Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shiv's Tricks; Make your foundation last!!

Hey Guys:)

"How do I make my foundation last all day??" - Definitely one of the questions I get asked the most in work!!

Or people will just tell me how their foundation had disappeared by early afternoon or that it separates etc.

Really annoying I know but an unfortunate fact of life. Foundation for the most part will always look great for a couple of hours but the challenge is to keep it looking great, or at least good, & to have it stay in place for as long as possible with as little upkeep as possible!!

Here I share a few of the tips & tricks I use on clients & customers, as well as on myself, that I find really make a difference to how foundation wears throughout the day.....

Firstly, if you've dry skin you will most probably not have much of a problem with this issue. You're not producing excess oils that ruin & break down the foundation. Though if you are in hot, humid conditions sweat can reek havoc on foundation, especially if it's water based.
Now for you combination or down right oily gal's out there, you most definitely know what I'm talking about here. Your makeup can look as though it's magically disappeared by lunchtime, or it gets blotchy and separates, or it gets horribly cakey looking from all the powder you pile on the face to matte it down, or worst of all, your nose & chin looks as though you could fry eggs on them if you were only to get a bit of sun.

Not a good look, is it??
(Please note the above pic is a slight exaggeration, ha ha :)

There is help out there though if you're willing to add a few extra steps to your makeup application routine & keep it up!!

*Firstly it's so important to get your base skincare routine down to an art. Know what works for your skin type, how often to exfoliate etc. Over exfoliation, for example, can cause the skin to produce more sebum, making it oily where it might not have been in the first place!! Same with using harsh products that strip the skin of it's natural oils, causing it to rebel, like alcohol etc.
If you're unsure of what your skin type is, go to your dermatologist for a consultation even if it's just a once off, and get the basic information off them. Be aware though that your skin type may (& probably will) change several times over your life time.

*Next make sure that you aren't overloading your skin with too much product or layers of products before you apply your foundation. I see this happening so much as women believe that they must use all their products at once. NO!!! Step away from that bottle woman!
First it's the serum, then the moisturiser, then primer, then luminiser..... And that's before you've even picked up your foundation brush!!
Definitely a habit you need to get out of. Sure this is fine if you don't wear makeup or you're not concerned with it lasting, or you may have super dry skin that eats up absolutely everything that touches it. Great for you. But for the rest of us, it's wayyyyy too much!
If you are quite to very oily, a moisturiser can probably be skipped if you are using primers as they often have moisturisers in them along with the added silicones etc. You're skin just cannot absorb that much product. It'll just sit on top of the skin and change the properties of any product you place on top of it.
If you are combination, you may need to moisturise certain (drier) areas & prime other (oilier) areas. That's fine!!
What is important it that you add sunscreen into the mix somewhere along the way too. Either in your moisturiser or primer or both! Make sure it covers the face & is minimum SPF 15. Again, try not add this as another separate layer if you are wearing makeup & concerned about the longevity.

*When you do moisturise, leave as long as possible, 5 min at least, for it to settle into the skin. I always use a fluid oil free moisturiser if I know I'll wear makeup. I don't want the foundation to slip & slid over a greasy base. Even when you do leave it a few minutes to 'soak' in, still have powder free blotting papers (available from MAC Cosmetics & The Body Shop) or plain old tissue (just make sure it's not the type that sheds fibres everywhere!) at hand to remove any excess remaining on the skins surface. This will only just mix in with your foundation & most likely change the formula!

*Primers are a great step in the makeup routine. They can really help with the look and lasting potential of your foundation! The trick again here is not to add too much product and if you are not using moisturiser as well, in the case of people with oily skin who don't need to, spritzing the skin with a thermal water spray or something like MAC's Fix + first is a good idea.
Anti-Shine or Mattifying primers, which are silicone heavy products, are us oily girls' best friends!!
They form a barrier that stops the oil making it's way to the foundation and mixing in with it. It will eventually happen even with these, but not for a long time!
There are also matte creams of the same vein that absorb the oil & basically work in the same way.

*The foundation formulas you use are important to how long your base lasts too. Water-based foundations don't hold up too well against any type of aggression so skip these unless you only care about looking good for a short while, 2 or 3 hours, if you have oil prone skin.
Silicone based foundations have great staying power. Look for ingredients like Dimethicone or words that end in 'cone' at the start of the ingredient list.
Matte formula foundations usually contain silica, or talc or other oil absorbing powders, even if they are liquid, which help prevent the oil coming through. Though if you are very oily, it can look cakey so be aware!
Theatre makeups are designed to withstand immense heat & sweating etc under the intense lights on stage. These are often wax based and have great powder at withstanding oil breakout. These are generally on the heavier side though so only use if you are after full coverage!!
Mineral foundations are another great option if you are so inclined. Though I find these can be hard to wear if you are particularly lined, especially the powder formulas!
Definitely stay away from grease based foundations, dewy finish foundations or oily foundations for dry skin.
(And as a side note, I find a good makeup brush to buff the product into the skin will really help with the lasting of the base!)

