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Make-up Master Class - Foundation

Thursday, 12 November 2009

If you're the type of person who's just not sure about how to make your make-up work for you- we will demystify the process! How to choose the right product for your age - range and how to apply correctly.

We all dream of flawless skin, perfect pores and a glowing complexion, but one in a million have this as a God given natural attribute.

An even smaller minority actually know how to use make -up to achieve perfect
coverage that evens out skin tone, minimises pores and covers light blemishes.

Recent research (conducted by UCD Smurfit school and the Marketing institute of Ireland) has shown that whilst the recession is raging on, women are refusing to give up spending on cosmetics - with sales up 4% since last year!.

Lisa O'Connor- Make-up artist to the stars!

Since 1992 Lisa O Connor has worked as a makeup artist with most of the top prestigious cosmetics companies. In 1997 when M.A.C first arrived in Dublin she began her 7 year career working as makeup artist and manager. While working with M.A.C Lisa developed her makeup artist skills as well as working on exciting projects from the MTV awards to The Late Late Supermodel Shows.

In July 2004 Lisa decided to move on and start a freelance career under the name The Beauty Source. During this time she specialized in Bridal, Fashion and photographic makeup.

She also works regularly in television both working behind the scenes and in front of camera. She created looks for RTEs "You're a Star", "Charity You're a star" and "The All Ireland talent show" to mention but a few. She has appeared as a beauty contributor on both "Off the rails" and "The Afternoon show".
She has built up a regular clientele including the Seoige sisters, Amanda Brunker and Michelle Heaton and also worked on international celebrities including Natalie Imbruglia, Carrie Fisher and Anna Friel.

Lisa has been creating looks for all the Peter Mark advertising campaigns.
Lisa has recently launched her exclusive makeup line "War Paint" which is available to purchase at her makeup parties and at her online shop -
Models:- Brid (60), Corrina (32), Aisling (nearly 16!)


Your skin is the canvas on which to apply the paints that enhance your natural look. Foundation is not always 100% necessary but is a great way to even out skin tone to give the impression of a flawless complexion. Finding the right foundation for you can be difficult as your skin can change at different times of the year. Your skin also adapts with age and so too should your foundation.

Foundation is a product that many women are particularly fussy about and once they find one that they like, they generally stick with it, regardless of price. Whilst most women are prepared to try a cheaper lipstick or eye-shadow, most are not prepared to put their skin through unnecessary turmoil.

Research conducted recently by the UCD Smurfit Business School and the Marketing institute of Ireland suggests that whilst the recession has sent consumers into the red financially, they're refusing to give up on their cosmetic spends. The cosmetics industry is one of the few that is currently keeping its head afloat, with sales of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals rising by almost 4% in the last 12 months.

Lynnie of fabulous Irish Beauty blog says:-
"In straitened economic times, lipstick's historically been the one fashion or beauty product that women will consistently spend their sheckles on. Leonard Lauder, chairmain of Estée Lauder, coined the term "lipstick index" which is a somewhat kooky economic indicator to describe the phenomenon of soaring lipsticks sale as an economy goes down the tubes, with women opting for the cheap, quick, feel-good, pick-me-up fix that a slick of lip colour provides. During the Second World War, lipstick was actually marketed as the product that would help women to "put on a brave face".

This hasn't held true for the current big R, however: we're going back to base(ics). Yep, according to research conducted by L'Oreal in the UK, the perfect foundation has taken lipstick's place as the must-have beauty product for women under 60, with foundation sales up hugely in both the UK and US in 2008 while lipstick sales were on the slide."
"Forget Lauder's "Lipstick Index", the Foundation Index is where it's at!"

Lisa's foundation advice, whatever your age:-

What is the correct lighting you should use when you are applying foundation?

If possible apply foundation in daylight. Place a mirror by a window so you are facing the light.

Can your moisturizer affect your foundation and how long should you wait before putting on your foundation after applying moisturiser?

Too much moisturiser can make your foundation shiny and effect how long it lasts. When applying moisturizer heat a small amount in the palm of your hand, this brings it to body temperature and means it absorbed quicker into the skin. Apply the foundation when your skin feels soft no oily to touch.

How should you apply foundation? Sponge, brush, fingers etc..?

Liquid foundation is best applied with a brush. You use less product, get a better coverage and foundation lasts longer. Pancake style foundations are best applied with fingertips. The heat of your hand helps to blend the foundation better. Sponges tend to absorb liquid foundations and can be unhygienic if not changed daily.

Do you have any tips for buying foundation?
When buying a foundation I would recommend that you have the consultant or makeup artist apply the foundation to your entire face. Wear the foundation for the day to ensure it lasts and suits your skin type. Check the colour in the daylight - don't trust the lights in pharmacies or department stores. Ask for a sample of the product to take home a try. Make sure the texture, coverage and colour suit you.

When looking for the best colour suited to your skin, where is best testing area, the back of your hand, your neck or arm?

When choosing a foundation colour its best to test on the jaw line. You need to match the colour of your face with the rest of your body. If you wear fake tan regularly then you will need to buy a darker foundation.

Pink tone or yellow tone? Which colour suits which skin type?
A yellow tone suits a more sallow complexion. Irish skin tones suit a more pinkish, warm tone.

Do you recommend that we change our foundation both summer and winter?

Skin types change seasonally; we tend to be more oily in summer and drier in winter so we would need to change to a more appropriate foundation then. In summer we may favour a lighter coverage with a high SPF. In winter we may prefer a fuller, creamier coverage to help protect the skin in harsher weather

What type of finish would you recommend for each of our models - 16, 32 and 60?

Aisling's skin is young and blemish-free so I would recommend a light coverage foundation or tinted moisturizer like Olay's "Touch of foundation".
Olay says "heavy make-up can make a girl feel 'over done' and make skin feel clogged up or masked. Whether it's after work or rolling out of bed- busy girls need effortless beauty products."

For Corrina or ladies in their 30s I would recommend a bit more coverage to cover any redness but also light weight and radiant as not to show up any fine lines like L'Oreal "True Match roll-on" or Clarins "True Radiance".

For a mature skin like Brid I would use a foundation with anti-aging and firming ingredients like Clarins "Super restorative foundation"

Clarins says this is "For exceptional complexion radiance and a younger-looking you. A younger-looking make-up result thanks to a bright, radiant complexion and the unique 'lift' effect created by the specialist 'Lifting Radiance' pigment. "

What types of foundations would you recommend for skin types? Oily, dry, normal?

Oily skins need to wear a more matte, oil-free foundation. Dry skin need a creamier, moisturising foundation. Normal skin types can wear most foundations but need to stay away from anything too matte or oily.

Do we actually need to wear foundation?
We need to wear moisturizer but we don't need to wear foundation.

Which should come first, foundation or concealer?
Apply foundation before concealer. After applying foundation if you feel you need more coverage in any areas then dab on some concealer.

Tips for Teens!:-
1. Avoid full coverage foundations
2. Use oil-free foundation if skin is oily or blemished
3. For clearer complexions stick to tinted moisturiser

Tips for the 30 somethings!:-
1. Use medium coverage to cover redness
2. Exfoliate skin weekly to keep skin radiant
3. Use foundation with SPF to avoid sun damage

Tips for the more mature!:-

1. Use foundation with firming and lifting qualities.
2. Too much around the eyes accentuates fine lines
3. Keep product to a minimum.

Prices/Stockists/Relevant Information

Featured products:

Aisling:- Olay touch of foundation, €13.99, Pharmacies nationwide

Corrina:- Roll on True match, €19.99, L'Oréal

Brid:- Super Restorative foundation, €47.50, Department stores nationwide