Secrets to Finding the Perfect Foundation

Airdate: 7/7/11

Having a tough time getting your foundation just right? This episode is all about how to choose the best foundation for your skin type and skin tone, as well as which tools to use for a natural-looking, smooth application.

Paula Begoun: Good evening or good morning, depending where you are in the world. I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop with my Paula's Choice team, Desiree Stordahl and Bryan Barron. Desiree is my wonderful assistant. I adore Desiree.
Desiree Stordahl: Aw.
Paula Begoun: Oh Desiree, you are wonderful. I don't know what I would have done without you this past week. I don't know. I just feel somewhere between humble and brilliant that I hired you.
Desire Stordahl: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: Oh, Desiree.
00:00:36 And her review is coming up, so that is probably a really good thing for me to say. No, it's not a good thing?
Desiree Stordahl: It is a good thing. It is a good thing.
Paula Begoun: Desiree is wonderful. Bryan is wonderful. Hi Bryan.
Bryan Barron: Good evening.
Paula Begoun: Good evening. Bryan is actually – Bryan has some interesting things that we are going to be talking about, in particular is the foundation topic is Bryan's topic. Bryan wrote an incredible report about how to find the best foundation and what type of foundation is best for you.
00:01:09 And we are going to have a long chat about that. But before we do that, there are a few things we need to go over because I'm the Cosmetics Cop and if I don't have a rant I know something is wrong and I have thousands of rants; I'm screaming around the office on a regular basis.
00:01:30 But before I rant about Dr. Brandt's "Pores No More" Vacuum Cleaner – by the way great name, lousy product, but really great name. Before I tell you more about that product, Bryan and Desiree and Daynah, part of our cosmetics Paula's Choice Team, went to a cosmetic/makeup show in Chicago with some of the best makeup artists in the country doing presentations and demonstrations and holding classes.
00:02:06 And both Bryan, Daynah and Desiree came back with feeling validated that one of the things that we have been saying for a very long time, lord knows I have been saying it for 30 years, is that if you wear a shiny eye shadow – I don't care what they call it, luminescent, glowing, radiant, whatever word they stick to it. If it's got shine it makes wrinkles more noticeable.
00:02:32 If you have any crepey skin, even if you don't see your crepey skin, you put shiny eye shadow on and all of a sudden it jumps out and makes skin look more wrinkled. And Desiree and Bryan, you came back saying that that was exactly what all of the makeup artists were saying. And Desiree, what did you guys say you learned?
Desiree Stordahl: Well, overall all of the pro artists were advocating for matte and neutral shades, just something that you have been preaching for a long time now.
00:03:04 And I know to listeners that might kind of sound the same old same boring thing. But these artists were able to create the most beautiful eye designs with just these simple colors and they were all matte. And another part of it was that they were describing if you do have wrinkly lids, the matte shadow is not only better than shimmer because it is not reflecting that light and pulling the light forward which is what enhances the protrusion or the wrinkles, but they also create more of a smooth, even canvas.
00:03:37 And Bryan had a good analogy. He was talking about if you painted your wall with like a satin type of paint where it has a bit of a sheen to it, you can see the imperfections on the wall. But if you have a matte color, it smoothes it over. And that is true, it's the same for the eye design and the eye shadow.
Paula Begoun: Right. And it is striking. And some of it is you saw the makeup artist demonstrating that clearly.
00:04:04 But you can do your own little test yourself. You can go to the MAC counter, you can go to the Bobbi Brown counter, Makeup Forever, and take a shiny eye shadow and put it on one side of your hand and put a matte eye shadow on the other and compare. And sure enough, the one that is shiny will look more wrinkled on the back of your hand, even if you didn't think you had wrinkles there. And on the other side where it is matte there won't be wrinkles.
00:04:31 That was validating. Go on Bryan.
Bryan Barron: One of the comments that Daynah brought up was that she was expecting when she looked at these kits from these makeup artists that their palettes for eye shadows would just be full of all of these, a rainbow, a veritable kaleidoscope of colors and in kit after kit all she was seeing were softer, neutral shades, or as she described it, "Eight shades of beige."
Paula Begoun: Eight shades of beige. Exactly.
Bryan Barron: And what was particularly impressive and I witnessed this myself at several of the demos was that just what these artists could do with shades that otherwise you might just kind of pass them buy when you are looking at them at the store.
00:05:14 They certainly don't jump out and say, "Put me on," the way a shiny shade does. And it's not that these artists weren't for the use of shine at all, but when they did use it it was judicious. It was placed in the arch of the brow, to highlight. It was placed where skin is firm or taught or tends to stay that way rather than being used all over.
Paula Begoun: Judicious is the right word.
00:05:39 Careful application as opposed to trying to look like a glittery sequins top that was like a disco ball. That is not the way to put on gorgeous makeup. You know it is interesting given that my first book I ever wrote on the world of skincare of makeup was called, "Blue Eye Shadow should be Illegal" –
00:06:02 What I am always struck by when I see all of these colors and the greens and they blue eye shadows and the pinks and the orange at different makeup counters around the world is that you open any fashion magazine and 99% of the models and the celebrities wearing makeup have neutral shades ranging from beige to black. It is the rare makeup ad or the rare display – In Style Magazine and the celebrity is wearing all of these beautiful outfits.
00:06:36 Or even some of the more extreme kind of trendy looks that some of the maybe musician types are wearing for makeup and hairstyle, even then they are just wearing more extreme shades of – black is placed more around the eye. They are not wearing blue and green and pink. It is always astounding to me what we see because that is the best thing a fashion magazine offers is some brilliant makeup applications more often than not.
