April 27, 2012

DIY The Perfect Pale Foundation

It's a funny thing that, in this beauty-obsessed day-and-age, cosmetics companies can't better cater to their markets. It's not a myth that the majority of Irish people are so pale, we are almost translucent. We are, in truth, a rather ghostly race.

Yet, companies, big and small, high-end and low-end, all insist on plaguing us with multiple foundation shades which would better suit those who are lucky enough to live in sunnier climes. I understand that display space is limited and they can't feasibly roll out a zillion shades to suit every single skin tone and colour. However, a bit of market research wouldn't go amiss and plying us with ten different shades of "tanned" isn't going to sit well with the pale-skinned consumers.

I have at least five foundations in my collection that, while being the palest offered by the brand, are just that half shade too dark. I end up having to either concentrate the coverage on the centre of my face, blending outwards to nothingness or else extend the coverage all the way down my neck to avoid the dreaded tangoed effect! I hate the effort that goes into using these foundations, even though some of them are among my all-time favourites but, I also hate leaving them to go to waste in a drawer.

With money being tighter for a lot of us these days, I got to thinking a few weeks ago about how us pale folk could make even the darkest of our foundations work for us, without having to spend a fortune in the ongoing search for the perfect shade. Enter Face Atelier Pro Ultra Foundation in Zero Minus.

I had a theory that mixing a drop of this pure white foundation with a drop of a too-dark foundation would quickly mix up the perfect "pale" shade. Face Atelier is available from Irish online retailer Cloud10Beauty and they kindly sent over a sample so I could test out my theory in the hope of saving fair-skinned girls everywhere a lot of money in the long-run!

So, how did I get on?

Well, to begin with, I took two of the darkest foundations that I have (even though they are the lightest available shades!); Rimmel Wake Me Up in Ivory and Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow in Pure 4 Sure Ivory. I adore both of these foundations but, a lot of effort goes into making them blend seamlessly into my pasty skin.

I dollop a one-to-one ratio of white and colour onto the back of my hand and mix it around with my finger. This takes no time at all to do and leaves me with a lighter toned foundation that provides coverage while blending seamlessly into my jawline and stark white neck!

As you can see from the pictures below, there is a massive difference between the foundations used neat (bottom swatch) and when mixed with the white Face Atelier (top swatch). 

Rimmel Wake Me Up 

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow

Face Atelier has a very sheer and viscous formula. I find that the mixed foundation spreads a lot further than it does neat and, amazingly, the finishes of each of the foundations remain the same after mixing. I do this every morning for work and the longevity of my foundation remains the same, the only thing different is the fact that it perfectly matches my neck and chest!

I know that many of you are in a similar boat with a lot of too-dark foundations sitting in drawers going to waste. Instead of buying tonnes of foundations in the hope of finding one that is just right, why not just use up those you have by doing a little foundation DIY?! Sure, the Face Atelier isn't the cheapest at €28 but, it works out as a total bargain in the long-run when you don't have to buy new foundations anymore but, rather just use those you already have and make them work for you! 

P.S. While I can't speak from experience, I know that a lot of darker skintones suffer a similar problem with many foundations running too light. Face Atelier also have a Zero Plus and Zero Plus Plus foundation so you can deepen any existing shades you already have!


  1. wow great post sinéad, im currently wearing a high neck shirt to disguise that my foundation is too dark.. def gonna get a bottle of this for myself next month :)

    1. Thanks! That was like me a couple of weeks ago wearing a scarf all day to hide how pale my neck and chest are! x

  2. I could be wrong but did Barry M have a version of this?I think stargazer might have one as well.

    1. I'm really not sure I'm afraid! I've never seen it but, then I've never really looked for it!

  3. I sometimes mix things with my foundations. Not the way you are, to get a lighter colour, but sometimes if my skin is dry (which is rare as I have oily skin, but it does do it sometimes) I mix my foundation with a bit of my moisturiser! xo

  4. wow, id definitely buy this!!Áine

  5. Great post! You and Lisa Eldridge must be on the same wavelength - amazeballs! This'd be awful handy to have....I shall add it to the list! :)

  6. Thanks so much! Hopefully I'll be able to get mac face and body in white but if that doesn't work out at least I have a backup.

  7. I think Lisa Eldridge recently published a YT video on finding foundations for pale-skinned beauties. You should check it out!

  8. I bought this today! I am so sick and tired of buying foundations that are way too dark even after getting colour matched in store! its such a waste! I love that i can use my darker foundations when i have a bit of a tan on but still use them when im my usual pasty self! I am literally as white as snow its a nightmare matching me with a colour so this sounded like a dream and a must have! :) x

  9. Great post Sinead, now i can actually use those foundations i bought without getting colour matched first


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