Foundation made its debut in the 1930s and has been a staple in our everyday looks since. The flesh-colored goo that we know today is far from the original pressed cream palette that initiated the foundation hype. From creams, powders, sticks, and pancakes, foundation chemistry, color, and application techniques have evolved greatly.

Foundation Chemistry

Foundation (as we know it today) made its debut in the form of a cream-pressed pancake. While they are still around, they have become much less popular today. Since the cream-pressed foundation took the beauty world by storm it was not long before the liquid foundation that we all know and love came around and dominated the market.


When foundation first appeared on the make-up scene, the shade range was abysmal as you may expect. Some brands originally only produced around 5 skin shades. Now brands are offering 50+ shade ranges and a myriad of different ways to get the perfect match for any skin tone. 

Application Techniques

When pancake foundation came out, the traditional application technique was with a small round cotton pad. A brush could also be used for more airy looks. When liquid foundation entered the chat, people used their hands to rub/apply it like cream before the tools we now use were introduced. At this point, it seems barbaric to apply foundation with anything other than a specific liquid foundation brush or the oh-so-popular beauty blenders, but you do what you gotta do!

It is interesting to see how far makeup has come. This flaw-perfecting powder is a staple in our beauty routine, and who knows what the future of foundation make-up holds? We’ll see!