Saturday, 2 April 2011

Goth beauty: a flawless base

Hey, I'm getting hits via the author Scott Westerfeld's blog! I had a quick look and couldn't find a link - can anyone explain this mystery? I'm very happy about it, anyway. ^^

This post is a reader request from Jacqueline, who said, "I've been looking for someone to do a post on foundation/makeup for lighter skintones. Being very pale, I have a huge problem matching up my color with drugstore foundations and not looking bright orange. Of course, I could google "pale skin foundation" but their "goes on like a dream! Highest quality!" could translate to "somewhere between melted marshmallows and chalk" when I buy it."

I figured I'd better expand and talk also about foundation in general, however, as I don't want another telling-off from Emily Lynn. ;-) Also, Jacqueline, I ONLY JUST REALISED that you are the blogmistress of the very awesome Doomicorn Rainbow. D'oh.

Source: YouTube
Choosing the right foundation is the most important step in attaining the perfect base. Those with oily skins should look out for products that are 'mattifying' or 'oil free'. Cream-to-powder foundations will have a mattifying effect but are not too drying so are also good for combination skin. Test the product on the back of your hand - if it feels greasy on your skin, it'll be greasy on your face. If you have dry or sensitive skin, your best bet is a mineral foundation.

Tinted moisturiser is often useless for Goths as it tends to contain bronzer rather than actual foundation. Whilst not all Goths are ghostly-pale, we don't (usually) want a sun-kissed glow... If you want the light coverage of a tinted moisturiser, make sure that the product contains a small amount of foundation, not bronzer.

It is important to try out a few products in the store before you buy; not only to make sure you're choosing the right shade but to make sure that the product is right for you. Try rubbing it into the back of your hand, then press a hanky or tissue against it to see how much of it rubs off. All foundations will slip a bit during the day, but you don't want to leave orange marks all over your clothes if you can help it.

Testing the product also allows you to determine if the coverage is what you want. If you have blemishes and/or an uneven skin tone, medium coverage will go some way towards providing a flawless base. I you have good skin that just needs a little evening-up, lighter coverage will be fine. Those with mature skin should bear in mind that a heavy coverage of foundation will sink into fine lines and creases and actually make them appear worse.

Foundations with yellow tones are the most natural-looking on all skin tones; if you are very fair, however, you may need a cooler, pink-toned shade. There are product lines available specifically for those with dark skin - these foundations do not contain titanium dioxide, which has a tendency to make dark skins look unhealthy and grey-ish.

If you are extremely fair and find it difficult to find a colour that matches your skin tone, you could buy a white foundation from a brand such as Stargazer, Manic Panic or Bloody Mary (widely available online or possibly in your local alt shop) and blend it with a pale drugstore foundation. That way you don't need to worry about finding an exact match in-store as you can create one at home. Blend the two shades together on the back of your hand (or you could be more hygienic and use a make-up palette...) with a foundation sponge until you are satisfied with the colour match.

Remember, Gothlings, even if you crave the pale look, buying a foundation more than two shades lighter than your natural skin tone is likely to look slightly ridiculous. Very pale darklings may be tempted to buy Halloween whiteface products - this is an unwise move. Most of these are bad quality and may cause breakouts, as they are heavy and will clog the pores. Even good quality Halloween foundations from brands such as Snazaroo are more akin to face-paint than 'proper' make-up. This means they will feel heavy and uncomfortable on your skin.

Again, if you covet the pallid look, buy a proper white foundation (honestly, I swear by Stargazer) and mix with your normal foundation; or buy a foundation one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone. And blend like your life depends on it.

To tell if the products you're testing are the right shade to match your skin, apply a small amount of each on your jawbone or cheek and pop out of the shop into natural light (obviously, you need a compact mirror). The sample that matches your skin will be practically invisible - the right foundation should disappear into your skin.

