How To Choose THE Foundation – 5 Tips You Simply Can’t Ignore

How To Choose THE Foundation – 5 Tips You Simply Can’t Ignore

Is your neck darker than your face?

Are you sick of the tangerine look?

Does your foundation feel cakey?

Can’t figure out if you have the right shade?


Well, lucky for you because we’ve compiled the five tips you simply can't ignore when looking for the perfect foundation. Foundation is supposed to cover flaws like fine lines, smoothen out the skin, and even out skin tone and complexion. That is ONLY if you choose the right foundation! Follow this step-by-step guide to find the one and say goodbye to foundation disasters, once and for all!

Tip # 1: Match The Shade

Foundation is all about matching pigments, and if your skin and foundation are a mismatch, you need to keep looking. Even subtle differences in your foundation and skin are a big NO. Usually, skin tends to be lighter in certain areas and darker in others. Testing swatches on your hands or arms might be convenient, but it’s not a good idea because they’re actually darker than your face. The best approach would be to look at the skin closest to your faces, such as your jawline, neck, and chest. You should sample different shades and keep them on for the whole day. Observe your face in natural light. Take photographs and just fully test the foundation. 

If you can’t find the right shade, try experimenting and mixing two or more shades to get it just right. 

Found the right shade, but you’re just not feeling it? Try adding in some moisturizer. There is no specific formula here, so just go with what works best for you.

Tip # 2: Undertones Are Everything!

Having trouble blending your foundation? A few light strokes should do the job, but if you have to rub it in, then that is NOT the one, girl! Just like your wardrobe is a collection of colors that suit you, or in other words, compliment your complexion, your foundation must also harmonize with your undertones.

The three types of undertones are warm, neutral, and cool. You can find out yours by closely observing the veins on your wrist. Bluish purple veins mean cool tones, and greenish olive indicates warmer tones. Can’t determine if it’s blue or green? Well, then you must be a neutral undertone! The sun test is another way to find your undertone. Does your skin turn reddish in the sun? Congratulations, you’re a cool tone! Are you easily tanned? Welcome to the warm tone club!

Whatever your undertone, make sure to consider it when choosing a foundation. A subtle yellow or golden shade would work for warm tones, while a slightly pink hue would be best for cool tones. For a neutral undertone, a combination of pink and yellow tints should do the trick.

Tip # 3: How Much Coverage Do You Need?

Remember that foundations are not meant to cover up completely - that’s what concealers are for! Ask yourself how much coverage do you really need? If your answer is 'not a lot,' then you should opt for a medium to the light foundation and build up from there. Most people don’t need a full coverage foundation.

What kind of look are you aiming for?

  • For a luminous glow, apply a light water-based foundation all over your face and neck. Use a highlighter, pressed powder, or mineral water to make your t-zone pop.
  • For a tan-look, match your foundation with your forehead or chin. Don’t forget to apply it to your neck and exposed chest to ensure a uniform look.
  • For a dewy look, go for a moisturizing, oil-based foundation.
  • To get the matte-look, apply a mousse, matte liquid, or powder foundation using a brush or sponge. Don’t use your fingers because that can get your skin oily, which you don’t want.

Tip # 4: Skin Type Matters

Is your skin oily, dry, normal, or combination?

Dewy looks work well for normal to dry skin types, while a satin finish is best for more mature skin. You should pick a foundation that is compatible with your skin type if you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a cakey mask.

Normal Healthy Skin:

If you have normal healthy skin, a lightweight liquid foundation or even just a tinted moisturizer should work out fine for you.

Dry Flaky Skin:

For dry, flaky skin, choose a rich, creamy, moisturizing foundation. Mineral-based foundations are good too because they’ll nourish the skin, but powders are obviously a no-go.

Oily or Acne-Prone Skin:

If you have acne-prone skin, you’ll know that most makeup products, especially foundations and concealers, can, more often than not, worsen acne and even cause new breakouts. Therefore, you should use oil-free foundations to avoid clogged pores. Salicylic foundations are ideal since they also help reduce acne by minimizing sebum production.

Sensitive Skin:

Can’t find the right foundation because your skin is too sensitive? No problem! Hypoallergic, non-comedogenic (does not block pores), non-fragrant foundations are available, just for you! Furthermore, it is recommended that you apply the product on a small patch of skin before actually testing it, just to be sure it’s safe for you.     

Keep it Age Appropriate:

  • Teens to individuals in their early twenties are more susceptible to acne and breakouts and thus should opt for water-based, light, mineral foundations.
  • 30- to 40-year-olds should go for creamy, oil-based, moisturizing foundations.
  • Older Individuals with more mature skin should steer clear of heavy, matte, or powder foundations as they will make face lines and wrinkles more prominent. They should pick light, moderate coverage versions. Silicone foundations are perfect if you’re looking for a foundation that softens lines and is also protective against aging.

Tip # 5: Cover According To The Season & Occasion

Changing seasons change the overall humidity, temperature, wind, and even UV exposure levels of the environment. Naturally, our skin doesn’t stay the same all year round. When your regular foundation no longer does the trick, it’s time to switch. Our skins tend to be a little darker in the summer and a bit paler in the winters. If your skin is drier in winters, shift to a creamier, oil-based foundation instead of a mousse or water-based formula.

Moreover, you should also keep in mind the occasion when choosing a foundation.

  • A sunny day demands using a foundation with a high SPF rating, at least SPF 15. Nevertheless, you’ll still need sunscreen for full protection.
  • A trip to the gym would require a light, sweat-proof foundation with at least SPF 20.
  • Opt for a warmer foundation for daily work or school.
  • For more formal events like weddings and prom, choose a semi-matte to a matte foundation for long-lasting coverage that will keep you picture perfect all evening.
  • Natural light favors subtle water-based foundations that don’t look too Made-Up. So if you’re going to be spending time in the great outdoors, choose a foundation that is sheer and lightweight.

Your choice of foundation should also go with your hair. We would suggest warmer formulas for light-haired ladies and cooler versions for dark-haired gals. Red-heads better avoid pink and rosy tones because that would give an overly flushed impression. 

Application is Just As Important:

Okay, so you’ve found the perfect foundation, but if you don't apply it the right way, you'll still be more or less donning the cake look. Here are some helpful tips to help you apply the right foundation the right way:

  • If you’re looking for a ‘worked in’ look, use your fingers.
  • For better coverage, brushes are your go-to.
  • Blend with a wet sponge for a light, moisturized

Try Virtual Makeover Tools:

Do you want to try all the different foundation shades to find one that best suits you without actually having to bother? Well, virtual makeover tools are your new friend! Upload a selfie, and the AI technology will provide a sort of mock-up for you. You can browse through large collections and try every single shade without so much as getting up from the couch. Some brands have even launched their own tools, such as L’Oreal Paris, Chanel, MAC, NYX Cosmetics, and Maybelline, to name a few. You can virtually sample not just foundation but all their makeup products before actually buying them.

Still, Need Help Choosing A Foundation?

The beauty advisors at shop counters are generally well-informed and ready to help if you need guidance choosing the right foundation. However, you can also book an appointment with a makeup artist if you’re still having trouble finding the right shade or texture.

Bottom line:

Choosing the right foundation can be a cakey debacle, but if you follow the simple tips given in this article, you can get a flawless finish effortlessly, every single time. Remember that your skin will change with time and the environment, so you will need to switch foundations. Your foundation should also suit the occasion. But most importantly, it depends on your skin type, undertones, your hair, and your overall look. For your convenience, we’ve listed everything you need to find the perfect match. Make these tips your mantra, and you can never go wrong with foundation!

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