Wednesday, 02 December 2015 09:02

The Foundation of Makeup

Written by   Mary Van

It is no secret that choosing the correct shade of foundation is essential in creating the appearance of a flawless complexion. However, some clients do not realize the importance of wearing the best formulation of foundation for their skin.

With so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to select the formula that best fits the client’s skin. Influenced by rapidly advancing technology, many cosmetic manufacturers are focusing on using new and highly sophisticated ingredients in their foundations that can work to delay signs of aging and prevent breakouts. As a result, foundations have merged into hybrids, blurring the line between skin care and cosmetics.

The proper foundation provides a barrier between the skin and the environment, working to lock in skin care products and increase their effectiveness. Clients have more choices than ever before, as well as a responsibility to be educated and spend their money on the product that best suits their skin type and lifestyle. Keep in mind that the skin changes with age. What once worked for a client in their mid-twenties will not necessarily perform the same or address new concerns when they are older. When helping a client shop for their next foundation, remember that the primary job of foundation is to even out the skin tone and offer slight color correction. Rely on a good concealer for areas that need heavier coverage; otherwise, they run the risk of looking like they are wearing a mask.

Cream Foundations
Cream foundations give the skin a luminous, radiant finish. They typically are a little heavier on the skin than most other foundations. However, with the introductions of the BB, CC, and DD creams, this has changed. These new foundations are available in a variety of finishes from sheer to complete coverage and are known for their multitask-ing ingredients.
BB creams, short for beauty balms, offer a very sheer amount of coverage. Added benefits include moisturizers, sunscreen, and anti-aging ingredients. They can be worn alone or layered under another foundation.
CC creams focus on color correcting and acne issues and typically do not feel as heavy on the skin. They can include oil-absorbing ingredients and sunscreen and typically offer other skin care benefits.
DD creams offer double-duty benefits, as they are a hybrid of the BB and CC creams and of-fer more complete coverage.

Liquid Foundations
With the widest range of options, this category includes oil-free, oil-based, long-wear, satin-finish, and even waterproof versions. There is a liquid foundation that addresses every skin type and concern in extensive shade ranges. Ingredients in these foundations can often offer sun protection, added hydration, pore-minimizing benefits, and more. A water-based or oil-free liquid foundation typically gives sheer coverage and feels light on the skin. An oil-based liquid foundation is creamier in texture and offers a little more coverage. Liquid foundation is applied with a stippling or foundation brush (synthetic because natural hair will absorb product), finger-tips, or makeup sponge.

Loose Mineral Foundation
Since mineral makeup usually contains fewer irritants than other foundations, it is the best option for clients with sensitive or allergy-prone skin. It is often recommended by dermatologists and plastic surgeons as the preferred choice of makeup to use post-procedure. Mineral makeup is cooling to the skin and can even help aid the healing process. Mineral foundations containing zinc and titanium offer natural protection from the sun. They are also water resistant and the overwhelming favorite of consumers who prefer natural cosmetics. Mineral makeup is most often sold in a loose powder form and packaged in a shaker jar. Because of this, it tends to be a bit messier than other forms of makeup. Loose mineral foundation is applied with a kabuki or rounded makeup brush and should be layered to achieve the exact amount of coverage for the skin.

Pressed Foundation
Pressed foundations are packaged in a compact and can provide medium to full coverage. They work well for normal to combination skin. The most notable benefit to this type of foundation is the portability. They are often the best choice for travel and on-the-go makeup application. If the skin is not properly moisturized prior to application, this type of foundation can draw attention to dry, patchy areas. For the best coverage, this foundation should be applied with a rounded foundation brush, kabuki brush, or a puff.

Tinted Moisturizer
This foundation is lightweight and perfect for the client that has only minor imperfections and primarily wants to even out their skin tone. Often marketed as a two-in-one, this foundation can take the place of a daily moisturizer, making this formulation a great travel option for clients with busy schedules. The coverage is minimal and it works best with skin that is normal to dry, but is not usually a flattering option for a client with oily skin. Tinted moisturizers are a more obvious choice in summer months when more natural-looking makeup is preferred. It may be applied with clean hands or a synthetic foundation brush.