When most people apply their make-up, they put on their foundation first and then their eye make-up. However, if you often wear heavy eye make-up, it might be worth your while to get your eyes perfect first and then apply foundation, as this saves you the bother of eye shadow speckles all over your finished foundation. Also, you should always apply your concealer before your foundation otherwise you might just wipe it off with your foundation sponge. Foundation also helps conceal a little bit, which means you need slightly less concealing product.

The colour of your concealer should match your foundation. If it's not a perfect match, blend a little concealer and foundation together. Using a clean ring finger or small brush, dab concealer lightly onto the centre of any blemishes and blend outwards. After applying foundation, you can add a little more concealer onto any blemishes that are not quite covered.

You may also wish to have a look around for neutralisers, aka colour correctors - these products usually come in a stick or a cream and are applied beneath foundation. They are odd colours - lilac, green and peach, and are used respectively for neutralising blue tones (e.g. dark undereye circles), red tones (e.g. blemishes, rosy cheeks - helpful for the very pallid look) and yellow tones (e.g. sallow skin).

To apply your foundation, the best tool you can use is a wedge-shaped sponge (you can grab a whole pack of these in Poundland). Dunk it in cold water, then squeeze out most of the water. This helps the sponge 'flow' over the skin and stops it soaking up too much product. You can also use a large, flat make-up brush.

Start application at the forehead and work quickly downwards and outwards (including over the eyes and lips). Make sure to blend the edges around the jaw line thoroughly to avoid tell-tale 'tide marks'. Use a cotton bud to blend the products over the very edges of the face where fine hair grows, and over the eyebrows.

You can also use contouring techniques to help disguise your least favourite features and flatter the shape of your face. Use a small amount of blush or *gasp* bronzer on a large round brush. Apply to the sides of your chin to narrow a wide or square jawline; to your temples to contour a large forehead; to the sides of your nose to make it appear narrower; or below your cheekbones to add definition. If you like, add a small amount of highlighter to your cheekbones and brow bones for a radiant appearance and extra definition.

To finish the look and help 'set' your foundation, use powder. Translucent powder will not change the colour of the foundation you have carefully chosen and so is always a safe bet. For a paler look, use white powder. Use a large powder brush; tap off any excess onto the back of your hand and brush lightly over the face, again starting at the top and working outwards and downwards.

Et voila!

Goth gossip: Goth rock band No Redemption have written songs and directed the soundtrack for horror movie The Stone, coming out later this year.

P.S. I've had no offers yet for an April guest post. Anyone got any ideas?


Julietslace said...

Oh dear I have colour correcters in all amusing shades because of dark circles, acne shades...xD But I can happily say Clinique's anti-blemish works best.

I could do guest post, if you would like?

meriurdu said...

nice work man i visit your blog first time your work is superb

Urdu poetry

Anonymous said...

For the Scott Westerfeld hits, I recommended his Levathian trilogy in the comments of your steampunk post. Could that be the cause?

CatacombKitten said...

Strange, I bought Stargazer foundation a few years ago and it seemed terribly annoying to me. I used it once and it looked fine, until I took a picture of it. Then you saw how uneven it looked... And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get it even.

Kitty Lovett; A Charming Notion said...

I use....Bloody Mary, I think. I don't remember, the label's worn off. It's liquid, and I use it as a base before brushing on a powder colour.

On the tinted moisturisers - mix your own! That's what I do in a pinch.

Emily Lynn G. said...

Hey Anonymous, I RECOMMENDED IT FIRST. (jk :)
ANYWAY, "Telling-off"?! D': aw Miss Amy, i liked your make up tutorials! It was all in good jest.
My skin on my face is on the dry side and that's probably for the best; somebody my age has enough acne problems usually from oily skin so I'm actually greatful. sunscreen sticks and moisturizers keep it peachy light and not to dry. But that mineral foundation sounds good, specially because liquid stuff looks horrible on me.
"Telling-off"...humph. I never. ;3

Jacqueline said...

thanks for the post, it was very helpful ^.^
and oh no, you mentioned my blog V_V I loved writing it, but because I'm applying to so many colleges and dealing with that stuff I've let it fall by the wayside. Every time I come up with a good blog post I get distracted and end up not doing it. I suppose one day I'll take it back up though lol

KatSlaughter said...

