Foundation 101: Staying Flawless

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Many foundations on the market advertise all day wear, yet the number one complaint I hear from clients is that their foundation just doesn’t last. There is no reason why your foundation shouldn’t last throughout the day, just follow few simple steps. Keep on reading if you want flawless foundation around the clock!

First things first, much like your skin care regime, you have to think of your foundation as a ROUTINE. There are several steps to achieving a flawless complexion that lasts all day and a few products you’ll need that will work together to maximize wear.

Here’s what it takes to create a complete, long-lasting foundation routine:

Moisturizer

Use a moisturizer that is best suited for your skin type. If you’re going to be applying your makeup immediately after your skincare, opt for a formula that is lightweight and fast absorbing. Be sure to massage your moisturizer into the skin to help it penetrate and to boost circulation for plump, hydrated skin. This step will allow for your foundation to adhere to a smooth base. When the skin is hydrated, makeup will last longer and look better.

Primer

The main purpose of a primer is to help your makeup last longer. Primers act as a base for your foundation and often contain ingredients (like glycerin) that are tacky to help makeup stick & stay put. Primer also acts as a barrier between your skin and your makeup, which means that your skin shouldn’t affect the way your makeup wears. If you do have skin concerns that are likely to break down your foundation (such as the overproduction of oil), choose a primer that will help combat the issue (like a mattifying primer). Just like a primer for paint on the wall, foundation primer fills in nooks and crannies for a smooth result. If you have concerns with enlarged pores, scarring or fine lines, choose a primer with a silicon base to keep your makeup from settling into textured areas.

APPLICATION TIP: Make sure to work your primer in well with clean hands. Add extra primer where you find your makeup creases or breaks down through out the day, but remember to start with a small amount of product. If you use too much, or apply your foundation before your primer has a chance to absorb, it can ball up and create texture underneath your makeup. As a best practice, I like to wait at least 60 seconds after priming the face before I apply foundation.

Foundation

As a general rule, the more pigment a product has, the longer it will last and, unfortunately, pigment is a costly ingredient. This doesn’t mean that expensive foundations are necessarily better, however, higher quality ingredients = better performance. This is not to say that you can’t make a drug store foundation last all day. If you have a great foundation routine, getting 6-8 hours of wear from any foundation should be no problem. If you do need your makeup to stay on longer, say for a special event, you may want to opt for a higher end formulation.

APPLICATION TIP: When it comes to foundation, the key to application is to work in light layers. If you swipe your foundation on in a very thick layer, it is more likely to slide off of the skin. Between each layer of coverage, allow your makeup to dry and become tacky so that the next layer will adhere.

A tool to apply foundation with, such as a brush or sponge – I’m not opposed to using fingertips to apply foundation, but they can deposit a lot of product. As I mentioned, a thick layer of foundation is apt to slide off of the skin, and I find a brush or blending sponge will deposit just the right amount. Avoid using a wiping motion when applying foundation, as you’re not really depositing product this way, simply moving it around. The best application technique for any skin type, in my experience, is a stippling motion. Tap your foundation into your skin to marry the texture of your makeup and primer together, without lifting any product. Stippling will also give the smoothest result over pores and texture, and is the ideal technique for oily skin types.

APPLICATION TIP: Starting at the center of your face, work your foundation outwards towards your jawline. The jaw area is what I call the “transfer zone”, where the collar of your shirt can rub and where we’re likely to touch our skin. Having less makeup in this area makes transfer less likely and for most of us, the center of the face is where we need the most coverage anyhow.

Setting Powder

It’s a simple truth that your makeup will last longer when you use a powder over top. Powdering your foundation will set it in place and keep it from transferring onto your clothes, phone etc. throughout the day. Don’t worry that your foundation will look cake-y or dry when using a powder. Opt for a translucent option with finely milled powders for the most natural result.

APPLICATION TIP: You’ll want to avoid sweeping your powder over a wet liquid foundation, as this will only serve to move your makeup around, especially if you have oily skin. To truly SET your foundation, use the “press and roll” method. Press your powder into your foundation and roll your brush or sponge to mesh the two textures together without disturbing your makeup. Touch your skin with clean hands once you have applied your setting powder. Your skin should feel velvety smooth to the touch and there shouldn’t be any tacky spots. Start with the smallest amount of product (I usually use the residue that’s left in the lid when I open it up) and build in areas where foundation is still tacky or is likely to move around.

Setting Spray

For the ultimate long wear, mist your makeup with a setting spray at the end of your routine.Think of setting spray as hairspray for your face. Basically, it creates a film over your makeup (though obviously gentler and more flexible than hairspray) to defend against humidity and oil. You may not need to use a setting spray every day, but it is a must-have product for hot weather, a night out, or a special occasion.

