The journey to find the perfect foundation. | Why Foundation Friday First Impressions exists.
Originally, I had considered naming this series Fifty Shades of Foundation First Impressions, or something to that effect. However I decided to ditch that because I felt that even if I find foundations that I truly love: which would be amazing, I’m willing to continue the series on for as long as I can. I didn’t want to limit myself to basically what was going to be a designated 1 year period. (taking off 2 weeks for christmas or whatnot in a year with 52 weeks)
Usually, I can tell within 1 or 2 wears if I will love a foundation. If I still like a foundation on the second day, it’s a rare thing. My skin can sometimes be fickle and change day over day for me. Hence, the series being based on my initial impressions of a product.
I know that I certainly can’t be the only person who has struggles with finding their perfect match. I have tried going into stores and having countless people attempt to match me. I purchase recommendations and usually almost always end up returning them because I don’t like them for one reason or another. My first real dive into makeup was when I was in 8th grade. Correction, when I graduated from 8th grade. My mother took me to the Clinique counter at our local department store to get my makeup done and buy a couple of products. I remember thinking that I was so grown up at this point. I kept thinking that I was going to be completely transformed and almost unrecognizable at graduation and people wouldn’t be able to put their finger on exactly what it was that made me “look” so grown up.
In high school, I was more of a late bloomer than most. I was a tomboy, an athlete that hadn’t learned much about makeup during the time others did, as I was always running off to my next gymnastics event. I had never heard of eyeshadow, didn’t really know it was a thing. I had no brushes, maybe a few of those triangle makeup sponges but definitely nothing specific for eyes or the rest of my face. I had 1 brush, a blush one, which came inside the blush I purchased if this gives you an idea. I put on foundation with my fingers.
I knew about eyeliner, and my fight with the inevitable raccoon eyes, aka transfer, started from that first moment on. I didn’t know any better at this point, I just figured this was how it was for everyone. I did dark black eyeliner all around the eye, literal circles, because I didn’t have eyeshadow and this is how one achieved the “smokey eye” right? Just kidding, I didn’t even know what a smokey eye was at this point in my life.
I thought my makeup game was pretty serious because I could fill a small gift with purchase makeup bag with my products. And then, the caboodle came out. I threw in my face care at this point and man, I thought I was set! Mind you, we’re also talking about the very small caboodle. Anyways, I digress, the whole point of the flashback glimpse was just to say in way too many words, I was a late bloomer with makeup.
Fast forward a few years and I tried out for an NFL cheerleading team. I thought I had done super heavy makeup. I was at a preaudition workshop and asked the coach, what she thought of my “look”. She took one look at me in a cursory up and down glance and said “Go to the MAC counter and tell them you need lessons”. I didn’t make the team but I did learn a thing or two at the makeup counter. This was my first foray into eyeshadow looks.
Fast forward a few more years, I discovered makeup gurus on YouTube. I realized that they were doing things that I had never heard of. Contouring, highlighting, bronzing, blending, cut creasing, all of these words were completely new to me and I was mesmerized. I was completely hooked, even if I had no idea what they were talking about. I wanted so badly to emulate these women I was seeing on screen.
One thing that I really didn’t realize until much later was that I kept on lamenting on how I thought that I couldn’t achieve the looks they were doing because of my lack of eyelid. Having a monolid really started to affect me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. I kept wishing and hoping that I could see someone more like myself so that I could achieve the eye looks that they would come up with. I remember being frustrated that I didn’t have a crease and everyone kept talking about having one and blending it and so on and so forth. But again, I digress, this isn’t a story about my eyelids, we’re still on the path to perfect foundations.
I remember many years later still, now in my 20’s, I was feeling even more like a grown up, I had a job that in my opinion paid pretty well, I was buying my first condo on my own and felt like I had really got most of the pieces of my life together. I was being sent on a trip from work that was celebrating women in leadership with the company. I remember picking out my dinner outfit, and finishing my makeup, and feeling pretty good about how I looked.
