Hello vain desi ladies,
If your foundation doesn’t match your actual skin-tone, it doesn’t matter how much you’ve paid for it, you will look tacky. Pennywise (scroll through gallery please, he still scares me the way he did when I was 3) is not in fashion anymore. I am pointing at those of you who ONLY wear foundation that is lighter than your skin tone ( clown alert!!). I’m also pointing my finger at those of you who wear it a couple of shades darker for the tanned effect – its’ not as bad as the former, but you’re still undermining the impact of your final look.
First of all, your skin tone is beautiful the way it is (no matter what anyone says) so please stop going around looking for a lighter shade of foundation to look ‘prettier’ – white is not prettier. And even if you manage to whiten up your face, your actual skin tone will be betrayed by your arm and neck skin (yes people look there and can see the contrast). No, rubbing foundation all over your neck, arms and pits does not work. In those areas, foundation just wont do – you’ll need a primer, foundation and face-powder and apply crap-loads of it. And people will still be able to tell you’ve caked up your pits. Why am I even giving any ideas? Just don’t do it, it doesn’t work. The aim is to look effortlessly fantastic and not a circus attraction.
Now that we’ve got that clear – here comes the verdict and some tips to follow when purchasing foundation for your skin
I’ve tried everything from L’Oreal to Guerlain – if you pick up a foundation while you are traveling do keep in mind that the girls at the makeup counter (duty frees/ malls/ everywhere) will almost ALWAYS hand you a foundation that is DARKER than your skin tone s0 try not to buy it in a rush (happened to me at least 4 times and I ended up wasting quite a bit of money). We have tricky skin-tones and a lot of us have variations that they may not be able to account for in their recommendations. In South Asia (I speak on behalf of Pakistan only btw) you’ll definitely get a couple of shades ‘whiter’ from the makeup sales girls.
In an international setting, take the makeup counter girls’ recommendation and walk around, preferably in natural light or in different parts of store with her choices applied on different parts of your face. If you have time to make a decision plaster the two shades you think could work best on your face (draw an imaginary line through your nose) and spend the day sightseeing/shopping (no you don’t need to look like a mime character doing it, just tell her to do your whole face while she’s at it) before buying. This helped me not waste money on a Chanel foundation that didn’t suit my skin type or tone.
At home (Pakistan), I’d advise not relying on the makeup counter girls at all due to the continuation of the colonial mentality that white is best. They will emotionally blackmail/gang up on you into making a purchase by insisting you are Snow-white (or pennywise) reincarnated and everyone has been lying to you about it all along because they’re jealous.
Just stay strong (even though this is what you’ve wanted to hear all your life) and say no. Ask for shades that match the tone of your hand or inside of your wrist and then trust your judgement. Alternatively, you can take a picture of what they put on you and leave it in the comment box below. No, its’ not for me to laugh at =P
Anyways blah blah, the best foundation, decided after 10 years of international and local experimentation as well as an insane amount of wasted money ( I tell myself it was for a good cause -_- ), is the Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15. The look, the effect is natural (make sure the tone you pick is right for you otherwise your clown face effect will not be on my conscience).
Most magical of all – it is the only foundation that – ON ITS’ OWN – will cover up your uneven skin tone and acne leftovers (welcome to south-asian skin problems 101). No primer, no concealer, no face powder required. You can’t use this if your skin is oily though – it has a dewy effect on normal/combination skin so you will look very sweaty, especially in the summer.
Go here now to order – http://www.clinique.com/product/1599/5276/Makeup/Foundations/Even-Better-Makeup-SPF-15.
I use honey (MF-G) and i can swear by it – at 27 USD its reasonable. People think my skin is majestic due to this product- I feel a little guilty when I pretend to be au naturale when using this 😉
Btw, if you buy this in Pakistan, you’ll probably end up paying over 50 USD – import taxes blah blah. Either way, its a great investment and even if you use it everyday ( a couple of times in a day like I do), it’ll last you around a year so don’t feel guilty. Just make sure it is not expired or damaged by exposure to our awesome summer – to check consistency, whine away persistently and the drug-store/mall staff will let you ‘apply a bit’ of the ‘sealed’ product. Even if they say no the first three times you ask, try the fourth time and they’ll get embarrassed enough to let you do it 😉 If oil comes out when you press the bottle, do not buy it – it is old (no matter what they say) and will give you a breakout/some major skin disease. Ask a friend/family member who is traveling to pick up one for you if you have the option (you wont have to worry about it being expired and it’ll probably be cheaper too)
Application for Dummies
Slap on a thin layer for daytime – put it over your eyes too (not sure if its’ supposed to be used that way) but it works great for me. If you’re going for the ‘oh i just got out of bed and this is how stunning i natuwally look’ effect, put on a hint of blusher (next post, coming soon i promise).
For work top that off with natural brown or pink lipstick (go for whatever matches the natural tone of your lips) and a very thin application of eye-liner on your upper lids (no cat-eyes ladies, you aren’t working in bollywood so take it easy and save yourself the sleazy comments the peons will pass each time they pass you by). If you have small eyes, steer clear of the eye-liner – apply an eye-lid tinter and mascara. Focus on your lipstick and get a slightly brighter shade. Again, red is not recommended in Pakistan for work unless the office peons are scared of you or if your immune to the creepy comments and stares. Then you can do and wear what you want. And I strongly suggest you do so to create a more tolerant work environment for the rest of us =)
For exceptional full coverage (evening wear) put on two to three thin layers ( I slap it on with my hands generously, i have innate sense of when I need to stop though so be careful when doing this). If you want to go “all-out dollface” top it off with some face-powder (keep an eye out for my upcoming post on the tarty yet classy look 😉
So good bye until next time pretties! If you have any recommendations on what you’d like to hear about from me, do leave a comment 🙂
Make up well meanwhile!