Apr 25, 2013

Bridal Beauty Series: Foundation Myths


     I had the pleasure of doing makeup for a bridal party last weekend, and I felt, as I often do, that there are a lot of misconceptions about foundation. There is an overwhelming amount of products on the market that are, lets face it (no pun intended!) are very similar. I would like to clarify the different types of foundation, mainly separated by the type of coverage they can achieve. Firstly, lets debunk some myths about foundation in general.

“I don’t want to look cakey”

  • Now, I hear this all the time. Looking cakey is something no one wants, especially your makeup artist. If this is your greatest fear, stay away from powder foundations all together. A sponge applicator is a great option, since it absorbs some of the product as you apply.
  • Application is key- working the product into your skin with your fingers is the best way to get the most out of your foundation. For great coverage and lasting power, I would use a liquid foundation. A dime sized amount is enough. For hard to cover blemishes, try concealer just on those spots.
  • Choosing a high quality foundation and blending it well into the skin, until there is no visible difference between your skin and the product is the goal. You can always mix your foundation with some moisturizer, to thin it out, or if you have super dry skin.
  • If you are going to invest in any kind of makeup, you should identify your skin type, and work with it. A light dusting of powder is necessary to set it, even just the T-zone is better than nothing.
  • Blending your foundation is key. Let it really sink into your skin before you powder. If you cake it on, than you will look cakey-it is really that simple.

“I don’t want a lot of makeup” or “I want to look like myself”

  • I find this a little ridiculous-especially from the bride. Do you wear an ultra glamorous white dress and veil every day? Looking like a polished version of yourself is the goal, and an even complexion and defined features will pull your look together. You can look very natural wearing makeup, it is all about application. Bridal beauty is all about looking radiant, people have seen you without makeup, and they are not impressed. Here is a great “no makeup” you tube video from celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge:

  • Lisa uses quit a few products, but the magic is all in her light-handed application. For eyes, she recommends staying away from shimmer and glitter- staying with more matte and satin finishes. Working with your natural skin tones is key to this look- makeup gently enhances your lip line and your cheekbone, adding subtle contour and definition.
  • Another great tip from Lisa is to use multi-tasking products- eg. she applies a sun-block/moisturizer onto her skin ( which also works as a primer!) This way she is protecting her skin while preparing it for colour.
  • Take a good look at her before and after:

Foundation Types

Remember, the first step to your success when choosing foundation is to know what your skin type is. Equally important is to understand the undertones of your skin. Choosing the type of coverage and you are on the road to success.


Liquid is a great option for those who want light to medium coverage. There are tons of liquid foundations on the market, at different price points. Ask for a sample to try it in the day light, away from department store lighting. You can mix your liquid foundation with moisturizer to sheer it out. Likewise you can stipple it onto the skin for more coverage. This is a very versatile product. It is worth your while to learn how to apply foundation.  When applied properly in the right colour, it will never look cakey.

  Powder Compact:

There are many compact powder foundations, and cream to powder foundations available. These are great for touch ups. These foundations tend to be on the dry side, since they have to sit in a pan, rather than flow freely in a bottle or tube. If you have combination or oily skin, these can be a great option. Work these in with your fingers, as the sponge it comes with is not ideal for a light application.

Tinted Moisturizer (aka BB cream!)

Tinted moisturizer is really just light coverage foundation. You can always mix your foundation with moisturizer if you would rather invest in a good liquid foundation. One of the best benefits from tinted moisturizer is the SPF is usually higher. SPF only needs to be in one product, using multiple products with SPF doesn’t protect you from the sun any more than using one product that has SPF.  Aim for a 30 SPF, and wear it year round, UV rays do not go on vacation in the Winter.

Mineral Powder

In my opinion mineral makeup is more trendy than anything else, but if you like it, go with it. It is powder, so you will not achieve that dewy texture you can arrive at with liquid foundation. Since it is powder, mineral foundation is ideal for oily skin. If you are over thirty-five, I would stay away from wearing a ton of powders in general. Powder will, no matter how brilliantly fine it is, sit in the crevices and wrinkles in your skin-especially around the eyes. Mineral makeup can be great for people who suffer from acne scars, as the coverage is full.


This is for gals that want the option for fuller coverage. Cream foundation should be buildable. What can be great about cream foundation is you can mix it with a little moisturizer and apply it like a liquid foundation, and than use it as is as concealer for pigmentation/blemishes that need more coverage.

Face Time with Daniela
Daniela is a freelance makeup artist based in Toronto, Canada.