So many of us are wearing the wrong foundation, or one that is causing skin concerns. In fact only 15% of us are wearing the wrong foundation for our skin. As our foundation is on our skin all day, most days, it’s so important to choose the correct one. While the latest on trend foundation might look tempting, it may not be the one for you. While there are so many amazing makeup tutorials online, they are pointless if you haven’t mastered the beauty basics. Foundation is the base of any makeup look so it must be chosen right if it’s going to look right. I’ve listed some simple steps to consider when choosing a foundation.
KNOW YOUR SKIN TYPE
First thing you’ll need to do is, recognise your skin type. Is it dry, combination or oily. Dry skin will need a foundation that’s hydrating and moisturising. If you have dry, flaky patches the foundation will cling to the flaky skin and highlight those areas so hydration and moisture is key. Dry skin can get in the way and make for an uneven finish so I suggest if you have dry skin to stay away from oil free foundations. They may dry out the skin even more leaving foundation looking grey and sitting in expression lines which only make them look more prominent, not a desired look. My favourite hydrating foundation is Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation. It blends the benefits of sodium hyaluronate with jojoba, wheat germ oil and plant oils to hydrate skin.
Combination skins may need additional help along the t-zone so look at adding a powder to set the foundation and help keep the t-zone shine under control. If your skin is oily or the weather near you is particularly hot and humid, an oil-free foundation is your best bet. Adding a dust of loose powder may help with shine control too. Oily skins are best suited to oil-free foundations to stop foundation slipping off the skin and looking patchy and shiny. I find Clinique Super Balance Foundation absorbs oil when and where needed but is silky upon application.
HOW MUCH COVERAGE
Some people don’t like the feel of a heavy foundation or like the masked look. Others like to cover it all up and then there’s the happy mediums who just want to enhance what they’ve got. BB & CC Creams are great for natural look. They’re like the beauty trends for tinted moisturisers. While they won’t give a lot of coverage, they give a natural glow or hint of colour to skin. My favourite BB Cream is Vichy IDEALIA.
Most foundations on the market give a medium coverage. The foundations that say “buildable coverage” are typical medium coverage foundations. They don’t mask everything but will cover the basic blemishes, pigmentation etc. My favourite medium coverage foundation is RIMMEL Match Perfection Foundation
There are foundations on the market that will mask it all and give you a complete blank canvas. I’m not one for promoting these too much as full coverage foundations need a lot of contouring, blusher, bronzer to take away the pan faced look. However I am a big fan of Estee Lauder Double Wear. They have 38 shades to choose from and it really does cover up everything.
TOP TIP: When trying to determine the coverage of a foundation, apply a small amount onto your wrist and see how well it covers the visible veins.
THE PERFECT SHADE
It might be close to Hallowe’en but looking like a snowman or an umpa-lumpa are not desired looks the other 11 months of the year. Looking through the frosted glass bottle of foundation ain’t going to do it, and swatching your wrist or chest is as reliable as swatching it on your knee. There’s only one way to find the perfect shade and that’s by , apply it to the jaw line. After all it is where the product will be used so test it out appropriately. Do not pick from first stroke as the pigment will alter on your skin. Pick two, three or even four shades that you think look like a good match, apply them in one stroke along the jawline. First impressions do count but gently pat on the foundation with the pad of your ring finger to see how the shade adjusts to the skin. Now leave it. Give it 10 minutes or so and allow the shade to alter. This will show you the true shade or how it will look on your skin. And no, you won’t go around looking like a zebra if you’ve done it right because you’ll have chosen colours closest to your skin tone. Seeing the shades on your skin in natural light will give you a true match too as yellow or pink lights can also alter the colour.
WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET
Some women like to treat themselves and splash out on their foundation but nowadays there really is no need to splash the cash. Yes, there are some incredible products on the market that come with a hefty price tag but there are some amazing products with a shockingly low price tag too. Identify your skin type and concerns and what coverage you want, it will make choosing a foundation a lot less easier. If you’re buying from a concession counter or cosmetics store, there’s no harm in asking for a sample. After all it’s best to test before committing, it’s such a waste having half a dozen bottles of barely used foundations on your dresser.