A Question for All Makeup Enthusiasts


Image from here

Q) How do you define ‘foundation’ and ‘base’? Leave your answer in the comments!

So this just happened. I stopped by a Bobbi Brown counter, and my conversation with the sales lady/makeup artist there went like this:

Me: Hello, I’m looking for a pressed powder foundation.
MUA: Do you mean foundation? *indicates foundation sticks + liquid foundation at counter*
Me: No, I mean the pressed powder foundation.
MUA: You mean you’re looking for foundation and pressed powder?
Me: ???
MUA: Foundation is foundation. Pressed powder is pressed powder.
Me: (so confused)

Uh. So to me anything that looks vaguely skin-like and goes on your face is foundation. Foundation is pretty much interchangeably used with base – it means the same thing, something you slap onto your face (well not quite slap on, but you get what I mean) to get nice even looking skin. Then everything else that comes after is is applied on a nice fresh base without your natural body colour (think eye bags, redness from acne etc.) to distract from it.

Like sure, there is translucent pressed powder, and sheer pressed powder. While the former doesn’t count as foundation, I recognize the latter is a little contentious as it can act both as a setting powder/touch up powder, or if you have perfectly good skin as your foundation. But Bobbi Brown has a heavy coverage powder foundation so it definitely doesn’t fall into that contentious category.

Pfft. I hate it when rude salesgirls are rude, especially when I’m pretty sure I’m right. (This is why I need to wear makeup when I purchase makeup, so I can go “Ha! Behold my superior smokey eye! Now answer my questions and recognize I know more than you!”

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9 Responses to A Question for All Makeup Enthusiasts

  1. That rude girl needs to just stop. I’m pretty sure you were right too! There are definitely pressed foundations, powder foundations, and all in between.

  2. I am not an mua but I can tell you that pressed powder foundation do exist! I have an amazing one from Makeup Forever.. About the definition: it’s a pressed powder that can be used as a foundation for light to medium coverage or to retouch your makeup during the day. You were right the entire time 😉 it is not because you are not an mua that you don’t know as much or even more.. Keep believing in yourself 💋

  3. Matromao says:

    The joke’s on her, if she doesn’t know powder foundation. Usually, the Bobbi Brown MUAs are quite helpful (when they’re not acting snobby). But when faced with someone like that, I just say I’m browsing in the hopes they leave me be.

    • natziwang says:

      I *was* looking for a foundation though and it was like they’d hid all the pressed powders out of sight. D= I can probably count all the helpful MUAs I’ve met on one hand. Still shudder at the Laura Mercier one who told my mom to buy a too-light foundation because it would oxidize to her skin tone. Hello if I shell out so much money for a Laura Mercier foundation it had damn well better not oxidize.

  4. Carina says:

    I’ve always thought that there’s powder foundations and then there’s pressed powders, which I don’t consider to be foundations, per se, because to me they are just translucent/finishing/setting powders. Powder foundations have some type of coverage, but I’m not really familiar with the Bobbi Brown range to be able to help you with this. SHE RUDE, THO.

    • natziwang says:

      Very. =( the paradox of “I must wear makeup to show them what I know what I am doing” and “But I need to be barefaced to try on foundation.” Also the line I was looking at is called “pressed powder foundation”! Happy Skin and lots of brands have pressed foundation with heavy duty coverage too.

  5. Juvy says:

    She slept at the wrong side of the bed! LOL! If she’s a MUA, she should know all those stuff, right? Come back and talk to a different MUA and then show her what powder foundation means! Haha!

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