By Anne L. Fritz
When you're rushing to get out of the house, a quick swipe of lipstick or mascara is probably all the makeup you have time for. But for a special occasion -- or whenever you want to look your best -- foundation is the secret to a polished appearance that still looks soft and natural.
No one wants a look that seems fake and heavy, so it's essential to choose the right formula and shade. If applied with a light touch, a foundation can subtly hide redness and even out your skin tone naturally.
To achieve pretty, glowing skin that looks like it's your own, not a mask, try these simple tips from Ildiko, a well-known makeup artist in New York City.
1. Choose the right formula for your skin type.
First, look for a foundation that provides sheer, light or medium coverage. (Check the label for those terms.) These give enough coverage to blend away blotchiness and make skin look brighter, but not so much so the makeup won't blend into skin.
The best formula for you depends on your skin type:
2. Find the right shade.
Most makeup lines offer more colors of foundation than your local pizza place has toppings. To find your perfect match, pick out two or three and compare them on or against your skin.
"You can't rely on the back of your hand since it's rarely the same shade as your face," says Ildiko. Instead, use your jaw and neck area. If you're shopping at a department store or beauty chain, test each directly on your skin. "At the drugstore, hold each of the bottles up to your face and neck," says Ildiko. Then buy the closest match.
Regardless of where you shop, save the receipt until you've worn the makeup and are happy with the results. The majority of stores -- including drugstores and online retailers -- allow an exchange or refund if you decide the shade isn't right, even if the package has been opened.
3. Apply for natural results.
Although most foundation rookies run into trouble when it comes to shade or formula, how you apply the makeup can mean the difference between looking good and looking so good your friends and spouse shower you with compliments. Follow these easy steps:
4. Set your makeup.
Lightly dust on translucent powder to help the foundation stay in place. However, skip this step if you have very dry skin or use a powder foundation: Your makeup is less likely to shift or wear off, so you don't need powder.
Copyright (c) 2010 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.
Anne L. Fritz is the former style director for Life & Style and has been on staff at Woman's Day and Working Mother. She has contributed to Marie Claire, Glamour, Prevention and many Web sites, including Everyday Health and About. Fritz is also the founder of The Jet Set Girls, a Web site about girls' getaways.
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