Foundation 101: Choosing the right one for you!

Every girl wants the infamous flawless face and it is this that makeup artists and women across the globe strive to achieve everyday. The flawless face can involve any or all of the following basic products:





The main area that causes women the most heart-ache is trying to find the right foundation for their skin(colour and formulation). This post is here to help you with choosing the right foundation for you.

Foundation 101 Main

If you are going to wear foundation, primer is a must. Put a cent-size amount in your palm, spread it over your fingers and gently massage the product over your entire face, just as you would your moisturiser. If you have sensitive eyes avoid this area, however if you can tolerate it it is a great base for your eye makeup (there is also a specific eyelid primer available, check back here for future posts about eye makeup application). Primer seals in your moisturiser and provides a smooth surface for foundation. It also keeps your makeup from being absorbed by the skin, giving your makeup greater staying power throughout the day. Of course I have my favourite primers, you can check them all out here and here.

In order to choose the best foundation for your skin type we need to look at two things 1)The colour of the foundation and 2)The formulation of the product.


To be sure you have got the perfect shade for you, pick three colours from the same range that are closest to your complexion tone. Put a small stripe of each on the skin just above your jawline. The one that seems to disappear is the best colour for you. I would also advise you to look at this in a natural sun light as the artificial lights of shops can be deceiving. Be sure to carry a hand mirror when shopping for foundation so you can go outside and look at the foundation in the natural light. Also do not be afraid to ask the sales assistant for a sample of the product so you can take it home and try it in your own comfort. This is a must for anyone with oily/combination skin as a lot of foundations tend to mix with the oils in your skin and get darker as they settle into the skin. If this is the case you may need to go a shade lighter to compensate for this.

You can see from the below picture that the shade closest to my mouth blends best with my skintone. Get the idea?

Foundation 101 Foundations choosing shade

If your skin colour on your face, neck and chest do not match, you may have to adjust the foundation for them to blend evenly. You can simply by a foundation that matches your chest exactly or you can bring all the tones in line by adding a darker foundation or tinted moisturiser to your existing foundation so your face can match a darker chest for example. You can also use this trick in the summer if you have a nice tan and your foundation doesn’t match your skin anymore or also if you protect your face but have a tan elsewhere. Adding a touch of liquid bronzer (Estee Lauder do a beautiful one) to your foundation adds a sunkissed look to your skin. This can also be done with a liquid highlighter which will add some light reflecting particles to your foundation to give you a glowing look (but be careful not to overdo it as this can look very shiny if too much is applied). Also adding a moistuiser to a foundation makes the consistency more sheer and often people like this during the day and then use the foundation at night when heavier coverage is wanted.


There are 7 main textures of foundation. Each one is specially formulated to meet the needs of specific skin types.

Foundation 101 Cream Foundations

CREAM FOUNDATION is ideal for: Normal, combination and dry skin. There are also oil free cream foundations which are perfect for oilier skins. It is especially well suited for women with uneven pigmentation and acne, or those requiring a heavier coverage.

Coverage: Medium to full.

Finish: Dewy to Matte depending on product you choose. The oil free formulas tend to be more mattifying.

Foundation 101 Cream Foundations Swatch

What it does: Covers and conceals discolorations and  imperfections on the skin providing a flawless finish.

Application: Use a make up sponge or a foundation/kabuki brush.

Example of Foundation: Laura Mercier Silk Cream Foundation or Inglot YSM Cream Foundation (Review here)

Foundation 101 Liquid Foundations

LIQUID FOUNDATION is ideal for: All Skin types, if you have very oily skin you should only use oil free liquid foundations. It is especially well suited for dry or mature skin.

Coverage: Light to medium

Finish: Dewy, satin or matte depending on the formulation.

Foundation 101 Liquid Foundations Swatches

What it does: Evens out the skin tone by smoothing out any unevenness. It also provides added moisture to the skin.

Application: Use a make up sponge or a foundation/kabuki brush.

Example of Foundation: Mac Studio Fix Fluid or L’Oreal True Match Foundation (Review Here)

Foundation 101 Powder Foundations Swatch

PRESSED POWDER FOUNDATION is ideal for: Oily skin

Coverage: Medium to Full.

Finish: Matte.

