If you had the space in your makeup bag (and unlimited funds), you would be able to keep every foundation shade imaginable, in every finish, stocked and ready to go. But because this simply isn’t a reality, and because you’d still undoubtedly have a client in need of a slightly different shade, becoming skilled in custom blending foundations is a must.
Custom blending foundations to create a custom color should be part of your repertoire so you can produce the most beautiful results for your clients, every time. Here’s what you’ll want to know about custom blend foundations:
Create the Perfect Foundation by Ensuring You Have the Right Palette
Most makeup artists agree: it’s a heck of a lot easier to blend foundations to create the perfect shade than to hunt endlessly for one that fits the bill. Blending foundations will allow you to achieve the best shade, tone, and finish for your clients’ skin, so it’s a useful technique to learn how to master.
A well-stocked makeup bag should have at least three different foundation palettes, one for complexions with warm undertones, one for complexions with cool undertones, and then one for neutral skin tones. Most foundation palettes contain between 10-15 shades, making it easy to create custom foundation shades for all your clients.
You will always find that it’s best to have three types of foundations on hand:
- Oil-free (for oily skin)
- Enriched (for dry skin)
Most foundation palettes are cream foundations, which are easy to blend. However, you can also create the perfect foundation shade using liquid and powder foundations.
Steps to Creating Perfect Custom Blend Foundation
Mixing foundations to create a custom blend requires the following steps:
- Decide which tone you’ll need to work with– warm, cool, or neutral. Find two foundation shades that best match your client’s skin tone, one slightly darker than the other.
- Starting with the foundation that best matches your client’s skin tone, place small dots of foundation on the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead.
- Using a foundation brush or makeup sponge, begin blending the color into the skin, working toward the hairline and jawline.
- Slowly add the second, slightly darker foundation shade to the first, blending it into the first foundation until the desired look is achieved.
You may also find that mixing foundation colors is easier done on the back of your hand.
Steps to Applying Custom Blend Foundation
To be sure you have achieved the ideal foundation shade, test the custom blended foundation along the jawline and complete the following steps:
- Before applying the foundation, make sure your client’s skin is clean and moisturized, and apply a primer to minimize pores and create a smooth canvas on which to apply the foundation.
- Using a makeup brush or sponge, begin blending the foundation onto the skin, starting in the middle—the eyes and the T-zone—and working your way toward the hairline.
- After you have blended (and blended) the foundation, use concealer to hide under eye circles, pimples, redness, and other imperfections.
- Finish the look with a blush or bronzer and set it with a translucent powder.
Any makeup artist will agree that you can’t perfectly blend foundation if you don’t have the right tools. Although you will quickly grow fond of certain foundation tools, generally speaking it’s best to use a slightly damp blending sponge for liquid and cream foundations and a foundation brush for powder foundation.
Building Your Professional Makeup Kit with Custom Blend Foundation Palettes
A high-quality foundation palette or two is simply a must for your makeup bag. Great foundation palettes keep all of your foundation colors on hand so you can mix and match with ease.
Here are some of our favorites:
Graftobien HD Foundation Palette: This professional foundation palette comes with 18 shades that can be mixed to create the perfect shade for your clients. Plus, it comes complete with warm, cool, and neutral shades, so matching your clients’ skin tone is a breeze. The foundations tend to be thick, offering medium to full coverage.
Ben Nye Professional Matte Foundation Palette: We love this foundation palette because the little pots of foundation can be removed and replaced if you find yourself using a few colors more than others. The foundations in this palette are very creamy and very pigmented, so they blend easily and go a long way.
Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation Palette: This foundation palette is smaller than others, with just five shades in each, but you can carry several in your makeup bag to accommodate clients with light, medium, and dark skin tones. The super-creamy foundation is easy to apply and won’t cake or crease.
Bobbi Brown BBU Face Palette: The Bobbi Brown palette is arguably one of the best on the market, which likely explains its higher price tag. But countless makeup artists swear by it because it includes both concealers and foundations in every shade under the sun.