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Stopping the Slippity Slide

By Amalah

Dear Amalah,
I consider myself a well educated consumer of “the product.” You know, anything that can be purchased on the ground floor of a department store, at Sephora or in aisle 3 of your local Walgreen’s. I am currently a devotee of Laura Mercier and have had great success with the “regimen” (a regimen which, I suspect, is simply the poor man’s proactiv)
Anyway. I just had my first baby last year (a boy! And he’s awesome! Like Noah!). The pregnancy was not easy. During my first trimester I was diagnosed with facial shingles (caused by the little booger), and placed into isolation, in a hospital, for 5 days. 5 days later, it turns out that I DIDN’T have shingles, but actually did have rosacea fulminans (1 of 8 recorded cases brought on by pregnancy. EVER. It’s true. You can google it). This condition left me with very blotchy and red skin which means I have to wear foundation… all the time.
The problem? It has finally started to get warm here. And I am finding that my foundation is melting off my face as the day goes on. I’ve tried primers with no luck. The Laura Mercier foundation is the best that I’ve found because it offers full coverage with out looking “cakey” and is oil free – yay! But. I don’t want to look like a gloppy mess…
What can I use so that I still have full coverage for my blotchy skin but won’t slide off during the day? For what it’s worth, I’ve tried Bare Escentuals and the other mineral makeup’s and have been less than impressed with their coverage…
Greasy in NYC

You KNOW I feel you on this one, babycakes. The humidity here in DC is back with a VENGEANCE and honestly, my main goal in life is to make it through the day without looking like I rubbed a stick of butter on my face. (Okay, it’s my main goal after raising a healthy and well-adjusted child. But some days it’s a toss-up.)
smashbox spf.jpgI’ve tried nearly every damn oil-free and mattifying foundation out there (Sue Devitt is my favorite), but sadly, there’s no one-stop miracle in a bottle for us. I’m curious as to which foundation primers you tried — that’s the most essential step for me. I use the Smashbox Photo Finish, and a reader recently emailed to say she found the Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch to be even better. (For the record, I found Philosophy’s The Present to be completely useless — I think it’s better suited for extremely dry skin.) I’ve never tried Laura Mercier’s, so I don’t know how it compares to the Smashbox. That stuff, I swear, is practically space-agey. My make-up does not budge, and if you and your red blotches haven’t tried the green color-correcting version, I’d really encourage you to take another stab at primers.
foundation.jpgAnother essential tool is the foundation brush. It’s been awhile since I did much tub-thumping for foundation brushes, but yeah. One-trick pony here. Applying foundation with your fingers is bad. That’s a No and an Uh-uh and a Do Not Do. (Moisturizers and primers are okay to apply with clean fingers, since they naturally protect your skin from outside crud. Foundation pretty much IS crud, and conducts the crud on your hands, and I know I’m veering into Bizarro Made-Up Cosmetic Sciencey Land, Population Amy, the Helioplex and Fruit Micro-Waxology, but you get the idea.)
And then! You are still not done. I know. But you need a good, oil-free pressed powder for touch-ups throughout the day. Pat those shiny patches (forehead, nose, cheeks) as often as you need to. In the winter I like using a translucent loose powder to “set” my makeup for the day, but find that it’s powerless against the summer shine. Neutrogena makes a good one, as do Benefit and Clinique. (Just promise me you’ll also buy a bag of replacement spongey things and REPLACE THE SPONGEY THING occasionally.)
If you still find that your makeup is gone by lunchtime, you could possibly try a foundation powder (like this one by Laura Mercier) for more coverage. But at that point I might start thinking about changing your foundation all together, because seriously. A $40 high-end foundation shouldn’t be THAT hard to keep on all day.
One other non-product-y tip: Do whatever it takes to keep your face cool during the day. Use one of those handheld fan things, or stick your face in the freezer for 30 seconds. Maybe spritz some mineral water spray whenever you feel a little sweaty. (Okay, so that is a product-y tip. Never mind.)

Published May 2, 2007. Last updated May 2, 2007.
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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