Q&A: Makeup Bases 101


For Sarah. Enjoy!

What Are Makeup Bases?
Basically, makeup bases are primers that are meant to be used before foundations. Their function is to even out the texture of the skin, correct skin tone irregularities, enhance the durability of foundation and minimize your pores.

Makeup bases can come in many different colors. You should pick a makeup base depending on your skin type and concern.

Green – to counteract redness, good for acne-prone skin.

Purple – to counteract sallowness.

Blue – to enhance translucence.

Pink – to brighten up your complexion, great for those with pale skin.

White – to highlight, should be used on the bridge of your nose, on the cheekbones, forehead and chin.

Product Recommendations:

*RMK Liquid Makeup Base (~$45)
*Laura Mercier Foundation Primer ($30)
*Laneige Moisture Fitting Base ($23)

Tip On Using Makeup Bases: Try not to wear makeup bases alone. Wear it under foundation or powder or mix it with foundation for a more natural look.

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE, Glamour.com, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.


  1. is there anything from MAC you would recommend?

    also, do you know if MAC sells anything you can mix eyeshadow with so that it won’t fade?

  2. MAC does make a mixing medium that can be used with eyeshadows to make them last longer – I wrote an entry about this last month (it’s under Solution to fading eyeshadow)

    As for primers, MAC just came out with one that’s called Prep+Prime Skin. It retails $24 and I have heard good things about it too.

  3. thank you so much! my skin’s not very fair.. im using loreal true match liquid foundation in G3 and ZA two way foundation in 33. Would you reccomend i use the pink base? or would there be a more suitable one for me?

    once again, thanks so much for this entry and all the others!!!

  4. i love your blog! i’m so glad to see a guide written by an asian woman because it’s so difficult to find products that match my skintone well
    keep it up!
    what about smashbox’s foundation primer?
    i have it, but i must be applying it wrong because i never quite feel the difference

Leave a Reply