Foundation mixology

Since I’m guilty of buying new foundations instead of using up my current open bottle(s), typically I have at least 12 different ones on the go.  Some of them are better suited for the summer, while others are only used during the winter months.  My skin tone often straddle between light and medium shades, so I typically mix 2 different shades to get a suitable colour match.   In addition, mixing different foundation formulas helps to get a finish that works better for my combination skin type.
foundations
Typically, I like to mix foundations to both colour match and improve on the formulations to my liking.

Here are some of my tried-and-true foundation mixes:
foundation mixes
The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals Liquid Foundation in #108 Golden Ivory – $25 for 28 ml (this item is no longer available in Canada)

Vichy Aera Teint Pure Fluid Foundation in 23 Ivory – $28 for 30ml (it’s nearly impossible to find information about this online but it’s readily available at drugstores in Canada)
foundation mixes
The Body Shop foundation in #108 was the lightest shade they offered that wasn’t pink toned. On me, this foundation is very yellow (almost ochre) and too dark. The formula is nice though – an emollient liquid with a dewy finish. The shade could work if I was self-tanned in the summer months, but the formula was better suited for winter time. This is where the Vichy foundation comes in. The Vichy foundation in #23 works well on its own for my winter skin, however, its is a bit drying on its own. Mixed together, this concoction is perfect all year round.  I get a good shade match, and a medium coverage foundation with a satin finish.

foundation mixes
Bourjois Mineral Matte Mousse Foundation in 83 Sable – $26 for 18 ml (got this on clearance, this item is now discontinued)

Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Mousse Makeup in #003 Nude – $12 for 39.7g
foundation mixes
Alone, each of these foundations are a disaster.  The shade of the Bourjois is too yellow and dark on me.  The mousse texture was also quite thick, and somewhat difficult to blend into the skin.  The Revlon mousse dispenses through a foaming aerosol can that creates a frothy cloud of foundation that has visible glitter.  The shade Nude is also slightly ashy on me.  However, when I mix these 2 foundations together, they seem to cancel out each other’s bad parts and I’m left with a somewhat glowy foundation that lasts very well on my skin.

foundation mixes
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment Makeup in #260 Buff – $16 for 20ml

Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation in Fair – $31 for 53g
foundation mixes
I bought the Maybelline foundation with the intention of mixing it with other foundations or using as a contour because I knew that the colour was way too dark for me (this was the only shade in the clearance bin and I really wanted to try it since I love the corresponding concealer so much).  There’s nothing bad about the formula – it’s got a lot of silicone in it so it’s quite slippery to blend – maybe a little too slick.  The Sephora airbrush foundation was a “Youtube made me buy it” item – after seeing countless rave videos, my curiosity got the better of me.  I really like the formula, however, the shade is a touch too light for me (although, I think the next shade up “Light”, would have been too orange on me).  And let’s be honest, it’s not truly an airbrush foundation – it dispenses through an aerosol can, but there is no way to spray this directly onto my face to create an airbrushed look.  The best way to apply this is spray onto the palm of your hand, then use either a brush or a sponge to apply to the face.

Tips:
• There are no rules for mixing foundations (most of these were trial and error), but a key factor in success is to first make sure both formulas are either water based or oil based – mixing a water with an oil based liquid will result in foundation separation and pilling (little bits rolling off the skin when rubbed).
• Sometimes I pre-mix the foundations in the palm of my hand before applying to my face, sometimes I just dab dots of each straight onto my face and blend (pro-tip: apply the darker colour at the perimeter of the face and concentrate the lighter shade in the center to do a contour / highlight).
• I don’t always mix 50/50 of each foundation – I just eyeball the mixture ratio depending on what kind of finish I’m aiming for.  Another bonus, depending of the time of year and how pale or tanned I am, I can customize my shade by adjusting the mixture ratio.

Do you ever mix your foundations to get the right colour or finish?

Header image source: goodhousekeeping.com

74 thoughts on “Foundation mixology

  1. Fun post. I do exactly the same thing, mixing and matching to get the right color. I used to mix in my hand, but have recently gotten some plastic makeup jars at primark so I can just premix a batch and use it 🙂
    xx Anne

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  2. YES I usually do it with tinted moisturizers because I can never get the right shade for my skin. I mix Jouer MMT + Laura Mercier Bronze Radiance Primer and that makes my skin look flawless. Haven’t tried it for actual foundations though, but I guess I haven’t had the need with my small collection.

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    1. Ooh I want to try that Jouer TM! I’m toying with getting that Jouer subscription box in the new year – their products just appeal to me so much! Do you buy it in person or it’s strictly online?

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      1. I am thinking of mixing my fave foundations CoverGirl Ready Set Gorgeous & Lancome’s teint idole ultra foundation! And maybe also the Loreal Infallible with either the Lancome Nude Miracle or the Dior Nude Skin since they are more sheer perhaps it might sheer out that heavy Loreal foundation lol.

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  3. I loved that Sephora airbrush foundation until I got a new picture for my drivers licence and realized how oily it made my face look. 😦 I loved how clean it was to apply in comparison to liquid foundations, plus I found it super travel friendly. I’ve never tried mixing foundations though, perhaps I should try mixing it with one of my drier foundations and see how that works. Thanks for the tips!

