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Is your foundation aging you?

The search for the right foundation can be daunting. You can choose from matte powders, creams, tinted moisturizers and even mousses. So where do you start to find the right foundation for your skin type, colouring and age?

Woman applying foundation

SheKnows spoke with professional makeup artist Bridget Bremner, who shared her top beauty secrets for having ageless makeup.

Bridget Bremner, professional makeup artist, knows what it takes to have young, fresh-looking foundation. After all, for the past six years she has been dealing with high-maintenance brides who expect to look nothing less than perfect for their big day. She’s also trained other makeup professionals and worked in film and television.

It’s a crime not to prime

There’s a saying in the makeup industry that goes, “It’s a crime not to prime.” An arrestable offence? OK, maybe not. But no artist starts painting without preparing the canvas. The same principle should be applied to your face. Primer is a way of preparing the skin and creating a smooth base to work with. Not only will your foundation glide on smoothly, but it will last longer.

  • Mineral Essence Foundation Primer (, $33)
  • Emani Hydrating Serum and Foundation Primer (, $33)
  • Lancôme La Base (Lancô, $46)

Know your foundation

Before selecting a foundation, you need to decide what effect you would like to achieve. Do you want light coverage? Are you trying to hide blemishes? What kind of complexion do you have? Are you prone to acne, or do you get patches of dry skin? How do you like to apply your foundation? Bridget’s pointers might help your next visit to the beauty store be a little less confusing.

Liquid foundation

The most common form of foundation comes in liquid and generally suits most skin types, no matter your age. They are the most versatile and are available in either an oil or water base. If you are prone to acne, opt for a water-based foundation. It is best applied with a brush.

Cream foundation

A cream foundation is ideal for drier skin types and can offer a heavier coverage. It’s best applied with a foundation brush or sponge.

Cake foundation

Cake foundations offer a matte finish and are a good choice if you have oily skin. They are convenient and come in a compact with a sponge, which makes touch-ups easy, and they can double as a concealer/foundation in one.

Stick foundation

Stick foundation is similar to cake foundation but best applied with a brush. The advantage is that it can be applied straight to the face, and it offers excellent heavy concealer properties.


A mousse has a light and fluffy texture, which offers a lighter coverage. It’s a good choice for those who don’t like the feel of foundation and for those with older skin. It’s best applied with a brush, but for an extra-light finish, use your fingertips instead.

Mineral foundation

Mineral foundations provide a luminous finish and offer medicated properties, which is good for people with problem skin. They usually come with their own brush for application.

Choosing the right colorfoundation

Generally speaking, we either have a cool pink tone to our skin or a warmer yellow tone. When choosing a foundation, it is vital to get this right, or the foundation will not blend in but rather sit on the skin, looking unnatural. The majority of women Bridget meets use the wrong colour of foundation.

A quick way to check if your skin is cool or warm toned is to look at your wrist veins. If they are blue coloured, you are most likely cool toned, and if they are greener, you are most likely warmer and golden toned.

If you are cooler toned, use pink-based foundations. If you are warm toned, try yellow-based foundations.

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Changing your foundation

As you age, you should consider lightening up. It is probably more important to conceal and cover the blemishes that older skin has, but as for foundation, lighter is best. The heavier types tend to sit in the pores of the face as well as in wrinkles, often making you look more lined. The fashion at the moment is a dewy finish, which suits most skin types and can be quite refreshing. Adding lots of powder will make you look more caked and older, so if you’re unsure, it’s best to just powder the T-zone and chin areas.

How to professionally apply foundation

When applying foundation, start at the centre of your face — nose and forehead area (commonly known as the T-zone) — and work your way outward. Apply the majority of the product to this area and to any problem areas. If using a brush, fade your way outward, toward the edges of your face. Always pay special attention to blend foundation into the jawline.

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