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Great Foundation: a short lesson

Written By: Brigitte on September 10, 2011 14 Comments

The key to a successful career in makeup is SKIN. Managing texture, color, luminosity and radiance is one of the most difficult things to learn.

It is so hard to learn because it’s often a case of forgetting what you know and relying only on what you see. It usually takes my assistants a good year to master the art of basic skin makeup. First you need to forget the idea of covering the complexion as if it were a brick wall that needs to be plastered and painted. That will make any makeup that follows look heavy, old looking and “drag-queenie”.

Keeping the foundation light and subtle is the key to luminous skin. photo: Robert Erdmann

On the other hand, if the complexion is left natural looking, the rest of the makeup can be absolutely outrageously strong and crazy and still look beautiful. So, you need to leave the texture of the skin shine through.

Dewy skin and strong eye makeup - a cool look. photo: Elliston Lutz

Discard any thick, pasty and opaque foundation and throw them out the window. Stick with liquid, creme textures.

Next, match the color to the area just below the collarbone. Yes, that’s right! The face, the jaw and the inside of your arms aren’t the same color as the rest of you 99% of the time. Most of the time the right match is one or two tones lighter or darker than the face. At times the difference can be even more dramatic, like in the summertime when the face is quite a bit lighter due to increased use of sunscreen. Anyhow, apply a little stripe of color and if it’s right, it should blend in seamlessly.

My preferred method of application is with a damp sponge (Beauty Blender) because it gives me a very light coverage. If the skin barely needs any help, a drop of Rodin Olio Lusso mixed with the foundation will make it even more subtle. If there are a few blemishes and spots, I will cover them individually with a brush and heavy-duty concealer or even tattoo-cover after the foundation application. If the skin requires more overall coverage I will opt for a richer creme-type foundation mixed with oil so it doesn’t look too opaque. From there I will just layer it until I get the result I’m looking for.

My preferred products for skin? Armani Luminous Foundation is probably my favorite but the shades are so important I will go to any brand if they have the right combination of tone and texture. In my kit there is also Clinique Super Balanced Makeup (great range of colors) and Nars. There are plenty of products out there that could be great but they’re actually not for reasons of color, texture and sometimes ingredients.

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14 Responses to “Great Foundation: a short lesson”

  1. Bre on: 12 September 2011 at 11:08 am

    Love this Brigitte, thanks for the great tips! Never even thought about matching up color to the collarbone…makes sense though 🙂

  2. Brigitte on: 14 September 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks for understanding this! It’s key, you’ll see what I mean!

  3. Lynn on: 16 September 2011 at 8:38 pm

    There has never been any tip over the years that didn’t work perfect for me. You are the best!

  4. Brigitte on: 19 September 2011 at 9:47 pm

    My dear Lynn that makes me so happy!

  5. Andie on: 26 September 2011 at 11:26 am

    Brigitte I want to thank you for putting your knowledge out there. I am constantly learning, improving and find most advice out there is dated or to push the bottom line of sponsors. I don’t get that from your posts. Thank you! 🙂

  6. admin on: 5 October 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Dear Andie,
    Thank you for your kind comment. I’m so happy that you understand what I’m trying to communicate! Yes, the outdated information bothers me a lot as well as the websites that mainly rehash content from other sites and promote brands. I would love to change all that!
    Tell me what you would like to learn from me!

  7. Michelle Coursey on: 7 October 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you so much of this post, and for your blog, Brigitte! Everything you write is so helpful and insightful! I wish I could have assisted you more so I could have picked up more of your technique.

  8. Brigitte on: 8 October 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Hey girl,
    Glad you liked it! Important stuff to know, isn’t it? Hope you’re doing great.

  9. yumi on: 18 October 2011 at 10:03 pm

    It is very impressive to share your techniqeue.
    I know that making perfect skin tone is very important and difficult for everybody!
    Your tips are water in the desert!!
    Your makeup is very beautiful! Amazing!!
    I’m a fan of you!Brigitte!!
    Thank you!

  10. Brigitte on: 20 October 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Thanks Yumi for your kind words. I honestly don’t think there can be a good makeup if the skin isn’t perfectly handled. I have seen your work. Your hand is not heavy. You totally get it. Good luck with everything!

  11. Alexis on: 20 December 2011 at 5:19 am

    I just caught the end of “Scouted” with the twins from Virginia. Your work is beautiful and I appreciate
    that you share this information with us. I love the look of the foundation you used on the first twin they shot, the one with her hair down. Do you remember which one you used of your favorites you listed above?
    It is gorgeous.
    Keep up the good work!

  12. Brigitte on: 25 December 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Alexis,
    Thank you! Unless there are particular issues at hand I practically always use Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I would guess it was #4. Try it.

  13. Sophia on: 20 May 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Hey Brigitte,
    What are your favorite drugstore foundations?
    And which would you recommend for a polished look?

  14. Brigitte on: 21 May 2012 at 9:41 pm

    First let me tell you: the art of foundation is based on formula and shade. Good shades are hard to find but you can always manage with a regular liquid foundation. FYI I absolutely HATE mineral foundations which in my opinion always look awful. Drugstore brands such as Revlon and Rimmel apply easily and have some good shades.

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