Hi there! I am Witty, a self taught lover of #EverythingMakeup. I will be covering the #EverythingMakeup series. Since Refiloe’s knowledge about makeup is somewhat limited 😂, she asked me to share the little bit of knowledge I have, and I am excited to tell you about what I have picked up over the years.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional makeup artist, everything I am about to share is information I learnt from experience and countless occasions of looking like a hot mess.
We will be addressing Foundation; the make or break of a makeup routine in my opinion. What makes a good foundation base is keeping it simple and doing what works for you. A very critical step to having a flawless foundation that people often and almost always forget, is skincare. Do you exfoliate or wash your face? Are the products you are using good for your skin or do they strip it of its good moisture and leave it irritated? Do you put on sunscreen as part of your routine or do you just go out in the sun and let it fry you? If there is anything to take away from this post, please let it be this: ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN. Good skincare will help your products blend together nicely, and help make your foundation last longer. Skincare also helps address issues such as dry and oily skin, and it is good for the longevity of your skin. Get into it, if you haven’t already.
OK, now for the action. Choosing a perfect foundation for you is dependent on your skin type (normal, oily, combination or dry), the kind of coverage you are looking for (do you want your childhood scars to be covered or do you want to look like you barely have foundation on?), and your foundation shade.
Skin type and coverage are easy elements to ace, but it is so easy to end up looking “casket ready” or super orange due to the wrong foundation shade. To get the correct foundation shade you need to know your undertones (warm, red, cool, etc.) and your skin tone (fair, medium, light or dark). See this article that explains really well what undertones are.
Once you think you have picked the foundation shade, test it out. Firstly, ask the store to give you a sample you can test out before opening the actual foundation. Doing this allows you to be able to return the foundation and either get the correct shade, or get a refund in the event that the one you bought does not match, or you simply don’t like how it looks. Secondly, test out this foundation by beating your face and taking pictures in different lighting, with and without the flashlight on. This test will help you see if the foundation not only matches your skin, but that it also works with other makeup products you already have. Lastly, testing the foundation helps you see if you’re sensitive to the foundation.
Unfortunately, some foundations may cause you to break out or irritate your skin. This may be due to one of the ingredients in the foundation, or even the scent of the foundation. If you have dry or oily skin, I also recommend finding a primer that works well with your skin as this will also help your foundation blend into your skin smoothly, and help make your foundation last. For oily skin, you will look for something to help control your oils and/or cover your pores. If you have dry skin, you definitely need a hydrating primer that will assist your foundation not to look dry & flaky. The order of products is therefore, primer, then foundation. Now that you have your matching foundation and primer, you need to choose your fighter: foundation brush, beauty sponge or your fingers? Personally, I am a beauty sponge lover. This helps give me a flawless look & it is perfect for blending. A foundation brush is perfect for watery foundations.
I would, however, still go in with a beauty sponge at the end just to blend everything after using a brush. If you are using your fingers to put on your foundation, please wash your hands before and after, because corona (not the beer) & hygiene.
Now for the concealer. I use concealer to brighten my under eyes, and to bring back dimension to the rest of my face. You literally just look like a plain canvas after putting on just foundation. Concealer can be used to correct the discolouration on your under eyes, hide any reddening and puffy eyes. This is mainly due to the fact that concealer generally has more coverage than foundation. To choose your concealer, you still need to make sure that it matches your undertones and skin tone, and that it is not too bright (as a rule of thumb, always go 2 shades lighter than your foundation shade).
Concealers also come in different varieties (hydrating, extra coverage, etc.), therefore, you will need to pick the concealer that works well with your skin’s requirements, and the look you are going for. Definitely use a beauty sponge to apply this. I like to focus my concealer under my eyes just before my cheeks, on the bridge of my nose, and a little bit on my forehead. Please note that these areas work for me as I have a chubby face, therefore, do what works for your face as well. What you also want to do is to alternate between the beauty sponge you used to apply your concealer, and the one you used to apply the foundation on the area where both the foundation and the concealer meet. This will ensure that your foundation and concealer blend, and that there are no distinct spots between the areas where the foundation and concealer were applied.
