Clinique’s Guide to Foundation

I don’t normally just cut and paste info or articles from press releases, but this is definitely the exception. Clinique is one of those brands I’ve always had a love for and in recent years it’s exceeded all my expectations with some great new launches. When asked for a foundation recommendation I nearly always start with the suggestion of a visit to the Clinique counter, because those ladies really know what they’re talking about. Their foundations are pretty ace, with two of my all time faves being from the brand, but the problem with most people is that they don’t know how to go about choosing one. “Choosing a foundation can be intimidating, as selecting the most suitable formulation involves many variables – texture, consistency, shade as well as the added benefits” says Jenna Menard, Clinique Global Colour Artist. Here she shares her expertise and insider secrets on how to get the best out of your foundation… Read on for the best foundation advice you’ll ever get. Probably!

Which Formula?
Focusing on what you want from a foundation should be the first priority. Since everyone’s skin is different – its important to pick a texture and consistency that works for your specific needs. For example, if you have very dry skin you might want to consider a cream or liquid foundation and avoid powder formulas altogether. If you are looking to simply even out your complexion without too much coverage, you want to avoid full coverage foundations and gravitate towards a tinted moisturiser. If you have slight redness in certain areas, you can focus on masking just the redness rather than covering everything with concealer. I gravitate towards foundations that provide a more natural finish where I can control the level of natural vs matte by using powder. Getting someone’s complexion to the point where it looks naturally flawless is what I strive for. A bit too much coverage can look overdone and too little might not look polished enough, so I slowly build until I achieve the desired coverage.

Which shade?
Shade selection is the most important factor in choosing a foundation. No matter the formula, if the colour is wrong you really cant hide it! Its also vital to take a close look at the shade on your own and in various lighting situations. Pay attention to the colour of your face in relationship to your body – specifically the shoulders and chest – the areas closest to the face. Also, go into the bright daylight as its the best light to decide whether the shade, texture and finish provide the complexion you’re looking for.

What to consider for mature skin
When working around fine lines and wrinkles, application is vital. You should avoid using extra product close to fine lines and makeup can settle within them, highlighting them even more. After applying foundation, take a dry makeup brush and blend over these areas to remove the extra product to keep it from settling. I encourage lightly powdering the skin to help set foundation and keep it stable.

Different foundations for winter and summer
As much as you protect your skin with SPF between winter and summer there will most likely be a difference in skin tone between the two seasons. I always recommend having two shades of foundation on hand at all times. An alternative is to have a standard base shade and use something to darken your winter shade during the summertime. I recommend blending a product like Uplighting Liquid Illuminator with your winter foundation shade to transition you into the summer season.

Is loose or pressed powder best after foundation?
Applying powder after foundation will help your foundation stay longer and provide an added protection against shine. Whether using pressed or loose, I suggest using a brush so you are able to work it into the skin as best as possible rather than have it lying on top. I love using the Bronzer/Blender Brush to apply powder. It allows me to powder the whole face quickly and evenly. I also love to add a touch of “realness” to the skin after foundation by applying a dab of highlighter to the highest part of the cheekbones, the bow of the lip and the bridge of the nose. I’ve found that Uplighting Liquid Illuminator in Natural works well on many skin tones.

Common application mistakes
1. Too much product too soon – It is essential to gradually build up to the coverage that is needed. Start with minimal product and then work your way up.
2. Not blending enough – Be sure to blend the product into your skin to the point where it becomes your skin, rather than sits on top.
3. Using dirty applicators – Use disposable sponges or be sure to clean your brushes with cleaner regularly.

I hope you found Jenna’s tips as helpful as I did. Why not put them into practice the next time your applying or even shopping for foundation? What’s the best makeup tip someone ever gave you? 



  1. Anonymous
    September 1, 2012 / 10:46 am

    One tip we were taught in seminar time after time was the powder rub down. After applying foundation and highlighter, sprinkle a small amount of loose powder into the upper palms and fingers and slowly but firmly rub your hands together, warming both them and the powder. Then, gently, but firmly, press this over the surface of the skin. The heat cases the powder to almost turn to a cream, and you're left with a stunningly blended and absolutely flawless foundation finish.

  2. Michaela
    September 1, 2012 / 11:00 am

    I always visit the Clinique counter, they always give the most helpful advice that actually works for me, such as in this post! I always use their foundation now.

  3. Lauren
    September 1, 2012 / 11:07 am

    Great post!!Lauren,Laurensbeautydepartment.blogspot.comxx

  4. MrAJBx3
    September 4, 2012 / 7:25 pm

    You know i have never tried any clinque foundations sounds so bad haha but i totally agree with Thoms comment Daniel Sandler does the same thing xx

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