Laying The Foundation

I’ve been really into liquid foundation lately.  I know that may seem like a no-brainer for a makeup junkie, but it’s taken me a long time to come around to it.  I’ve only just begun to truly appreciate it.  I remember the first bottle of nice-ish foundation I ever purchased was from The Body Shop, and I wore it for my wedding day underneath my favored BareMinerals Original powder foundation.  Beyond a special occasion like that, I’ve rarely worn it until just recently.

Foundation didn’t have a lot of appeal to me when I was first getting into makeup.  I think I grew up watching a lot of girls cover their faces in MAC StudioFix or something like that old CoverGirl AquaSmooth compact foundation, and then they’d reapply throughout the day with the same sponge that they’d been using for a couple months.  Holy bacteria Batman.  I remember my high school geometry teacher calling out a girl in class once when she had her makeup out for reapplication.  The funny thing, however, was that she didn’t give her a hard time for having makeup out in class- she gave her a hard time for reusing that dirty old sponge that was in the compact, rather than a fluffy brush that you can clean regularly.  I remember seeing a couple powder brushes make their appearance in geometry after that.

The formulas couldn’t have helped either.  So many foundation formulas have been loaded with cheap petrochemicals that essentially clog your pores, disabling them from releasing oil and sealing them to a fate of breakouts (though foundation may certainly not be the only cause of one’s acne).  And you hardly knew better as an eighteen-year-old!  Growing up, the range of formula types was limited, even within the high-end brands.  It seemed that every kind of foundation was meant only for full-coverage. That ever-popular MAC StudioFix among high schoolers?  Oh man.  The number one ingredient in that stuff is talc, which means that you’re basically caking baby powder on to your face with the help of a bunch of slippery silicones.  The only truly inventive type of foundation that I remember noticing were those with salicylic acid in them, meant to help clear acne.  Beyond that, the textures were all the same- a dense, creamy substance with little to no dimension.  Which makes sense of why so many of our faces in high school looked like they were covered in pancake batter.

However, the foundation formulas we’re seeing today are more innovative than ever.  The line between skincare and makeup is continuing to be blurred, and the ingredients are thankfully increasing in quality.  Those formulated to cast a beautiful, pearly glow all over your skin thanks to light-giving pigments, those meant to provide “high definition” coverage that looks flawless on camera, those fused with skin-healing serum to moisturize and make you shine, those formulated with all kinds of exciting natural ingredients, and those meant to be virtually undetectable- there are so many incredible options now.


I feel like two things have been responsible for this revolution- the first being the advent of high-definition television, and the second being the rise of BareMinerals.  Regarding the latter, it seemed like BareMinerals taught us all of sudden that we could have really amazing makeup without all the extra petro crap in it, along with our fresh pressed watermelon juice and free range eggs.  The former set all kinds of celebrities and makeup artists to the drawing board, in desperate need of makeup that concealed the flaws now being exposed on HD TV in reality shows and on the news.  And so from there, we gained two great innovations- mineral makeup and high definition makeup.

The creativity surrounding foundation these days seems to be limitless.  I see new formulas showing up on Instagram, in magazines, and on blogs constantly.  Some particular standouts seem to be the following: Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation, Too Faced Born This Way Foundation, Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Foundation, Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation, Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation, Glossier Skin Perfecting Tint, and MakeUpForEver Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation.  Many of these unique, high-end formulas have been immediately followed up with drugstore versions, such as Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation as an answer to the Armani, and Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Effect Makeup as an affordable response to the MakeUpForEver HD formula.  The trends are undeniable.

A few personal favorites that I’ve tried on brides or myself and have loved include the aforementioned MakeUpForEver (my current favorite for my own face, and the first I ever used on a bride), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation, Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation, the aforementioned Tarte, and Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat Illuminating Foundation (the ideal for my own face, but currently too expensive and no reason to buy yet).  I like Lancome’s Teint Miracle too, but the shade I own it in is now officially too light.  Looks like I’m going to have to wait until the dead of winter to wear it, or mix it with something else.

I’ve always loved using BareMinerals Original, but I’ve begun to notice that it’s doing something a little funny to the texture of my skin.  It’s now seeping into my pores and fine lines, and I’m finding that some liquid foundation formulas these days give more of a healthy look to my face.  The original powder formula formula is making me look and feel a tad dry even with a primer, and that’s not something I need in a Chicago winter.  I prefer the brand’s Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream now, and I’m enjoying experimenting with the liquid formulas I have (which only amounts to three, honestly).

Any formulas you particularly love?  Or hate?  I’m so impressed by the excellent variety of foundations out there these days, I’d try them all if I could!  xo, MR

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