At this point of my routine, I will go in with a setting spray that helps “mattefy” the skin as I have oily skin (Instant Matt setting spray from Essence is bomb). If you have dry skin, a hydrating spray is good to use. Important: You need to wait for the setting spray to dry down, then you can go back in and blend everything with your respective beauty sponges.
Everything is now blended, so we move onto setting powder. Setting powder is used to ensure that your makeup stays in place for the duration of the wear, and if you have oily skin, this can also help control your oils. I use setting powder on the areas that have concealer and the shade of the setting powder is similar to that of the concealer, or it can be the translucent setting powder. The downside of translucent setting powder is that it can give you “flash-back” (it literally looks like you have un-blended, blotchy white powder on your under eyes), and it looks even more horrible in pictures taken with the flashlight on. What I am essentially trying to say is, choose wisely.
To apply setting powder, I prefer the method of using a beauty sponge (the one used to apply the concealer is perfect), and dusting off the excess powder. You then want to gently press the powder onto these areas with concealer. You should see these areas look a bit matte.
If you know anything about makeup, you may have noticed that I did not mention contouring (this includes my nose, but I will address this later), and that is because I personally don’t like it. Not because it does not work, but because it is a lot of work (more blending required), and I get to be a bronzed goddess with the easier method of Bronzing. So, if you bronze or use a bronzer, you want to pick a powder shade or bronzer that is a shade or two darker than your foundation (yes, with the matching tone and undertone as well). I didn’t mention it before, and now is no better time to address it but, makeup (like almost everything else), has its issues and the issue that just can’t seem to go away is colourism and racism.
You often find that most brands do not cater for all skin tones and shades out there, which most of the time, is black people and people of colour. I am bringing this up because bronzers, like foundations, are one of those products where it is hard to find a shade if you are a dark skin girl (yes, I was singing Beyoncé here), or you must pay an arm and a leg for a matching product that works for you. NYX is a great brand to check out as they have diverse shades and products (for all skin types), and they are generally affordable (this is obviously subjective). Bronzer is really worth it as it brings warmth and depth to your face when applied correctly, so don’t be afraid to spend a little extra for a good one. With this product, you want to focus on the hallows of your cheeks, and around your hairline. A big tapered and almost fluffy brush is the best to use as it allows you to focus the product on the areas that need to be bronzed, and it also helps blend this in with the rest of the products.
If you have reached this point, you are 80% done and in the fun zone. I am a big fan of blush, and it helps bring colour (what some people may call blood) back to my face. I love warm, peachy shades as they go well with my warm undertones, and they are perfect for an everyday look. Any colour can be used as blush, it all depends on the look you are going for, as well as how much you put on. For blush, you want to focus this on the apples of you cheeks (smile, the area with your cheeks more prominent is what I am referring to) and blend this in with your bronzer. Remember the nose I said I don’t contour? I lightly add blush to mine.
We are almost done, (sorry ) and these next steps are optional. A good highlighter will take you from “I look good” to “Yaaaaaaaas Queen!”. The highlighter/blush combo from Connie Transform is one of my favourites (the pigment is to die for!), and you will need to be light-handed if you use this, otherwise you will look like you have a gold streak across you face. To apply highlighter, you will need a fluffy brush (I use one that is meant for blending eye-shadow), and literally just a dab of highlighter. You want to focus this on the points that the sun would hit, so that is the tip of your nose, your temples (if you are extra like I am), and the highest point of your cheekbones. And, you want to make sure that you blend this in with the rest of your makeup.
Bonus Tip: if you have a random pimple, you can cover it up by making it look like a beauty mark. Simply take your liquid eye-liner and dab a dot on the pimple. To wrap up my foundation base, I spray more mattefying setting spray to seal everything in place, and wait for it to dry (To be honest, I normally fan it dry because I am always running late). That is it for the foundation part of the #EverythingMakeup series.
I hope you learnt something from me, and I will catch you in the next episode of the #EverythingMakeup series.
xoxo, Witty 😘