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Wedding Style: The Most Flattering Type of Base for Your Complexion

Glowing wedding-day complexion can be achieved with the perfect foundation.
Glowing wedding-day complexion can be achieved with the perfect foundation.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Choosing the right foundation can be tricky, but achieving a gorgeous wedding-day look all begins with finding the right base makeup. No bride wants to show up to the altar unrecognizable, so how do you find a base that'll help you achieve a natural glow? To start, rearrange your bridal to-do list and make finding a foundation that matches your skin tone a number one priority.

Attempting to match a foundation to your skin tone can be a challenge, so consult an expert if you need help. Since you're usually not able to test various foundations at a drugstore, schedule an appointment with a professional at a mall makeup counter or beauty shop. Always test base makeup by applying it to your jawline; despite what your mother may have taught you when you were a teenager, you shouldn't sample foundation on the back of your hand. Your face may be darker or lighter than the rest of your body, so testing foundation anywhere other than your jawline means risking the chance of wearing the wrong color base on the big day.

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Not only do you want to select a foundation that complements your skin tone, but you need to decide which texture is right for you, too. Is your skin dry or oily? The kind of complexion you have will dictate the kind of base makeup you should use. Women with dry skin should choose a stick, liquid, cream or hydrating powder. Hydrating powder moisturizes and soothes skin, and it usually covers more evenly than pressed powders. Since liquid foundations can be difficult to blend and can leave lines, cream foundations are a better alternative. Like liquid foundations, creams are moisturizing, but their solid texture often makes them easier to apply. Always use a wedge sponge to apply liquid and cream foundations, and don't fill crow's feet or other winkles with extra layers of makeup in an attempt to hide your skin's imperfections. Instead, keep problem areas well moisturized and apply less makeup to prevent creases from appearing later in the day.

Oil-free liquid and powder foundations are best for women with oily skin; they'll absorb shine and leave skin looking fresh until the very last dance of the night. Since mineral makeup is dry and airy, it also works well with oily skin types. Not only will mineral makeup powder absorb excess moisture, but it's also so light that it won't clog pores. For those prone to breakouts, use a foundation that contains salicylic acid to dry oily skin and prevent pimples. Brides tying the knot outside during warm months of the year might consider wearing sweat proof foundation to ensure makeup stays put with the least shine possible. Finally, don't forget to stuff a couple of blotting tissues into your bridal clutch in case you need to remove any moisture throughout the day -- whether it's a result of the heat or wedding-day nerves!

While you're on the hunt to find the perfect foundation, it's likely that you'll be asked what kind of complexion you have -- cool or warm? Since a quick glance in the mirror is often not enough to determine which category you fall into, take a closer look at your skin and examine the veins on your underarm. Usually women with green veins are classified as warm, and those with blue veins are cool.

Women with cool complexions usually look best in pink, grey and blue and should wear foundations that accent their skin tones. Avoid shades that are too dark if you're fair-skinned, and choose a base with soft undertones, like porcelain pink or light beige, instead.

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Those who have a yellow hue to their skin, like women of Latino, African, European and Asian descent, are considered to have warm complexions. A foundation with a hint of yellow typically flatters a warm complexion -- usually characterized as bronze, olive or golden skin. Women who have a medium to dark complexion will often look best in base makeup with apricot undertones. Avoid makeup with pink undertones if you fall into the warm category; these shades will look unnatural and could wash you out in photographs.

Whether you have a cool or warm complexion, shimmery foundations -- sold as luminizing, matte and semimatte -- usually flatter all skin tones. Luminizing foundations include very small particles that reflect light, like crushed pearls and mica, lending brides a little bit of sparkle on the big day. Not only can this base makeup moisturize dry skin, but it can actually diminish any signs of wrinkles or fine lines, too. Matte foundations can often be purchased with a moisturizer included in the powder formula, and other brands are advertised as shine-free, leaving your face dry with a clean, powdery finish. When in doubt, choose a semimatte foundation -- its natural look and feel complements practically any skin tone, allowing you to truly shine in your wedding-day makeup.

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Sources

  • Champion, Lindsay. "How to Find the Best Foundation Makeup." Overstock.com. (Aug. 14, 2012) http://www.overstock.com/guides/How-to-Find-the-Best-Foundation-Makeup
  • Clairol. "Know Your Starting Hair Color & Tone – Get Better Color Results." (Aug. 13, 2012) http://www.clairol.com/en-US/how-it-works-page.aspx?categoryId=3295&articleId=3290
  • Dior. "Choosing a Foundation." (Aug. 14, 2012) http://www.dior.com/beauty/usa/en/make_up_and_cosmetics_by_christian_dior_lipstick_m/advice/th/aide_au_choix_maquillage/choose_your_ideal_shade.html
  • Matlin, Jessica. "Problems with Foundation: The Puzzle Solved." Oprah.com. Sept. 2007. (Aug. 13, 2012) http://www.oprah.com/style/How-to-Choose-and-Use-the-Right-Foundation
  • Skincare-news.com. "Make-up for Warm Skin Tones." Oct. 20, 2008. (Aug. 13, 2012) http://www.skincare-news.com/a-2326-Makeup_for_Warm_Skin_Tones.aspx
  • Shapouri, Beth. "Don't Know If Your Skin Is Warm or Cool? Here's a Quick Way to Tell." Glamour. May 11, 2009. (Aug. 13, 2012) http://www.glamour.com/beauty/blogs/girls-in-the-beauty-department/2009/05/dont-know-if-youre-skin-is-war.html

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