The key to flawless skin? Foundation. It can even out the skintone, hide blemishes and discolourations and give your skin a smooth and natural appearance. But for a natural look, it’s not enough to choose the right shade of foundation. You also have to choose the right formula for your skin type. Use the wrong one, and it will just emphasize every imperfection and even cause breakouts!
But with so many types of foundation on the market, how do you choose the best one for your needs? Here’s a little guide to help you:
Best for normal, dry and combination skin: liquid foundation
The most popular type of foundation (and my favourite), liquid foundation is very versatile. Coverage can range from sheer to full depending on the formula, which also contains moisturizing ingredients, as well as silicones, that help fill in fine lines and wrinkles and give skin a smoother appearance. Because of this, it is a great choice for people with normal, dry or combination skin. Those with oily skin may instead find liquid foundations (unless they are oil-free) too rich and dewy. This type of foundation can easily be applied either with a brush, a sponge or fingers.
Best for mature skin: cream foundation
Cream foundations have a creamier and heavier texture than liquid foundations and provide medium to full coverage that’s very longlasting. This type of foundation is best applied with a damp sponge and a light hand to avoid a cakey and unnatural look. It is most suitable for mature skin, but also works well for those with dry skin who need a heavy duty coverage. Instead, they can often feel too greasy and even cause breakouts on oilier skin types. Only cream-to-powder foundations, which don’t need to be set with powder, can be used by those with slightly oily skin.
Best for travel: stick foundation
Stick foundations are cream-to-powder foundations in stick form, which makes them very easy to travel with. Because of their very thick consistency, they can double up as concealers, but can feel heavy and uncomfortable on the skin. They can be applied with either a sponge or a brush, but you have to be very fast at blending because they tend to set very quickly. Ladies with oily skin should avoid stick foundations because they can clog pores and cause breakouts, while everyone else may want to use them only for travelling. They are usually to heavy for daily wear.
Best for dry and mature skin: mousse foundation
Mousse foundations are liquid makeup with air whipped in, which gives them a lighter texture. Best applied with fingers, this type of foundation can be used by all skin types, but is particularly ideal for ladies with dry or mature skin because of its ability to go on smoothly without caking or settling into fine lines.
Best for clear skin: tinted moisturizer
Tinted moisturizers are a cross between a moisturizer and a foundation. Fairly hydrating, they provide a very light coverage that’s enough just to even out the skintone but won’t cover any blemishes or serious imperfections, making them suitable only for those whose skin is almost flawless to begin with. They work for most skin types, but can often be too rich for those with oily skin.
Best for oily skin: pressed powder foundation
Pressed powder foundations are packaged in travel-friendly compacts, like pressed powders, but provide more coverage and last longer on the skin. They can be applied with either a brush for a sheerer coverage or a sponge for a medium to full coverage, but always require a light hand or they will look cakey and unnatural. Powders have absorbent properties that can reduce shine. This makes them suitable for girl with oily skin, who should however be careful when choosing the right shade. The pigments in powder foundations can, in fact, change colour and oxidise when mixed with excess oil. Ladies with dry skin should, instead, avoid powder foundations as they will dry out their skin.
Best for sensitive skin: mineral foundation
Most mineral foundations are simply pressed powder foundations in loose form, which makes them messier to use and difficult to travel with. However, pure mineral foundations (ie foundations that contain only a bunch of minerals and none of the oils, silicones, preservatives and other ingredients found in traditional makeup) make them suitable for people with sensitive skin, as they are less likely to cause irritations (but avoid those with bismuth oxychloride, which is a common allergen). Pure mineral foundations provides excellent, but natural-looking, coverage, but choose the shade carefully because they can oxidize. They can also be drying on dry skin. They are best applied with a kabuki brush.
What’s your favourite type of foundation?