00:07:08 And they are not wearing the blues and the pinks. If we are going to follow anything in the fashion magazines it is how they do makeup on these gorgeous celebrities and gorgeous models to make them look gorgeous, to make them look fashionably beautiful, what we are trying to achieve for those of us who choose to wear makeup. So, yes.
00:07:30 So having been on, I don't know, hundreds of talk shows and been in green rooms from Oprah to Dr. Oz to The View, to the morning talk shows, all of them, and seeing the makeup artists that are doing makeup for all of the talk shows I have been on, there is not a blue eye shadow or a green eye shadow or a purple eye shadow to be found. That just isn't the way to put on an elegant, beautiful makeup. So it is nice being validated.
00:08:01 And you also learned stuff – you know we need to do a show just about the stuff you learned, about color application and the shading techniques.
Desiree Stordahl: Oh my god, we learned so much.
Paula Begoun: Okay, next show. Next show. But before we jump, before we go to how to find the best foundation, I've got to get this off my chest. I just have to do this one. How did this come up? I don't even remember how we got into talking about this, but there is a product from Dr. Brandt called – maybe it was the clever name – "Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner."
00:08:36 Yeah, that has to be it. Was that you, Bryan, who mentioned its name?
Bryan Barron: No, it was Cynthia, our senior marketing director. She asked if you had seen the ad because apparently one of the home shopping channels is selling this Dr. Brandt product along with the Clarisonic brush and one other product, basically as a way to deep clean your face.
Paula Begoun: Well this would do a whole hell of a lot more than deep clean.
00:09:05 And not in a good way. So two things. One is I just got the sensitive – so I have been trying to find a way to give you really great information about all of these cleansing brushes of which Clarisonic kind of started the trend, this vibrating brush thing to clean your face.
00:09:28 And I found the regular head way too intense and irritating. Irritation is bad for skin and they do happen to have a sensitive brush head but you have to order it. It doesn't come with the kit. It is a separate brush head and you have got to order it. So I ordered it, we just got it in, I am going to give it a try. I'm very skeptical but you know it is one of those things I think that might be more you love it or you hate it. The major thing is don't overuse it because irritation will give you negative returns because irritation breaks down collagen, hurts the skin's healing process, etc, etc.
00:10:05 I will let everybody know after I have played with this sensitive head brush for the Clarisonic, but in terms of selling this "Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner" with the brush, you have to get this ingredient list. We can get so seduced by claims, and it makes claims of containing salicylic acid glycolic acid and silica, a mineral powder from sand – silica is sand.
00:10:34 So what this product basically is is water, sand, alcohol, and an ingredient called Triethanolamine which is an alkaline ingredient, it is a high pH adjuster. When you have a hair dye product that makes claims about not containing this, that or the other thing, or a hair straightening product that says it doesn't contain lye or something –
00:11:00 What they are using to balance out the pH of the product is often this ingredient, Triethanolamine. It is very high up in the ingredient listing which really shocked me, but even more important is that it is alcohol. It is mostly sand and alcohol. And this very high pH adjusting ingredient and menthol. From the ingredient listing it couldn't even be possibly 2% or 1%, maybe 3% glycolic acid at best.
00:11:30 It also contains lavender oil. Lavender oil causes cells to drop dead – not the best ingredient for skin. And salicylic acid isn't even present at a 0.1% concentration. It is a –oh my god, oh my god – it is putting alcohol and sand on your face and there isn't a reason in the world…well maybe there is a reason, but this isn't it…to put alcohol on your skin.
00:12:00 Alcohol causes free radical damage, causes cell death. It irritates the skin. It can stimulate oil production in the pore. I mean I could go on and on. It dries out the skin. Hurts the skin's healing process. There is nothing about this that resembles a vacuum cleaner unless what you are trying to do is – I don't even know what you are trying to do, but don't do it. Dr. Brandt I'm sure has some really decent products, this ain't one of them.
00:12:29 And the claims around it…maybe the only real claim is that it can absorb excess oil because alcohol will degrease the skin temporarily and silica will absorb oil. But there are gentler ways to do it than adding alcohol to silica and a high pH adjuster at the front part of the ingredients. And it is $45 for an ounce. Oh my god, oh my god. So did I rant…I think I ranted enough about that one. We will just put that one somewhere else.
00:13:00 And then one other thing, and this isn't a rant. This is a – we had an email question from Sue who asked us…she said she just finished listening to my radio program and I talked about minoxidil which is the generic name for Rogaine that you put on in either 2% or 5% concentrations to regrow hair for male pattern baldness. Women also experience male pattern baldness.
00:13:30 It actually should be called female pattern baldness because it just looks the same as male pattern baldness generally. Once you get to menopause, perimenopause, pre-menopause conditions, you start losing hair. And the research about minoxidil growing hair is pretty clear and you can choose the 2% for women although there is research showing that the 5%, you can use it once a day and get the same results as a woman than using the 2% twice a day.
00:14:01 And I do personally use the 5%. I have been using it since 1995 because that is when I started having perimenopausal everything and was starting to lose hair which freaked me out and I have been using minoxidil ever since. And I do get hair regrowth. When I stop using it and get lazy, start losing – those hairs I grew back start going away. After using minoxidil again they come back.
00:14:28 But the question was – that's kind of a long explanation to go into Sue's question which was, "I had used it for several months, the minoxidil, until someone told me that it causes wrinkles. I did a Google search and found several reports that state it inhibits collagen production regardless of whether it is used on the scalp or face." Well, I don't know why you would be using it on the face. So do you know if there is any foundation for these reports or is this an urban legend?
