Make me over?
November 30, 2018 3:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm a 37 year old woman. I need new makeup, specifically foundation. I haven't been wearing any in a while. (And even when I did I was never really satisfied with how it looked.) I've only ever worn drugstore makeup, but decided I needed more help because I obviously don't know what I'm doing. I've read the previous questions about this but am still frustrated.

I've followed the advice in previous posts. I went to Sephora, but it was overwhelming. Plus I was not comfortable with the teenager wearing glitter who 'helped' me. (I asked for a sample and it was like I had asked for a kidney.) So I went to the Clinique counter at Nordstrom. Except that Nordstrom didn't have anyone who actually worked at the Clinique counter? Some random salesperson did try a couple of shades on me in small streaks and I went home with a sample of what looked OK in the store. When I tried it at home I looked like a ghost. I tried another Clinique counter, at Macy's. This one had an actual Clinique employee. The following exchange happened "I need foundation " "what kind?" "I don't know" " what coverage do you want?" "I don't know? Medium?" The employee basically read the signs with the names on them to me without explaining them. I randomly picked one and she tried a few streaks on my cheek. I looked at them and said " I think the second one looks ok? " she said "ok". I got a sample and tried it at home. It's orange and has settled into every crevice on my face making me look a thousand times worse. What am I doing wrong? Aren't salespeople supposed to ask questions about your skin and be able to recommend specific products based on your answers and know how to match your skintone? If I knew that stuff I wouldn't be at the store asking for help! Have I just had bad luck and gotten people who aren't good at their job? Am I not saying the right things? What do I say? Do I just have to go to a dozen places and try a hundred things? (I don't think I have the emotional bandwidth for that.) Any recommendations specific to the St. Louis area would be welcomed.
posted by Green Eyed Monster to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (38 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a hairdresser/salon you go to regularly? I know one of my former hairdressers had a side-hustle of makeup sales and was always asking me if I was interested in custom products. She wasn’t super pushy about it, so I don’t think it was an MLM thing, and I know a lot of salons sell makeup lessons in addition to doing prom/wedding/whatever makeup applications, maybe that would be an easier place to start?
posted by oh yeah! at 3:46 PM on November 30, 2018

The lovely Lisa Eldridge has done a whole foundation course. You could do worse than to watch it to learn a bit more about what you’re looking for.
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:48 PM on November 30, 2018 [16 favorites]

I've always had excellent service and advice from the folks staffing MAC Cosmetics shops. They know their line very well, and I've often been sent home with samples to try if I wasn't quite sure of a product.
posted by burntflowers at 3:48 PM on November 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

Seconding the MAC recommendation; for makeup, they're pretty much all I use anymore.

Like you, I couldn't be arsed with foundation for ... well, ever, almost. (FWIW I have decent skin but redden/flush easily.) When I went looking for something that would even out my skintone and give that 'porcelain' appearance, I went for this. It's powder, not liquid, so doesn't feel like you've set your makeup gun to 'Kardashian', won't settle into creases the way liquids will, and can be dusted on with a brush or applied more heavily with the sponge, depending on your desired coverage.

May not be precisely what you're looking for, but as an entry-level concealer it's a decent option. MAC staff are usually quite good at tone-matching so they should be able to help you get the right choice for your skin (tip: if you can, swipe it on your jawline and then go out into natural/sunlight and see how it looks). If you live near a MAC Pro store, all the better.
posted by myotahapea at 4:03 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

One thing you may want to look into are foundation primers. They help the foundation from settling into your pores and fine lines. Setting powder will also help keep foundation on your face the whole day. Using foundation alone is rarely going to give you the results you want.

You can get little samples of these at Sephora so you can try a few to see what you like. I ordered a single lipstick from their online store and picked out a bunch of free samples from their 'face' category of samples, but I those are all available in the stores as well.

I use NYX Matte primer with Revlon Colorstay foundation and Kat Von Dee's translucent setting powder. The dewy look is in right now, but my face is prone to oiliness so I prefer to stick with mattifying products. Ulta carries a wide range of these 'drugstore' brands and will let you try them on. Make sure you go *outside* and look at the color match in daylight instead of in the store lighting.

