Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Make up 101: How to choose the right foundation

Make up 101: Foundation
(Photo from:

Hi ladies! :) Choosing the right foundation is a pretty daunting task for most of us since we all know that using the right foundation can either make or break the look that you might be trying to achieve. We don't want to look like a clown or an overly tanned guido/guidette from Jershey Shore do we? This is actually one of my pet peeves! Women wearing too light or too dark foundations for their natural skin color! UGH! 

Megan Fox with too light foundation

Christina Aguillera with too dark foundation

Nicole Kidman with overly powdered face

Uma Thurman with too much powder
I have nothing against these beautiful women but I guess they just had a bad day and chose the wrong color of foundation or became too eager with powdering their face. :p

So for this Make up 101 I will be teaching you several tricks on finding the right foundation for you.

In choosing the right foundation there are several things that you must ask yourself:

  1. What is your skin's undertone? This will help in choosing the shade (color) of your foundation. I have already discussed how to find your skin's right undertone here!
  2. What is your skin type? Knowing your skin type will help you choose between the different formulations available such as powder, liquid, cream or mousse.
  3. When are you going to use the foundation? This will help you determine the coverage you want for your foundation- this will all depend on the event or your purpose for using the foundation for example, you want a foundation for everyday use or for a pictorial.
  4. What is the look that you want to achieve? This will help you choose the kind of finish which you want to achieve such as a dewy glow or a matte look.
  5. What is the climate of the country you live in? You must also take into consideration the climate of the country where you live, for example here in a tropical country like the Philippines it is advisable to use a foundation which is sweat-proof or waterproof because of the high humidity.
Ok, after you answer those five questions you are now ready to go to your favorite cosmetic store and choose your foundation! :) Remember that when buying foundation go to the store without any makeup on. :)
  • First choose the right formulation for your skin type.
    • Normal skin- any type of foundation is OK to use. 
    • Oily skin- choose a water-based liquid foundation or a powder foundation. Try to stay clear from cream foundations since these are mostly oil-based.
    • Dry skin- choose a moisturizing liquid foundation or a cream foundation.
    • Combination skin- liquid foundation and cream foundation is best and then use a powder on your t-zone or where oil tends to build up.
    • Sensitive skin- If it is not necessary for you to use foundation it is best to SKIP IT! But if it is unavoidable and really necessary, try to use mineral based foundations as these are usually made from naturally occuring minerals and are less irritating for sensitive skin.
    • Young/teen skin- for teenagers it is best to use no foundation at all! Or try to use mousse foundations or BB creams.
  • Next, remember the type of coverage that you want. If you have lots of blemishes which needs covering up go for full coverage foundations if not and you just want to have even skin tone you can go for sheer to light coverage. 
    • Cream foundations usually offer medium to full coverage
    • Liquid foundation usually have sheer to medium coverage
    • Mousse foundations offer light to medium coverage
    • Powder foundation goes from light to full coverage
    • Tinted moisturizers and BB creams offer light to medium coverage
      • Make it a habit to read labels, they usually indicate the type of coverage they offer on the label. :)
  • Third, the type of finish that the  foundation offers is also indicated in the label, several cosmetic companies offer matte, semi-matte, or satin.
    • Satin finish will usually give you that dewy, healthy glow.
    • Semi-matte is the one which looks the most natural of the three.
    • Matte is more of a powdery finish and is best for oily skin types.
  • Fourth, consider your country's climate. Most of the time the foundations being sold in the cosmetics counter are already formulated to suit the climate of the country where it is being sold. Oftentimes it is best to buy from locally made brands since the manufacturers would take into account the needs of their consumers. :) 
  • And lastly, the most important of all is to choose the right shade (color) of foundation make sure that you test different shades. Don't be too shy to ask for testers from the sales lady, most of the time they will bring out several testers for you to try. If the store has a window it is advisable to go near a window so you would be able to see how the foundation looks like under natural light.  And lastly, don't swatch the foundation on the back of your hand but on your jawline and try to extend it from your cheekbone up to your neck. 

Swatches of foundation on my jawline.
  • Remember to choose the foundation which would disappear on your face and neck once you blend it.
  • Try to test out different shades of foundation for your undertone, usually different brands have different shades for different undertones. The pictures below may help you determine the right shades for you.
photo credits to Cinema Secrets

photo credits to MAC

I hope that I have helped you in choosing the right foundation! Happy foundation hunting ladies! :) Have fun and experiment! Till next time! :)

To read about my shade of foundation click here!

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