00:14:58 I don't know that it is…I wouldn't call it an urban legend. I think it is taking a handful, not even a handful, a few studies, three or four studies "in vitro" meaning in a lab dish, or on animals, particularly mice, and looking at the research and saying it inhibits fibroblast, it inhibits the cells that make collagen. But it turns out that it also inhibits the collagen that makes scar tissue which I guess is a good thing. But overall what doesn't exist other than this little bit of information that says that there is some amount of collagen inhibition when you put minoxidil on your scalp is that it is the scalp of animals or it is the scalp skin reproduced in a Petri dish.
00:15:50 There are no studies on real people. We simply don't know if that is indeed what is happening. And there is research showing that there are some good aspects of minoxidil in terms of different forms of collagen production. So in the long run the answer is the research just isn't there to go one way or the other. And what I can say for certain what the research is 100% clear about is that a good percentage of women who use minoxidil, either the 2% or the 5% will get some amount of hair regrowth.
00:16:29 It is the only, aside from Finasteride, but women shouldn't be taking Finasteride in my opinion. But minoxidil, topically applied, is really the only product out there that has any real research showing that it grows hair. In fact, a lot of the hair regrowth products say they contain all of these plant extracts and all this and you look at the ingredient list and they contain minoxidil. It's so funny. Well, not in a ha-ha kind of way.
Bryan Barron: One of the things we also mention in regard to that is that what the studies on these mice and in Petri dishes didn't show was that if you are a regular person at home using minoxidil, if you are concerned about potential collagen destruction –
00:17:15 chances are good if you are using skincare products, including a good sunscreen that prevents collagen breakdown and works to stimulate new collagen production, for all intents and purposes any detriment to collagen that minoxidil may have is going to be negligible.
Paula Begoun: Right. Yeah.
00:17:35 Obviously everybody has to weigh out their own pros and cons from the information that is available. For my opinion I ain't giving it up. I think that it is one of the better – I wish everything gave such clear results. When I first used it, it took about three months. And again, when I stop it, that little receding hairline thing I've got going comes back and goes away. And when I start using it again –
00:18:07 Yes, the research is at best inconclusive about it and it is absolutely one of the treatments for, actually the only topical treatment for hair loss from research that works. So, Sue, that's my answer. I don't know if that helps you very much. It's not urban legend. It's over-blown fact. It is taking one piece of information from a few studies and blowing it into reality when that is not what the research says it is.
00:18:36 So, bye-bye Dr. Brandt for now. And bye-bye minoxidil, not in a bad way because I do think minoxidil is worth consideration. Let's talk about foundation which is…actually, what a nemesis. Trying to find a good foundation is so frustrating. And as somebody like me with oily skin it is a never ending problem to not get oily breakthrough. And of course oil breakthrough breaks down the foundation.
00:19:05 So first just to talk about the best way to get about all of this, if there is any reason to go to a department store and shop for makeup it is because you can try on foundation before you buy it. You can do a split face test. They will give you a little sample often. You can try it before you buy it and that makes a huge difference.
00:19:33 If there is any product worth splurging on, it would be because you are frustrated in finding the best foundation for your face and that would be the only time I would say don't get it at the drugstore – not because there aren't brilliant products at the drugstore, or I like the foundations I have in my Paula's Choice line – but because before you buy it you can try it on and compare, do split face tests.
00:20:01 So I am strongly recommending that in the world of foundations you give it a test run before you buy it. The second thing is that the color play is so important and the best thing you can do is consider a color somewhere between the color of your neck and the color of your face if the two colors don't match. Do not put your foundation on your neck to then blend it down and try to get your face color to match your neck color. You are just going to get makeup on your clothes and run up your cleaning bills and that doesn't help anybody.
00:20:33 It definitely doesn't help blend because you still have a chest and shoulders if you are wearing something even slightly revealing. So don't do that. But the idea is that you find a happy medium between the color of your face and the color of your neck. Because if you don't take both into consideration, if your face is slightly darker than your neck and you match identical to your face, you are going to look like you've got a mask on.
00:21:01 Now of course it helps to wear a sheer foundation because then you can cheat and do just about anything, but you still have to pay attention to that jaw line. You do not want a line of demarcation at the jaw. It just looks wrong. It looks overly made up. You have got to pay attention to that line of demarcation between your face and your neck, your jaw area and your neck. So, oil-free matte finish liquid foundations.
00:21:27 Generally speaking you can – Bryan, what do you think? I would say generally the claim on the label in terms of skin type is often pretty spot on. What do you think? Would you say that? I think that is pretty good.
Bryan Barron: I would absolutely agree with that, yes. The general statement – a lot of companies use the term oil-free which is why I refer to it. Typically an oil-free product really is oil-free but often what they will do to replace what the oil does in a foundation is they put in an ingredient that has a similar feel, similar attribute.
00:22:05 So technically they are not oils but they still may not be the best for someone who has oily or breakout-prone skin which is why the matte finish is important because you can't get that matte finish unless you have ingredients that allow that finish to happen and be able to hold up for at least a couple of hours before you are seeing shine and maybe need to blot.
Paula Begoun: So this situation for oil-free matte finish liquid foundations, the ones that are top on our list is Clinique's Even Better Makeup SPF 15, L'Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup SPF 17, and I am going to throw in a Paula's Choice, my Best Face Forward Foundation SPF 15. All three of those come really high up in giving you that matte finish and sun protection which is so important.
00:22:59 A big deal is that they are easy to apply. The big deal is that you don't get oil breakthrough at least for a little bit of time. It goes on smooth. It doesn't look heavy or thick. It is easy to move around on your face and then it sets. The possible negative is it conceals dry. These can go dry so how you prep your skin is so important. The long-wearing matter finish liquid foundations of which Estee Lauder's Double Wear Foundation SPF 10…I can't believe they only made it in SPF 10, that's just ridiculous.
00:23:34 Well, you know, it's not like they don't know better.
Bryan Barron: Exactly.
