Picking a foundation can be daunting stuff; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Where the hell do you begin? How do you know the colour is right? Are you really going to walk around with stripes on your face to see what it looks like in natural light? Um, yeah, pretty much.
Foundations come in several forms:
Editors note: no matter what your skin type, there should be a liquid foundation out there to suit. Look for matte finish or long-wearing formulas if you suffer from oily skin; look for nourishing, moisturising formulas with a dewy finish if your skin is dry; if your skin is normal then you should be able to pick and choose just about anything!
Powder or Cream:
Editors note: Powder foundation is typically best for oily skin-types, as it often contains oil-absorbing properties, and often blends well with the skins natural sebum. Cream foundation typically works better for normal to dry skin-types, although can work wonderfully with oily skin when combined with the right powder.
These are thicker than the liquids and and claim to still feel light on the skin.
These can come in solid powder form but are more commonly sold as a loose powder.
Editors note: Mineral foundations are often sold with the claim that they are great for all skin types including sensitive, however in my experience this is not always the case. Check the ingredients listing and avoid powder foundations containing bismuth, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Also, be warned that despite the claims, mineral foundations can look powdery on dry skin-types, and can highlight any patches of dryness.
Once you have decided what form you would like your foundation to take then is the ‘wonderful’ task of determining the correct colour for your skin.
If you can, the best thing to do is to go to a counter in a department store and ask them to match you, they should willingly do this. Once they have, wander around for a bit first and come back to make your purchase, again, they should be more than happy to let you do this. If you are spending your money on a foundation then 10 minutes of walking around to see how it feels is more than reasonable. If the makeup artist at the counter is not happy with this, leave – go to a different counter and try again. I have always found this to be the easiest way to pick a foundation with confidence as well as getting a good feel for how the makeup on your skin.
Editors note: when you do this, take a small mirror with you and go outside to check the foundation in natural light. If you are unhappy with the colour match, discuss this with the counter Makeup Artist. Sometimes they get it wrong, and it’s ok to speak up.
If however you don’t want to do this or can’t splurge, or worse, like me, your nearest department store is 3 hrs away, it is more than possible to pick your own colour.
I start by taking a bit of a rough guess, grabbing it and putting the obligatory stripe on your face from the bottom of your cheek and blend into the jaw line, then you get a shade darker and a shade lighter and stripe them either side. It will probably look a bit like this;
As you can see from this picture, the middle stripe has almost disappeared as I blended it down. In this instance the middle colour is pretty spot on. If possible, you should double check this in natural light.
When it comes to applying foundation, there are as many ways as they are types of product and none of them are wrong, it really comes down to personal preference but a sponge, paddle brush or good old fingers are the most common.
Picking the right foundation can be a bit tricky, but just like that primer under it, once you have it right, you will never look back.
Do you have any foundation picking tips? Do you have a preference for type? Is foundation something you love or loathe?