Friday, September 23, 2011

Ask Ink: Light Foundation for Dry, Fair Skin

This week's question via email:

"My question, I've been using MAC Studio Fix as the only product on my face for years. I don't like regular foundation (I find it goopy and heavy feeling) and I've always had good skin, so the lightness of it worked for me. As I get older, I think my skin needs more help. I'm very fair and tend towards dry skin. Suggestions on products?"

My co-worker just had this issue and requested that I go to Sephora with her at lunch to help her find a foundation that offered good coverage but didn’t feel like she was wearing a mask.  Being the awesome co-worker and Sephora junkie that I am, I was on it like was my job to shop for makeup. (Seriously though, someone pay me to do this).

Make-Up Forever HD Foundation has good coverage in a convenient pump bottle.   It really left her skin flawless, while feeling very light on her face.  $40. 
Laura Mercier Silk CremeFoundation has a great array of light shades and ultimately was the product that she chose since it blended in best with her slightly rosy skin tone.  $42.00

Foundation Tips:
·         Go to a store or make up counter where you can try the shade on your face.  Drug store items can vary wildly and while most places will allow you to return products, the trial and error portion can be annoying.  Most stores and counters will have applicators you can use and makeup remover to wipe the stripes off when you’ve finished.

·         Don’t wear makeup when going to buy a foundation.  You’ll want a clean slate to see how well a shade matches best.

·         Look at the shade in the sunlight.  Walk to the window with a hand mirror and make sure it actually matches in outdoor light.  Step outside if you have to.

·         Use a brush or sponge to apply liquid foundation.   I really like stippling brushes for liquid foundation since they don’t soak up product the way that sponges do and they give a more flawless and blended look.  I’d recommend either the Sephora Pro Stippling Brush #44 or the M.A.C. 130 Short Duo Fibre Brush.

Since every skin is different, go out there and try until you find something that works.  Foundation is one of the few places I won’t skimp on since a bad match can ruin your whole look, feel gross or even cause your skin to break out.  Ladies, what foundation have you used that you loved?


  1. OH MY GOD, it's like I'M the co-worker. Only I'm not. But I'm getting older and I have fair, dry skin with a rosy undertone.



  2. Thanks Vee! I was just in Sephora yesterday and was lost amid the Laura Mercier section. Luckily the nice store employee gave me some samples to try; I quite like the liquid foundation but even their lightest shade doesn't match with my skin that well, so I am definitely going to check out Make-up Forever's.

    - Nora

  3. Two questions, since you're on the topic of foundations and things:

    1. How do you feel about the Bare Escentuals foundations?
    2. The Dior Air spray product thingies?

    I have both, but I wear neither. I just went through a Sephora phase (which may have lasted a year or so) and I was wondering which you prefer.

  4. I've tried the Bare Escentuals foundation, and while it was indeed light-feeling and not "mask-y" at all, I found that it didn't give me the coverage I needed. I also found myself using a lot of the product so I went through it really quickly. I think BE is really well marketed, and a nice product if you have minimal skin issues but for anyone with discoloration or scarring, it just isn't enough.

    I have not yet tried the Dior Air spray product and now have to run to Sephora stat to try it out!

  5. I'd worn Merle Norman for years until I moved to Scotland. And then my already pale skin paled out of their lightest shade, and gradually out of every other brand I could find. That is, until I wandered over to a Laura Mercier counter in complete desperation. I had tried everything--they were my last hope! But they had the perfect thing--Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer in Porcelain. It gave me a bit of healthy glow (I'd turned disturbingly translucent), without making me look like I was wearing an orange, or pink mask. Now, even though I'm back Stateside, I'm still a die-hard Laura girl!