Monday, 30 May 2011

Caroline Barnes Shares Her Foundation Tips

Max Factor4

A couple of weeks ago I visited The Dorchester in London for a Max Factor Foundation Masterclass with the lovely Caroline Barnes. Those of you that have been reading for a while may remember my post featuring Caroline's tips for finding a foundation match yourself, so I was very excited to have the opportunity to ask more questions in person. I was also hopeful that Caroline would forgive me for that Balaclava picture....

Max Factor5

Max Factor6

As well as advice from Caroline, we were talked through the history of Max Factor makeup. It was truly fascinating. We take the different colours and formulations of foundation for granted these days and it was interesting to be reminded of how pioneering Max Factor was in developing foundation and making cosmetics accessible to everyone, not just actor and actresses. It's obvious that they continue to work hard to produce formulas and expand their colour ranges to meet the demands of today's woman.

Max Factor1

Max Factor2

Caroline gave us the benefit of her expertise, demonstrating her foundation techniques on two models whilst she talked us through the application. One thing I was really taken with was the use of two completely different foundation shades to sculpt the face. On the model with the more tan colouring, the 'matching' shade was applied on the outer areas of the face, then a second lighter shade was used down the central panel. This gave such life and depth to the face. None of us have simply one colour in our face so it was interesting to see how this is translated to makeup application. For those with fairer skin, where a lighter foundation colour doesn't exist, bronzers and contour shades can be used to replicate the effect.

Max Factor7

Caroline also discussed the importance of looking at the colour of the chest and neck when picking a foundation (something that was also mentioned at the MAC masterclass). I know myself that I have redness on my chest and pale skin on my neck, so it can be hard to 'pull it altogether'. Something that Caroline recommended for me personally was to use a fake tan like St. Tropez all over to even myself up. I used to do this often in my 20's and it allowed me to go without foundation. I plan to give this a try soon.

Photography by Sheenie at Just Nice Things

Photography by Sheenie at Just Nice Things

I wanted to share with you how my face looked after Caroline applied the foundation. She chose Second Skin foundation in the lightest shade, Creamy Ivory. I've since been using this at home and I love it. When I first start to work it in it can look a little too pink but it melts into my skin and almost disappears. It evens up my skin tone and gives a lovely radiant, slightly dewy finish. This foundation contains special high resolution pigments that are designed to mimic the multi-tonal nature of the skin and the 60% water content helps it blend seamlessly with the skin. It's relatively sheer and gives a light to medium finish. It's probably best for those with minimal blemishes but maybe some age related flaws that want to achieve an even, natural finish. I sometimes use it to supplement my tinted moisturisers too.




I'm thrilled to have been re-introduced to Max Factor foundation. Second Skin Foundation has been a really good fit for me. I was also really impressed with the Xperience Foundation that I saw applied to several other blogger friends. This gave slightly more coverage than Second Skin but still looked very natural. Speaking of blogger friends, I want to pass on my huge thanks to Sheenie from Just Nice Things who took these amazing pictures of me and was kind enough to let me share them. Thank you Sheenie!


  1. Great tip on using a lighter shade down the central panel to create a natural highlighted effect! Will definitely be giving that one a try!

  2. I love the Second Skin foundation too. I was given a chance to try it out at an Aussie event and have been a fan since then. I find it's a tad bit difficult to find an exact shade for my skin tone in their range though.


  3. You look fabulous! I wonder why Max Factor isn't around in Canada anymore? I used to really like their products.

  4. Oh wow Jane, I love the look that was created on you! You look gorgeous!

    @Perislously Pale I think that Max Factor pulled out of the American/Canadian markets altogether last year, and is now only sold in Europe (although I don't know about Asia).

    Nina x

  5. I have never in my life tried any drug store foundations but the finish is lovely. Your lippie is hot too =)

  6. Jane, you look amazing, your skin looks flawless an what is that gorgeous lippie you're wearing? Jude xx @jadlgw

  7. You look SO glowy and radiant in your pictures! Like you, I have a problem matching my face to my neck/ chest since they're totally different colours -_- I usually mix a slightly more tan shade into my foundation to even it all out.

  8. very interesting post! love reading posts like this : ) it looks flawless on you xx

  9. What fantastic tips, and you look amazing! I'd love to know what that lipstick color is. I loves me some reds.

    I am still reeling over the fact that MF has left the US.

  10. @productdoctor: That was just amazing to watch how it blended in and gave real light to the face.

    @Shifa: From what their head of R&D it sounds like they’re expanding the colour range for the UK. A smart move, I think. I’m very pleased with Second Skin, it has a lovely feel.

    @PerilouslyPale: I hadn’t realised that they were no longer in Canada or America. What a shame! I do like a lot of their products and I’m loving this foundation.

    @Nina: Thank you so much for answering PP, I had no idea about that so it’s useful to know. It’s such a shame.

    I’m proud to say that the eyes and lips were my work :D. I was wearing Tom Ford Smoke Red. I requires maintenance but it’s such an awesome red! Caroline used Soft Copper cream blush on my cheeks and I’ve become quite a fan of it since.

    @Imo: Thank you! Is it the lack of shade choice or the formulas that put you off? Lipstick was Tom Ford’s finest in Smoke Red. It made me feel sufficiently claim to set foot in The Dorchester!

    @Jude: Thank you so much Jude! We have Caroline to thank for my polished skin :D. The lipstick was Tom Ford Smoke Red. A knockout red! X

    @Simone: Thank you!

    @BBH: Ah, thank you! I was thrilled when I saw Sheenie’s pictures. Great tip about adjusting the colour to make everything match up. I think loads of people have really different colouring moving from the chest up.

    @Miss Jones: Thank you, I’m so pleased to hear it was interesting. I was seriously impressed with this foundation.

    Thank you for all of your lovely comments, thanks for reading.
    Jane x

  11. You look great! What a treat that must have been. I would be so nervous attending these things, that I give you props for doing them on our behalf. Thanks!

  12. You look amazing here Jane! Very informative post too. I've always been intrigued by the sculpting that can be achieved with two different foundation colours, but I don't think I'm confident enough to attempt it myself :)

  13. You're welcome, Jane. It suits you so well and the the write-up is excellent. I missed the first quarter of it which you covered perfectly (no pun intended).

  14. You couldn't get better advice than Miss Barnes herself. Gracious and such a lady and one I am lucky enough to consider a friend. Good post. Max Factor has definitely come up with some treasures with their range of foundations. Thanks Jane. x

  15. @Devoted: It was my pleasure to attend this as I really wanted to meet Caroline. We’d chatted on Twitter and I’d been quite a fan for a while. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

    @Dempeaux: It was really interesting to watch the two foundation technique. I think as we’re reasonable fair, it would be harder to achieve. It was great to watch though, I love watching makeup artists at work.

    @Sheenie: I was so thrilled with the pictures. I do think it shows of the foundation brilliantly. You’re an amazing photographer!

    @KennethSoh: I have admired Caroline’s work for a long time so it was a thrill to meet her. Our actually first meeting was rather interesting; you should ask her about it ;). I feel very privileged to have finally met her and had chance to discuss foundation tips.

    Thank you so much for your comment, Jane x

  16. Great post!!!
    Yes, I find Max Factor is a brand often overlooked, however their pale shades are quite good! I remember using one of their foundations for years on end in my early twenties, simply because it was a perfect match to my skintone!

    PS:Btw really enjoyed your recent MF vid!


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