Before you go to a store, here are some things to determine:
1. Is your face oily? Dry? Both in different areas?
2. Do you want full coverage (ie you have some blemishes, dark spots or redness you want to hide)? Or do you want light coverage (ie you just want to even your skintone a little)?
3. How do you want to apply it? I use my fingers to blend, but you can also get foundation brushes, or beauty blenders to get a smooth application.
4. Do you have dark circles or significant redness that you want to cover up? Yellow or green (respectively) tinted concealers are a good addition after your primer and before foundation to deal with those issues.
posted by ananci at 4:06 PM on November 30, 2018 [5 favorites]

This tinted moisturizer / BB cream by Lancome is magic. If you don't want to try something so expensive, try the Revlon BB cream imitation.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 4:12 PM on November 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

I was going to suggest MAC as well, if you're going to go the department store counter route. Their sales people tend to be very knowledgeable. And the studiofix foundation is pretty foolproof in terms of being easy to apply without streaks.

That said, I believe this kind of makeup counter assistance is sort of overrated and that some drugstore brands are just as good as department store brands. You can probably figure out a good match for yourself by trying a few different colors in natural light. You just need to figure out whether your skin tone is warm (more yellow/orange) or cool (more pink/blue) or somewhere in between and then try a few shades to get one that's not too light or too dark. Loreal True Match is good in my opinion and might be a starting point if you're willing to reconsider drugstore foundation.
posted by desert at 4:13 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

It sounds like you've had bad luck, my Sephora experiences have been better than that. It might be worth another shot. I hear MAC is great but haven't had one nearby to try. I like Ulta, but I know I'm warm-toned and know generally what I'm looking for - Ulta stores are less loud/overwhelming but you get less help.

If you can tell the clerk what sort of situation you want makeup for, that should help. Everyday, neutral look vs. big event coming up? Particular skin concern you want to cover?

Staff at makeup stores are required to wear a lot of makeup, it's not necessarily a bad sign that they're very done-up.

If the foundation turned orange on you after looking okay at first, that's oxidation, some people are prone to it and you have to try it out to know if a particular formula will oxidize on you or not - that's not the clerk's fault.

+1 for matching foundation to jawline.
posted by momus_window at 4:14 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Chanel foundation is wonderful! Go to a Chanel counter at Nordstrom or Saks.
posted by jgirl at 4:22 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

A few answers: I've watched the Lisa Eldridge videos. I know all about the jawline, the cool or warm undertones, etc. I've been trying all of the different shades of all of the different foundations, BB creams, and primers from the drugstore for the last 20+years. I can't get it right, and need an actual person who knows these things to take me by my hand like I'm 5 and figure it out for me. I only tried Sephora and Clinique because I saw them recommend here. If there is some kind of paid service I'm willing. Like a personal shopper but for makeup? (Although I'd rather not do an MLM)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 4:32 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Was it just the Sephora saleswoman, or did you ask for one of their makeup artists to do your makeup? The latter is what you want - they’ll ask what kind of look you’re going for, the routine you’re willing to do each day, and make things happen, then you can buy whatever you like that they used. I did this for my wedding, for a friend’s wedding, and also just “I want new makeup”. But you have to agree up front to buy a $50 gift card (which you can then spend on the stuff you want that the MUA used on you). These folks will have a totally different skill set than the standard store staff. And how a makeup artist does their own makeup has no bearing on what they’ll do on you - a good one will give you the natural look you want, sans glitter, even if they love glittering themselves up. It’s like a tattoo artist... if they have lots of ink it’s probably a good sign that they know what they’re doing, even if you only one want small tattoo.

Anyway, maybe try a Sephora again, but yes to MAC, and I actually really like Dior makeup if you want to try a department store counter again. But literally ask for them to do your makeup - that’s the “personal shopping” service code. Otherwise, the interaction will be more likely to assume you know what you want and they’re just helping you find the brand-specific stuff.
posted by olinerd at 4:42 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

You might be able to find make up artists in your area that you can hire for a consult.
posted by oneear at 4:43 PM on November 30, 2018

You might check out the Aveda store at the Galleria. Their Inner Light mineral-tinted moisturizer has been my favorite for a year now, and it lasts forever. I bought a tube last year, and it lasted all year. I only replaced it because the line came back after a hiatus, and I should've replaced it a bit sooner (you're really only supposed to use foundation for like 6 months max, although I think this one did well longer due to it coming in a tube, so the product stayed fresher). Aveda also has pretty good customer service—I feel like they actually spend some time with you, so you might be able to get someone there to actually talk you through the products available.