Hi there. This doesn't really relate to the foundation post per se, but if I asked this on an older post it would make even less sense so... Anyway I wanted to know if there any vegan alternatives to all those great natural skin-lighteners you write about; like the milk and lemon-juice mix. I would assume that lemon-juice is not great to use on skin neat, but I never buy milk. Shall I try mix it with something like aqueous cream? Impart your knowledge!

ultimategothguide said...

@ Emily Lynn - I was just teasing, promise <3

@ Juliet's Lace - that would be fantastic! I'm actually flattered by the offer ^^

@ KatSlaughter - I'm not sure, I shall try and get back to you in a timely fashion. Soy milk possibly?

@ Jacqueline - um, oops. Sorry >.<

@ Kitty Lovett - I don't know why it never occured to me to mix my own tinted moisturiser... o.O

@ Catacomb Kitten - how odd! Perhaps it's because I blend it with a mousse foundation?

@ Anonymous - I'm not sure why that would lead to someone visiting my blog via his site. I need to use my detective skills here...

@ Meriurdu - thank you ^^

VictorianKitty said...

Great article. It really is hard sometimes to get a nice pale foundation and still look somewhat natural. I like to add a bit of zinc oxide powder to the palest shade of Bare Minerals foundation. It makes it a bit paler and also adds additional sun protection. Zinc oxide powder can be ordered from places that sell essential oils and other homemade beauty product ingredients.

I would love to be considered for mutual guest posts sometime (April or any other month). :)

Sophistique Noir - Dark, Elegant Fashion

ultimategothguide said...

@ VictorianKitty - thanks for the tip! =)

I would definitely love to feature you as a guest blogger, I have really been enjoying your posts. ^^

Ophelia Black said...

Are the Westerfeld hits from your review of Peeps as part of the vampire challenge?

ultimategothguide said...

@ Ophelia Black - that was what I figured, but I couldn't find the review or any mention of it on his website, so why I'm getting hits from there I still don't know. Maybe he Tweeted about the review or something...

Jen said...

The best foundation that I have ever found is Alima Pure. They sell little samples on their website, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I wasn't even the palest one that they offered. Donno if that helps...

Anonymous said...

I'm quite happy wih Kryolan Professional Makeup's TV Stick 1W. It's several shades lighter than my natural skin tone but covers completely. Oil based it's good for dryer skin. Needs to be set with translucent or white powder. Used primarily by professional, it goes on easily and stays where you put it until you take it off. Very reasonable given the quality and quantity you receive.

Anonymous said...

THAT was a professional, thoroughly and very helpful post! Thank you sooo much - and i will invest in some stargazer white to mix with my foundation! :o)

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy I read this, even though it's 3:40a.m. right now... I have red hair and the consequential annoyingly pale skin which is often covered in red blotches due to the fact my skin is basically semi-translucent. Each time I try to use foundation the result is me looking as though I'm suffering from jaundice (yup, very, very yellow)!!! I've just looked at the foundations on Manic Panic and I think they might actually work for my skin and I'm so happy! I fully intend to look at the options from Stargazer and Bloody Mary... after I've slept! Thankyou for writing this, even though you posted it quite some time ago, I now intend to wear foundation in public for the first time in my life, which, I think, will look really nice with the rest of my 'goth look'!!!!

Britt said...

I recently (okay, about two or three months ago) went into Macy's and had a custom color-match foundation done, just because I'm naturally quite pale and me trying to wear drugstore foundation just doesn't end well.
The Lancome Teint-Idole seems to work like a dream; it lasts all day, and it really doesn't take much at all- wears very lightly! ^_^

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