How to find your foundation match
There are so many foundation formulas, textures and shades out there—finding the right one can be totally daunting (and sometimes seemingly impossible). We’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to help guide you through the process of discovering your perfect match.
Discover your undertone While your skin tone and texture may change depending on the elements and environment, your undertone will always remain the same. Find your correct foundation for your undertone by using the guide below or testing shades.
Choose your coverage Next, you’ll want to decide on your ideal coverage—or, the opacity of the foundation. This depends on your personal preference and the look you’re trying to achieve.
Find your foundation type Okay, this is the big one. Finding your formula depends on your skin needs and coverage preference (although, you can layer just about anything to build).
Medium to full coverage. Liquid foundation is the classic base makeup. It blends easily and offers the most options when it comes to shade ranges and finishes, from natural to matte to dewy. Most liquid foundations offer medium coverage, so they’ll cover redness or spots while letting your skin shine through. Liquid foundation can be applied with a brush, fingers, or a sponge.
Cream & Mousse Foundations
Full or spot coverage. If you’re looking for a matte finish and full coverage, try a cream or mousse. Soft cream foundations have a luxe texture like a rich face cream, and are ideal if you have dry skin. A solid cream compact is great for versatile coverage and easy to use on the go. A mousse foundation (also known as a whipped foundation) is light and gentle on the skin, and great for absorbing oil and covering blemishes. Use a foundation brush or a makeup sponge to apply.
Light to medium coverage & shine-control. Powder foundations are best if your skin is on the oily side, since they won’t add moisture to your skin. Loose powder is great for those looking for light, buildable coverage, while pressed powder is best for full coverage and a shine-free finish. Use a powder brush for light coverage, or a dry sponge for medium to full coverage. Tip: Make sure that any products you use on top of powder foundation are also powder-based.
Tinted Moisturizer & BB Cream
Sheer coverage. Tinted moisturizers and BB creams are as much skin care as they are makeup. These formulas provide added hydration, leaving skin appearing plumper and smoother. The sheer tint helps reduce the appearance of pigmentation and other imperfections, leaving a fresh, natural finish with a luminous glow. BB creams also contain antioxidants and other ingredients that can help improve skin elasticity and brightness.
Determine your shade & select your finish Time to test. Swabbing a bit of foundation on your jawline totally works. But if you want to find your truest color match, blend out a bit on your nose and forehead, too. The winner will disappear. You may need to mix different shades to perfect your complexion cocktail. Foundation finishes (like matte, dewy, illuminating or sheer) are best selected by your skin type. For example, matte finishes are ideal for oily skin as they have oil-absorbing ingredients. Read the product description for hints.