As a teenager, I wore very little makeup. This was due, in part, to the time (the 90s) and the place (a New England boarding school), but I'm also pretty sure that my disdain for foundation—which, at the time, I called "base"—was very closely tied to the fact that I really, truly didn't need it. As far as I was concerned, there were only two kinds of people who wore foundation: old people, and weird people. I was an asshole, obviously, but I was right in one respect—it would have been weird for me to wear it, given my more-or-less perfect teenaged skin.
Well, only a solipsistic high schooler could possibly have been surprised by what happened next. (Okay, not next. Eventually.) Yes: I got old! And, as I did, my skin became, somehow, increasingly less fantastic! This, it turns out, is why moms wear base—not because they've lost faith in their own natural beauty, but because many of them (of us) have a little less natural beauty to go around. It's a bummer, to say the least.
I probably started wearing foundation on a somewhat regular basis around six or seven years ago; the first one I remember buying was Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation, which I wore in a variety of shades (I mean, 0-2, Porcelain-Sand, so not a wide variety) for quite some time, alternating it with Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer. My choice on any given day was, honestly, related more to how I wanted to feel about how much makeup I was wearing than anything else, because it's not like those two cosmetics are wildly different in terms of coverage. What people like about "tinted moisturizer," I'm convinced, is mostly that it sounds like something you can slap on before brunch without being a vain asshole. Like, you were going to moisturize anyway! (Of course, you still have to moisturize. Tinted moisturizer is a lie, if not a full-on racket.)
Anyway, over the last few years, I've branched out. I tried Smashbox's Liquid Halo, various BB creams, and Perricone's No Foundation Foundation, which, again, claims not to be makeup despite much evidence to the contrary. (It also gave me zits.) Today, I'm partial to Eve Lom's Sheer Radiance Oil-Free Foundation—it feels good, matches my skin color, and also allegedly contains only ingredients that won't mess up my face.
That feels crucial, now, because after the crazy try-everything foundation freakout of early this year, I'm more focused on trying to improve the underlying situation. By which I mean my complexion—which, to be honest, really isn't terrible, although I'd prefer if it were a little less red—but also, maybe, my attitude? I don't want my daughter to grow up thinking that a woman has to fix her face before she faces the world. I want her to see makeup as fun but optional (or not fun and therefore completely unnecessary). I think this is why base is so easy to hate: at best, you'll see no trace of it once it's on. Compared to red lipstick, it's a bore. Then again, it does make red lipstick look better, so unless I'm planning to give it all up—which, considering that I just co-founded a beauty blog, which my co-editor's husband only just finished fancy-ing up, I'd better not—perhaps it's better to just think of it as base, rather than evidence of my own personal losing battle against both aging and the patriarchy?
Anyway: Eve Lom, good stuff. —Lauren