Jaleesa Moses demonstrates her foundation routine.
Video Courtesy of Jaleesa Moses YouTube Channel
Products used in this video:
Lancome Teint Idole Ultra in 410W Bisque
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger
MAC Prep & Prime in Light Boost
Bare Minerals Bare Skin Powder in Light to Med, Tan to Dark
TheBalm BettyLou Manizer
TheBalm Hot Mama
Many companies classify their shades as Warm, Neutral, or Cool. Adding to the confusion is the different color wheels used between the art and beauty industry. The traditional artist’s palette places the line dividing Cool and Warm across Primary Blue, whereas the cosmetic palette places the line across Primary Red. Thus, on the artists’ color wheel, Yellow is always Cool, Red is always Warm, and Blue can be Neutral (Primary), Warm (Violet), or Cool (Green). In contrast, the cosmetic palette classifies Yellow as always Warm, Blue as always Cool, and Red as either Neutral (Primary), Warm (Orange) or Cool (Blue-Red). The cosmetic palette is never used outside of make-up, and is very common in the industry — though a handful of professional lines, such as William Tuttle, Ben Nye, Visiora, M.A.C. and even Max Factor all use the conventional artist’s palette. Thus, a Warm Beige foundation may either have a yellow tint or a pink tint, depending on the palette the company’s creative director uses. Note that the artist’s palette is designed to be used on canvas (which is white) compared to the make-up palette — which is used on flesh (an ivory to brown tone).
Coverage refers to the opacity of the makeup, or how much it will conceal on the skin.
Sheer is the most transparent and contains the least amount of pigment. It will not hide discolorations on the skin but it can minimize the contrast between the discoloration and the rest of the skin tone. Although pigment technology has evolved dramatically since 2004, the traditional protocol for sheer foundations called for pigment to comprise 8–13% of the finished formula.
Light can cover unevenness and slight blotchiness, but is not opaque enough to cover freckles. It contains 13–18% pigment.
Medium coverage can, when set with a tinted (instead of translucent) powder, cover freckles, discolorations, blotchiness, and red marks left by pimples. It contains 18–23% pigment.
Full coverage is very opaque, and used to cover birthmarks, vitiligo, hyperpigmentation and scars. It is sometimes referred to as “corrective” or “camouflage” make-up. In general it contains up to 35% pigment, though professional brands, designed for use on stage, can contain up to 50% pigment.
The formula refers to the ingredients blended together, and how the makeup is formulated.
Oil and emollient-based are the oldest type of make-up. An oil (usually mineral oil) or emollient (such as petrolatum, beeswax, or lanolin) is used as the main ingredient, with pigment added to it. The texture and application is extremely thick and dense, most closely resembling modern lip balms or lipsticks. The extremely emollient nature stays moist and will not cake, is moderately waterproof, and provides the most opaque coverage; but it can smudge, fade, and change color (darkening or oxidizing) during wear. Since the 1970s, synthetic wax has also been used, which is less greasy and more reliable than other emollients. Used professionally, it is sometimes referred to as Greasepaint. Examples: Pan-Stik (Max Factor’s follow-up to his Pan-Cake make-up), Elizabeth Arden Sponge-On Cream, Mehron, Derma blend.
Oil-based shakers are different from traditional oil-and-emollient-based makeup in that they were liquid foundations developed before emulsifiers and binding agent were available, and thus separate in the bottle, like the alcohol-based formulas mentioned below. Once shaken, this is akin to applying colored oil to the skin, with a smooth texture than can provide medium coverage with a moist finish. Liquid foundation is applied using a damp makeup sponge and is especially effective around the eye. It was a marked improvement in application, stability and finish over the tradition oil bases, but improvements since then have rendered these nearly extinct. Examples: Alexandra de Markoff Countess Isserlyn, Frances Denney Incandescent.
Alcohol based uses a blend of water and denatured alcohol as the base, with pigment added to it. Developed by Erno Laszlo for problematic skin, it eliminated emollient and binding agent that could clog pores, and needs to be shaken before use. Alcohol-based foundations have the most lightweight, “nothing on my face” feel, and nearly impossible to clog pores, but provide only the sheerest coverage and can be tricky to apply and blend. They work better with cotton balls or pads, instead of latex or sea sponges. Examples: Erno Laszlo Normalizer Shake-It, Clinique Pore Minimizer.