It was recommended to me in this Ask MetaFilter question a year ago, which has some other great recommendations as well.
posted by limeonaire at 4:43 PM on November 30, 2018

Do you have a makeup wearing friend you can ask to go with you? If I were in your area, I’d be so thrilled to help.

I recently switched from Clinique and a brush to Fenty and a sponge. Fenty has better shade options, but I found that using a brush with it made it look streaky for me.
posted by Ruki at 4:46 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

First, take a friend and a hand held mirror and go into Sephora. Get them to test the shades they think work best on your jawline. Aim for at least five. Ask for samples. If they give you samples, great, take them home, select one that works.

If they don’t, take your friend and your mirror out into the daylight away from the fluorescent store lights. Ask your friend which foundation shade looks closest to your natural shade. Check yourself with the mirror. Do you agree?Walk around the rest of the mall for about 45 minutes. Check the shade you like again.Has it oxidised? No? Then you’re good to buy it. If yes, repeat the process.
posted by Jubey at 4:47 PM on November 30, 2018

If I look at the website for my local Sephora, they offer an online appointment for Find Your Foundation:
FREE. Ready to put an end to your foundation search? We'll find the right formula using Color iQ technology, which scans the surface of your skin for the perfect match. An expert will apply skincare and foundation, then conceal and set your look.
I did this (or something like this) and got a color code that you can use to purchase foundations across a range of brands. I told the woman I worked I was looking for something light and oil free and ended up with a Tarte BB Tinted Moisturizer in a shade that works me. I had a great experience!

Maybe give Sephora another chance, but try an appointment next time?
posted by kittydelsol at 4:51 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Sephora is a good start. They're very helpful and their lighting is softer. I've had too many done at the make-up counters at the mall and then gone outside and scared people(lol)
I also look for something light both in texture and smell. I finally settled for Bare Minerals. I picked that with help from a friend who just graduated beauty school.
posted by PJMoore at 4:55 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I had the best luck at a makeup counter when I went to someone I knew and was comfortable with, and explained specifically what I was looking for (to look polished and appropriate for a corporate environment, but not heavily made-up) and my proficiency level with makeup (confused beginner who does not really understand how to use makeup). And politely asked lots of questions. "What does this do? Why are you applying it like that? Why would this product be better than that product?" "Honestly I have trouble telling the difference between X and Y." I bought a couple of products that I felt I was most likely to use, and ultimately pared down the makeup routine she did into something that worked well for me in terms of time and budget.

Otherwise, I've had better look at Sephora just trying on stuff with a friend. It helps to know what you want out of your makeup and what type of skin you have. I have very oily skin and don't feel I need heavy foundation, so I might research products at Sephora that cover those bases beforehand, so I know what to target when I get there.

I'd crowd-source FB and ask if anyone can recommend an *experienced* makeup consultant who will listen to you and explain things in detail. If one of your friends offers their services, so much the better.
posted by bunderful at 4:59 PM on November 30, 2018

I asked my makeup wearing friend to go to Sephora with me and it both helped to have a second opinion and someone who just like spoke the language. We asked for help with foundation from a makeup artist. The friend helped when sorting out which shades actually worked on me (hint: not the ones selected by the special Sephora app the makeup artist tried at first). The makeup artist said something about how usually she corrects the tone in a certain direction from what the app says and like that we had a match.

I'll admit I know nothing of the various foundations and was worried they'd take one look at me and think my non makeup wearing ass was a waste of time, but it was super helpful and I still use the lightweight foundation I bought. Bringing a friend who is both excited about makeup and not afraid to say when something doesn't work was super helpful and reassuring.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 5:00 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Most freelance makeup artists seemed geared towards wedding/bridal makeup but that doesn't necessarily mean that they can't/won't do a more everyday makeup session. It might be worth looking up makeup artists in your area on Yelp or wherever, and contacting a few to see if you can hire them for an hour or two to do your makeup and recommend products. You can clarify before setting an appointment that you're not looking to buy products from them, but for recommendations for products that you can buy yourself. (I still think it's worth trying the MAC counter at a department store first, but if that fails and you're not up for any more attempts.)
posted by desert at 5:16 PM on November 30, 2018

