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Your Comprehensive Guide to Foundation
Dana Manuel
Published on

There many factors to consider in buying foundation—the occasion, your skin type, and even your lifestyle. With a myriad of options available, choosing the right one can be daunting. Don't worry, Claires, we got you covered (pun intended). This ultimate foundation guide has everything you need to help you find the one.

Choose your formula

Foundation comes in many different types and consistencies. Some formula work best on certain skin type, but it generally comes down to your preference and lifestyle. Since there are no strict rules to makeup and our skin’s needs changes over time, having more than one is acceptable—the more the merrier, right?

Liquid: Liquid foundations work great for literally anyone: normal, dry, or oily. The fluid consistency makes it very versatile and buildable. It can be packed on with a dense brush for a full coverage, or sheered out with a damp sponge for a lighter coverage.
Compact: Compact foundations are made for girls on the go because of its convenient packaging. It also makes makeup application mess-free, which is a blessing to girls who like to keep their vanities neat and tidy. Because they come in different formulas, compact foundations may be used by all skin types. 
Powder: Powder foundations suit girls with oily skin because it mattifies the complexion. They work well in warmer climates. Dry skin types might want to take a pass on this one because powder foundations tend to cling on dry patches.
Cream: Cream foundations have a thicker and more hydrating formula that best suit normal to dry skin types. Because of the consistency, a cream foundation provides a lot of coverage without drying the skin out.

Know how much coverage you need 

Assess your skin to see how much coverage you really need. Do you have a couple of acne marks you want to conceal? Go for a medium to full coverage foundation. Having a good skin day? A sheer coverage might be your cup of tea. Always check your skin first and make sure you only use the amount you need.
Sheer: A sheer coverage is lightweight and natural-looking. It gives a skin-like finish that allows your real skin to seep through. This is suitable for girls who have been blessed with great complexions who don’t have a lot to cover up. It’s also a great option for casual days where you don’t require a lot of coverage, like during a workout session or a trip to the beach.
Medium: Medium coverage foundations are usually the best to wear to work because it provides just the right amount of coverage to last you the whole day while still allowing your skin to breathe. It’s the best option if you want to even out your skin tone and cover up blemishes without feeling like you have a mask on.
Full: Foundations that have a full coverage are excellent for special occasions where you need your makeup to photograph well. It should give you a flawless effect in photos, making it ideal for photoshoots or if you just want to take the perfect selfie sans the filter. 

Find your finish

Brands sometimes make it more confusing for us consumers to choose our foundation by using different terms such as velvet matte, luminous, semi-matte, soft matte—how many can there be? To makeup newbies, it almost makes it impossible to figure out what the differences are. To make things simpler, here are the three most common foundation finishes.

Matte: A matte finish has a powder effect on the skin. It has zero shine making it ideal for oily skin types. Other finishes such as semi-matte, soft matte, and velvet matte fall under this category.
Dewy: A dewy finish gives a luminous glow to the skin. It is suitable for dry and mature skin because it makes your makeup look youthful and fresh.
Satin: A satin finish is right in between a matte and a dewy finish. It is a finish that can be worn by all skin types. It is probably the most natural finish since it has the perfect balance between glowy and matte. 

Determine your shade

The hardest part about choosing a foundation is knowing what shade to get. You may walk in a department store and think you’ve swatched the right shade only to go home and find out it registers differently. Instead of swatching the foundation on your hand or wrist, we suggest doing it on your jaw and neck to get the best match. Your shade should be the one that disappears on your skin.

Got any more tips you want to add? Let us know in the comments or tag us on Instagram @iamClaireph.