APPLICATION TIP: Be sure to hold your setting spray at arms length. If you spray your product too close to your face, you could end up with water droplets on top of your foundation that will break it down! Try misting your setting spray in a T or X shape for even application.

 

It may seem like a lot of work, but the right techniques and products will keep your foundation flawless all day and all night!

You’ve Chosen Your Dress, Now It’s Time To Choose Theirs!

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You’ve spent hours choosing your dress, you’ve probably tried on many different gowns, but you’ve finally found it! The one, the dress for your dream wedding day. Now that you have your dress, it is time to pick out dresses for your bridesmaids. These days, many brides are opting to allow their bridesmaids to choose their own dresses – which can be great, as each bridesmaid can get a different dress that they feel comfortable in. However, this may not always be the way to go, especially if you have a very specific colour scheme or style in mind. I have some helpful hints on how to choose the right dress for your bridesmaids to make your job a little bit easier.

 

Listen, Listen, Listen

Yes, we know it’s your day. And it really should revolve around you, but when it comes to your bridesmaids wearing a dress in front of potentially hundreds of people, I am sure you want them to look and feel good! We all have different insecurities about our bodies, and it’s very important to listen to what your bridesmaids say about what they feel comfortable wearing. Not to mention, an ill-fitting gown can become quite apparent in the photos.

 

Choosing the Right Dress For Your Ladies

When I was planning my wedding, I had a pretty strong idea of what I wanted my ladies to wear. I know they had some thoughts as well, and with a combined effort, I was able to pick out dresses that suited them, but also suited my wedding and vision. What it really came down to was seeing what looked good on different shapes, which features to accentuate, and learning what each of the girls felt comfortable wearing. Here’s a quick little guide to reference when you’re picking out dresses.

If you take your bridesmaids measurements, you can begin to determine what will look best. Start by measuring around each person’s hips, waist, and shoulders, and you’ll quickly see what will work best.

If your bridesmaid has:

    • Hips that are several inches larger (or more) than her shoulders and waist: look for a dress that flares out from the waist. This shape is often called a fit and flare, or an A-Line dress, and is a universally flattering shape. If you choose a boat or a sweetheart neckline, a strapless dress, or one with small cap or puff sleeves, this will even out her shape and create a more proportional form .Something like this lovely lace dress would work well! 
    • Shoulders that are several inches larger than her hips and waist: keep your eye out for dresses that are A-line shaped, or something with body on the bottom half of the dress – ruffles, flare, or fullness of any kind. Boat necklines and wide shoulder straps will make her shoulders look smaller, and add a belt if you can for waist definition. This printed wrap dress, or this A-Line dress would be great for a lady with larger shoulders. 
    • Shoulders, waist and hip measurements that are all within a few inches of each other: look for a dress that has a clearly defined waistline, like… you guessed it – an A-Line dress! Or, add a belt to a fitted dress to draw in the waist. Almost any neckline will do for this lady – sweetheart, boat, v-neck or scoop will do well. Another great idea for this lady would be a dress with a wrap top to create curves. This stunning column dress would be amazing with a black ribbon around the waist! 
    • A waistline that measures larger than her hips and shoulders: look for dresses that create curves, with volume at the shoulder or on the bottom. A wrap dress with a flared skirt would be great, and anything a-line would be great. Again, adding waist definition with a belt or a clear waistline would be great, and an empire waistline would work well for this body shape as well. Necklines that work would be square, sweetheart, or v-neck. This gorgeous printed wrap dress would be fabulous on a lady with this shape. 
    • Shoulders and hip that are similar measurements, but a small waist: she won’t really need a ton of waist defining elements, but it never hurts! A sheath dress, empire waist, a-line, or wrap dress would be great for her shape. Look for something that is similar proportions throughout the dress, such as wider necklines with a flare or ruffled  skirt. This jade dress would be stunning on a woman with this figure! 

 

Look Around

Lastly, I must say it is important to look around for your bridesmaid dresses. Bridal shops can only offer so much, and don’t be afraid to get dresses from a website online, or even your favourite local boutique. Be bold and think outside of the box and allow your ladies to wear different prints, colours and shapes to create more colour and variety in your wedding party. Get the guys pocket squares to match the bridesmaid’s dresses, or even let your ladies wear a classy top and skirt. The potential to create an even more unique wedding doesn’t end at the décor – let it flow into your wedding party as well!
It’s also important to keep in mind how these dresses will all look together in your wedding photos. Often different prints, tones, or colours will liven up your photos, and create more unique portraits. Feel free to consult with your wedding photographer on what they think might look great in your photos – and happy hunting for their dresses!