It looks like Sephora might be worth another try. I'm going to try the MAC counter as well. The salon I get my hair done at is an Aveda salon, and has makeup so maybe I'll give that a try too! I don't have any makeup wearing friends to drag with me. ( except maybe limeonaire!!!) Strangely enough, I'm actually pretty confident with makeup for eyes and lips. I just can't get a dang foundation/concealer/primer/ whateverthefuck to work for me. Thanks you all :)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 5:23 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you have an Ulta in your area, it might be worth checking that out, too. They're a little less high end than Sephora, but I've always gotten really good service there and good foundation matching for my very hard-to-match complexion. If you go during the day you're less likely to encounter a glittery teenager working, and more likely to find a woman your age or older, in my experience.
Good luck!
posted by TwoStride at 5:43 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Nthing trying Sephora again. As people have said above, there are two kinds of makeovers they do at Sephora -- the free "mini-makeover" which is really quick and may be done by a specific brand's rep who is going to just be pushing their own products (although I've also gotten it done by an actual Sephora employee -- it's unpredictable), and the "Custom Makeover" where you have to buy the gift card. The "Custom Makeover" is with an actual employee and is a better bet.

Also, from your initial question, I think you and I may have some similarities in personality and here is what I have learned: Be very assertive about what you want. It's your face and your time. If the person puts a color on your eyelid that you don't see yourself actually wearing, or if the foundation feels yucky, or if the eyeliner is too bold/dark/whatever, or you don't like the lipstick shade, it is their job to help you get closer to what you want. If they start putting something on that's too bright or too orange-y or too whatever, go right ahead and say, "I don't like that." A good makeup artist will not be offended; they will understand this and work with you. If one is not responding to your feedback, definitely go to customer service afterward and ask for a re-do with a different artist.

It's also completely ok (and good!) to say, "I see how you lined my eye and I don't understand how to do that myself. Can I do it and you help me?" and then have them coach you through doing it yourself. Use your time to get what you want out of it.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 6:06 PM on November 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

Oh and also, some of my best makeovers have been by people who were wearing more products on their face than I have used in my entire lifetime. If they're good at what they do, they understand how to adapt their skills to different people.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 6:08 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Someone already mentioned primer, which is indeed a good idea to get your foundation to go on smooth and stay on, but I definitely encourage testing/buying your primer and foundation together at the same time, because they need to be compatible. I switched foundations last week and forgot about this whole part of it, then came home the other day with half of my foundation having been rejected from my face basically, and I looked teeeerrible. My primer is silicone-based and I guess my new foundation doesn't adhere to it well.

Also, another vote for paying a make-up artist for a lesson. Usually in lieu of paying you can just buy the foundation etc. that they recommend which makes it 'free'.
posted by BeeJiddy at 7:45 PM on November 30, 2018

Do you have a Nordstrom by you? You can book a Nordstrom Beauty Stylist to teach you about makeup. They have appointments called "makeup 101" or "fast track" or "love the skin you are in" or "custom". You can book online or call 1.800.7beauty. If you go to 'stores and events' and find your store, then at the bottom of the store page is Store Services that you will find Nordstrom Beauty Stylists.

I have had some good luck at Sephora but I think your chances at Nordstrom are better.

edit: and the appointments are free :)
posted by 58 at 7:58 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Haha, I was going to say, if you want to drag me with you, for advice and/or emotional support, just hit me up. I'd be happy to come along for the ride and help gauge how various options look. Maybe I'll end up finding something good myself! My credentials: I've been wearing some kind of foundation daily and I think generally fairly invisibly for more than 20 years.

I also started off with drugstore foundation (Cover Girl, ugh) until I got a reaction to it, moved on to expensive Clinique foundation in college after a friend dragged me to the department-store counter (it looked good but was a little heavy), used L'Oreal until I started breaking out, then Maybelline, then in the past year tried two lackluster Burt's Bees options, then the Aveda tinted moisturizer, which I would say is the best so far. And I've gone through a number of iterations of moisturizer under the foundation (Desert Essence moisturizer, JĀSÖN moisturizer, Yes to Cucumbers moisturizer, then Desert Essence jojoba oil during times when my skin has been actively reacting to everything). Acquaintances of mine are pretty heavily into stuff that's a tidge more fabulous, like contouring, full K-beauty regimens, etc. and I'm absolutely not your gal for that. But basic foundation or BB cream and moisturizer? Yeah, I'm down.

