Entries Tagged as 'foundation'

Color Block Your Clothes, Not Your Face: 4 Tips For Finding the Perfect Foundation Shade


how to find the right foundation, foundation swatches

This was a post I did originally in 2012 for the Allure Beauty Blogger of the Year award, but it’s timeless information that I thought I’d share here! 

We’ve probably all been there. You think your foundation is the perfect match until you see yourself in a photograph and the different color face and neck combo jumps out at you like a ghost (pun intended).

Fret not. Faster than you can untag yourself in that photo, you can learn how to find the perfect foundation.

  • Know your skin’s undertones– Knowing is half the battle. Your undertone is the base color of your skin. Whether it’s warmer tones in yellow and olive or cooler colors in reds and pinks,  knowing your skin’s undertones is the first step in picking the right foundation. Tip:  Do you look better in gold or silver jewelry? Chances are if you look better in gold jewelry you’re warmer and if you look better in silver, you’re cooler.
  • Pick a few shades to start with– find 3 or 4 different shades that you think may match your complexion.
  • Color swatch– testing on your jaw, swatch (a test swipe of color) all shades next to each other.
  • View in different lights– this is an important step most people forget. While a foundation might look perfect in fluorescent department store lightings, outside is a different story. Go outside and look in a mirror at your swatches. The color that blends seamlessly in your skin is the winner!

Blend, blend, and blend some more– Even the perfect foundation shade can look mask if it’s not blended in properly. Using your fingers, sponge or brush, blend your foundation into your hairline and into your neck. There should be no visible signs of the foundation stopping or starting. My favorite blending tool? The Beauty Blender!

Great Foundation for Problematic Skin from Urban Decay



For the last month I have been using a VERY expensive heavy coverage foundation that holds all day long and looks beautiful, but seemed to be contributing to acne. I was suspicious because foundation that doesn’t budge from your skin with hot water and rubbing cannot be good for allowing the kin to breathe. Nonetheless, I am a makeup artist and good looking skin is essential for my job, so away I would go applying this foundation day after day. I had a 10 day stretch of days that I was not working and decide I was going to let my skin ‘restart’ and vowed to wear no makeup. Right! Well, I did wear makeup, but only concealer, a light powder and mascara.

The result? My breakouts that seemed to be from the foundation started to dry out and no new ones were coming. I went to my local Sephora and told the clerk what I had been using. She took one look at my skin and I got a shake of the head with a ‘no way!’. I was using one of the worst foundations for acne prone skin and I was maaaad. My first thought was “why would a brand make a product that contributes to breakouts?” which was promptly followed by “wow, they are geniuses!”. It totally makes sense! Make makeup that increases the need for makeup, but produce a makeup that gives fantastic coverage so the consumer will not look anywhere else for the coverage for these newly created breakouts.” Ugh, so gross.

So after my own ‘experiment’ I found a problematic product and replaced it with Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup (that’s a mouthful). After one week of using this foundation, I have less breakouts and continue to wear my foundation everyday. The plethora of shades allows one to truly match their skin with the perfect shade and the formula is so lightweight and thin that very little makeup is needed to cover the face. Dont let lightweight and thin fool you though, the coverage with this foundation is perfect. You will have skin that is dewey, balanced, healthy looking and have less visible imperfections. If you have a large red pimple or the like, you will still need concealer, but that is likely with any foundation.


I highly recommend Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup for anyone, but especially those with acne prone skin like myself. You will get the coverage that you need, but still allow your skin to breathe and remain clear. The foundation retails for $38 at www.sephora.com.


What We’re Loving: Erno Laszlo Regular Normalizer Shake-It


The Erno Laszlo Regular Normalizer Shake-It is something so different, I could not wait to try this! What is it? Essentially it is 3/4 toner and 1/4 foundation. It has the coverage level of a tinted moisturizer and the application of a toner. It works like a toner, to help control oil, but helps eliminates the extra step of applying foundation and gives the matte finish of a powder. There are so many products on the market (albeit, bad ones!) that contribute to oil and acne, but this does just the opposite. You might discover it helps improve you skin’s appearance because you will need to put fewer products on to cover your imperfections which will better allow your skin to breathe! You will also find yourself needing to apply powder less often to keep shine at bay.