Paula Begoun: Maybelline's Super Stay Makeup 24 hours – isn't 24 hours. Nobody should keep their makeup on for 24 hours. Anyway –
Bryan Barron: But that does, that lasts, though. That is definitely one of the longest wearing as far as not breaking down on your skin.
Paula Begoun: And does it set fast or do you have play time to get it to go on? I haven't tested this one?
Bryan Barron: You have some amount of play time.
00:24:01 It is certainly more than what you get from Revlon's Color Stay Makeup, but not by much.
Paula Begoun: So another one that we recommend highly is Revlon's Color Stay Mineral…I don't know, they throw the word "mineral" in all over the place. Revlon Color Stay Mineral Mousse Makeup SPF 20. Revlon knows matte foundations. They kind of invented the technology. The problem with matte foundations is they will last. They are great for super oily skin but the problem is you have got to, you really need to have a knack with blending it or it will go on choppy.
00:24:39 So you have got to experiment with blending to get it well. And when you wear powder blush over it, it can stick. So you want to put a light layer of powder over it just to get the tackiness to go away. Actually that works for almost any foundation is to put a light dusting of powder on so that when you put your blush on it doesn't grab and attach to the foundation because then you just get this stripe on your face.
00:25:06 It can be drying, that is the other thing. So, again, prepping your face, what skincare routine you use, is incredibly important. Moisturizing liquid foundations that kind of gives away what it does is that it is a liquid foundation and it is soothing and moist on contact with the skin and that moist soothing feel doesn't go away. In other words when it sets it sets and retains that soft, smooth feel. It doesn't dry down and become powdery or heavy on the face. It stays, what, for lack of a better word it stays smooth and silky as opposed to matte and on the dry side like the other foundations.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, you get more of a satin and sometimes even slightly dewy finish which is why this type of foundation is perfect for normal-to-dry skin.
Paula Begoun: And the ones that are high on Bryan's list is –
00:26:01 Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme Radiant Lifting Makeup SPF 15. Forget the lifting, it doesn't lift anybody anywhere. At least they got the sunscreen right this time. It is a very good foundation, on the pricey side but good. Paula's Choice All Bases Covered Foundation SPF 15. Mine is a good price in comparison to the other two. And Stila Illuminating Liquid Foundation. That actually is a beautiful foundation at $38.
00:26:35 And again the thing about department stores is you get to try it on before you buy it.
Bryan Barron: Or with Paula's Choice you can call us and we will send you samples of any shade you want.
Paula Begoun: Oh, that's true. Sorry. Okay, you can try mine on before you buy it, too. Okay, so my brain is obviously working really well. Pressed powder foundations. You know, it's interesting; we have a question from one of our callers, where did I just see that? Oh, Ruth from Washington, DC.
00:27:04 She has extremely oily skin and she says she is having trouble finding powder foundation. The reason Ruth you are having trouble finding powder foundation is because powder foundations – actually the two skin types they don't work well on is very dry skin or very oily skin. It's kind of interesting. Obviously when you use a powder foundation on dry skin because powders are absorbent, whatever moisture you have in your skin, it is sucking it away so that makes skin drier.
00:27:35 And for very oily skin it is not that the absorption is bad, it's just that your skin is making so much oil, what it ends up doing with the powder is making it clump. It congregates it. Oil makes things move so as your oily skin gets produced during the day it starts moving the little powder specs together and you get clumping and pooling on the face.
00:28:03 So that is one of the reasons powder makeup's can be so, pressed powder makeup's can be so frustrating, or loose powder makeup's for that matter, is because for the two extreme skin types they don't work very well even though they say it is for all skin types. I would strongly suggest a pressed powder foundations and loose powder foundations are not for every skin type. They really are best, again, at prepping the skin is so important in terms of how you clean your face and what products you put on before but pressed powder foundations do not work well for very, very oily skin or for very dry skin, really normal to slightly combination.
00:28:42 And if you have a heavy, like me, you have a heavy oily area right in the middle, your face is going to get confused. If it is to oily it is going to pool and not look the best. Bryan, do you want to speak to cream to powder compact foundations because you and I had a – or, it was stick foundations. The difference between cream to powder and stick foundations.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
00:29:06 So essentially cream to powder foundations are those that typically come in a compact and they initially have a slick almost greasy texture but then as you apply them with typically the enclosed sponge they set to a smooth silky powder finish and feel very light on the skin. Stick foundations come in a stick and they typically perform the same as a cream to powder. You just get the convenience of having a stick which many women find more portable. The other issue is that stick foundations typically provide a bit more coverage because the waxes and thickening agents that help keep that in stick form can help contribute to the product's opacity on the skin.
00:29:52 Just like the pressed powder foundations, the cream to powder formulas tend to be best for someone who's skin is either slightly oily, normal to slightly oil or normal to slightly dry. But because almost all of these have a powder finish, those slightly dry areas definitely need to be prepped with a serum or moisturizer or moisturizing sunscreen so that these types of foundations apply smoothly over them.
Paula Begoun: Let me just back up for a second because I didn't mention the top of your list of the pressed powder foundations which is Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder.
00:30:31 Which, you know, Physician's Formula makes some strange, crazy products, but every now and then they just make something unique that no one else is doing. And an SPF 50 powder foundation and it is soft and silky is incredibly cool and it is cheap. Laura Mercier Powder Foundation – it is silky and smooth but expensive. And MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation is kind of somewhere in between the Physician's Formula and the Laura Mercier. But all three are at the top of Bryan's list.
00:30:59 Cream to powder compact foundations – Bryan is recommending the Cover Girl CG Smoother Aqua Smooth Compact Makeup SPF 15. That has been around forever and I think one of the reasons Cover Girl keeps it around is because it is one of the better unsung cream to powder foundations out there. It is cheap.