Wet to Dry Foundation
This foundation provides medium to full coverage and works well with all skin types except oily skin. When applied, it goes on wet and dries to a powder. Although this foundation is easy to use, a synthetic makeup brush or an antibacterial sponge is best for daily application.

The list below is extremely limited when you consider all the ingredients available to manufacturers. It encompasses a small portion of the special ingredients listed in the foundations that were sourced for this article. If clients have specific skin concerns, the following are some recommended ingredients they can look for in their foundation, regardless of which formula they decide is best.


  • Acai – one of the most beneficial antioxidants in skin care.
  • Algae Extract – often known as seaweed. It conditions, hydrates, and detoxifies the skin, while replenishing essential vitamins and minerals. Rich in antioxidants.
  • Aloe Vera – helps stimulate growth of new cells and is an anti-inflammatory. Its antioxidants include carotene and vitamins C and E that can help improve the skin's natural firmness.
  • Green Tea – used topically in skin care and has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory prop-erties. It helps to improve skin elasticity and may help prevent keloid scarring.
  • Jojoba Oil – a non-greasy oil that has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Niacinamide – helps the skin with water loss and is good for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Pine Bark Extract – acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It helps to strengthen capillary health.
  • Rosemary – provides antimicrobial and antiseptic qualities that help to eliminate eczema, dermatitis, oily skin, and acne. Aids in collagen production.
  • Silica – helps to absorb oils. Some silica can hold up to seven times its molecular weight, helping to control the shine of oily skin.
  • Totarol – a plant extract that is antibacterial and an antioxidant.
  • Vitamin A – an effective acne treatment.
  • White Tea – the least processed of the teas that is rich in antioxidants and helps promote the collagen health of the skin.
  • Willow Bark – contains salicylic acid, a natural exfoliant due to its ability to help shed dead skin cells.


  • Hyaluronic Acid – a naturally-occurring substance in the human body that regulates cell renewal, lubricates connective tissue and maintains the skin’s moisture and elasticity.
  • Avocado Oil – often used as an emollient and has a high fat content.
  • Almond Oil – a fatty acid used as an emollient.
  • Argan Oil – a botanical extract from the seed of the Argania tree that is used as an emollient.
  • Beeswax – a wax obtained from the honeycomb of a bee that acts as a barrier so that the skin has time to repair itself.
  • Castor Seed Oil – used as an emollient.
  • Ceramide – lipid molecules found in high concentrations within the cell membrane that plumps the skin and helps to retain moisture.
  • Glycerin – a sugar alcohol obtained from natural or synthesized sources. Also known as a natural humectant.
  • Olive Oil – a botanical ingredient obtained from the fruit of the Olive tree. Olive oil has a high fat content.
  • Shea Butter – often used as an emollient. It acts as a barrier and helps protect the skin from the environment.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate – attracts and retains moisture. It occurs naturally in the skin when young.
  • Squalane – an oily substance from olive oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, and yeast. It lubricates the skin surface giving it a soft, smooth appearance.

Cosmetic companies have recognized that by using better ingredients, makeup can be used to benefit different skin types, age ranges, and ethnic groups. This advancement is advantageous as not many people are fortunate enough to have perfect skin at every stage in their life. With so many foundations to choose from, the right foundation is available to protect, nourish, and address skin concerns. Skin care professionals can help clients that are not sure where to start. They can help clients select one that best suits their skin type and lifestyle.

Mary Van, the founder and CEO of Demaur Cosmetics, Inc. and Mineralogie Makeup, Inc., is a nationally accredited makeup artist and mineral-makeup pioneer. Van launched her company at the forefront of the private-label makeup industry, giving hundreds of companies the ability to customize their mineral makeup line and create a brand that holds true to each and every individual mission statement. In 2003, Van branched out the company and established their own brand of mineral makeup, Mineralogie. The Mineralogie line and many of the custom lines she has developed are distributed throughout the world. With more than 27 years of experience in sales, marketing, and product development, Van has transformed the way mineral makeup is branded and sold.

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