And yeah, think about your overall skin tone, undertones, skin type, specific zones of dry or oily skin, any chemical sensitivities or allergies, any problem areas (e.g., dark circles, red spots, or scars), any moisturizer you already use, etc. It might be worth poking through a few articles revisiting these attributes to gather info beforehand (e.g., "how to find out skin undertones" and "how to find out skin type" kind of stuff) to determine what range you're probably in for each of these and better guide the conversation as well.
posted by limeonaire at 8:18 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

I’m 45 and I really like Makeup For Ever’s high definition liquid foundation line, and when I was at Sephora two weeks ago, they had smaller sizes of their foundation for $19. I bought two of those because it was cheaper than buying one full size bottle. I like MUFE’s foundation a lot because it makes my skin look really smooth and almost poreless. I have oily skin and every foundation doesn’t last terribly long on my face, but it doesn’t cake up or settle into lines, and it blends really well. I can’t remember whether it’s considered full coverage or not, but I use a thin layer on my skin, and it enhances my skin’s appearance without feeling heavy or making me feel too made-up.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:41 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

My go-to drugstore foundation is L’oreal True Match. It is also very blendable and does a good job of enhancing without being heavy. I like both it and MUFE because it seems like most brands are too warm in the paler shades for my skin color, and both those brands do a good job of having a matching cool pale shade.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:45 PM on November 30, 2018

St. Louis-specific: I'm also not very makeup savvy and I had a good experience at the Bare Essentials store in the Galleria. One of their salespeople was knowledgeable and used her expertise to help me identify products and colors that worked well for me. I ended up with a light powder foundation that looks good while also looking like me and not being obvious that I'm wearing makeup. (Also a great lipstick, which I'd never succeeded at finding on my own!)

Worth noting that I went twice and had a decent experience the first time with someone who was younger and seemed new to the job, but the second time I worked with someone who clearly knew what she was doing. It was comforting and the results were great. I did it just as a walk-in, no appointment or anything, but you could try calling to see if you can set up a time with someone who really knows their stuff.
posted by inatizzy at 8:54 PM on November 30, 2018

If you are not super into foundation, I Nth bb cream. You get some coverage with a more natural, forgiving look.

With higher coverage foundation, you need concealer, bronzer, and blush to then look normal, likely with a primer and setting spray. I cannot commit to all of it, and I wear makeup everyday.

A cc or bb cream or tinted moisturizer can be worn alone, as a bit of natural coloring will come through. I wear a higher coverage cc cream and add a bit of concealer everyday. Some days I do add a light touch of bronzer or blush, but often not.

I found brands of cc cream that worked for me through birch box. Lots of women like IT cosmetics cc cream. You can hop over to ulta or sophora and try their cc cream.
posted by Kalmya at 2:22 AM on December 1, 2018

In pretty much this exact situation (and demographic), I had a terrific experience with the "No-Makeup Makeup" class at my local Sephora. They used the previously mentioned gizmo that tells you what shades of foundation will match you (it's like a makeup tricorder!), and gave some great advice about techniques. The class was free and there was no pressure to buy anything. I walked out looking great and having spent zero dollars.

I'm not seeing this particular class on their current listings but it sounds like the Find Your Foundation that kittydelsol mentions would work for you!

With any luck this is offered near you - the class-search function is annoying but I found the class itself super worthwhile. For me it was a sweet spot of minimum hassle, the perfect amount of non-bossy and non-judgemental guidance, affordability (both in time and in money), and terrific results.

Good luck and thanks for posting this!
posted by Signed Sealed Delivered at 4:31 AM on December 1, 2018

Bobbi Brown offers a free 7-day trial of foundation. Just go up to any Bobbi Brown counter and ask for a sample. They'll do a shade match for your skin and ask what kind of foundation you'd like. If you don't know, they'll ask a few questions about what you're looking for to find the best one.
posted by essexjan at 7:21 AM on December 1, 2018

The key at Nordstrom is to MAKE AN APPOINTMENT. Not every stand is staffed by a brand-specific actual makeup artist every hour of every day. Sometimes it’s just a sales person. I go once a year to the Lancome counter when they’re doing their “free with purchase” holiday sales (probably around now!) and get matched for foundation and concealer (and then buy whatever their super cheap holiday gift sets are and just use those for my other products for the year). But I always call ahead and ask when they will have a makeup artist available to do a full face application and make an appointment. That allows me to get a full face done for free and to make sure I like the coverage/application. I generally do it the morning of a holiday party or wedding so I’m not all dolled up sitting at home eating cheese alone :). It’s also how I learned to do winged liner, thanks to a very patient but very bored MUA during a 10 am appointment on a weekday.