Shake to mix treatment and color, saturate cotton ball. Stroke over face and chin (it will feel wet). Avoid eyes. Allow to dry, smooth out with fingertips. Apply a second coat if additional coverage is desired. Follow with powder or foundation for additional coverage.


Follow the rest of your makeup routine like always, only apply this for foundation instead of your normal liquid/cream/powder. If you need to apply concealer, do it after applying the Normalizer. This Normalizer Shake-It is monumental and for those of us with oily skin, this is what we have been waiting for. Even for those of us without oily skin, it is nice to have a product that offers some coverage and will actually help control the oil through the day. I hope you love it as much as I do!

You can find the Erno Laszlo Regular Normalizer Shake-It at Saks Fifth Avenue. Suggested Retail: $48.






Full Disclosure: The products in this post were provided by the manufacturer for consideration. For more information on my disclosure policy, please see my disclaimer page.

Spring Beauty Essentials to Get Your Face Brighter and Your Skin Glowing


We all are probably feeling a bit of spring fever as we anxiously await the warm weather that signifies we should put our winter coats away, but my favorite thing about spring is the makeup! COLOR! Spring is the time to shed winter skin and get colorful with new beauty products. I will break down the essentials to get your skin glowing and ready for spring.

We all need to punch up our color palette from the deep jewel tones of fall and winter. This spring season the trends are fluorescent colors, coral, and glowing complexions. Use a tinted moisturizer (with sunscreen, of course!) to let your skin peek through, add a bright coral to your lips, a warm peach to your cheeks and get your skin glowing with a luminizer. Here are the necessities to update your makeup routine for spring 2012:


1)  Tinted MoisturizerLaura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer (available at Sephora. Suggested Retail: $42) is basically the reigning queen in this department. This tinted moisturizer has been the frontrunner for quite some time and there is a reason why- it stays where you put it and it moisturizes really well. NARS also makes a really fantastic tinted moisturizer, especially if you have a slight yellow undertone or have a red complexion you are looking to balance out with a yellow base. NARS Tinted Moisturizer is available in 9 shades and has SPF 30. Available at Bloomingdales. Suggested retail: $42.

2) Cheek Stain. Hourglass Aura Cheek Stains and Tarte Cheek Stains are fantastic, but a really great makeup artist tip is to take a lipstick and put it onto your cheeks! This is especially  significant after watching the Fall/Winter 2012 Fashion week in February, where we saw monochromatic cheeks and lips. For a modern look, take the lipstick you apply to your lips and smudge a bit onto your cheeks. I recommend the Tarte Cheek Stain in the color Tipsy (Available at Sephora. Suggested Retail: $30), a peach/coral with a slight white shimmer, that can also be used on the lips and eyes (we talk more about  this in our “Give Me 5 minutes! The Perfect 5 Minute Face” article). Hourglass has a similar color, Petal (Available at Barneys New York. Suggested retail $45), that is a peach/pink liquid and blends seamlessly into the skin.

3) Luminizer. I am huge fan of the Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #13 Warm Beige (Available at Sephora. Suggested retail: $22). It comes in a pot and can be applied with your finger or a brush. Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightener is also a beautiful luminizer that comes with a slightly easier application with the brush on the end of the wand. To achieve the perfect glow, apply luminizer to the brow bone, cheekbones, and cupid’s bow.

4) Bright Lipstick. Try a coral lipstick (check out our previous article, ‘Crazy for Coral’) like Sonia Kashuk’s Vivid Coral (Available at Target Stores. Suggested Retail: $9.99) or Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Intense #38 Satin Coral (Availale at Sephora. Suggested retail: $19). You can also try Yves Saint Laurent’s Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain (Available at Sephora. Suggested Retail: $32) in 8 Orange De Chine (that’s tough to say!) for a stain that will last all through dinner and drinks without reapplying. Coral lipstick is a fresh take on the fall/winter red lip. A coral lip is meant to stand out and be the center of attention. So when you do a coral lip, keep the rest of your face soft and neutral.


The goal of springtime makeup is to liven up our skin and features with color and a warm glow. Just as we start to wear lighter weight fabrics, we should also lighten up our color palette and coverage. Think: bright and light! Enjoy, experiment with color and have fun with it.


Happy Spring! (Well, almost!)




Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie