Foundation shopping can be an over whelming task. There are so many different brands and types so it can be hard to know which will be the right one for you. Follow this simple guide to find your perfect second skin and remember a good foundation will look like your skin is flawless but will blend in to look like you aren’t wearing it.
Know your skin type (oil, dry, combination).
Different types of foundations are better suited to certain skin types.
Dry skin – needs hydrating and dewy foundations. Dry skin lacks oil so choose an illuminating foundation. Tinted moisturisers are great options for everyday use.
Oily skin – needs matte liquid foundation or powder foundation to help mattify your oily skin.
Combination skin – needs the best of both worlds. I am oily but dehydrated so I wear an oil free, hydrating foundation with a mineral powder on my t-zone.
Prone to break outs – opt for an oil free liquid or better yet a mineral powder.
Choose the right coverage
You can choose from sheer, medium or full coverage.
Most people tell me they want full coverage and in my experience most people don’t need it. A sheer foundation will even out any uneven skin tone/redness. If you have a pimple or a little pigmentation opt for a concealer in the affected area instead of using a thick foundation everywhere. Thick foundations are not flattering and they can often make you look older than you are.
If you have freckles it is better to let them come through. You will not look natural if you have a freckle free face but have freckles all over your neck and chest.
With or without SPF
Remember physical sunscreens titanium dioxide or zinc can reflect light and therefore photograph white.
Everyone should wear sunscreen everyday but a separate SPF 30+ will be much more effective than a foundation or moisturizer with sunscreen in it. If you don’t wear a sunscreen at all then SPF 15 in your day time foundation is a must. Remember sunscreen is the most anti-aging skincare there is.
Choose the colour that blends into your natural skin tone
Picking the right colour can be difficult, even for the professionals.
Pick three colours that look the closest to your skins natural tone.
Place each colour in a downwards stripe on your cheek and jawline. (see photo above). Do not test on your hand because it isn’t the colour of your face.
You need to pick the colour that blends into your natural skin tone. This will ensure your foundation looks natural instead of like that dreaded mask.
A common mistake that people make is to choose a foundation darker than their skin tone because they think they are too pale. Your foundation won’t blend in and people will notice. Choose the most natural foundation and then use a light dusting of bronzer round the edge of your face in the number three motion (i.e. side of the forehead, under the cheekbones and along the side of the jawline). I also suggest you place a little on your neck as it can be very pale as it doesn’t get as much sun as your face.
Another mistake that people make is to pick a yellow based foundation when they have a lot of redness on the skin. This will not look natural at all. Pick the right tone (with a little pink in it if you are red), it will still even out the colour and calm down the redness but most importantly it will look natural.
Check the colour in natural light
So the foundation is on and it looks good in the shop. You now need to leave the store and go in search of natural light, take a small mirror with you so you can be sure you have the right colour match as some shop aren’t well lit.
My tips to making the most of your foundation and ensuring your complexion looks its best
Pop on some blush – Remember foundations are designed to create a blank canvas and take all the colour out of your skin. So always wear blush when you wear foundation to add a hint of colour and brighten the skin tone. If you have a tanned chest then a bronzer is also recommended. Choose a cream blush for dry skin and a powder blush for oily skin.
Set your base with powder – setting powders help to matte your T-zone shine and keep the foundation on so it doesn’t rub off. This step is very important if you are oily. Dry skins should use an illuminating powder so they still set your base but don’t make you look dry. Oily skin try Bare Minerals skin veil. Dry skin try By Terry Hyalauronic Powder.
Use a primer – I know it’s another step but they do really improve the appearance and performance of your foundation. Primers are designed to smooth out the skins imperfections and ensure your foundation stays on for longer. There are different types of primers for different skin type.
Here are my favourite primers:
Lancome La Base Pro for oily skin
Hourglass skin veil for normal/combination skin
Smashbox Colour Correct in Green for red skin
Hourglass number 28 Primer for dry skin (a serum and primer in one)
My favourite foundations:
Every day use for dry skin – Stila Illuminating BB cream
Every day use for oily, blemish prone skin – Bare minerals powder foundation (original, not matte)
Medium coverage for oily skin – Hourglass Immaculate foundation
Medium coverage for normal/combination skin – Nars sheer glow (I know it says sheer but trust me it has amazing pigment) or Makeup Forever HD foundation.
Medium coverage for dry skin – Armani Luminous Silk, Ellis Faas Skin Veil or Terry Sheer Expert (again it has great pigment)
If you are really struggling with foundation matching or makeup shopping remember that I offer a makeup shopping experience in Sydney City. I will be your personal makeup shopper and share my knowledge to help you find the right products for you.