*Powdering your foundation is a must if you want it to last. This will not just help stop shine & absorb oils coming through, it will also help stop transfer. (i.e. your foundation coming off onto your hands when you touch your face etc.) 
You don't need to powder everywhere, just where you feel you need it, if you want.
Also, not all powders are dry & matte & 'powdery' looking like they used to be. Look for talc free or finely milled formulas that are translucent. If you are scared of powders drying out your skin, there are products out now-a-days like MAC powders "Mineralize Skinfinish Natural" & "Studio CareBlend" that contain natural, non-comedogenic oils that can help condition the skin (If worn alone without the barrier of foundation etc) and also have a natural 'skin-like' subtle shine effect. Great for those of you afraid of the flat matte looking base, like myself!
Blot powders are not my favourite product in the world but they do have a purpose. They absorb all and any oils that break through the foundation. However, beware as the more you add, the more 'bulked up' they get with the sebum & this can become very cakey looking after several applications. I would say, apply at the start & use powder free blotting papers throughout the day/night. Only use the blotting powder sparingly!
(Many makeup artists who work only on shoots or film, basically who get to stay with & regularly touch-up their models/clients throughout the day/job will argue that powder is unnecessary & that heavy foundations are awful etc but always look at things from every side. They aren't totally wrong, but for makeup artists who do bridal work etc & do clients makeup very early in the morning with the expectation that it last through to the night-time, these are often very important products!)

*Finally, use a setting spray if you feel you really want that last bit of hold to your makeup. This is basically like hair-spray for your face. So it forms a light film over your base, trapping everything underneath in place. I do not recommend using hair-spray however (Though I have in the past!) as this is not designed for the face & may cause irritation, especially if inhaled!) Companies that sell these sprays are MakeupForever, Urban Decay & Ben Nye. There are a few others also who carry these, just google makeup setting spray!

And I do believe that that covers everything!!
If you think I've missed anything important, feel free to leave a message for people to read in the comments.

Hope this was helpful!!

Thanks a million & take care,



  1. Hey shiv!! Please tell me what white eye liner that is on your eyes!! WOW its gorgeous i would love to buy it..!!!!

    Rhia xxz

  2. Thanks so much for this post, you really put a lot of time, effort, research and "heart" into it and wanted you to know it's very helpful and much appreciated!!

  3. Hi! I have always struggle finding the perfect foundation for my oily skin.. I am currently using Acne Solutions from Clinique because I do have the breakouts problem.. I dont love it, but I dont hate it.. it's just ok. which brand/ foundation should I try!

  4. Sorry Shiv, I am a little confused about foundations for dry skin? Are you suggesting that matte based foundations (those without water or silicon) are best for drier skin types?

  5. Great post!!! I think you told us everything we should know:)
    Do you have any experience with Kryolan fix spray? I need something for brides and this is the only one I can get in my country.

  6. Hi :)
    I read and watch your channel for quite a long while now but never had anything "important" to say :]
    I have combination-oily skin, and the summer is really hard to keep the makeup in its best appearance..
    The thing is I don't use a lot of products since as you said it makes it worse.. I use a moisturizing cream with SPF33 (I would actually prefer even more since I live in the very hot and moist Israel...), wait for it so set then put my makeup - revlon colorstay which is VERY long wearing. but still I fell that sometimes the moistiorizing is just to much! but I can't skip the SPF... and for some strange reason as the SPF goes higher the cream becomes more rich and heavy.. I did use SPF45 or SPF50 last summer but damn that cream was SO heavy!
    I was wondering after watching and reading maybe I should use like the MAC prep & prime SPF45 with no moisturizing. sadly I don't know more products that are only primmer with SPF and no "real" moisturizers.
    I set my makeup with MAC MSF or something like it (I just found out Pupa has one like it) which helps with the matte but "lively" appearance. also I use quite alot of powder (no matter the brand) because I feel this is the only way that when I run my hand through my face its doesn't feel sticky..
    I usually blot my face with a tissue paper after 2 minutes out of the house. of course its the T zone... :/
    thanks so much for the video and post, I'd love a recomendation what to do more or differently :)


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