Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Top 3 Foundations (2013 Edition)

It's crazy to think that 2012 is already over, and the first day of 2013 is upon us!  I decided that this year, I'm not going to make any crazy resolutions and accept the fact that the last five pounds are just going to stick with me because I can't subsist on a diet of raw kale and plain oatmeal.  Ha!

Rather, my "resolution" will be being wiser about my makeup purchases.  To that end, I've put myself on a "no-buy" until March 1st, since I really don't need anything at the moment. As a true makeup junkie, I've discovered that I am way too capricious with my makeup purchases… whether it is a small "hit" at the local CVS, or a huge haul at Saks, I buy way too many things that I end up not liking or using.

I decided to reflect back upon my favorite makeup items of all time, and thought I would put together a listing -- a Makejeanup directory, persay -- of the best of the best.  I am presenting it by category.  If I did just one post, you might be reading it until July 4th. 

This first post will be on foundation/base makeup.  People who have never seen me without makeup always comment that I have really nice skin, but they are fooled by the smoke and mirrors of my product arsenal.  I've tried probably 100 foundations in my lifetime, and although I do have some low-end ones that are good in a pinch (L'Oreal True Match, for example), I believe in investing a decent amount of money in foundation.  After all, if your skin doesn't look good, it's hard to use it as a canvas for the more fun color products like eyeshadow and lipgloss.

The texture of my skin is decent; however, I have really bad undereye circles, and my skin tends to scar and discolor easily, so every little pimple I've ever picked at has left some sort of mark on my face.  Also, I wasn't super diligent with the sunblock in my earlier years, so I have a few dark spots on my face that I have to hide.  Additionally, my nose is overrun with blackheads, and my T-zone produces more oil than the OPEC countries.  Now that you know what I'm working with, here goes…

My most favorite foundation of all time is Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk.  
I use this foundation in the color #5, which is neutral beige color, but it comes in a multitude of natural shade selections to match every skintone.  I have been using it off and on since 2003, and it was the foundation that I used for my wedding in 2004, as well as my first family Christmas card photo in 2012.  Basically, anytime there is a photo op, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk is what I choose, the reason being the seamless, realistic coverage it gives.  It feels watery going on, but it just melts into the skin and makes it look perfect.  It truly looks good in every light, and there is no sunscreen, so you don't have to worry about the pesky reflect-back from a flash camera.  My only real complaint about it is that I tend to get oily with it, so I have to use a silicone-based primer underneath (Armani's Master Fluid Primer is perfect with it), and set with a powder (my preferred is Chanel pressed powder.)  Also noteworthy, it comes in a sanitary pump bottle, and it just looks so sleek and pretty.  I apply this usually with my fingertips, but it works extremely well with the Armani foundation brush, too.  I would say Luminous Silk Foundation works for all ages and skintypes except extremely oily, and if you're extremely dry, it would be wise to use a moisturizer underneath.  

Coming in at a very closed second is Chantecaille Future Skin.  
I use this in the color Alabaster, which is a hair too pale for me, so I sometimes use Ivory or Chamomile instead.  Future Skin comes in a pot, and I usually scoop out what I'm going to use with a makeup brush so that I don't contaminate the container, and either apply with the brush (a synthetic bristle brush is best for this so that you don't absorb too much foundation), or pat on with fingertips.  Future Skin is higher coverage than Armani Luminous Silk; it can really be built to full coverage if you apply several layers, so I use this when my skin needs more help.  The finish is very natural, like real skin, and even if the color match is not 100%, you won't look strange.  There is also no oxidizing, even if I do get oily breakthroughs on my nose.  Future Skin also does not contain sunscreen, so it is suitable for flash photography.  The best feature of this foundation is that it is almost like skincare for the face.  Chantecaille alleges the "charged water" and "seaweed" that it contains helps to improve the skin over time.  I can't attest to the true fact of that, but I do know that when I remove it at night, my skin feels very soft.  (On a side note, I also use Chantecaille's skincare, but that is another post…)  Future Skin works well for everyone except for the extremely oily, and I think it is especially good for more mature skin, because it doesn't set into lines.

Third, but by no means last, is Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation.  Long used by Hollywood makeup artists on films, this is a high-definition foundation that is long-lasting and lightweight.

I matched myself to the color #113, which is for light golden complexions, and it seems to be a good match.  Unfortunately, Koh Gen Do is not sold in many brick and mortar stores… Barneys New York, and Sephora in Times Square are two that I know of.  For me, this is a great everyday foundation, a real workhorse, because of two reasons:  It is long-lasting and doesn't break down in patches despite my oil; It is lightweight and looks good in all lighting.  For the price, the little tube doesn't contain a lot of foundation, but I use two pea-size dots for the entire face, and I am good to go.  The finish is slightly dewy, like real skin, and I find I don't have to set with a powder (although using a translucent loose powder over top helps make it bulletproof.)  This gives medium coverage, and would be great for just about all skintypes, I think.  Again, there is no sunscreen, so it should photograph beautifully, although I have not experienced it.

Well, those are my Top 3 Foundations… I encourage you to give them a try if you have not yet found your holy grail foundation.  

Happy New Year!!

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