It was interesting to watch the marketing in play, each counter positioned just so, the most expensive items on prominent display, colourful signs tantalising you with 'Special Offers'.
I like to hover at the counters just long enough to get a feel for what colours are popular and what the latest trends might be --- but not too long that I become a target for the eager Sales Assistant!
While doing my 'hover' at the Bobbi Brown counter, I noticed a 'sista' on the other side of the booth, having her 'makeover'. She was dark skinned and her Consultant was much lighter, so I was curious to see how this transformation would turn out, what colours they would use to complement her natural skin tones and so on.
While ignoring the approaching Saleswoman, I realised the sista had seen me watching her and was trying to catch my eye; I turned my head to acknowledge her and she mouthed over the way: "How does it look?
I punked out.
With the Saleswoman AND her Consultant both looking at me (staring me down I should add), I just didn't have the balls to be honest. Instead, I nodded my head and smiled :"it's nice".... but I felt like such a liar and I am sure she could tell I was being disingenuous, probably because my nose was now about a foot from my face!
Was it just her eyes? Her lips? Foundation and cheeks?
Having the sista turn to face me and ask me for my opinion did not help answer this question... I was getting that uncomfortable prickly feeling, being put on the spot like that, and still I was racking my brain:
"What have they done to her?"
This sista was pregnant; maybe she had the dreaded pregnancy mask but she did not have an even tone to the complexion on her face. Imagine you drew a circle around your T-zone, well, unfortunately, this area of her face was several shades lighter than the rest... I was trying to figure out whether this was a result of the makeup or whether it was genetic (or even the result of pregnancy or bleaching). I would have thought that if this was a naturally occurring phenomenon, the make-up artist would have tried to use a concealer to even out this young woman's complexion... but no... so then I had to wonder whether she'd had her eyes done but to be honest I couldn't see anything. I couldn't even see blusher on her cheeks... so it had to be foundation right? Otherwise what on earth had that Consultant been doing for so long?
The sista lumbered away without buying any products, secretly I was happy for her but my eyes followed her through the store. Part of me wanted to run after her and explain, the other part of me was aware that the Booth Staff were still watching me... man, I punked out.
I should have run after her and told her to check her reflection in her compact outside the dept, where the lighting would be natural and MUCH BETTER; so she could gauge the outcome accordingly. I should have told her that I couldn't actually see what she'd had done from where I was standing - which may have been a good thing ie the makeup could have been very sheer, thus avoiding that 'caked on' look. I should have suggested another brand which specialised in darker complexions and with which she may have had more success. I should have wished her all the best for her child's imminent delivery. I should have reassured her that she was beautiful without the makeup anyway, but I didn't do any of these things. I just watched her walk away.
I feel like I failed her.
So here are a few tips to those of you I CAN shout to:
- Never choose a foundation colour based on how it looks INSIDE the store; go outside into natural light, you'll have a much better idea.
- Never colour match foundation on the back of your hand, apply to your lower cheek or jawline and blend. If it disappears it's a keeper. If it's too light you will look ashen; if it's too dark, too red or too yellow - it'll be obvious. Trust your instincts no matter how good the sales assistant/makeup consultant says you look!(Or lily-livered passers-by like myself for that matter!)
- Liquid foundation is light and easiest to work with; however, coverage results may vary, therefore - choose the TYPE of foundation that is best for you (powder, cream, liquid etc).
- Some skins are virtually flawless and those women can get away with a light dusting of powder or bronzer for a matte or sun kissed look; women with dark circles or acne scarring etc usually need heavier coverage but 'heavier' in this instance does not mean CAKED ON. It just means you may need a liquid or cream foundation instead of just powder.(Note, some cream foundations are too oily for dark skins and can make them appear SHINY!)
Ultimately, you wanna look like this: (give or take the eye and lip makeup depending on how you do)
as opposed to looking like this:
Foundation Facts from Various Internet Resources
Foundation helps to color the skin evenly and hide the imperfections of the skin such as scars, light and dark colored areas.
There are different types of make up foundations like emulsions, creams, liquids, cakes, powders, waterproof and spray foundation.
Emulsions! Emulsions are packed in tubes and are used for variety of skin types. This type of make up foundation gives less sheen than cream or liquid foundation. This foundation covers the blemishes also.
Creams! Cream foundations are suitable for dry skin as they contain high proportion of oils and are creamy. Cream foundations provide heavy coverage but give a glossy finish. These have more moisturizing properties.
Liquids! Liquid foundations are easy to use and are packaged in bottles. These are available in oil based and water based formulas. These are formulated for all skin types. They cover the skin smoothly with a light sheen and can be best suited to cover blemishes and scars.
Cakes or sticks! These are solid in form and have greater drying effect. Due to drying effect, it is suited for oily skin. With dense matt cover, these are good for covering scars and blemishes. Cakes or stick foundations are popular for photographic and stage work but are too heavy for everyday use.
Powders! The powder foundation control shine and provide oil-blotting. Compact powders are heavily formulated as they contain a certain amount of foundation. Powders are used during the day for touching up and help to reinforce coverage.
Waterproof make up foundation! Sometimes foundation does not last long. This is possible especially in summer due to humidity and higher temperatures. During this weather, waterproof make up foundation is of great help to your skin. These are water resistant and make your skin look glamorous in spite of sweating conditions.
Spray foundation! Spray foundation is preferred for acne scarring and post surgical skin. It is used to retain the make up for long hours. Spray them at any time over your make up to refresh. These come in different shades for different skin tones.
Stay beautiful til next post :)