Makeup Tips

Discovering the Right Makeup Coverage for You

The Krybar at Paradise - Friday, November 28, 2014

    So today I’m going to talk about makeup coverage, and the ability to control it. What I intend to teach you is some of the basics of understanding how coverage affects makeup looks and the different makeup products you can use to achieve a look. Once you learn how to manipulate coverage through proper product selection, you can achieve and create any desired makeup look.

    To start you'll need a basic understanding of translucency. Translucency is the ability for light to pass through the makeup and see an amount of skin beneath it. Something that is transparent does not have the ability to block visually and has nothing at all covering the skin. This means there is no coverage. An example of this would be moisturizer. Something that is completely opaque blocks anything from showing through. This means there is full coverage and you can’t see any of the skin. An example of this would be liquid black eyeliner. Translucency, or opacity, is anything between transparent and opaque. This is where the majority of makeup fits in. It ranges anywhere from a low coverage tinted moisturizer to a high coverage concealer.

    All makeup is a medium with pigment in it. The solution of the makeup, without the pigment, is how the makeup applies, feels on the skin, and its staying power. The amount of pigment in the solution is how much coverage the product has. The formulation of makeup should have the right amount of pigment ratio to product solution to have the right amount of coverage you need. Kryolan’s philosophy is the right amount of coverage in one thin layer of makeup. You should never build coverage. Layering and layering is never the way to go. You don’t want your makeup to ever feel heavy or thick. If you are ever feeling like you need to put more makeup on, then you don’t have the right coverage of makeup and need a different product. It is important to choose the right coverage for the look you are trying to accomplish, when you don’t pick the right amount of coverage you can never achieve the same look.

    Let’s start with the coverage of foundation, and say you are trying to copy a photo you have. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what kind of foundation coverage someone is wearing. Something like a tinted moisturizer has a low pigment concentration and shows a lot of skin. You can sometimes tell if someone is wearing a low coverage foundation when you see the person’s freckles or natural skin through the makeup. But some people just don’t have many skin imperfections or freckles; therefore only need a low coverage foundation to achieve a super flawless look. This is where you assess your own skin. If you want your skin to look completely flawless and you have freckles, discolorations, or blemishes; then you will need something with enough coverage to cover the darkest imperfections on your face in one thin layer of makeup. If you don't mind your freckles or anything showing, then a lower coverage foundation is all you need. If you are mixing your foundation with moisturizer to dilute it down to feel less heavy and look like less makeup on the skin, you have too high of a coverage and you should probably switch to a tinted moisturizer. Although that trick can be handy if you are only doing that on an occasion you don’t feel like being as made up as usual.

    You don’t normally think of eye shadows, blushes, or lipsticks when you think of coverage, but it is absolutely just as important with these products as well. You don’t want to keep layering your eye shadow to get a higher opacity or blend it out forever to make it more translucent. Choose an eye shadow that goes on with the amount coverage you need in one brush stroke. The higher the pigment concentration the more vibrant and true-to-color it is. If you are blending out the color because it is too dark, then you need to buy a new shade of eye shadow. Same goes if you are layering because the color itself is too light.

    The same exact concept applies to blush. You don’t want to buy a blush that you are having to apply a couple of times to be enough, or to spend forever blending it out because it goes on too heavily. Although cream blush has a much higher pigment load, it can have the same amount of translucency as the powder blush. This is because you use so much less of the product to achieve the same look.

    As far as lip colors, figure out how much coverage you want on your lips. If a tinted chap-stick is enough for you, don’t buy something as bold and opaque as a lipstick. If you want something between the two there are lip stains and lip glosses. Now most lipsticks are pretty high in opacity but do vary a bit in the higher ranges of pigment. Since all these things have different qualities, sometimes you have to combine a couple of different lip products. An example would be, you want the full coverage of a lipstick and the shiny effect of a lip gloss. If you are only patting on some lipstick and then spreading it across your lips to make it less opaque, the pigment load is too high. If you are spreading it out because the color is too dark of a shade and you would actually like it more opaque, then you just need to buy a different color of lipstick. Same goes putting on a lipstick or gloss and you feel it isn’t covering enough, then you need to buy something with a higher coverage.

    Playing with enough products, while paying attention to the coverage rather than the other qualities of the makeup, will help you hone this skill. Once you have this down, you will never waist money on products that aren’t right for you again. Remember that you want the right amount of coverage in one thin layer of makeup. You will then have the ability to accurately create any desired look you are trying to accomplish and will have the power to manipulate coverage.


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