How Do You Pick the Right Shade of Foundation?

Esthiologist standing in front of a desk with foundation

In the past, foundation wasn’t as exciting as that perfect shade of lipstick or special-edition eyeshadow. However, in recent years foundation, also referred to as base makeup, moved into the spotlight thanks to social media. If you choose to attend Cosmetology school, part of the curriculum reviews the exciting world of makeup application, including picking the right shade of foundation for your clients.

Better Options Than Ever Before

Skin-tone used to be the only factor when deciding on a foundation to buy, but now your clients have many different aspects to consider. Foundation is now formulated for certain skin types like oily, dry, and combination skin. The next improvement was making foundation inclusive of all skin tones and hypo-allergenic standards. Foundation hasn’t stopped its evolution since.

Types of Foundations

With the newest technology in cosmetics, we don’t have to put up with caked-on, sticky, patchy, and powdery foundation that doesn’t quite match your client’s skin type. Foundation innovation has made progress in leaps and bounds, but your clients may not know their available options. By understanding all the formulations of foundation, you’ll be able to make your clients look fantastic. You’ll be in a better position to help your clients find the right shade of foundation that best suits their needs. Here are the different types of foundations available:

Liquid Foundation

Liquid foundations are the first thing people think about when referring to foundation or base makeup. There is silicone, water-based, and the newly popular pigment drops that apply much like a light serum. Liquid foundations typically fall in the medium-to-full coverage range and work well in building up the right look. A liquid base is helpful if the makeup needs to hold up for long durations. Some hydrate the skin, adding a glow, while others dry matte. One factor to consider is liquid foundations can clog pores if they are not non-comedogenic.

Serum Foundation

Serum-like foundation formulas became a go-to choice in the past couple of years. This type of base makeup isn’t just utilized for coverage but comes with skincare benefits and blends with ease. Since serums maintain a specific viscosity, they effortlessly incorporate into most moisturizers, creating a tinted version of your favorite hydrator.

Tinted Oil Foundation

Ultra-dry skin benefits the most from using an oil that wears as a foundation. This type of base makeup is the single-step process to moisturized and well-covered skin and a lightweight, nourishing alternative to heavy foundations and tinted moisturizers or the combination of the two. As the tint works to highlight and even out the skin tone, it fosters an all-over glowing appearance.

Cream Foundation

This foundation formula applies like a soft cream and blends effortlessly into the skin for an even, flawless, and hydrated finish. Creams are easy to use and generally contain a high concentration of pigment to provide adequate coverage. Cream type base is particularly beneficial for dry and mature skin types due to their excellent hydrating properties. However, if your client is using them in humid weather, they should be careful since they crease easier than other types of foundations.

Whipped Mousse Foundation

Extremely lightweight, these formulas are great for clients with oily skin. Whipped mousse foundations, known to prevent clogging of pores, are airy and light. This type of base makeup is air whipped into liquid makeup; it creates optimal coverage with a barely-there feel, making them perfect for clients with oily skin.

Stick Foundation

The easiest dot and blend application, the stick, is one of the most popular foundations. The stick form is mess-free, travel-friendly, and pulls double duty as a concealer. The stick foundation is best for clients with normal to dry skin, a foundation stick has a thicker consistency at first when you glide it on your client’s skin, but it blends well. The thickness is great for coverage, even though the latest formulas are not as heavy as they used to be.

Powder Foundation

Powder foundation is perfect for clients who love the barely-there look. This foundation category comes available in powder and pressed compact versions. Powder foundation is easy to apply, lightweight and dries excess oils. Just prep your client’s skin, conceal any spots, and seal with a light dust of powder foundation. Ensure the skin is adequately hydrated before application, or dry patches, fine lines, and wrinkles may become more noticeable.

Ways to Apply Foundation

The way you apply foundation for your clients determines the evenness, coverage, and overall finish of your client’s look. Just as there are different types of foundation formats, there are various methods of application. No one application method is right for every person, but the application technique varies depending on the foundation applied. Let’s take a look at these five ways to apply foundation:

Finger Application

Using fingers to apply foundation is one of the most preferred application methods. Fingers help lightly blend the product seamlessly into the skin and provide optimal control through tactile sense. Make sure to start with a small pea-size amount of foundation, dot it over the entire face, blend and gently tap it into the skin.

Stippling Brush Application

A stippling brush is a great tool to apply foundation, primarily liquid. Apply foundation in small pea-sized dots using your fingers, then use the stippling brush in small, circular patterns to blend it evenly. Stippling brushes come available in duo-fibers that help give the foundation a smooth, even finish.

Beauty Blender Application

A sponge, known better today as a beauty blender, helps achieve a more even coverage by pushing the foundation deeper into the skin. The beauty blender’s egg-shaped design helps blend the product into areas like under the eyes, around the hairline, and the chin. Ensure that you don’t drag the blender but gently bounce it off the skin in a light dabbing motion.

Flat Foundation Brush Application

Dab a small amount of foundation onto the back of your hand. Tap the brush’s top edge into the foundation and apply downward strokes, evenly spreading it over the face and neck. Pat the brush gingerly on the nose, forehead, and chin, otherwise known as the T-zone. Add more foundation and move to the cheeks and temples. Move from the inside of the face toward the outside for a full, even coverage.

Powder Brush Application

Dot foundation on the skin areas that require coverage and remember a little goes a long way. If your client wants lighter coverage for a natural look, tap the brush lightly into loose powder and gently sweep the brush across the face. Focus first on the T-zone and then work towards the outer edge of the face in gentle downward strokes. This technique gives a sheer coverage appearance like a tinted moisturizer and helps avoid a cakey finish.

Final Thoughts

Do you enjoy making people look their best? If so, a cosmetology career may be right for you. Now is the perfect time to look into cosmetology school. Being a valued member of the beauty industry requires a substantial amount of hard work and dedication, but the benefits pay off in the end. You’ll embark on new experiences, meet new people, and make a difference in clients’ lives while making the world around you beautiful one face at a time.

Cosmetology Program

Want to learn more about how to find the right shade of foundation? At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

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