Fiona Stiles on Foundation Part 2: Full Coverage, Matte and HD

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Fiona Stiles on Foundation liquids part 2

I have so many foundations in my kit, not because you can't mix and create new colors, but because women have all different skin types, and what works on one woman doesn't necessarily work on the next. In Part 1, I covered Tinted Moisturizers, Luminizing and Dewy Liquid Foundations. In this installment, I'll be analyzing Full Coverage, Matte, and HD Liquid formulas.

Take a deep breath..... and dive on in!

by Fiona Stiles

foundation full coverage

Just like it sounds, this formula is on the heavier side. If you have discoloration, such as sunspots (please wear your sunblock!!), melasma, or redness (rosacea) this will handily cover these imperfections. You can always thin a full coverage foundation out with moisturizer or by blending it with a damp sponge (a wedge or my fave, the Beauty Blender, works beautifully to thin out and blend foundations). Full coverage foundations generally come in oil-free formulations too. Make sure that with these heavier foundations, you really blend the edges of your face and the jawline, and are careful to avoid getting the makeup in the hairline otherwise it will look mask-like.

Tip:
You really only need to apply foundation to the center of the face; bridge of nose, nostrils (there are often broken capillaries there), chin, forehead, and a touch on the cheeks. Just blend the color outward towards your hairline and jaw with a synthetic brush, Beauty Blender or wedge sponge (fingers if you must, but I don't think you get the best results). This way you will have coverage where you need it, and less where you don't.

Fiona recommends:

  1. Estée Lauder Individualist

  2. Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

  3. Clé de Peau Cream Foundation


foundation matte

Matte skin has gotten a bad wrap since the early 90's, in part because the formulas were pretty heavy. But formulas have really changed since then, and you can get a matte finish without that thick, lifeless look of the past.

Matte formulas are generally oil-free, or have very little oil, so the finish doesn't have that light-reflective quality of luminizing and dewy formulas. But it will also remain matte throughout the day with very little powder and few touch ups. It you love the idea of a matte finish, but still want a little glow, use a blush or a luminizer with a soft sheen on top of your matte foundation to add that extra bit of life to your skin.

Again, if you have dry or older skin, a matte foundation is only going to accentuate fine lines and wrinkles, so this is not the right base for you. However, oily skin really can benefit from a matte foundation. Since many are oil-free, they are great for those with oily skin--just be sure to be light-handed with your application. Your natural oils will bring life and sheen to your skin within 30 minutes of setting your base with powder, so go easy on the base and powder so you don't look lifeless.

Fiona recommends:

  1. Make Up For Ever HD

  2. Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

  3. Estée Lauder Double Matte

foundation HD liquid

As far as I can tell, HD foundation formulas just means matte, which is what you need for High Definition television. Any hot spots on the face read as glaringly bright shiny areas on the screen, so having a matte foundation keeps that effect to a minimum. The HD formulas that I've played with still have lovely sheer coverage, so that's where the new technology really comes into play. But they are still matte and can be drying, so be sure to take all of the points I made about matte foundation into consideration when buying an HD foundation.


Stay tuned as Fiona Stiles deconstructs Cream foundations in Part 3 of Fiona Stiles on Foundation.