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    1. I honestly feel that foundations may not always translate well into photography – but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good foundation for real life. I mean, how often do we get photographed anyway? I had to get a passport photo taken and the lady made me powder my face until I looked like DEATH and she said “Trust me, it’s going look crazy in real life but in the photo it will work”, and you know what? She was right! I’d NEVER powder my face that much in real life. So don’t toss out that Sephora foundation just yet!

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      1. Oh that’s a good point! It definitely got oily on me within a few hours though so the camera probably just enhanced the oilyness but the picture is sooo bad – looks like I dipped my face in a vat of Crisco! I still use it on weekends when I’m out for a few hours because i can’t stand not using up something I’ve purchased, even if I really don’t like it. 🙂

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          1. well ……….. i always tell it like it is …. i think u know this by now – and i don’t know anyone who would think this way – it’s the whole science of beauty – i seriously am fascinated by how u think about stuff – so there – speech over 🙂 LOL

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              1. Yes ……….it’s totally fascinating – You have that right ……..that’s why i get excited to read you – You have a very singular way of writing about stuff ……and maybe it’s because i am an artist at heart – the way people Look at stuff always fascinates me – ❤

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                    1. i know ………… seriously -it’s like a reality show ? Lol …..anyways – ur a damn smart cookie and My mom would send you iq tests if she saw ur posts …… LOL ,….. then she would say – THAT WOMAN IS MENSA …… i guarantee it

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  4. I always mix my foundations, I’ve been doing this for years. I like mixing my Annabelle Skin True foundation with a high end brand ; surprisingly enough I have the same result as if I was using the high end alone (very frugal!!!). 🙂

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      1. I never did a review on this foundation (Weird since I have purchased at least 10 tubes !!!). I never wear it alone, it’s always been my base to mix with another foundation, for 50$ I have double the amount (40$ high-end +10$ Annabelle!!!🙊)

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  5. And I’m late..
    I was so much entertained with that little talk you had with Cat. I think it’s so cool to have a shrink mom. I believe she also somewhat acquired it.
    Going back, yes I do also mix some local foundations for there are some that doesn’t enough variation which is quite absurd considering where it is made. Tsk! We even have this mixing plate, just like of a painter’s, really cool!
    If I will be ask to be another blogger for a day, without blinking an eye, Stashy fosho!

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    1. Haha, yes Cat and I had quite the chat! 😀
      It’s pretty crazy a local brand wouldn’t offer shades to match the LOCAL people! So ridiculous. I have a little palette that I bought from MAC but I never use it – I just find my hand to be a sufficient tool, lol.
      Awww, so sweet of you to say. ❤

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  6. You’re some kind of genius makeup mad scientist! 😀 I have never mixed different foundations together, though it totally makes sense and from your pictures, seems like it works brilliantly.

    I’ve only mixed shades of the same foundation (or, I suppose, moisturizer with foundation). Why am I always in between shades?

    That Maybelline is really dark for a shade called Buff :O

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    1. Yes, I used to only mix the same foundation – 2 different shades because I thought I couldn’t mix other brands… I don’t know what I thought would happen? Explosion? lol. I agree – why am I always in between shades too?!!
      Maybelline’s shade names are weird, I got their Dream powder and it’s also Buff but dark too (I also got it on clearance 😛 )

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  7. I often mix foundations because I’m super pale and it’s usually to get the perfect color. Most of drugstore foundations in the palest shades are too dark for me and I mix them with my Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizing balm 🙂

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    1. Yeah it comes out like hair mousse, no joke. The trick is not to pump too much because a little bit is all that’s needed. My photo doesn’t even do it justice because I was trying to get a small swatch, this is what it looks like if you pump out a bunch:

      This is enough foundation to cover 10 faces.

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  8. I’ve pretty lucky with foundation color and not had to mix. My color never changes though because I’m an alien and allergic to the sun (omfg). But I have been mixing Argan oil and foundation and loving it plus my skin benefits from it so I’m liking that. Oil Essentials is sending me some products to try so I’m eager to mix in those and see what I get.

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      1. Definitely try. It’s AMAZING. Plus, it’s moisturizing! I just got a 100 point little sample of argan oil from Sephora to try it and I was amazed. I do have some products i’m going to review from Oil Essentials. And I have some to giveaway also. That’s coming and they are BEAUTIFUL blends.

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  9. Guilty of the same thing. If I get a foundation shade that later feels a little too light or too dark on me, I tend to forget about it and move on to the next thing. I feel bad though, so I started mixing as well. My latest successful trial involves BB cream (water-based, too dark on me) and a Japanese foundation (too light). It’s fantastic, the results I’m getting. The BB cream keeps skin hydrated, while the foundation gives the appropriate amount of color. *Phew!*

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  10. Thanks for sharing your favorite mixes with us! I actually don’t own any of these formulas. It’s interesting how the Sephora air brush mixes well with the Maybelline, I would never think to mix an airbrush (aersol) type foundation with something else. 🙂

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