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1/14/13

How To Buy The Right Foundation

I know foundation shopping is a tough chore. It's become easier these days with beauty blogs that give you a pretty good idea if a particular foundation is what you're looking for. BUT picking the right shade is still a challenge for a lot of people. I've lost count of the number of foundations I've used, but I'm still not a 100% confident when it comes to picking the right shade.
Once, when I was buying Revlon Colorstay Foundation at a Watsons in Kuala Lumpur, I almost went mad! Mr.CZ had left me alone to do my makeup shopping, and when he came back after an hour, I had not moved an inch from the Revlon shelf. My hands & arms were dirty with swatches, I was so exhausted, and I think I wanted to cry a little bit. Really. I wanted to sit on the floor like a child, raise my arms & cry out: "HELP ME! WARM GOLDEN OR THIS BEIGE-SOMETHING??? SOMEBODY! WHY ARE YOU ALL STARING AT ME?!!!" I told you I almost went mad.
It has gotten easier since then. Buying my most recent foundation (Rimmel Wake Me Up) took only a minute or two. I thought it would be kind of helpful if I shared a few tips and things like that. 

What I do: 

  • Set a day for foundation shopping, and I don't wear much makeup on my face that day.
  • Take along a bottle of my favorite foundation shade for comparison*. I swatch it on my hand & swatch the others alongside it to find the closest matching shade. For me, it's Make Up For Ever HD Foundation #120. You'll see why below.
  • *Don't use up all of your favorite foundation or throw away the bottle, so you can use it as a guide to buy your next foundation. Unless you're buying the exact same one.
  • If I didn't carry my "guiding foundation", I'll pick shades like Nude, Beige, Sand.... basically, shades that look more yellow & I'd swatch them all on my arm in an orderly fashion (smallest number first), so I don't forget which is which if they look very similar.
  • Then I'll take the foundations from the swatches on my arm with my fingers & apply them on my jawline or neck side-by-side.
  • I'll pick the shade that blends into my jawline & neck perfectly.
  • I take a pack of Wet Wipes & tissues. They make swatching many shades at the same time so much easier. In India, they may not be as important, because most stores have SA's who are always ready with cotton balls & cleansing milk. But in drugstores, there's no such service, you're on your own. 
  • Having a handbag mirror which has a magnifying mirror on one side can be super helpful when buying foundation.