Four foundation truths we've learned over the years

Foundation is always a hot topic when it comes to beauty, and as a makeup artist, I’m always excited to try new formulas. Regardless of whether they work or not, there’s usually something to be learned from the experience.

Everyone has to start somewhere, though, and like many of you, it’s taken me years to gain experience and knowledge about makeup in general, not just with foundation, and I feel like I’ll always continue learning because, it’s interesting and fun, isn’t it?

base 2 Collage

The Body Shop Book

I can distinctly remember the first time I went to buy foundation. I’d read about it in my (then) beauty bible, The Body Shop book. I wandered into the shop and picked up a white tube, labelled foundation. When I brought it home and tried it out, it was about five shades too dark and looked oily and greasy. You see, I didn’t realise that there was more than one type, which means either, I was a bit of an idiot or that book is rubbish!

Fast forward a good few years and a lot of lessons learned, (both on myself and all the lovely faces I’ve had the chance to work on) and here are a few truths I’ve learned about our old friend on a white background

  • No one size fits all

It’s so obvious, but also so true. Time and time again, I see and hear discussions about how great a product is in one person’s opinion, only to have it slammed by another. We’re all different, from what we perceive to be “natural” coverage, to how harshly we judge our own skin to what shade we think looks good or how much we’re willing to spend. (Although if you do want some recommendations check out last week's post!)


Trial and error is a pain in the arse, but it does work in the end because no one else can tell you how your skin is going to react or take to a product. Where possible, I’d always advise getting a sample. You’d be amazed how differently foundation can perform over a week versus just one application.

Good Skin/Good Make theory

I remember reading years ago that in France, they believe that good skin care is the key to good makeup, and it’s a similar story in Korea and Japan. It’s something that always stuck with me, and the more I looked after my skin, the less makeup I've needed over the years.

Base 1 Collage

  • Blending is key

Whenever I’m working on a client or model, they comment on how much care and attention goes into creating a smooth base. Yes, it does when I’m working – but on myself? Nah! Who has the time? I just slap it on with my hands, and then do a quick buff/blend using a duo fibre brush such as MAC 187 (€47.50) or a sponge to make sure it’s been worked in properly. The key to making it look smooth is that last little step – which apparently both Val Garland and Sali Hughes do too!

Shade Matching


Aisling did a little video about this last week so I won’t harp on about it too much, but basically, if you missed it – any makeup artist worth their salt will advise you the same thing: check the shade in natural sunlight, otherwise there’s a risk that it might not be bang on.

Are there any other foundation truths you’d like to share?

Related Articles

More from Beauty