April 3, 2010 9:55:00 PM
Webster''s Dictionary defines "foundation" as "an institution supported by an endowment or an undergarment worn to shape the contours of the body." But women near and far know the foundation I speak of will be that flesh-toned cosmetic we just can''t live without. It is used to even out the complexion and, quite frankly, is where all makeup begins.
You know somewhere nearby, whether on a marble-topped vanity or tucked away inside a leopard print makeup bag, there is a bottle or compact of foundation in your favorite shade of beautiful. My mama believes in her bottle of liquid foundation in Ivory Beige and truly will not show up anywhere in broad daylight without it being applied to her 71-year-old face. My daddy is usually waiting semi-patiently in the car.
It is for many a rite of passage; for others, it''s just understood that women wear foundation. Like most painters will declare, "It''s all about prepping the canvas before the paint." Almost every famous makeup artist from the late, great Kevin Aucoin to many others believe it''s unanimous that the most essential and often times daunting step in a woman''s beauty ritual is the foundation. It''s true, but it doesn''t have to be hit or miss when armed with a few basic tools before walking up to those intimidating makeup testers. You know the ones, with words like "natural," "sheer," "matte," "oil-absorbing" and my personal favorite "age-defying." It''s enough to send you running to the accessories department opting for oversized sunglasses, but don''t throw in the towel yet. Help is on the way!
Foundation is simple. Yes, I said it, and I will stand by it. Here''s proof ... grab a mirror and view your natural skin, freshly cleansed minus any traces of makeup. The only thing you need to do is ask yourself these questions: 1. Does my skin have pink or yellow undertones? 2. Does my skin feel dry or oily? 3. Do I want the finish to completely cover the texture of my skin including any age spots, freckles, discolorations, or blemishes, or do I want a lighter, more sheer finish that allows the natural me to shine through? 4. Do I prefer liquid, powder or cream foundation? That''s it.
With the answers to these questions, you are armed and ready to select the most gorgeous shade of foundation ever.
Now to help with the answers. If your skin has pink undertones, choose shades that are clearly marked "cool." For yellow undertones, opt for shades in the "warm" family. Dry skin might welcome a more hydrating foundation in liquid or cream. If you want to control the shine of oily skin, opt for powders either on top of your liquid or used alone. Look for words like "oil-absorbing" or "matte."
If you want to completely cover all the skin''s texture, choose foundations that will deliver "full coverage." If you want a lighter feeling, grab one with "sheer" or "natural coverage." Next, decide if you enjoy the feel of a liquid or the control of a powder. Remember that all foundations are not created equal. Experiment, play and don''t take it all too seriously. A concealer in a lighter shade will make any foundation application goof-proof, or maybe it''s time to book an appointment (they are often free) with a makeup artist and stop buying makeup where you also find garden tools, poultry and stereos.
Now, that wasn''t so hard, was it? Face it. With practice and some room for trial and error, you will find a foundation -- whether it''s Linen, Wheat, Cappuccino, or Ivory Beige -- that is worth all the fuss. So put your best face forward and march on toward the testers, makeup sponges and little glass bottles of beautiful.
Carpe diem ... and the foundation!
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.