Bryan Barron: It does not go away.
Paula Begoun: No, and really the colors – some of the first colors that Cover Girl launched where it was neutral. Nobody would walk away looking peach and orange like Cover Girl used to do. Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Even Finish Compact Makeup, it's pricey but good, $42.
Bryan Barron: And some great shades for dark skin tones.
Paula Begoun: They do do great shades. MAC, too.
00:31:43 And Revlon Photo-Ready Compact Makeup SPF 20. Good price, really worth taking a look at. Has nothing to do with being ready for a photograph but it is a very good foundation. Stick foundations: Benefits Play Sticks, Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick and Shiseido Stick Foundation SPF 18.
00:32:04 And the last two categories – Sheer foundation and tinted moisturizers. Those are perfect if all you want is sheer. If you want any coverage these are not the ones to consider. Most of the really great ones have sunscreens. They go on sheer and soft. They make your skin show through with minimal to light coverage. They often are really a problem for somebody with normal to oily skin – obviously they are moisturizers, they are not meant to go on matte. These tinted moisturizers and sheer foundations – there are some that are more mate than others.
00:32:45 But mostly they are really for normal-to-dry skin. And the ones that are at the top of Bryan's list – Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15; Neutrogena Healthy Skin Glow Sheer SPF 30; and my product, Paula's Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint SPF 20. I do have to say that I love my Barely There Sheer Matte Tint.
00:33:09 Mineral Makeup – I don't even want to talk about mineral makeup because it is just so overblown.
Bryan Barron: But you've got to, you've got to.
Paula Begoun: All right. Okay, you talk.
Bryan Barron: It won't go away.
Paula Begoun: It won't go away. Mineral – everything is mineral. They even call mascara mineral nowadays. It's just ridiculous. But, okay, go Bryan, it's your turn. I don't want to talk about it. It's just such a marketing hype.
Bryan Barron: It is a marketing hype and I don't want our listeners to think that we come hard on all mineral makeup because there are some that we like.
00:33:41 What you just have to be careful about is believing the claims that mineral makeup is somehow better for your skin, more skin caring, doesn't contain any of those "cheap filler ingredients." They never say what those cheap filler are, but they love telling you that every makeup except theirs has them.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, of course.
Bryan Barron: It's just marketing spend.
00:34:02 So mineral makeup – one of the other things that can irk us is that it is often advertised as being for all skin types. It is not. Very much like pressed powder foundations, all mineral makeup, whatever the mineral is that they are using, they are absorbent, whether it is mica or talc or bismuth oxy-chloride, they are all absorbent. So if you have any amount of dry skin, because mineral makeup tends to have a heavier texture and an even drier finish than most standard loose or pressed powder foundations, it's going to exaggerate even the slightest bit of dry skin.
00:34:36 On the flip side, if you have very oily skin, just like a pressed powder foundation, you are going to find that as the day wears on the mineral makeup is going to start pooling around your pores. It may change color because the pigments that they are using in mineral makeup tend to be heavier and more prone to oxidation. So once they mix with your skin's oil, what looked neutral beige at 7am by lunch time is looking a strange shade of peach.
Paula Begoun: It's so true. So, Bryan, wait.
00:35:04 I want to give your top ones.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, we did find some that we like.
Paula Begoun: Well these are mineral only in name. So we are just going to – but they are really just good pressed powder foundations. But as long as they have the mineral in, for those of you who just can't let go of that mineral name, at least get good pressed powder foundations.
00:35:29 Avon's Smooth Minerals Pressed Powder Foundation – it's $11, it's actually very nicely done. Mary Kay Mineral Powder Foundation. Neutrogena's – what's really great about Neutrogena's Mineral Sheer Pressed Powder Foundation, it has an SPF 20. Just real quick – self-adjust foundations – there is no such thing as a self-adjust foundation. All foundations technically are self-adjusting because you put them on, your skin merges with the color of the foundation, it adjusts. It is just skin tone merging with the foundation.
00:36:03 Whatever hook they put on that, it's just silly. It's just silly. That's how to find great foundations. We gave you some of our best. And Desiree, let's take our first caller.
Desiree Stordahl: All right. I don't know if I am pronouncing this right. It's Anja or Anya from Kentucky.
Paula Begoun: Anya, how are you?
Anya: I'm fine, how are you?
Paula Begoun: I'm good. Is it Anya or Anja?
Anya: Anya.
Paula Begoun: Anya, hi Anya.
Anya: Okay, my question is about the new BB creams.
00:36:36 What I have read about them is that it is all nice, high SPF. But I am a little bit confused about the other stuff that is supposed to be like a tinted moisturizer and they do everything else together. Help me out here.
Paula Begoun: Well, what BB creams are – well, you know everything always – so BB creams are from Asia and it is literally BB standing for Blemish Balm. The word blemish in Asia doesn't refer to pimples. It refers to skin discoloration. They call the brown skin discolorations or any skin tone that isn't white they refer to with this word blemish.
00:37:18 That is how it gets translated on their products. So a Blemish Balm is simply exactly what you are saying. It is some kind of tinted moisturizer with a sunscreen. And sometimes it is – frequently it is just titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It tends to be a very heavy, thick product. Sometimes they stick in really good ingredients that kind of give you a very good sunscreen with some very good antioxidants and that is great.
00:37:45 And sometimes they don't. It depends on the product. There is nothing special about the category of BB creams anymore than for any other moisturizer with sunscreen. So, the category itself is like mineral makeup – it's meaningless, it's meaningless. So don't get waylaid by marketing claims. What counts is the formulation.
