laying the foundation

Dec 8, 2014

If there is one thing I need in life, it's options! Like when Chris asks on the weekends, "what do you want for dinner?" I reply with, "I don't know what are my options?". The same thing goes for my make up routine. Except in this case you really do need different options. Foundation is such a huge part of make up, it is the base for your face, you know just in case you are moving at a slower pace. Okay, I'll stop. 

Anyway, different foundations all do different things and I don't mean just cover troubled areas. They reflect light, they can give you a dewy or matte look, they can be used for highlighting, the list goes on. Especially around the holidays I am always reaching for a different foundation. One of the biggest things I have learned in playing with make up is what happens to your make up when taking pictures. Your foundation makes or breaks what your make up looks like in front of the camera. For example if you are taking pictures inside with a flash and using a foundation with lots of SPF you will get that bright white look from your make up. Have you had that happen? When you look in the mirror and think your make up is on point and then that camera flashes and you look like you are wearing nothing! Foundation!!
This is pretty much my foundation arsenal. Ranging from light to heavy coverage depending on what I need that day. Let's dive in....

Primers- I cannot say enough about how my life changed (dramatic much?) after I started using a primer before my make up. It smooths out your entire face. Fills in fine lines, covers pores,  it is like a microdermabrasion treatment in a bottle! I use two different ones, MAC Prep + Prime in the summer time, and Smashbox Hydrating Primer in the winter when my skin need that extra glass of moisture. 

On to the main event.....Foundation.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer- I have probably been using this the longest out of all these products. It is the lightest coverage in any foundation type product. I use this mainly on preschool mornings, or days that I am just running errands but still want a put together look. It is light, moisturizing, but provides enough coverage to give you that uniform look on your face. 

Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm- I love this stuff! It has a little shimmer to it, so it is great in the summer time when you want your face to have that dewy sun-kissed look. But it also works in the winter when you want to look like maybe you just got back from Hawaii, but you totally wore SPF the whole time, you just got a nice glow. Make sense? It is a tiny bit heavier than a tinted moisturizer but not a full coverage by any means. Just a light glow. I use this on those mornings where maybe my insomnia was at a level 3. 

YSL Touche Eclat Illuminating Foundation- This is the most expensive of the bunch, definitely an investment piece of make up. It is an illuminating serum so it picks up properties of light, which I really like for a highlighter. It is still a great full face foundation, it walks that fine line between light and medium coverage, and could very well be used everyday. I use this for days when we go out to dinner, have a long day of doing whatever with the kids, and for pictures if taken outside since it will pick up light. But I use it most often as a highlighter right above my cheek bones. It is beautiful and has a sweet smell to it as well.

bareMinerals Bareskin- I did a whole post on this little bottle of goodness right here. I still love it, I even turned my mom onto this stuff when she came to visit. I just love that it is such a build-able foundation. Meaning you can easily go from light to heavy coverage. I used this so much during my first trimester when my skin was just freaking out. I would be breaking out one day, then dry and flaky the next, then my skin would be blotching and lifeless. This is a great product if you need an everyday foundation. But I will say for pictures since it has a good amount of SPF, it will wash you out. So for holiday events where you know you will be jumping in front of a flash, move on to the next ones. 

Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet- Now we are getting into the heavy coverage. By heavy I don't mean the feeling on your face, I mean the look. If you are going for a "oh I just woke up like this with beautiful skin" look then stick with the first four. This will provide enough coverage to look like you are wearing make up, but in a good way. It is a matte finish, so it dries almost like a powder. It will not give you a dewy, moisturizing look. So if you have dry skin make sure you moisturize well before using this. This is gorgeous in pictures. It will not reflect the light, so your make up stays in place. I have found that this looks best when applied with a brush (I use the bare minerals one) and not a beauty blender. A great date night foundation when you want to look like you put that extra effort in for your man! 

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation- Are you ready for the main event? This is your heavy hitter of the bunch. This foundation is no joke! When it says double wear, it means it. It will wear  all day long and then some. It doesn't smudge off on your clothing and make up stays right where you put it. Not to mention this is one of the most used foundations for photos. This is what I use in most of my outfit pictures, and what I will most definitely be turning to for all holiday photos. It is amazing, and dries with a flawless powder finish. But it is not for the faint of heart, it packs a real punch. So if you are looking for a foundation to provide a lot of coverage, this is it! 

And pretty much this was an incredibly long post about my foundation hoarding tendencies, but sharing is caring in my book. If you have questions (not that I am some certified make up guru) I can try to answer them. I am no expert, clearly. But I do dabble in make up far too often! 

What are some of your favs? Have you run into the dreaded make up vs. no make up look in pictures? 


  1. I bet you can imagine what I am going to say. And that is that I do not use foundation. I don't know how. Never have. I like the idea of the moisturizer one. Two stop shop if you know what I mean. I'll be saving this post for any future foundation attempts. That and your cell number. ;)

  2. I am picky when it comes to foundations because of my sensitive skin. Lately however I haven't been wearing makeup and it has been wonderful!

  3. I love my Smashbox primer! I am lovin the Bareskin foundation but then my mom came and she let me use her Cover FX foundation and I fell in love so I had to get some. haha

  4. I don't know how I lived without primer, either! I've been using it for the past 4 years I believe... but before that: NADA! I use the Porefessional or Laura Geller's Spackle.



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