Ace of Bases: #givegoodface Series, Part I

Welcome to Part I of my #givegoodface Series, in which I will be bringing you my favorite face-related products, from makeup to skincare, on the last Thursday of each month. Today, it's foundations!

I have an affinity for foundation. Applying it is like painting on a canvas, and it has the ability to completely change the look of your skin. Every time I hear about a new one from one of my favorite beauty bloggers or YouTubers, I have to pick it up at the drugstore or run to Sephora for a sample (because I am not going to spend $60 on a foundation until I know it will work for me). For the record, I have normal to oily skin, with some dry patches here and there, but I can pretty much wear any foundation. That said, I lean toward bases that will give me a more dewy finish, because who doesn't love a good glow? Skin looks healthy and vibrant with a dewy finish, but there is a big difference between dewy and oily, and if I'm not careful, I can definitely cross that line. I have rounded up my all-time favorite foundations (up to this date anyways, it's constantly changing) in two different categories: light coverage and full coverage. These are a mix of matte and dewy, drugstore and high end. I have also included my two favorite application techniques and products.

But before we get into foundation, a couple first steps to make sure your foundation applies evenly and stays all day - First: Start with a clean, exfoliated face. Then: MOISTURIZE! Can't stress that one enough. FINALLY: Prime your skin with your favorite primer. Mine are the Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer, the Make Up Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer: Smoothing, and the Becca Backlight Priming Filter.

LIGHT COVERAGE:

1. L'Oreal True Match LUMI Cushion Buildable Luminous Foundation // This is the newest member of my foundation family and it is quickly topping the charts for me. It is so light and dewy, it almost feels like a BB or CC cream when applied. This one leaves me with an all-day glow. I love the cushion because I can dip my Beauty Blender (BB) right in it and then dab on my face, without having to put foundation on the back of my hand or get my fingers messy. This foundation is also very easily buildable (just as the name implies), so if you wanted a bit more coverage, that would be a cinch to achieve.
2. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation // As tough as that name is, this foundation is super easy breezy. It is weightless and dewy, while providing just enough coverage for a flawless look. This was the first high end foundation I ever tried, and it was my Holy Grail product for a while (and not just because the price broke my bank and I couldn't afford any other foundations). This one can be applied with either a brush or a BB and coverage is buildable as well.
3. Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Dark Spot Correcting // Ok so this isn't technically a foundation, but it covers like one. I love this for days when I'm feeling tired or lazy or can't be bothered with the whole foundation routine. I apply this with my fingers just like I would a face cream. It's neither matte nor dewy, but can be mixed with other products to make it either, like your regular moisturizer for an even lighter, tinted moisturizer effect. But my favorite way to wear it is to mix it with my Becca Backlight Priming Filter.

FULL COVERAGE:

4. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation // This is just a good all-around foundation, especially for oily skin. If you have dry skin, I would stay away. It does a pretty good job of mattifying the face and blurring pores, but nothing is a magic eraser for pores, so I would say "poreLESS" is a bit of a stretch. To get the fullest coverage on this one, apply it with a brush, like my favorite Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush. To thin it out, use the BB and/or mix in a little face oil - any oil suitable for the face will do.
5. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Liquid Foundation // This is a cult classic in the beauty world. You won't meet a makeup artist who hasn't at least tried this. This is probably one of the best foundations around for flash photography as it really evens out your skin and doesn't give off a weird flashback when your picture is taken. This leaves more of a luminous finish than matte. Same application techniques as #4.
6. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation // Same as above, but in stick form. This one is also a newer purchase but I am really loving it. The coverage is great without feeling too heavy. I also think the stick gives a more dewy finish. I love the convenience of the stick too. You just swipe it onto the high points of your face and along your neckline and blend using either a brush or a BB. This is also great for contouring if you get one a few shades darker than your natural skin tone.
7. Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation // This one makes some big claims: Primer, foundation AND concealer all wrapped into one. I wouldn't say it necessarily takes the place of your concealer, but you could definitely get away with just wearing this foundation if you wanted to. This one is a great everyday base. And the pricetag is unbeatable.
8. L'Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Up to 24 Hr Demi-Matte Finish Foundation // I really can't say enough about this foundation. The first time I tried it, I was hooked. It applies so evenly and smoothly and keeps your skin looking like skin, and not leather. I would say the "demi-matte" moniker is spot-on. The coverage is phenomenal and it really does last all day, even through sweaty lunchtime workouts. I like applying this one with my foundation brush for the full effect.
9. Cover FX Custom Cover Drops // Again, this one isn't technically a foundation either, but it's far too good to not include. This is a really cool product. It's pure pigment, so you can add it to almost anything to amp up your coverage a bit. I like mixing it with moisturizer, but you can mix it in with any foundation or liquid for a little extra oomph. The more drops you add, the more coverage you get. I feel like a mad scientist making concoctions with this product; it's so fun to mix and match to see how it works best for you.

APPLICATION:

10. The Original Beauty Blender // I don't know when this was created or who created it, but I'd really like to shake their hand and give them a hug. I can't recall a single day that I have NOT used this product since I bought it. On a scale of makeup application difficulty, this takes it from a 7 down to a 2. You can use this bad boy for ANYTHING. Blending out foundation and concealer, blending out contour, applying liquid bronzer, applying powders, blurring harsh lines... you name it, this unicorn of a product can do it. You simply squeeze it out under water several times (you want it to be totally saturated), squeeze all excess moisture out, and then go to work. You must use this product wet; that is when and how the magic truly happens. For applying foundation, this takes the cake because it gives a natural finish by absorbing excess product. Your foundation will never look caked on. If you buy this product, make sure to also get the cleaner, either this one or this one. Sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria, so I wash this before EVERY use. You have to put it under the water anyways, so you might as well clean it while you're there!
11. Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush // Second to my BB is this wonderful brush. With its duo-fibers and its density, this brush does not absorb excess product, so the foundation will stay on your skin and not disappear into the brush. This application is best if you want full coverage, but beware, as this can wreak havoc on dry skin. This will amplify dry patches and can cause skin to look flaky. I like to use my foundation brush mostly in the summer, when my skin is less dry, and when I have something more formal to attend. Easiest way to use it is to first apply product to the face, then buff it out with the brush with small, circular motions, starting in the middle of the face and working outwards.

You've made it to the end! If you're still here, bless you. Make sure to pop by next month for Part II of the #givegoodface Series: concealers!