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Don't use your foundation for coverage

Posted by Julie Hafer on

What? That doesn't even make sense. What is foundation for, if not coverage? I'll tell you: it's to serve as a foundation. But you're right, most people use it for coverage. I don't think that's a good idea, and that's what this post is about.

What offers coverage to a house? Is it the foundation? Nope, it's the roof. And then there are shingles on the roof. So, in my metaphor here you must think of the foundation you've got (or tinted moisturizer) as serving to start the process of building the face you feel at home and protected in. It allows other makeup to hang on tighter, and then you can add concealer as your actual coverage (that's why it's often called cover stick) then use powder to set (they're the shingles).

I'm going to stop using shingles as a metaphor because I actually got shingles last year and it was terrible. Not on my face, but I know that can happen and I feel like I'm losing you. 

So, um, back on track to just further explain why you shouldn't use foundation as your coverage. I can make my point without having to resort to metaphors.  I think using foundation as coverage makes you look like you're wearing a mask, because there are areas of your face that need little to no coverage, so if you're bringing all your coverage up to the level of covering the most in-need-of-covering area of your face, then whew. You're ending up with a ton of makeup on. Why do that?

I think it looks best when you go light on your entire face with a foundation that offers the minimum level of coverage you're comfortable with. Then take a step back and assess where you might need more coverage. Dot concealer over those spots then get the u-shaped crease under your eyes, the around-the-nose crevice, any laugh lines (a shade lighter of concealer pops these right out), define around your mouth, make a line down the middle of your nose. These are good places for concealer (see my video about the pattern). When you blend all this in, you'll be amazed at how you look and feel like you're not wearing makeup but you have all the coverage you need.

I keep saying "need." You certainly don't. This post is more for people who've gotten used to wearing full-coverage foundation. Your skin will breathe better and you'll look and feel more confident once you start wearing less makeup and what makeup you do wear is applied more strategically. Yes, it's quicker to just put one shade of heavier coverage all over, but I tell you, it's gonna look flat and less realistic.

Once you get used to it, you'll love the look of less. Besides, you'll actually be getting "more" because you'll be using coverage in only the "necessary" places. Again, I say necessary but I don't mean any of this is necessary. I believe we should all feel confident to go around without any makeup on at all, and just love our faces and their histories. Who among us has no scars, freckles, hyperpigmentation? How android-scary does it look to be free of those things entirely? I say quite. We've all lived lives, and shouldn't be ashamed of our beautifully imperfect visages. If you're in the mood to doll up though, those are my tips for foundation. Want to try an awesome one? Here you go

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