I ran into one of the organizers of the event, a pretty high up executive, and we were talking. She knew my name! She talked to me for a few minutes and I was feeling so good. I was with a few other women from my state and we decided to take a picture together. I remember thinking when I was taking the photo and smiling for the camera that life was pretty cool at that moment and how I would remember that photo and be so proud of it. It may have been during the myspace days but I was prepared to put that picture up lol.
Looking at the photo, I remember thinking, “holy crap! Why does my face look like this?!” This was my first experience with flashback and it was awful. I had no idea that face makeup could even do something like this. I looked like a ghost and I couldn’t understand where I had gone wrong. Not only did I think, my foundation looks white, but it doesn’t looks like I match at all. Two different issues but I had no idea at the time. I was traumatized and I did not end up ever publishing that photo online.
From then on, I was even more obsessed with finding my right “tone” of foundation. I was convinced that I had done it incorrectly and I became super self conscious and hyper aware of color matching efforts from that moment on. Over the years I’ve tried so many foundations and occasionally I would find one that I would say, hey this isn’t so bad. (Thank you Neutragena healthy skin?) Many of the foundations I wore over the years were always alright. There had never been one that I had just fallen in love with head over heals. My true ride or die, with me til the end true love. The one I brag about to all my friends to the point where they might think I’m getting paid to talk about it.
I am determined that I will find my favorite foundations. I’m looking for an everyday foundation and one for more serious or fancy occasions, for when I’m ready for serious glam. I’m okay with searching the world high and low for my new favorite products.
The criteria I’m using for finding my Holy Grail Foundation will include:
- Does not cling to dry patches on nose
- Color match without oxidation
- Natural-Matte Finish
Things that don’t matter as much, but can factor in final thoughts:
- Application demands (Brush vs Blender)
- Amount of product in container vs how much is needed for application
This series may not be of interest to you, and that’s ok. It’s more of a personal journaling for me of all the attempts and thoughts I have around certain foundations. It may resonate with some people and it may not. I completely understand and accept that.
I think you will see, I’m not a brand snob. I’ll try foundations from the drug store as well as the department store and throughout it all, I will provide my own honest opinions. You can disagree with any and all of my opinions and that’s totally acceptable. Every person’s skin is different and reactions to certain makeup can vary as wildly as colors in the world. I’m certainly not trying to anger anyone with any of my opinions, as they are my own, speaking on my own experiences.
You may love certain products I dislike, or dislike products that I love, it’s all good and it’s all correct. If you’re up for following along my journey, I would love to have you with me. If you want to tune out for this series, I hope that there is something else on my channel that you might enjoy, as I would certainly love to have you along for the ride.
Even when I went to the Lancôme counter to have my skin matched, which side note (was one of the best color matches I’ve ever had), they were surprised by the complexity of my skin color. A little yellow, a little olive, paler than you might think and yet no perfect match. If it hadn’t been for the finish and coverage of the foundation by Lancôme I would have been in love, but alas, those things are quite important to me. I want the whole package!
I’m a girl who wants it all. I want my face to look flawless and beautiful. I won’t stop until when I look in the mirror, I think that I’ve finally nailed it. I think I owe it to the girls of my past who thought I had stuff figured out to finally actually figure it out!
Periodically, if I continue to use a foundation I will update my description boxes to provide updates on my opinions on things from longevity to final thoughts. I will post the weekly video here on my blog as well as on YouTube. I will put more details in my posts here though. I hope you come along for the ride and will help cheer me on as a I go on the hunt for my favorite foundations.
I believe that a woman in the right makeup, can rule the world lol. There’s something about knowing that you like what you see when you look in the mirror that makes you present yourself to the world in a more confident way. I am all for women being confident these days, we could certainly use more of that in the world.
If you’re a brand and would like for me to include your foundation for review, please contact me to make arrangements. Please note that products given for review will not receive guaranteed positive reviews, but they will receive an honest one.
And now, onward my friends, let’s get going!