Cool Weather Base Makeup

Hey friends! This is my first official post! Cue the confetti and streamers! No balloons, as Tatsu is afraid of them. It’s a bit later in the season, especially with the unusually warm weather we’ve had here in the northeast U.S. However, Mother Nature must have heeded my intentions, because it is blowing and snowing outside as I type this.

This is the intended sister post to my first video about general tips and techniques on applying base makeup. I am still dealing with my general hatred of photographing and filming myself, never mind hearing my own voice or the dreaded editing. So…you will have to wait. I can tell you are crying.

As I mentioned, I live in western Pennsylvania and the weather has been up, down, and all around. I still have to use base makeup that is geared towards cold, dry weather, as my skin is aging, and it just doesn’t hold moisture the way it used to.


When I was 16, I worked at a department store cosmetic counter at my local mall. I wish primers had existed then, because I always had to touch up my foundation and concealer, and frankly I needed some color correction too. Luckily, there are tons of options today. I have a drawer full of them, for redness, brightening, pore minimizing (really just hiding), and even specifically for using with BB creams and cushions.

Primers on rotation this winter

Right to left: NARS Smooth & Protect Primer, Becca First Light Priming Filter, CLIO Kill Cover Cushion Bonding Primer

NARS Smooth & Protect Primer is pretty new. I was skeptical, because I don’t find that many primers that are ‘smoothing’ are what I think a smoothing primer ought to be. They are usually thick, and are either too drying or too oily. I don’t really like the other NARS primers either, but hey, I like base makeup, so in the cart it went. Surprise, surprise, I love it. It has a creamy, consistency, but it isn’t too waxy. It fills the pores on and around my nose, but doesn’t cause dry patches to crop up on my cheeks or in the corners of my nose and mouth. I’d say it is for normal, or combo/dry skin.

Becca First Light Priming Filter is also somewhat new for this season. It is pretty much my go-to primer. I love the original Backlight Priming Filter, so a version that reduces dullness is definitely ideal. It it a hydrating, oil-free liquid (about the same consistency of a liquid foundation), with violet particles that a luminescent. It won’t leave you oily, and the luminescent effect is subtle – not chunks of glitter. I like that it is hydrating without the use of oil, so it won’t interact poorly with other makeup that may break down when coming in contact with oil. Also, the hydration comes by way of sodium hyaluronate, so those of you with somewhat oily skin can probably use it. Remember, somewhat oily skin can still be parched and in need of hydration.

CLIO Kill Cover Cushion Bonding Primer is specifically designed to provide a base for cushion makeup. There are lots of cushion primers out there now, at least from manufacturers in Asia. I have tried a ones from Etude House, Missha, and CLIO. Clio is my favorite. I also love their Kill Cover cushion make as well. Not a lot to say here. It is thin, non-drying, and seems to provide layer that is sheer and bonds the equally thin cushion makeup quite well. I find using thicker primers under a cushion base can sometimes be too much, and then the cushion doesn’t blend as well.

Tatsu the cat
Tatsu’s Tip!

Be sure to wait at least 20 minutes after applying your skin care and sunblock before applying primer. It is less likely to cake and break up later in the day. It will also minimize ‘pilling’ when applying your base foundation.


Other pre-makeup prep products

Right to left: CLIO Water Me Please CC cream, Pony Effect Radiance Glow Hydrating Starter, Etude House Glow On Hydra Base

Sometimes I want to have a bit of extra hydration, or even a bit more coverage underneath my base makeup. So I use one of these.

CLIO Water Me Please CC cream is as all Asian CC creams are, a tone correcting base. It is used instead of a traditional primer, or even instead of foundation, etc. I use it as a primer. This one is nice, because most CC creams are targeted towards oily skin. This one is not, and it does even out my skin tone. Plus, SPF 50!!!

Pony Effect Radiance Glow Hydrating Starter is hydrating, plumping, and adds a bit of slightly pink radiance to your skin. I use it on days without base makeup, or instead of/beneath/mixed with primer.

Etude House Glow On Hydra Base is a clear, thin, liquid/gel and purely for adding extra hydration and plumps skin prior to primer, or sometimes I mix it into my primer. It is non-oily.

All your Base…makeup

Winter BB creams, foundations, and cushions.

Clockwise starting bottom right: Signature Essence Cushion Intensive Cover, J.One Jelly Cushion foundation, CLIO VF21 BB Cream, Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm, Skin79 Purple Super Plus BB Cream, NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, Lancôme Photôgenic Lumessence Foundation

So, these are my go-to winter foundations for this season.

Signature Essence Cushion Intensive Cover is for when I want a decent amount of coverage, in a cushion. It is moisturizing, and with one layer, my skin is k-pop perfect. SPF 50, as well. As with many Asian foundations, there are only a couple of colors, so if you are medium or darker, this is not for you 😦

J.One Jelly Cushion foundation is a more traditional cushion, as the consistency is thinner, and the coverage is more sheer. It is highly moisturizing, and gives my skin a glowing, youthful aura. I use it on a normal makeup day, but it doesn’t have night out on the town staying power. SPF 50, but also only comes in two colors. I know I know, but in Korea, you are only supposed to be very pale and pale.

CLIO VF21 BB Cream comes in one color. Ugh. Luckily I can wear it. Fair to light skin can wear it. It is somewhat moisturizing, with light to medium coverage, that is radiant and build-able. SPF 30+. It’s also pretty affordable at under $20.

Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm is my other normal makeup day BB cream. Light to medium natural coverage, and somewhat moisturizing. SPF 45, but again, only one shade. I will say that I think this shade can work for light to light-medium skin tones. It is more self-adjusting than the products I listed above.

Skin79 Purple Super Plus BB Cream is pretty much the only Skin79 BB cream I like. The others are either too fair, or too drying, or too something else. This is one of the darker Skin79 BB creams, and should work for light to light-medium skin tones. It is nicely moisturizing, SPF 40, and has medium coverage. I actually really like it, and I may stop buying the Dr. Jart+.

Lancôme Photôgenic Lumessence Foundation is a glowing, non-drying, build-able foundation that has a a slight blurring, luminescent effect. Only SPF 15 though, and it does oxidize. It is not for oily skin, and maybe not even combo skin. I used to use the Teint Idole in my teens and early twenties, but it is a bit drying for me now. I’m also somewhat in between the Lancôme shades in many of their other foundation formulas. This and the Teint Idole Cushion are the exception, but that one is another review.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation is what I wear when I want perfectly, photographic (no SPF so no photo flash back), glowing, skin. It has staying power if you use a primer. It is not as sheer as the name leads you to think. Light to medium coverage, that can be layered more heavily, but with good concealer use, you won’t need to. It isn’t hydrating per se, but it isn’t drying either. I would use it every day, but I like extra SPF, and the bottle is kind of annoying. They have the best range of colors of any brand as far as I’m concerned. If only they would come out with a cushion!

Tatsu the cat
Tatsu’s Tip!

Blend a bit of makeup under your chin and part way down your neck. Blend the edge well. It will help to transition the shade of your makeup into your neck so it looks more natural.

There you have it! Tell me, how is your winter going? What are your fave primers and foundations, BB’s, etc?