If the foundation is not right the rest of your face is going to be an epic fail. Growing up in the suburbs during the early nineties meant there were no drugstore makeup options for me. Remember the movie Twlight, that is how my first exploration into makeup went, I looked like a vampire reject. Yep, I am the brown girl who bought the deep foundation compact from the drugstore and thought this might work. Just so you know, it didn’t. I looked seven kinds of crazy before someone pulled me aside and said the deep drugstore powders were for white people with tans. I am so thankful social media did not exist back in the day. And when did they come out with primer? I don’t remember anyone offering to sell primer in the nineties.
My early twenties makeup consisted of powder, foundation, lipgloss, mascara, and maybe one drugstore eyeshadow palette. Luckily, I was blessed with clear skin, but my makeup knowledge was limited at best. I do not remember my mom really wearing makeup beyond expensive lipsticks and with me being heavily into sports, makeup just was not a priority.
In fact, makeup only recently came to my attention as I entered my forties. One rule has always been at the front of my mind, your makeup look will not have any chance for success if your foundation does not match. Drinking water is great, but I am going to need some of those fancy moisturizers while you are at it.
As I began to take more of an interest in makeup, I thought about all the women of color who came before me. If I was still having trouble finding foundation color matches in the nineties and early two thousands, what was it like for entertainers of color in the thirties, forties, fifties, and sixties. I remember reading Earth Kitt’s biography and her relationship with the owner of Revlon. She would bring back lipstick shades and other products from France, he would take them and then recreate them in his labs at Revlon and then sell the finish product to the public.
In the twenty plus years I have been wearing makeup, we have come a long way. I don’t have to get custom blended foundations anymore and have reliable choices from multiple brands depending on the kinds of coverage needed. In fact, Sephora has Color IQ where you can have your skin read to find the perfect match for all the brands they sell. That is a huge advancement over time, I remember sitting at many makeup counters in department stores with the salesperson trying to pull a magic trick and make ashy looking foundations work on my skin.
We live in a world with more brands and more choices, but there are still variations in quality. Are you looking for light coverage or all day-not gonna move one inch type coverage? Is the makeup look just for a photo or all day wear? What type of skin do you have? Oily, combination, dry, your skin type will affect how certain formulas wear on your skin.
The important thing is to find what works best for you! What works on your best friend might not work for you. Everyone’s makeup journey is different, but I can honestly say, right now, I am having quite a bit of fun!