want to look matte? Dewy? Or something in between? Powders, like RMS Tinted Un-Powder and Hourglass Veil Setting Powder absorb excess oil, but also deliver a gorgeous airbrushed look. Conversely, contenders such as bareMinerals Complexion Rescue and Chantecaille Just Skin keep your complexion looking delightfully dewy, while Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum is a serum that melts into skin with semi-matte results.
ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS: The space between bare skin and foundation is filled with alternatives: CCs, BBs, skin tints, serums, powders and tinted moisturisers are some of the many options. These inbetweeners are ideal for off-duty days, when you want to look natural, but better. Lightweight, adaptable and foolproof to apply, they’re also ideal for transitioning between seasons.
OVERACHIEVERS: Some complexion products are skin care and makeup hybrids that offer tangible benefits. Omorovicza Complexion Perfector gives sheer, even coverage while delivering large doses of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. It’s basically an anti-ageing cream masquerading as a BB cream. Mecca Cosmetica In A Good Light SPF30+ Tinted Moisturiser is similarly versatile. It’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen, rich in vitamin E, that creates the most beautiful glowy coverage imaginable. A new overachiever that just launched is Mecca Cosmetica’s Weekend Skin Hydra Skin Tint, a hydrating, lightweight tint that blends and adjusts to your skin tone to correct unevenness for that effortless weekend skin, every day of the week.