Joe Blasco and RCMA are two of my favorite brands for foundations. Why? Because they are highly pigmented, 55% versus the 35% of cosmetic counter brands. They can easily be customized with other brands or themselves. And, they look like true skin color in photographs. For makeup artists who are starting out, the RCMA palettes are the best to get. One complaint I hear about RCMA is that it is cracked and looks dry in the container. Never fear, the foundation is best used when scooped out and softened onto stainless steel palette. In fact, for any makeup artist you should be scooping out your foundations to avoid cross contamination. (I have seen many "fakeup artists" that have a kit that I swear have something growing in them!)
Joe Blasco Foundations
Joe Blasco foundations are one of the easiest brands to understand when in comes to foundation. First, determine the shade (value) of your skin. Is it ghostly pale, light, medium, tan, dark? Once you know that, then choose the undertone; Natural Beige, Classic Olive, Special Olive, Olive Beige, Warm Olive, Golden Olive, Golden Tan, Ruddy, Tan, or Special Dark. The ones listed are the ones that look good for everyday streetwear to photographs.
The Natural Beige Series-neutral gray-beige base suitable for Caucasian females. You are very fair and have a pink undertone. You know who you are. This category is also subdivided to suit the depth of the skin tone.
- Natural Beige #1-Light
- Natural Beige #2-Medium
- Natural Beige #3-Dark
Classic Olive Series-warm beige based skin tones that aren’t pink based but definitely not really yellow. Kind of a peachy under base.
- Alabaster-pale, cool beige; very light
- Medium Olive-medium
- Deep Olive-dark Caucasian
Olive Beige Series-This one is more yellow beige than the Classic Olive series. This is more of a neutral olive, not enough green to go the olive route yet not really overly beige.
- Olive Beige #1-Light
- Olive Beige #2-Medium
- Olive Beige #3-Dark
Special Lite Olive-this is a mix of the Natural Beige and the Classic Olive series. You aren’t really that pink but have some characteristics of it and have some characteristics of peach/orange undertones.
- Special Lite Olive #1-Light
- Special Lite Olive #2-Medium
- Special Lite Olive #3-Dark
Special Medium Olive-this is a mix of Classic Beige and Olive Beige. This will suit skin tones that have some of the peach yet not really yellow enough to go for the Olive Beige series.
- Special Medium Olive #1-Light
- Special Medium Olive #2-Medium
- Special Medium Olive #3-Dark
Warm Olive Series-this one is more on the yellow-green side than the Olive Beige. This line is similar to RCMA’s Shinto line.
- Warm Olive #1-Extra light
- Warm Olive #2-Light
- Warm Olive #3-Medium
- Warm Olive #4-Dark
Golden Olive Series-this one is yellow ochre. This suits Latinas, light skinned African Americans, or basically anyone who goes by the description of “honey colored”.
- Golden Olive #1-Light
- Golden Olive #2-Medium
- Golden Olive #3-Dark
Golden Tan-This has a golden green undertone for light to medium skin tones that are naturally tan.
- Golden Tan#1-Light
- Golden Tan #2-Medium
- Golden Tan #3-Dark
Ruddy Collection-no olive undertones at all (mostly on the red side)
- Ultra Fair-Very light amber-beige
- Warm Beige-Medium ruddy-beige
Tan-good for enhancing a tan or simulating one
- Summertone-Light yellow-brown tan
- Natural Tan-Medium yellow-brown tan
- Suntan-dark ruddy-brown tan
Special Dark-for very dark skin
- Moon Haze-medium
- Twilight-extra dark
- Deep Ebony-darkest
RCMA-Research Council of Makeup Artists
RCMA cosmetics was created by the late Mr. Vincent Kehoe who was one of the great makeup artists in Hollywood. RCMA like Joe Blasco photographs beautifully and is also great for everyday streetwear. RCMA has two foundation lines: Color Process and Color Appliance which is labeled AF (appliance foundation). Color Process is made for application onto the skin whereas Color Appliance is for application onto prosthetics, it contains castor oil to prevent the latex from melting (or something technical like that). You want the Color Process foundations for regular streetwear.
In RCMA a red undertone means it is warm while a bluish and/or greenish undertone means it is cool. So, in RCMA lingo when it says that olive tones are warm, yes that means it has a bit of red (ruddiness) in it. Once your brain has sorted this out, picking out your color will be a breeze.