Separately: high end salons and makeup artists offer makeup classes. Google around for bridal makeup artists in your area, and I imagine you will find several who will also be happy to walk you through what products they would use on you and how. Bridal is the best to ask for because they will know how to do both “dramatic” and “natural,” they will understand how to do makeup in a way that photographs well, and they won’t be tied to any particular brand.
posted by suncages at 9:45 AM on December 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you're really looking for tailored advice, maybe try a local professional make up artist. I did a quick Google search for a pro in the St. Louis area and Emily Miller came up who looks promising. And looks like she/her studio does private make up lessons too. Then I Googled her studio for reviews just to make sure she seems legit and she's got a ton of 4.5-5 star reviews from very credible and respectable wedding sites. Obviously wedding make up is not what you're going for but one thing anyone who does wedding make up well will know is how to blend in foundation and if you talk with the artist about your needs, I'm certain s/he will tailor it to what you're looking for.

So this was all of 5 minutes of Googling. If Emily doesn't feel right to you, then keep looking for a make up artist whose vibe you're feeling and make sure that their site looks professional while cross referencing their reviews via Google for references that look credible.

Also, for what it's worth, finding the right foundation is hard. I have a lot of yellow undertones and a lot of foundations look orange/pink on me. I'm not sure that I've really found the *perfect* color yet especially since my skin tone changes so much from winter to summer months. So I've opted to invest in skin care so that my skin looks nice and my need for foundation has lessened considerably. I'm down to a primer and a cushion compact (currently using Dr. Brandt's Pores No More primer and Amore Pacific compact but only on my T-Zone and a touch under my eyes). I might also recommend going for lighter coverage or a tinted moisturizer and building it where necessary. Also, I do notice that a lot of the make up artists on YouTube blend different foundations. So maybe it's not one foundation you're looking for but two.

I hope this is helpful and good luck!
posted by tealeaf522 at 10:09 AM on December 1, 2018

I don't come here with any specific advice on shops or products. I've tried Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, drugstores, Mac, etc. I really do think it's the luck of the draw and finding someone that will work with you. I might try booking someone specific in the future for better results. Right now I'm focusing on skincare and moisturizing because that seems to be one reason foundation looks so bad on me.

Basically I came here to say you're not alone and it's not your fault! I've been having the same problem for a few years and also do not deal well with the salespeople. I think perhaps I'm not assertive enough to press them for more help because typically they show me one product them shrug and head off. So be assertive, say you're not sure and you want to see more options and ask for samples of all of it so you can compare at home. Despite Sephora's sample policy I've also found them annoyed when I ask but I'm patient and wait while they drag their heels. Sephora will scan your skin to give you a number but they never told me and I didn't think to ask so find that out!

I tried a Laura Mercier liquid tinted moisturizer and it was lovely for evening out skin. It wasn't the right shade on me so after a few weeks I returned it. I've never returned makeup before because I felt bad. So hey, if you don't like it or (like in my case) thought it was okay but not worth the $50 price tag don't feel bad taking advantage of their return policy. I got a dirty look but, whatever.
posted by Bunglegirl at 12:17 PM on December 1, 2018

So a trick I have stumbled upon that is a little unconventional is making a half/half mix of foundation + primer (my combo is cheap Maybelline fit me foundation plus expensive hourglass mineral veil). So the thing I love is it sheers out the foundation and makes it super easy and smooth to apply with your fingers. Plus of you need more coverage then you can adjust the amount of foundation you add. You can also add a tiny bit of liquid bronzer too for a nice effect if you want. ( I tried drunk elephants sunshine serum and loved it.)

It just takes the whole pressure off the foundation being a perfect match. The primer gives your skin a beautiful (subtle) glowy, smooth look and the foundation just add enough pigment to even out everything. Also reccomend glossier strech concealers. They are wax based and look super natural and non-cakey.
posted by KMoney at 6:16 AM on December 2, 2018

I think you need to be more explicit. Tell them: “I need new makeup, specifically foundation. I haven't been wearing any in a while. (And even when I did I was never really satisfied with how it looked.) I've only ever worn drugstore makeup, but decided I needed more help because I obviously don't know what I'm doing.“

“Please help me find the right kind and coverage of foundation.”
posted by bluedaisy at 1:33 PM on December 2, 2018

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