00:38:08 So, you know Bryan, we were just talking about new product reviews today. Maybe we should take a look at a handful of BB creams and do a review about them and get them out in our next newsletter. Not next, obviously, in a few newsletters down because we have to do the research. And get some of these BB creams reviewed. That, I think, would interest a lot of people.
00:38:32 Anya, tell me what your skin type is?
Anya: I'm combination skin type.
Paula Begoun: And are you using any Paula's Choice Products?
Anya: Yes, and I really like them, even though you cost me a lot of money from stuff I had to throw away because I was using bad stuff.
Paula Begoun: Oh come on! Wasting money isn't as bad as wasting your face. I mean now you are not wasting money anymore.
Anya: No, I am not wasting it, but I probably threw about $300 worth of product away after reading your reviews.
Paula Begoun: And how is your skin doing now?
Anya: Awesome, awesome.
Paula Begoun: Okay, I'm not going to feel that guilty. So which of my products are you using, Anya?
Anya: I'm using the Resist in combination with the combination skin one.
00:39:19 What's the name of that one?
Paula Begoun: The Skin Balancing.
Anya: Yes.
Paula Begoun: That's perfect. I'm proud of you. So we have a new product in our Resist line that I don't know if you have yet, it's our Hydrator, our Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator that I think would make your skin happy. I would love to send it to you so Desiree will get your information. We will get that out to you.
00:39:44 And I will also send you our Resist, the Super Antioxidant Concentrate from our Resist line. And I am going to send you a couple of our foundations to play with that have sunscreen because I think they will be a good alternative for you than the BB creams which can be really pricey and not necessarily that good – again, without knowing which one you are talking about.
00:40:07 Some of them are actually great. Okay Anya?
Anya: Thank you. I appreciate that.
Paula Begoun: All right, thank you Anya. Take care, dear. Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: We have Mary Ann from Pennsylvania.
Paula Begoun: Mary Ann, how are you?
Mary Ann: Hello, I'm fine. It is such a pleasure to talk to you. I am 64 years old and I get so many compliments on my skin and I owe it all to you.
00:40:32 I have been following you since you wrote your first book, following your advice. It took me awhile to start using your products but I have noticed a great deal of difference since I have been using your products. And I just love them. I very seldom use anything but yours. But I am still confused about skin makeup. I
00:41:00 I have combination skin and I have enlarged pores on my nose. And I want to get good coverage but yet I don't want to make the pores look worse and have that oiliness. And I go back and forth on different foundations. Right now I just grabbed out of my drawer the foundations I have – I have your Paula's Choice Best Face Forward Foundation. I also have All Bases Covered Foundation.
Paula Begoun: And obviously those didn't work for you or they wouldn't be in your drawer.
Mary Ann: Well, I go back and forth and I use them, but I still feel like I'm not sure I am doing the right thing.
Paula Begoun: So I want you to know I understand completely.
00:41:54 We are writing some stuff about…so I am going to send you my new Resist Clear Skin Hydrator. I want you to give that a try. It has some incredible properties for combination skin and fighting wrinkles.
Mary Ann: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: It's so validating, this notion of mature skin, that somehow you go over the age of, I don't know, what, 45 or 50 and somehow your pimples are supposed to go away and your pores are supposed to go away and your oily skin is supposed to go away.
00:42:23 And the truth of it is for many women who have struggled with oily skin and acne most of their lives, they are still struggling with oily skin and acne and they are struggling with wrinkles and sun damage. So, I understand the wanting skin to look smooth and fighting the oil production and wanting the pores to not look so obvious. So I don't think that for what you are talking about my Paula's Choice foundations, they really don't offer enough coverage. I designed them to be sheer and more all-purpose and also have sun protection.
00:42:57 But I think that the ones that Bryan was recommending highly that I want you to go to the cosmetic counter and play with. Now I know it is pricey but it is definitely worth at least testing, maybe doing a split face, which is Clinique's Even Better Makeup SPF 15. And I also think that the – well actually this is at the drugstore. Color Stay, nobody quite does these stay products like Revlon. Their Color Stay Mineral Moose Makeup is worth trying.
00:43:32 And for $14 and if you get it at most stores like Rite Aid or, I don't know what is in your area, but they often will let you return it if you hate the product. So I think those are absolutely worth considering because you really need a little bit more coverage than what you are getting. I'm also going to send you my Shine Stopper. You would apply it over foundation, not under foundation.
00:43:59 So after you get your foundation on and you have smoothed it on, as the day goes by and that oily T-zone starts coming up, you take a little, little, little bit of the Shine Stopper and you dab it, just dab it, over the oily areas and I think that will give you the smoothing, pore-less kind of thing you are going after. And then I think the Clear Skin Hydrator, I think that will help a lot, too, in terms of how you prep your face to get your foundation on.
00:44:31 So I would like you to give those a try.
Mary Ann: All right. Oh, thank you. The one thing I don't have is a lot of wrinkles and that is why people tell me, "Your skin is so beautiful." And I believe that it is – I love the Skin Balancing Toner. It is just wonderful all over your face. I feel like I am hydrating my face after I wash it when I put that on.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, it's true. You are. You are.
00:44:59 And actually for your enlarged pores one of the things that is good about the Skin Balancing Toner is it contains a good amount of niacinamide. And there is research about niacinamide that shows it improves pore function. And it is also considered a cell communicating ingredient, somewhat similar to retinol. So, yes, I am glad you like it because I am very proud of it.
Mary Ann: And the 2% BHA, too. I like that a l lot, too.
Paula Begoun: I think you and I must have been twins separated at birth because those are my two cornerstones of what I do every day.
00:45:44 So Mary Ann I am glad you found them because I think that is the right direction for you and I will be curious to hear what you think of the Clear Skin Hydrator. So you will have to let us know.