The following are very special pale shades. The first two were developed for the Star Wars film. The latter were made for still photography fashion and for runway.
- Porcelain-very paler (for the young queen character)
- Ivory-a bit deeper but still very pale
- F-1-very light pinkish
- F-2-pale cream tone
- F-3-pink cream
- F-4-light cream
The Shinto series was created for Asian skin tones or for any skin tone with a yellow to greenish undertone. The first four were developed for women and the last four for men. Shinto 2 and 3 were quickly adapted by light-skinned toned black women.
- Shinto 1-pale with ochre undertone
- Shinto 2-medium
- Shinto 3-deep
- Shinto 4-dark
- Shinto 5-light yellow tan for men
- Shinto 6-medium yellow tan for men
- Shinto 7-deep yellow tan for men
- Shinto 8-dark yellow tan for men
The KO series was developed for in between colors to the Shinto. Simplified, this is one of the most popular series since it is a yellow based one without the ochre. It is neutral enough for many skin tones. (I use KO-1 and KO-2.)
- KO-5-men's light
- KO-6-men's medium
- KO-7-men's deep
- KO-8-men's darkest
Now comes the line that is labeled “Olive” but is actually a series with less yellow but with more beige and in this case a bit more of a peach to it. This is warmer compared to Shinto and KO’s. Think of it as a peach/amber underbase.
- Gena Beige-pale
- Olive 1-light
- Olive 2-medium
- Olive 3-deep
- Olive 4-dark
- KL-4-light warm
- KL-5-medium light warm
- KL-6-deep warm
- KL-7-deeper warm
The KT and K series is a line that is mostly for tan skins. It is anywhere from yellow tan to reddish tan. The KT series can be used by Latina men.
- KT-1-pale yellow tan
- KT-2-yellow tan
- KT-3-deep yellow tan
- KT-34-mix of KT-3 and KT-4
- KT-4-dark tan
- K-1-American Indian pale
- K-2-American Indian medium
- K-3-American Indian dark
The KN series is for brown skins with yellow to blue undertones.
- KN-1-pale brown
- KN-2-light brown
- KN-4-deep brown
- KN-5-dark brown
- KN-6-yellowed brown
- KN-7-deeper yellowed brown
- KN-8-blued brown (East Indian)
- KN-9-deeper blued brown (darker East Indian)
The MB series is named after Mark Bussan who needed certain shades for the Star Trek movies and the television series Hotel.
- MB-1-light brown with orange undertones
- MB-2-medium with orange
- MB-3-deep with orange
- MB-4-dark with orange
- MB-5-lighter with reddish undertones
- MB-6-brown with reddish undertones
- MB-7-brown with deep yellow
- MB-8-brown with blackish undertones
And some Special shades just worth mentioning.
- RJ-2-made for Robert Wagner in Hart to Hart; Natural Tan shade
- TS-made for Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I.; dark red brown
- Star Trek 1-ruddy brown
- Star Trek 2-medium brown
- Star Trek 3 -dark brown
- LN-1-Leonard Nimoy
- Eddie-Eddie Munster
Remember, these are not your average cosmetic counter brands. There is a learning curve to these when it comes to application. They can be applied with a thin almost undetectable finish to full coverage. Play around with it and once you get the hang of them, you will wonder why you hadn't tried them sooner.
**Special Thanks to Mr. Joe Blasco and the late Mr. Vincent Kehoe
Joe Blasco $23USD (.335oz/9.5g) Petrolatum, dioctyl adipate, octyl stearate, carnauba wax, octyl palmitate, iron oxides, titanium dioxide, beeswax, corn oil, talc, butyl paraben, polyethylene glycol, tocopheryl acetate, ascorbyl palmitate, citric acid, ascorbic acid. May contain ultramarine blue, chromium hydroxide green.
RCMA $23USD (1 oz.) IPM, Castor Oil, Carnauba, Candililla, Ozokerite, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, propyl Paraben, BHT. May Contain: D&C Red #6, D&C Red #7, D&C Red #27, Cos.Green, Cos. Blue.
Joe Blasco can be found at Megamakeupstore
Joe Blasco and RCMA can be found at Camera Ready Cosmetics, Naimie's, Frends Beauty Supply, Alcone.