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Selecting The Right Color Foundation


          This week’s column will help you in selecting the right color foundation for your skin undertones. There are three categories of undertones that a person can fall into: red, yellow, and olive. To determine what undertone you are, you must first look at the undertones of your selected foundation. Pour out some foundation onto a plate or even your hand, and spread it. You’re not focusing on how light or dark the shade is; you’re focusing to see what the base color of the foundation is.  You’ll most likely see a red or yellow color in the depths of the foundation. Only a couple of companies make foundation with a green undertone in it. Therefore, chances are, if you have an olive undertone, you may have to find and add a green color corrector into a yellow-based foundation, so you don’t end up looking jaundice.

Now for the test: take a drop of the foundation on the plate, dip your finger into it, and rub a small strip onto the inner part of your arm. Again, don’t worry if the color is the deepest shade.  After gently rubbing it in, does it look like the color would “disappear” into the arm had the shade been the right one?  If you notice after testing a color that it is yellow and just sits there, you probably have a red undertone, and vice versa.

Now that you’ve determined what undertone you are, choose the shade or shades closest to the skin on your face as your eyes perceive it. Swipe the shade you feel is closest to your skin on the side of your jawline and neck – if the color completely disappears into your neck, then that’s your color. You want the color to “disappear” into the neck so there is no line of demarcation and no need to apply foundation past your face area.  Another suggestion: while you are in the store doing a swatch test, go outside with a mirror and look at your face in the natural light (not direct sunlight) – this will help you see if the color is a true match or a shade too light or too dark.

Sharona Silva is a makeup artist, specializing in airbrush makeup, who works in the New York City area. Sharona recently launched her own skin care line for all types of skin. Please submit questions to tips@sharonasilva.com. Questions may be used in future columns; all inquiries will remain anonymous. Visit www.sharonasilva.com for more information.

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More Articles from Sharona Silva

Many of my clients have small eyes. Often, they ask for certain color eye shadow or even a style that would not make the eye appear larger, but would actually make it appear smaller. In this week’s column I’d like to give tips on how to make small eyes appear “larger.”

The most important element of your eye makeup is mascara. I’ve mentioned in a previous column that mascara is one of the most crucial steps in your basic daily makeup wear. Mascara, even without any eye shadow, creates definition.

Dear Sharona,

I am in my late 20′s and have heavy lids and small bags under my eyes. As I am still young and get plenty of rest, doctors have told me that it is genetic. My trouble with concealing the bags is not with the coloring (like people with dark circles) as much as it is with how to make the bags look smaller or less puffy and my eyes bigger. What are your suggestions?

Adina, New York

Which lipsticks will last throughout Shabbos is a common question I am asked. In fact, many women share this common problem where the lip color just “slides” right off within a few hours. There are a few products on the market that are formulated to last from 8-18 hours, and many of them can be purchased at your local drug store. Covergirl, Maybelline and L’Oreal all make long lasting lip color that can be found at drug stores.

What’s so special about airbrush makeup? Is this a new technique in makeup application? These are a couple of questions I commonly get from my readers and clients. Airbrush makeup application has been used in Hollywood on models and actors for over 30 years. For approximately ten years, makeup artists have been using this on brides, businesswomen, or anyone that wants to look great for an event.

Blush is an important final step in your makeup application. Blush brings a glow to the face, as if a candle was lit from within. Many blushes come in powder form, but they also come in cream form, which is the form I’ll discuss today. One of my favorite blushes is the MAC cream blush. The blush is very lightweight and gives off a nice dewy look – a look that is especially suitable to those with dry skin, since dry skin gives off a very dull, matte look.

When applying make-up most people focus on the eyes or lips, and sometimes forget to give attention to the eyebrows. Your brows can open up your eyes and face, and can also make you appear younger, so be sure to give them as much attention as you would your eyes and lips.

Dear Sharona,

I have very prominent eyes; I was wondering what color and or style of makeup would suit me? I have dark brown hair and brown eyes, and medium-deep skin tone. I rarely put on makeup and if I do, it’s only on my eyes. I am looking forward to reading your suggestions.

Anonymous- NYC

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