Foundation 101 Powder Foundations

What it does: Evens out the skin tone, hides imperfections and absorbs excess oil. If I want really good coverage I will use this type of foundation over a liquid foundation to really amp up my coverage. Check out a previous post I did on how I do this application exactly.

Application: Use a powder/kabuki brush. The denser the bristles, the more product will be deposited on the skin.

Example of Foundation: Mac Studio Fix Powder or Makeup Forever Pro Finish Powder

Foundation 101 Mineral Foundations

MINERAL FOUNDATION is ideal for: All skin types. It is especially well suited for those with sensitive skin or rosacea.

Coverage: Light to medium. Some brands can be built up to relatively full coverage.

Finish: Matte.

What it does: Evens out the skin tone, moisturizes, protects and absorbs excess oil.

Application: Use a kabuki brush to buff it on.

Example of Foundation: Bare Minerals Powders. I don’t actually have a picture of the Bare Mineral foundation as I ran out but you can get an idea from the above picture which is in fact the setting powder from the range but the packaging and consistency is almost identical to that of the foundation.

TINTED MOISTURISER is ideal for: Normal and dry skin. It is especially well suited for those who need extra hydration and just a touch of color to pull everything together.

Coverage: Sheer to light.

What it does: Lightly evens out the skin tone, while giving a “no make up” look.

Application: Use a foundation brush or your clean fingers.

Example of Foundation: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser

Foundation 101 Stick Foundations

STICK FOUNDATION is ideal for: All skin types (except oily)

Coverage: Medium to Full

Foundation 101 Stick Foundations Swatch

What it does: Can be used to even out the skin only in areas where coverage is needed or can be blended all over the face for a fuller coverage. I also love to use a darker stick foundation for my cream contour. Hence the reason the swatch above is way to dark for my skintone.

Application: Apply from the stick and blend with a damp makeup sponge

Example of Foundation: Maybelline Fit me Foundation Stick andBobbi Brown Stick Foundation

Foundation 101 BB Cream Foundations

7: BB CREAMS are ideal for : All skin types as there is a formula for every skin type

Coverage: Sheer to Light

Foundation 101 BB Cream Foundations Swatch

What it does: Provides a small amount of coverage while at the same time has added skincare benefits. It’s an all round product that replaces moisturisers, serums and tinted moisturisers in your daily routine

Application: Apply with clean fingers or for more coverage apply with a Kabuki brush

Example of Foundation: Dr Jart+ BB Cream or Bioderma Sensibo AR BB Cream

As you can see whatever your skin type, you have a variety of choices. Pick the one that is best for you and start reaping the benefits today.

Some other posts that you may find helpful are My Favourite High End Foundations and My Top Foundation Brushes.

What is your preferred choice of foundation? What is your all time favourite foundation? I would love some new ones to try.

I really hope you found this post helpful. If you enjoyed this type of post please let me know so I can do more in the future.

Have a great day

Anita XXX


  • Reply
    Rachel Kelly
    December 7, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Hi Anita,
    I’m Rachel, How are you? Thank you for making this post I finally know what I am doing wrong, I normally use a cream foundation but I should be using a liquid foundation and I know a lot of people who use L’Oreal true match and they say it’s amazing. I need to buy it and do a review of it. Your blog is amazing you have got a new follower and it’s me!
    I have a blog and it is called Along Came Rachel and I blog about beauty and fashion and on Friday of every week I post something Health related. I would love if you would return the favour and read my blog and follow it.
    Thanks for making such a wonderful blog!

    • Reply
      December 11, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      Hi Rachel thank you for commenting and sharing your blog. I just love it. Fab. I am so glad my post can be helpful to you xxx

  • Reply
    Lucy Doyle
    December 7, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    This was really helpful! Thanks for sharing x

    • Reply
      December 11, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      Thank you. Love your blog x

  • Reply
    A guide to choosing your perfect concealer -
    December 16, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    […] CHOOSING THE RIGHT SHADE FOR YOU: Unlike the undereye concealer this type of concealer should match as close as possible to your natural skin tone. It’s a good idea to buy the same colour or as close as possible to your foundation. Often makeup brands have the same colours in foundations and concealers which makes it easier for you to choose the right shade. If not you can use the tip for choosing the right foundation in my previous post here. […]

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