Mary Ann: Thank you very much. And I'm so glad I found you because that is why I have the skin that I have. It's wonderful.
Paula Begoun: I'm glad I found you, too. Thanks, Mary Ann. Take care.
Bryan Barron: Paula, before we get to the next caller, I just wanted to mention – this is for Mary Ann and our other listeners.
00:46:15 But Revlon has a new foundation that you might run into when you are at the drugstore. It's called Age Defying with DNA Advantage Cream Makeup SPF 20. It's a liquid foundation and the age defying name is tempting, but if you have oily skin or oily areas like Mary Ann, this is not the foundation for you. It has a moist finish. Great sun protection which Revlon is known for. We did rate this well. But if you have oily skin check out the mineral moose makeup by Revlon instead.
Paula Begoun: Yes.
00:46:47 Don't get waylaid by the – I know – you see "Age Defying," oh my god, "DNA," it's going to change my DNA. Ignore that one.
Bryan Barron: And they are promoting this heavily in stores right now. So if you are in the cosmetics section chances are good you will run into a display for it.
Paula Begoun: Don't get seduced. Next caller, Desiree.
Desiree Stordahl: We have Marilyn from Illinois.
Paula Begoun: Hi Marilyn from Illinois.
Marilyn: Hi Paula.
Paula Begoun: How are you?
Marilyn: I'm fine. Thank you very much for taking my call.
00:47:19 I'm 77 years old so I am hoping that this is not hopeless.
Paula Begoun: It's never hopeless until you give it up! You don't give it up, it ain't hopeless.
Marilyn: Well I'm not giving it up, not yet.
Paula Begoun: Okay, good.
Marilyn: But I have a problem with lines around my mouth and what have you. The rest of my skin isn't really that lined, really and truly. But the lines around the mouth and the shadowing under the eyes. And I don't like to put a lot of concealer. I think a lot of times that just makes it worse, you know?
Paula Begoun: I know. I know.
Marilyn: What are you recommending for…is there anything that?
Paula Begoun: Well, this is a hard one.
00:48:07 And believe me, I struggle with this. I'm not 77 and I struggle with this all the time. When you have wrinkles or you have crepey skin, foundation and concealers tend to pop it. You put it on and it just doesn't look quite as smooth without it. The more slipperier you go, because some of it is to keep it from settling into the lines, it needs to have a drier finish.
00:48:36 Or you need to set it with powder and then that tend to look crepey and caked. And if it is too slippery, it does quickly go into the lines even though it tends to look smoother at first. This is a hard one. But here is what I am going to suggest you do. I think that you need to take advantage of getting your makeup done at the cosmetic counter and see alternatives of what they come up with for you.
00:49:07 This is really one of those situations where you need to experiment. You sit down in the chair when they have makeup demonstrations going on and you say, "Get rid of my dark circles and make my face look smoother and don't make me look crepey and caked and see what you can do for me." Once they get it on you, do not buy it at that moment. Walk outside and check it in daylight. Wear it for a few hours and check it in daylight again.
00:49:33 If you like it, go back and buy it. But this is one of those situations where there are no easy answers. It is really a test drive. You have to get in the car and you have to take it around the block. And that is what the cosmetic counters are great for. I could definitely suggest the concealer from Maybelline called Age Rewind. It is a dual-ended product and I think it gives you the best of both worlds.
00:50:01 One is an illuminator. It has a little teeny, teeny bit of shine. But not enough to pop wrinkles, especially if you are careful as to how you apply it. And the other one is a more matte finish, but combined it gets you really a lot of bang for your buck in terms of smoothing it over. But, again, it is one of those things where until you try it and see how it works on your skin without seeing you and knowing the depth of the wrinkles and the bags or whatever it is you want to make brighter, it's just hard to make a recommendation.
00:50:33 That's why you really need to get your makeup done and see how it works. I am going to send you my concealer to experiment with in the meantime and a couple of my foundations that I think are sheer enough with just a little bit of coverage to get you, I think, what you want. And it also has sunscreen in it as well. And I'm going to send you one of my pressed powders, my Healthy Finish pressed powder and have you give that a try.
00:51:05 And see if that combination works for you. It will give you an idea of where to go from next. If those don't work for you then you can – it never hurts to walk into a department store and say, "See this makeup, I like it but it's doing this." And then see if they can fix it for you. So take advantage of those makeup demonstrations, Marilyn. And don't give up the fight.
00:51:28 Beauty is beauty at any age. I am so – you know when they say that whole thing about aging gracefully? There is nothing graceful about aging. What is graceful is --
Marilyn: It's just a challenge.
Paula Begoun: It's just a challenge. The only graceful part of aging is keeping up the fight to keep aging away as much as possible. Now, that is graceful. So, Marilyn, keep it up. Never give up wanting to be beautiful.
Marilyn: Well, I have a question. I don't think I am supposed to ask any more questions.
00:52:05 But I was wondering about your 8% and the – oh shoot, now I can't think of --
Paula Begoun: Yes, the 8% alpha hydroxy acid.
Marilyn: Right, right. I worry that for thin skin, for aging skin, that I might not be the wisest thing to be doing.
Paula Begoun: Do you have thinning skin? Do you notice your skin being more fragile?
Marilyn: Yes, I do.
Paula Begoun: You do?
00:52:32 On your face?
Marilyn: Right.
Paula Begoun: Then, yes, then you need to cut back how often you use it. But if your skin is not as dense as it used to be – is it tearing? Do you find that you are getting?
Marilyn: No, I don't have that problem. No.
Paula Begoun: Then stay using it. The only time to stop using an AHA product – actually, you know something, let me send you my 5% AHA lotion and my 2% BHA lotion. I would like you to experiment with those.
