A very special friend of mine, Srijita, had been requesting me for the last few years, to share my tips on the perfect Foundation and Concealer. The Formulas, the brushes and the works. Make up has always had a prominent part in all our conversations, and she has always asked me to put it all down in a post. But I continued to ramble through random chats and the odd phone calls,whenever anyone needed any make -up related advice. So today, I thought of putting down the ramblings and am sure it would become a semi-decent post.

The key to Great Make-Up is a Great Base. If your Base is patchy or faulty, no matter how much you try to work on it, the results shall be nowhere good. So before you make plans for the latest red carpet Smoky Eye, work on your BASE. Its like Mathematics. You need to master Simple Arithmetic,to go ahead with Algebra. Am sure you get the drift.

What exactly am I rattling on about Base?? Base refers to Foundation, Concealer and Powder.  This Holy Trinity is what makes the difference. When you wear make-Up on your face, you don't want to look like you have just dunked your face in some whipped cream and decided to go about town. You want to highlight your features, camouflage your flaws,and make your skin look as flawless as possible.

Lets begin with FOUNDATION: 

It always makes sense to get your Foundation Matched by an expert. No use trying to guess what your color/shade could be. The best way is to pick out three shades,which you think are closest to you. Test them out near your jawline. The shade which blends and can't be seen,is the correct shade for you. never try to go dark or go light.

All of us have an Undertone to our Skin. Either Warm or Cool or Neutral. So its important to determine what undertone you are. A warm undergone will have Yellow notes to the Skin,while a Cool Undertone will be more Pink. And there are the blessed few who are Neutral. I have a warm Undertone.

Foundations should be different at different times of the year. If you are lucky then you can stretch the same formula throughout the year. But lets just face it, its not practical. In Summer, when we pick up a Tan, our  Foundation shade changes, and so does the formula. We settle for water Based Foundation Formulas like MAC Face and Body Foundation, which are also waterproof. the last thing you want is that your make up washing away in sweat. While in winter, we can settle in for the slightly heavier formulas like MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation. A drug store alternative is REVLON COLOR STAY FOUNDATION. It comes in two formulas: One each for Normal to Dry Skin and the Other for Oily Skin.

While choosing a Foundation, the next thing which matters, is the Coverage we are looking for. If its a light to medium coverage is what appeals you, then opt for Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation or MAC Face and Body Foundation. Both of these Foundations can be built up to have a full Coverage. if you are looking for a Full Coverage Foundation, then opt for MAC Match Master Foundation or MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation. 

Finally is there Flash Photography involved? Some foundations have SPF or Titanium dioxide in Them,which causes a White Cast in Flash Photography. Yes, I have been guilty of the ghost face in my younger days without a care in the world. Now I am more than extra careful. If I know I mainly outdoors, I know I can get away with foundations with SPF in it,and I would also need it,by all means. But if its an indoor event, I take no chances. All BB Creams ahem SPF in them,and therefore do not photograph that well. My favorite Foundation to be photographed in, would be MAC Face and Body Foundation.  A Drug store alternative is REVLON PHOTOREADY FOUNDATION. A problem child in this regard is the URBAN DECAY NAKED SKIN FOUNDATION. Nowhere do the ingredients speak of SPF or Titanium Dioxide,but it leaves a horrible white cast in photographs. I have tried it on various occasion,s and whenever threes flash photography involved, it has let me down. But its a wonderful formula to wear during the day,and has stayed put on the skin, even on long road trips.

Moisturize Moisturize very well, before you start your make up. This prevents the Foundation from clinging to dry patches on your Skin.

How do you Apply your Foundation? I opt for a Flat Foundation Brush to apply the foundation, then smooth it all out with a damp Beauty Blender Sponge. You could also use a Buffing Brush or a Stippling Brush for a closer to skin finish. and make sure you go beyond your jawline,and blend it well.


We all have the odd spot on the face, the prominent zit which comes up before a big day or the super dark circles. Concealers come in to pack in the extra punch. The foundation cannot hide these specific  imperfections. So opt for a Concealer which matches your skin tone, to cover up any spots or zits.

For the under eye circles, opt for a Concealer which is two shades lighter than your skin tone, and of a different Undertone. That will help cancel out the redness and darkness under the eyes. This is one trick which will take away all traces of lack of sleep from your face. With a Concealer Brush, apply the concealer in the form of a triangle below the eyes. Use a damp Beauty Blender sponge to smooth it out.

You could also use the lighter concealer on the bridge of your nose and on the Cupid's Bow to highlight.

My favorite Concealer is MAC PROLONGWEAR CONCEALER,as a single pump dispenses enough product to cover both under eyes. A Drug Store alternative is MAYBELLINE FIT ME CONCEALER. Its not as thick as Prolongwear but does a decent job.

Last but not the least POWDER. You have worked hard on your Foundation and concealer, but you forget your Powder,and it all melts away to oblivion. You need to powder at least the TZone if you are not too fond of Powders. While some may sing all praises for Translucent Powders, I am not too fond of them. Some translucent powders will have Silica dust in them, and they have a similar white cast on your face in flash photography. The best option is to opt for a good quality colored powder. My choice is the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Natural. Its a fool proof option. I use a large fluffy brush to apply powder after I have done my Foundation and Concealer.

Phew,that was long. I seem to have rambled on and on. So go ahead and give it a try. Cheers to Make Up Mania !!!!


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