Holy grail foundation by Dan Read Cosmetics

What?? You don’t know all about Dan Read Cosmetics???  Well, my friends, let me enlighten you.  This is one of my all time favorite makeup lines.   Since it’s a niche boutique line, it’s not as well known, but it has some of the BEST foundation out there (among other things).  I have probably 40 different foundations in my makeup stash (no, please don’t sign me up for that Hoarders show!) but my Dan Read foundations are the ones I reach for when I know I am going to be photographed, when I am going to be working out, when I know I am going to be in very hot weather, or wet weather…basically when I know that ordinary foundations would not hold up well.  Oh, and I reach for this foundation when I want to look amazing.  It’s my holy grail of foundations.

Dan Read is a very talented makeup artist who has worked with all kinds of celebrities for many years.  Dan started out in 1979, working in Hollywood doing makeup for film and television.   Now he’s located in Tennessee, where he does lots of TV appearances about makeup tips and tricks.  He also works on location for television series, and travels the US teaching classes to professional makeup artists.  Dan developed his own makeup line in 1997 when he saw that HDTV was going to be trouble – he realized that he needed special makeup that looked spectacular up close and in detail.  He created his Silver Screen Foundation ($31), which is extremely pigmented.  If you are familiar with theatrical lines, the foundation is somewhat similar to Ben Nye and RCMA, but Dan’s is better.  This foundation looks completely natural on, it covers every single flaw, and it stays put no matter what you do.

Finding a color match is easy.  I wear the foundations in the Natural group – Natural 1 is my normal winter color, and Natural 2 and 3 are colors I wear when I have faux tanned.  Marcia, on the other hand, is in the Soft Ivory group.  If you don’t know which shade would be right, just give them a call – they have great customer service and are more than willing to help.   I remember way back in 2001 when I first discovered this line, I called and was even able to speak with Dan himself!  He is such a great guy, and he really knows his stuff.

Recently Dan came out with another version of his foundation.  This one has shimmer ($41).  Oh happy day!!  When I first got mine, I thought they sent me a regular foundation – I guess I was expecting extremely obvious shimmer.  The shimmer foundation gives you the most wonderful, natural glow.  The shimmer is made of pearlescent nano-pigments, they are tiny, so the look is completely believable.

The foundation is a cream to powder, and comes in a round, squat tub.  The best way to apply is with a sponge, either dry or wet.  I use my Beauty Blender ‘pink egg’ and find it’s just perfect.  There is no fragrance in this foundation.

No makeup on at all. Pretty brave, huh??

This foundation is so unique it deserves a series of pics from NO makeup to fully made up.  Above, there I am, no makeup on at all.  Freckles – check.  Uneven skin tone – check.   Dark under eye circles – check!  The Dan Read foundation is so highly pigmented you truly can use this as a concealer, even for very obvious dark under eye circles.

With just the Dan Read foundation on

Here I am with just the foundation on.  Since I have both the shimmer and the matte, I like to use the shimmer foundation on my cheeks, and the matte on my chin, nose, and forehead.  Dan has a DVD ($9.95) where he shows how to apply the foundation, and gives tons of  other terrific tips and tricks.  I use his suggestions all the time now, and it’s really made a difference for me.  What I love so much about this foundation is that it gives great coverage but doesn’t look like a mask – it’s a completely natural look.  It has 42% pigment, which means you can use way less product to get great coverage.  Even with constant use, I have had a container of Dan’s foundation last over a year.

One of Dan’s great tips is to use a large facial puff to apply loose powder.  You sprinkle the powder on to the puff, then fold the puff in half and work the powder in.  Then, open the puff and pat, pat, pat on your face.   This gives a great, airbrushed look that really lasts.

Dan is coming out with his own line of lip glosses soon.  He was kind enough to send me one to try.

This is the lip gloss he sent me.  It’s a really pretty shimmery bronze color.  The lip gloss is somewhat sticky at first, and then it kind of dries down.  The effect is that it stays in place way longer than the typical lip gloss.

Here it the applicator wand.  And below, this is what the lip gloss looks like on.

I tried to take pics in different lighting so you can see how the foundation looks after powder, blush, lips and eyes are done.

Dan Read Cosmetics FOD

Here I am inside with overhead lighting.

natural lighting


This one is with natural lighting.

And this one is with those funky shaped eco-friendly light bulbs, they give off a yellow cast to everything.

Dan Read’s foundation is just amazing.  I think everyone should have at least one in their arsenal.  If you are a makeup artist just starting out, Dan has an amazing Professional Career Builder Kit for $956.  That sounds like a lot of money, but when you look at everything you get, it’s a real value and you would certainly be set for any freelance job.

I don’t have major skin issues, so I also wanted to show you some pretty dramatic shots of ‘before and afters’ for real people.  Check these completely unretouched pictures out (click on the pics for a larger image):

Do yourself a favor and check out the Dan Read Silver Screen Foundation.  It’s my holy grail of foundations, and I bet it will become  yours too!  – Lisa

Dan Read Cosmetics. The first make up line to utilize an Organic Preservative!

Here is the Dan Read Cosmetics Ingredient listing:

Contents: Isoproplyl Palmitae, PEG-4Diheptanoate, Pentaerythrityl  Tetrastearate, Meadow Foam Oil, Carnuba  Wax, Kaolin USP, Talc, Organic Bitter Orange Extract

MAY CONTAIN: Titanium Dioxide,Yellow Iron Oxide, Red Iron Oxide, Black Iron Oxide.


  1. This looks great. I’m very surprised there are no reviews on MUA.

  2. WOW, this foundation looks fantastic. Thank you for introducing me to this line.

  3. Wow! I’ve got to check this out. Your skin looks fabulous in this foundation.

  4. Ok, I am totally sold. I think I NEED this foundation NOW.


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  2. […] now, you have read many times how much Marcia and I adore Dan Read foundation.  Recently I branched out and tried the eyeshadows […]

  3. […] favorite foundation discovery of 2011 is the Dan Read Cosmetics Silver Screen Shimmer Foundation, and my favorite foundation of all time is the matte version. Dan Read Cosmetics […]

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