Base: Part 1

Happy Friday guys!


Thank goodness, it’s the weekend! And in my case, spring break! Whatever you guys are up to this weekend and week, I hope it all well!


As promised, we’re diving in to base! As previously mentioned, I will divide this up into two posts, as I think base is one of the most difficult topics. And I mean difficult as in it’s the easiest to mess up, there’s a lot that goes into it. But fear not, we’ll walk through this journey together!


I’d like to start off with some lingo that you’ll hear me say throughout all of these posts. It’ll make things easier as we go forward, and it’s a great place to start when explaining base. These words are extremely important when going out and actually buying a base as well, as they dictate largely in which direction you should go in choosing your base.


We’ll begin with one of the most important words, coverage. This refers to how much the base covers, and by that, I mean how much pigment is in the base. Pigment is what gives a base the color and the ability to cover and imperfections. It breaks down to generally three coverages: Sheer, Medium and Full. I’ll use the example of a freckle when explaining each of these.

Sheer coverage will have the least pigment; therefore, it will cover the least. If you put sheer base over a freckle, you would still see the freckle’s true color relatively well, perhaps just lightly blurred out. It will usually still blur redness relatively well, but won’t cover any blemishes. Medium coverage is argued as the “most natural” of the three, as it has more pigment than sheer but not quite as much as full. When you apply a medium coverage base over a freckle it will be minimally visible. This will cover redness pretty much completely, and will blur a blemish relatively well. Full coverage has the most pigment, and I believe is also the most misunderstood. People tend to automatically associate full coverage with being heavy and “cakey”, and that is not the case if it’s applied appropriately. Full coverage will completely hide a freckle and completely cover redness and blemishes. It really is all about how you apply full coverage (we’ll talk about application in my next post).

There are in-betweens to these three categories, in which people will say a base is “medium to full”, or something of that nature. This means its buildable. Buildable means that you can add layers of the base, and with each layer it will cover more because the pigments in the base sit well on top of each other. Not all bases are buildable, some will wipe right off when you try to add another layer. Buildable bases are very flexible, and they come in handy when an unexpected blemish shows up or you have a special event when you’d like to do just a little more with your base.


Once you pick your coverage, you move on to the finish of your base. The finish is what kind of appearance your base will have when it dries and sets. Finishes can be altered but putting something like a powder over your base, but most stay true to their finish regardless. There are generally four finishes, but there are in-betweens as well. The three are radiant, dewy, satin, and matte. Radiant seems to be one of the most popular nowadays (trend alert!), but the word radiant can be misleading as it can be associated with sheen and shimmer. That’s not usually the case. Radiant is really a base that gives you a glow from within kind of look. It’s a very healthy and dimensional look. Think J-Lo glow in a bottle. Dewy is sometimes confused with radiant, but dewy really gives a sort of “wet” look. People usually like it because it makes you look very moisturized and hydrated. Think of the look of your skin when you first put on moisturizer, before it soaks into your skin. It’s precisely the same look but in a foundation. Dewy is usually not a finish you would want to apply on oily skin, as some associate the dewy look with looking wet or oily to begin with. Satin takes the crown of the most natural in this aspect of base. It’s meant to look most like skin, too radiant, not too matte, not to dewy. Just very skin-like. Matte is intended usually for oily skin, because it gives a shine-free look. I say this because people will apply this on a dry skin type, and not understand why it looks dryer than it started off. Matte usually prevents oil, and for that reason can look very dry on a dry skin type.


I know that’s a lot of info! Like I mentioned, base is one of those where the more you know, the better off you’ll be in finding something to fit your exact needs. I don’t want to overwhelm you guys, so next post we’ll get into the types of base, what you can use to apply them, and how each of these tools will affect the outcome of your base. Hang in there guys, we’re just getting started with the fun stuff!


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