Foundation Versus Your Skin

As a make-up artist and skincare specialist something I am constantly asked (apart from, “Can you make me look ten years younger?”) is regarding foundations and their contribution to our poor, decaying skin.

foundation makeupEverywhere we turn there’s a magazine cover promoting a new wonder product promising a complexion worthy of Gwyneth Paltrow, or a billboard encouraging us to “get our glow back”.

Gone are the days when in times of need you reached for your trusty Maxfactor ‘Pan Stick’ (after washing your face with humble soap and water, of course). Now every time we have to shop for a new foundation we are faced with endless rows of possibilities; from tinted moisturisers to high coverage cream compacts, from BB creams to CC creams to XYZ creams; the choice is infinite not to mention confusing! And I say this as a woman whose bathroom resembles aisles 2,4 and 7 of Boots.

We are a nation on a mission to achieve perfect skin, whatever your interpretation of that may be. It’s the largest organ in the body, and one we spend a lot of time and money preening, scrubbing, waxing, buffing and moisturising in order to achieve a healthy and natural look, (oh the irony!). Arguably our face is under the most scrutiny, thanks to our three times magnified bathroom mirrors, and therefore is put through its paces with all our beautifying efforts. So surely it’s time to give our long-suffering skin a break?

I could, and probably should, tell you to ditch the foundation, let your skin breathe (the beautiful, smog-infected city air) but before you choke in disgust on your coffee, I won’t advise something so hypocritical. Because as I sit here typing this, I myself am covered in a significant amount of high coverage foundation, as well as primer, concealer, and powder. Yes, every morning after spending a good half an hour on my beloved skincare routine I then decide to drown my pores and seemingly undo all my hard work in a few strokes of a foundation brush. And yes, tomorrow I will wake up, look in the mirror and curse a deity I don’t believe in for condemning me with such unfortunate skin when really I only have myself (and that sweet talking saleswoman) to blame. I’m sure I’m not the only one caught in this endless cycle and I definitely won’t be the last.

Many people will argue that generations ago people didn’t have the time and access to all the products and treatments that we do now, and survived just fine without them. However times have changed, and with all the pollution and radiation our skin is now exposed to, the circumstances are incomparable. There are skin conditions we suffer from now that just didn’t exist in our grandmothers’ generation. So who can blame us for reaching for the foundation bottle instead of the water bottle?

It doesn’t take a dermatologist to work out that our complexions would be far healthier if we ditched the foundation and introduced our skin to something called ‘fresh air’, but realistically can we change our attitudes so easily? And are we really prepared to? To me, my foundation is more than just a tool to cover blemishes; it’s my glamorous armour that makes me feel ready and confident to face the day. And to whose women who are reading this as equally covered in foundation as I am, but with naturally flawless skin? Keep your distance, or I might not be responsible for my actions…

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About Alex Cresswell

Alexandra Cresswell is in her early twenties and is currently based in London but originally is from Southampton. She studied at the London School of Beauty & Make-Up and received a CIBTAC qualification in aesthetic treatments. Currently Alexandra is coming to the end of a two year makeup artist course at Brushstroke Academy in Shepperton Studios. Her passion is skincare and makeup, however she has always had a strong interest in writing and this is something she currently pursues alongside her make-up career.
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