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Face Facts! Five Foundation Facts That Blew Our Minds!

5 June, 2018 - 07:09pm by - Head Pixie | 21 Comments

By BR Tabatha

Sometimes while bouncing my Beauty Blender upon my face, working in the day's foundation, I'll stop for a second and wonder 'what the heck am I doing?', because when you think about it applying foundation is kind of a funny thing to do. A small part of me will wonder why I'm applying pigment on top of perfectly good skin. Okay, maybe not perfectly good skin, but it's just skin. If no one did it then we'd just accept skin in all its pimply, pigmented, red-cheeked, pore-ful glory. Then I shake my head, have an 'are you mad, Tabby?" moment and get back to the bouncing. 

But it did get me wondering... what's the deal with foundation anyway? Why do we love it so much? Who started this foundation jam? So down a Google-hole I went, and now I present you with these foundation facts...

People have been painting their faces since biblical days. The ancient Egyptians were into it as were the ancient Greeks, and those in the Roman Empire were also fans. Unlike modern times though, where matching your skin tone as best you can is all the rage, some of the folk back in the day would create a 'foundation' in order to lighten the look of their skin. Imagine the demarcation lines! *shudder*

Speaking of lightening the skin... Foundation used to be deathly! Or if not deathly, definitely damaging. You see they weren't grinding up bark from some sort of white tree in order to create their pasty foundation, they were often pasting up lead. This lead to a number of less than beautiful side effects, such as hair loss, skin damage, oh... and death from lead poisoning. 

Image: Wikimedia

While Queen Elizabeth I was a fan of the foundation, Queen Victoria was right royally unimpressed! According to her maj, foundation (and makeup in general) was not the done thing... unless of course you were a prostitute or an actress. Although... one look at Victorian era portraits and we're left wondering if women of the time didn't indulge in a sneaky bit of slap... 

So who do we have to thank for the first modern day, non-deathly, flesh-toned foundation? None other than Mr Max Factor. Max Factor was the first company to make foundation widely available with the release of Pan-Cake. Originally the formula was used on movie sets where, according to this Wiki article, it was stolen by those on set due to its fabulosity! Once released to the masses it quickly became a best seller. 

So what's the deal with our enduring love of foundation? It could well be that it's simply because it makes us look hotter... According to this study which looked at whether (caucasian) people were found to be more attractive depending on whether or not they were wearing makeup, it was found that men found women wearing foundation more attractive, than any other or no makeup. (And yet men so often say they prefer women to be au naturale. Pass the tissues, I'm laugh crying.)

So who makes the best foundation? MAC does! ...According to the reviews on Beauty Review MAC's Studio Fix Powder plus Foundation gets a whopping 4.7/5 rating on Beauty Review - and it has 93 reviews under its belt! 

So there you have it... fascinating foundation facts! Was there anything there that surprised you? Any mind blowing revelations? And aren't you glad that we no longer use lead as part of a foundation formulation? Chat away...

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Interesting article, thank you. And to this day Max Factor make great foundations. And other fab products.

I love the pic of Victoria by the way :)

6th June, 2018 at 7:53 pm

Max Factor Do make great foundations, you're so right!

12th June, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Lead in foundation! Eeeek! I didn't know Max Factor made the first foundation. We have definitely come a long way :-)

Yes I have read these facts. The poor people that unknowingly poisoned themselves. I must try Mac someday.

I didn't know Max Factor created the first modern day foundation. I knew about the lead foundation, thank goodness it's not around today

Wow! It's a good time to be alive we are quite lucky with modern medicine, transport and makeup too it would seem. That's so interesting!! I do love MAC but being on one income I tend to stick to brands available at farmers.

Interesting - I would like to try MAC's one. Australis is pretty good too!

I’m yet to take the leap to Mac foundation - the reviews definitely tempt me! Thank goodness the foundations we put on our faces aren’t lead based these days - I never knew that fact!

No I never knew about the lead either and of course the poor ladies did not know the side effects

6th June, 2018 at 10:24 am

Beauty products and applications have come a long way. They used to use allsorts of chemicals and poisons back in the day. Howevr we know better today.

I have only used a coupleof foundations and have not tried any from Max Factor. I have used of some of their lipglosses back in the day and really liked those.

The lead surprised me - I remember they used to put a white paste in victorian times too -We are so lucky at least we work with our own colour and just try to get a nice even effect.

Interesting facts, didn't know foundation was once deadly! I swear by MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus so I'm not surprised it's the highest rated foundation!

I love foundation. I just purchased a new bottle over the weekend. I’d love to try Macs foundation.

Great article and an interesting one as who would of ever thought that foundation back in the day was harmful..thank goodness for innovation and modern day living.I have never tried MAC as I tend to just stick to cheaper brands but seeing now that it is a top brand I might just have to treat myself.

Men found women more attractive when wearing foundation than any other make up that is something new. They probably were fooled into thinking the women's skin looks like that naturally

Fascinating read. I have watched some documentaries so know a bit about the history of makeup.

Very interesting

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