00:53:03 So AHA and BHA doesn't thin skin. It simply exfoliates skin. It helps skin shed skin cells that need to come off that because of sun damage don't come off on their own. When you start getting thinning skin, where skin is fragile and actually tearing, you don't have enough skin cells to shed anyway so you don't want to shed off anymore than what is going to be natural for your skin as you get older.
00:53:33 But if you are not having fragile thin skin, there is – and your skin is still looking healthy and vibrant with the 8% AHA? Is it looking smooth and soft?
Marilyn: Yeah, just the lines around the mouth is my complaint. I think that probably the 10% has been helping with the smoothness. I mentioned that the rest of my skin is pretty good.
Paula Begoun: Oh, so you are using my 10% as well? So you are using the two from my Resist line. Is that what you are saying?
Marilyn: No, I am using – I'm sorry.
00:54:14 Yeah, I'm using your 10% alpha hydroxy acid.
Paula Begoun: Then definitely stay using that once or twice a week and I am also going to send you my 5% from that smoothing treatment, the 5% is once a day and the 10% would be once a week. So I am going to send you that. And I am also going to send you the antioxidant concentrate from my Resist line because that is going to be very healing and soothing to your face.
00:54:39 But the lines around the mouth, I just don't have good news for you. But these other products are going to keep you – I don't, I wish I did.
Marilyn: I thought you said it wasn't hopeless?
Paula Begoun: Well, that part is hopeless. At least in the world of skincare, that part is not the best.
Marilyn: I understand.
Paula Begoun: The other stuff is pretty good.
Marilyn: Well thank you very, very much.
Paula Begoun: Thank you, Marilyn, take care. All right, do we have time for one more?
Desiree Stordahl: We do.
00:55:06 Let's go to Sue in Texas.
Paula Begoun: Hi Sue in Texas.
Sue: Hello, thank you for taking my call. Before I ask you my question I would just like to say that I hope you realize your customer service is second to none. They are so wonderful when I call and order or called and have a question, anything.
Paula Begoun: So let me just tell you real quick, you know how I train my customer service team over the years is whatever we don't like what we experience from another company, that is what we don't do.
00:55:41 The fundamental concept in my customer service around the world is if you didn't want someone to do it to you, don't do it to them. So, I am so thrilled. We get wonderful compliments about my team and thank you for reinforcing that. I am very proud of what we do, Sue. Thank you for saying that. What can I do for you, dear?
Sue: I have just never talked to anybody that compares to them.
00:56:08 But two other very quick things. One, whenever you go on a rant about natural ingredients it always reminds me a dermatologist once told me to remember that poison ivy is a natural material or a natural [unintelligible].
Paula Begoun: It is a natural plant. Absolutely.
Sue: But my question is about blush. Now that we know the perfect foundation, is there any trick to making blush last?
00:56:31 I always look like I am dead by the middle of the afternoon.
Paula Begoun: So, you are wearing foundation?
Sue: Yes.
Paula Begoun: And who's blush have you been wearing lately?
Sue: Usually MAC.
Paula Begoun: And you find MAC's blush goes away?
Sue: They are such beautiful colors but they don't seem to last on me.
Bryan Barron: Are you using their Sheer Tone Blush? MAC has a blush called Sheer Tone Blush which definitely goes on softer. I'm curious if you are using that or one of their regular powder blushes which have more pigment.
Sue: I don't know for sure, but I would guess one of the regular ones.
Bryan Barron: Okay, it wouldn't hurt to double check and then maybe try one of their regular powder blushes and see if you notice a difference.
Sue: Yeah, okay.
00:57:17 I'm also very dry and sometimes I use their cream blush.
Paula Begoun: Cream blush doesn't help keep blush on. The nature of creams, creams dissipate. So two things: one is that, Sue, are you using some of my Paula's Choice products?
Sue: Yes, I use the Skin Recovery System.
Paula Begoun: I am going to send you my Barrier Repair from my Resist line and my Super Antioxidant Concentrate from my Resist line just to really get your skin, I think, a little bit more moist and prepped when you put on makeup, at night so that you get the results in the morning, too.
Sue: Thank you. I'm very dry, so that will help.
Paula Begoun: And I'm going to also send you my Blush Brush because the kind of brush you use is a big deal.
00:58:10 If it is too small you won't get on enough. If it is too dense you will get it on too thick, meaning too wide a patch. You want the brush to be soft and smooth on. So I am going to send you that. The other thing is when you – oh my god, I don't have time to finish. I have to go. Sue, we will get you some blush suggestions.
00:58:32 I'm going to have Desiree email you some blush suggestions of blushes that I think will get you more color that you are looking for. I can't believe I don't have time. Sue, I always talk too long. Sue, thank you for calling but I have to wrap up. I can't believe how fast the hour goes.
  So, what to say? Oh, I know what to say. Next week, oh, I love next week's show. We are going to talk beauty and balance, must do's and must don'ts. Some of the things you are worrying about you need to stop worrying about either because you can't do anything about it or it is just the wrong energy. But what you absolutely should be paying attention to and what you can do something about in terms of –
00:59:08 I mean everything – body, hair, face, the whole bit. On the 21st we are going to talk about the seven extraordinary skincare products that really work. On the 28th we are going to talk to Dr. Perry, I miss Dr. Perry. Sagging and Bagging, what to do about it. And on the 4th, August 4th we are going to talk about how to tell if a product is working.
  And on the 11th of August, Dr. Nase, he is a Rosacea expert.
00:59:34 I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, with my Cosmetics Cop Team/Paula's Choice Team – Desiree Stordahl and Bryan Barron. We are here on Thursdays, most Thursdays, some place around the world. Please stay tuned. Visit us on We will keep you beautifully informed. Take care.
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