Find your foundation.

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One thing that all good makeup designs have in common is a foundation; by this we refer to the base color that sets the tone for your overall character. An evil queen may simply require a complimentary flesh tone to that of the model, while vampires and other ghouls perhaps a pale grey or green. Not only does the artist have a broad palette of colors from which to choose but the type of foundation makeup is equally important for the artist.

 Popular foundation makeup:

Three common selections are cream or as some prefer the name grease makeup, liquid and pressed powder; also called face or body paint. Each one having attributes that appeal to makeup artists for different reasons.



A popular choice for the performer or artist for centuries, cream foundation applies evenly and has excellent coverage and opacity. A setting powder is applied to keep the makeup smudge resistant and helps eliminate shine. A fixing spray will help lock in the makeup to help keep the look fresh for long periods of time. I find blending of colors and shading techniques are very easy with this type of foundation. Clean up can be a bit longer with cream in comparison to liquid or powders; with proper makeup remover and soap and water you will return to normal without too much delay.

The photo above is an example of cream/grease foundation. Ben Nye White and Black cream were mixed to create a custom grey foundation. 

Pressed powder:


Also classified as face and body paint, pressed powder is a water activated makeup but also can be used dry for shading and blush. This form of foundation is very easy to apply with brush, sponge or other makeup applicators and dries to a nice matte finish. A setting spray will help keep the makeup from smudging. Blending will be accomplished more with brush stroke technique or dry pressed powder or blushes, whereas cream allows for the smoothing of the makeup with a blending tool or finger. The pressed powder makeup is typically comfortable to wear long periods of time and washes off very easily with soap and water. Makeup remover may still be needed for some pigments. The Graftobian Pro paint is one of my favorites in this category, it is very creamy for a body paint and has amazing opacity.

The photo above is done with Graftobian Pro for the entire face.


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Using liquid can be a real advantage when covering large areas of skin, especially if using an airbrush. Application is also easy with sponge or brush directly from the bottle. There is a sleight drying time with liquid makeup applied straight from the bottle but not so much that it is inconvenient. Blending and shading techniques are similar to those of the pressed powder. Mixing colors to create a specific shade is very simple with liquid makeup. Setting spray is also recommended to lock in your work. Liquid makeup can be removed primarily with soap and water but a makeup remover may be needed in addition.

The Joker makeup used Mehron liquid white for the foundation.

I always believe the best way for an individual to choose a foundation or any makeup for that matter, is to experiment with the different types and find what works best for you.  Specific makeup designs may call for a foundation that is different from what has been your favorite in the past.

Have fun, explore new ideas!

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