Powder-based began with Max Factors’ Pan Cake, using powder — usually talc — as the main ingredient. Pigment is added, along emollients, skin adhesion agents and binding agents to the formula before it is pressed into pans. The difference between this type of foundation and pressed powder is that this provides more coverage (due to more pigment), and contains more skin adhesion agents (to help it stick to the skin – because pressed powder is lighter weight, it requires less). Some formulas — such as Pan Cake — also contain wax, and can only be applied with a wet sponge; others, such as M.A.C. StudioFix contain no emollient, and can only be used dry; the last group, such as Lançome Dual Finish, contain a smaller amount of oil and can be used either way. This provide a “finished” look and can blend from sheer to nearly full coverage, but can look too floury and dry, especially around the eyes, or on drier/mature skin. They can also flake and trickle down as they are applied and blended.
Mineral makeup most commonly refers to a foundation in loose powder format. The most common minerals used as the base are mica, bismuth oxychloride, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. However, talc is also a mineral, so a talc-based powder could be considered a “mineral makeup” — although most mineral make-up sold makes a point of being talc-free. A “mineral make-up” may be all mineral, part mineral — or contain less than 1% mineral as part of the finished formula. Using this logic, practically all make-up could be considered mineral. Ingredients are required, by the FDA, to be listed on every cosmetic, in descending order of predominance. By examining the ingredient list, and recognizing the common minerals, a consumer can see if the minerals are a large or small percent of that product. The term “organic” does not apply to minerals, as they are a mined ingredient, from the earth. Sometimes companies might combine minerals with organic ingredients in their finished product. The terms “natural” and “hypo-allergenic” are not regulated by the FDA and can be used at the manufacturer’s discretion.
Water-based make-up appeared after the end of World War II, with emulsifiers that could successfully keep a water-and-oil blended emulsion stable being the key to their development. This creamy liquid provided medium coverage with a far more natural feel and appearance than oil, powder or emollient bases of the time, and became popular with women since then. Examples include: Cover Girl Clean Makeup, Estee Lauder Country Mist. Since then, variations on the formula have expanded the category significantly:
Water-based cream make-up has a rich, creamy texture that can be sheer to full coverage with a moist, satiny finish. It usually comes in a jar or tube, and is much more comfortable and realistic looking on the skin than the oil or emollient-based predecessors. Examples: Elizabeth Arden Hydro-Light, Guerlain Issima. By Jove Cosmetics, TRU2U Foundation.
Water-based oil-free eliminates oil altogether, but substitutes an emollient ester or fatty alcohol in the base, and adds a mattifying agent — usually clay — to dry to a flat, non-reflective (“matte”) finish. Oil-free liquids are quite thick and heavy, and the earliest versions took time to pour out of the bottle. They provide solid medium coverage but dry quickly, and can thus set before blended is complete. The result is streaking, which is then difficult to smooth out without starting over from scratch. The usual recommendation is to divide the face into quarter sections, and to apply and blend the makeup over one section (rather than the entire face) at a time. Blending over moisturized skin with a wet sponge can also help compensate for the lack of slip. However, they will last a long time and resist smudging, even on very oily skin. Examples: Clinique Stay-True Oil-Free.
Water-based transfer-resistant follows the same formulation as oil-free, but uses a film former or polymer instead of (or in addition to) the clay to achieve a matte finish that resists being rubbed off. Transfer-resistant make-up was launched in 1993 by Revlon-owned Ultima II with Lipsexxxy, the first lip-color that included film former to prevent rubbing off. By 1996, WonderWear foundation and Revlon Colorstay had been launched, using the same technology as the lipsticks. Transfer-resistant (sometimes called transfer-proof) makeup will last on very oily skin, skin that perspires heavily, or in humid climates longer than any other type of foundation, though it is even more difficult to apply than oil-free makeup. The thick texture dries almost instantly, and requires a fair amount of experimentation to master. The most modern versions (such as Revlon Colorstay SoftFlex) have made marked improvements] over predecessors in that regard.
Silicone-based make-up uses a silicone — or a blend of water and silicone — as the main ingredient. The most typical silicones used are dimethicone, polysiloxane and volatile silicones such as cyclomethicone and phenyl trimethicone. The silicone provides lubrication and viscosity (what some artists refer to as “slip”) at a level equal to, or often, even better than oil allowing a product to apply and blend over the skin smoothly and evenly. Silicones have a lighter weight and are thus more comfortable on the skin, as well as resisting filling in lines or large pores on the face. Conventional silicones stay supple and smooth, even in dry climates, whereas volatile silicones last long enough to blend over the face, then evaporate (like alcohol), leaving little to no feel behind. Silicone-based makeups are less likely to oxidize or change color during wear. One of the biggest challenges facing silicone bases is the tendency for the product to break and/or ball up on the skin, something unique to silicones and out of control of the user. Ionizing the silicones (electrically charging the silicone positive) helps it adhere to (negatively charged) skin, although this technology is in its infancy and thus rather expensive. Examples: Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse. License