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Back to Basics with Kate Conkey - Foundation

Tuesday, 23 January 2007


We are going back to basics with Kate Conkey  and today its all about foundation, the ultimate camouflage for our skin to hide our imperfections and help us feel that extra confidence for the day.

We all want to look as natural as possible with our foundation, we don't want to look like we are wearing make up, a mask, hiding our true complexions from the world. But how do we find that perfect foundation? How do we apply it on correctly so that it lasts the day? Does the application or tools help with this? Should we go for shine or no shine? So many questions need to be answered, so Kate is with us today to bring us back to basics with our foundation and tell us exactly how to do it right? So we can all look flawless all day long!

For powder & Concealer
The products

MAC Select Moisture Cover - €17.50 - Brown Thomas 
Face brush - €36 -
Powder foundation - €44.50 - ID Bare Minerals
Concealer - €17.50 -

For Liquid & Skin Tones
The Products
Face brush - €36 - Louise Constad,
Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation - €45 - Brown Thomas
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage - €38 - Brown Tomas

Your questions answered
What is the correct light you should be in for when you are applying on your foundation?

Natural daylight, not too bright, is the best.  Failing that, 100W bulb in a near by lamp is good.

When applying on the foundation, should your use a magnifying mirror or should you be at least two feet away form your mirror?
No magnifying mirror unless you have poor eyesight.  Remember the way people see you in real life as compared to a few critical inches from the (regular glass) mirror.

Can your moisturizer do anything to your foundation? How long should you wait from putting on your moisturizer to your foundation?
Moisturizer can change the texture of your foundation and dilute the pigment; hence, create your own tinted moisturizer.  It seems to work best to allow a good 5 minutes to let creams absorb. Kate likes to do the eyes first while the moisturizer and primer set into the skin.  Ideally, a foundation should not be loaded with lots of oil if you want a long lasting makeup.

How should you apply foundation? Sponge, brush, fingers or?
Personal choice.  Kate likes the brush most of the time for the most controlled coverage, but you should not be a slave to one technique of application.

Which is better for you to put on, liquid, moose or powder foundation?
Depends on skin type.  Mousse and powder foundations tend to be long wearing and matte due to the nature of their ingredients.  Liquids can vary a great deal as regards texture and finish.

What are your tips for buying foundation?
. Trust both your instinct and the advice of the cosmetics assistant.  Sometimes you are choosing the correct shade and she/he is misguiding you, and sometimes the opposite is true, with the customer selecting the wrong color.  If you like how the assistant looks, chances are she is going to pick a good shade and variety of foundation.
. Look at the face, neck, and chest to get a true understanding of your exact color.
. Know what kind of finish you are looking for - ultra-matte, matte, satin, light reflective, dewy
. Know what you are buying the foundation for - daily wear, special occasion, evening
. Test on your face.  It is the only true way to know if it is the correct color.
. Get a sample, if possible.  That way you can see how the foundation performs for the day.  A makeup might wear beautifully on one woman and turn slightly off color on another woman with the same skin color.
. Don't believe everything you ready in magazines.  There is a big marketing machine out there waiting to take more of your hard earned money.

When looking for the best color suited to your skin, and you don't want to apply it onto your face, where is best test base area, neck, for arm?
The only way to truly test is on your face.  The other body parts are not the same color as the face.

Water base or oil?
Depends on needs.  Many foundation have are silicon based, so they glide on very smooth and have a silky, light feel, but can provide superb coverage for many skin types.

Pink tone or yellow tone? Which color suits which skins?
Depends on each individual.  Many of us have a bit of both, so a more neutral shade is what to look for.  Often times, you might need to mix 2 shades to get the perfect match.  Kate highly encourages this.

Should we have at least two different shades of foundation and concealer in our make up bags? Do our skin tones change from winter to summer?
Yes to both of those questions for most women.  As you change color, change the shade of your foundation and concealer, and possibly the texture.

Would you recommend tinted moisturizers or foundation?
Tinted moisturizer for day time, for women and men with great skin, for summer, for a break from a fully made up face, for speed in the morning. Foundation for evening, for fuller coverage, for added protection from pollution and weather, for more polish.

What type of finish would you recommend for a foundation, matte, dewy?
Matte is longer wearing, satin always looks polished, dewy is youthful and suits older skins and those with perfect skin

What types of foundations would you recommend for skin types? Oily, dry, normal, older? Does foundation change with your age?
Foundation changes with your skin and your needs, not necessarily your age.  Do you need a matte finish for photos or long wear, is your skin de-hydrated and look better with a dewy finish, do you want extra sun-protection in your foundation, are you dripping in oil by lunch time?  See recommendations below

Do we need to wear foundation?
Absolutely not. Can we get away with just concealer. If used correctly and set with powder, this can look great on 99 percent of the population.

What goes first, foundation or concealer?
Foundation then concealer works best for Kate.  Others shout from the roof tops it is the other way round. So do what suits you, if it works don't stop!

Touch éclat by YSL is incredible for dark circles on your eyes, but not great for your spots, so do you need two different concealers?
I do not think it is incredible for under the eyes and is very over-rated.  Highlighter pens are to be used over full coverage concealers.  Provides that extra WOW factor for under the eye.  On its own, it does not have enough pigment to cover anything worth hiding.  It is not to be used over spots because it will not cover them and it will leave highlighted marks and draw more attention to spots.

And finally what are your top five foundations and why?

1. Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation - Matte finish, great coverage without feeling heavy, lasts all day and night, will not upset breakout prone skins - €34 - Brown Thomas
2. Max Factor Age Renew - Illuminating, long wearing, satin finish, good value - €11.95 - Chemists Nationwide
3. Lancome Color Ideal - Sheer Finish, exact color, easy to apply, €34 - Chemists Nationwide
4. Chanel Teint Innocence Compact - Non-greasy, provides good coverage, and feels light on the skin, €43.50 - Brown Thomas
5. Shiseido Stick Foundation SPF 15 - Great color selection, light to heavy coverage, doubles up as concealer, great for touchups, quick and easy, suits both a normal to oily and a normal to dry skin - €34 - Arnotts & House of Fraser