Health & Beauty > Skin Care > The Foundation of Beauty


Although all the ingredients in these beauty recipes are natural, remember that it is still possible to be allergic to anything applied to the skin. DO NOT USE ANYTHING NUT BASED ON YOUR SKIN IF YOU HAVE A NUT ALLERGY. To test other ingredients make up a very small amount of the recipe you intend to use. Wash and gently dry a small patch of skin inside your elbow. Apply a little of the mix to the skin and leave for 48 hours. If you experience any redness or swelling DO NOT USE THE BEAUTY RECIPE AT ALL.

We strongly recommend that you do your own research before using any of the ingredients in these recipes since some ingredients should be avoided by certain groups of people. Mountain Rose Herbs' website has a wealth of information on herbs, their uses and possible side effects. Many essential oils and herbs should always be avoided by pregnant/nursing ladies. Always check with a qualified health advisor if in doubt.

The Foundation of Beauty

Mountain Rose Herbs
Mountain Rose Herbs offers a wide range of dried herbs and spices.

For many thousands of years women have used makeup as a means of enhancing their beauty. In practical terms this means creating, to whatever extent possible, the illusion of youth and perfection. Obviously the first and main concern is to present the skin of the face and neck as soft, evenly coloured, wrinkle and blemish free.

In order to achieve these objectives substances which colour and cover the skin in an acceptable manner have always been much sought after. Depending on prevailing fashion the desired colour could be delicately pale (if not stark white) or sun-kissed. Some skin covering lotions were frankly dangerous like the white lead used by the Romans and later by the Elizabethans. However there have been times when any makeup has been so frowned upon that a woman would have been lucky to get away with a dusting of rice powder to take the shine off her nose.

Since the beginning of the 20th Century skin foundations of several different types have become widely available. In the early 1900s one method of enhancing the skin was to smooth on what was known as “vanishing cream” (I.e. it was absorbed into the skin) and then to apply a layer of loose, tinted powder with a powder puff. In the 1930s new strides were made in makeup because of the needs of Hollywood film making. A heavy-type of skin coverage in stick-form evolved which later became available to the general public. In the 1940s and 1950s most women relied on a tinted, compressed powder, some brands of which contained a face cream, and so presented an all-in-one solution. There were also products like Veloute, a cream base which contained face powder. These products have largely been superseded by tinted, liquid foundations.

Today women can choose from liquid foundations which are suitable for all skins except perhaps those that are extremely dry or sensitive. For a really oily skin there are oil free liquid foundatiuons. There are also cream foundations which are good for a more mature or dry skin or mousse foundations which suit dry skins. For heavy coverage of a blemished skin, stick foundations are still available as are the all-in-one compact foundations which give a light coverage and are good for all but the very driest skins.

There are plenty of colours to choose from nowadays and it is best to select the colour closest to your natural skin tone. When you buy a foundation try it out by spreading a little of the colour on your jaw line. Then make sure that you check the colour in natural daylight - the colour which hardly shows is the one to buy.

All foundations except tinted moisturisers (use your fingertips for theses) should be blended into your skin with a slightly damp cosmetic sponge. Always have you skin clean and moisturised before applying foundation and just dot it onto the chin, cheeks, nose and forehead and then blend it in really well with the cosmetic sponge, making sure there are no “tide marks” anywhere on your face.

Specialist foundations are also available. These are useful for specific problems. For example there are light-diffusing foundations which by reflecting light away from the skin make wrinkles less noticeable - ideal for an older skin. Foundations containing sun screen offer all day protection from the harmful effects of the sun. Coloured foundations can be very effective for correcting problem skin tones. These are worn under the normal foundation. Green tones down an overly red complexion, white makes a lovely glowing evening makeup, lavender blue can counteract sallowness and apricot brightens up a dull complexion.

Foundation does exactly what it says on the label - it creates a base or foundation for all other makeup. It turns the face into a blank canvas, offering a perfect surface for the further enhancements of powder, lipstick, rouge, eye-shadow and mascara. Get your foundation right and the battle for beauty is half won.