With the dawn of HD (high definition) technology, it seems that everything else needs to work twice as hard. Newer, high-definition TV sets can project larger images with 5 times the resolution of analog versions. So everything from wardrobe malfunctions to the care instructions on a host’s outfit will air in much more vivid detail. With this in mind, almost all cosmetic companies followed suit and added HD make-up in their product lines. 

What is HD make-up?

HD make-up erases any crease, wrinkle, or blemish without giving you that thick, unnatural pancake makeup that will be visible in HD lens. In other words, these cosmetics simultaneously camouflage imperfections, cover blemishes, and still manage to appear invisible. The pigments and formulas are designed to blend seamlessly with the skin.

What's in the formulation?

The main difference involves light-scattering ingredients. The reflective particles are what makes the foundation really flattering Diffusing light creates an illusion of an even finish so you can’t detect the flaws beneath -- like airbrushing for your skin. Cosmetics with an HD label will likely contain one of the following: mica, silicone, crystals, or quartz. These particles sit on top of the skin and help to scatter light in subtle ways.

The powders are often milled to a fine consistency to help avoid detection by the cameras. Mineral pigments in a micronized texture are often present as well because they don’t settle into pores. Some formulas may contain mattifying agents to prevent shine in oilier complexions and avoid glare. For the same reason, the foundations are usually oil-free. And, often these HD makeup formulas are designed to moisturize because makeup can settle into cracks and creases apparent in dry complexions. The hydration also plumps up dry skin to make wrinkles and lines less noticeable.In most cases, no. You should always brush or sponge on your foundation in a downward motion to avoid highlighting the fine hairs on your face. And, it’s always essential to blend down to the neck so you don’t end up with a telltale stripe along your jaw.

Does HD make-up need to be applied differently?

Any makeup should be body temperature when you apply it for the best blending. Warm a few drops of foundation in the palms of your hands before dipping an applicator in the fluid. Upgrading to high-def formulas isn’t a necessity for anyone who doesn’t log hours of face time on a red carpet. Women should be applying their makeup light enough that you can’t detect it in person

Do I need to switch to HD make-up?

Much of the HD makeup trend is all about clever marketing but it does make sense that these formulas can soften skin perfections and make it appear more uniform and smooth without visible residue. That doesn’t mean you won’t see similar results from other cosmetics. Many of these same ingredients in HD makeup formulas are present in wrinkle-concealing and mattifying foundations that have been on the market. Cosmetics with light-reflecting ingredients will have the same benefits as many high-definition makeup options. And the airbrush foundations that have gained popularity recently also get your complexion camera ready.

What HD make-up is worth investing in?

I would personally say just base make-up. This is often where you see the most impact. HD foundations are especially wise purchases if you’re worried about how your skin will look in pictures. Camouflaging imperfections to create a smooth canvas will make any other cosmetic you apply next look even better. Plus, focusing on your skin tone means you can also get away with wearing less makeup. With a lightweight, light-reflecting base, you won’t have to worry that your makeup looks like it was applied with a trowel.

In the next blog post, I'm recommending an HD foundation worth investing in.