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.
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!