Makeup 101: The Best Foundation for Your Skin
A good foundation in the right color and formulation for your skin will help you look makeup-free and naturally blessed with an even, healthy and glowing complexion. The challenge is finding that perfect foundation. There are so many makeup bases on the market, which come with a bewildering array of claims, promises and hype. Picking the right foundation is important for an attractive look, but it can be confusing.
Liquid: This is the most popular type of foundation. A creamy, liquid makeup is applied with a sponge, fingers or foundation brush. Liquid foundations have coverage ranging from sheer to full and can be for dry, normal or oily skin.
Cream: Usually applied with a makeup sponge, cream foundations give full coverage, making them good for skin with discolorations, scars or reddened areas. Cream foundations tend to work best for dry skin.
Powder: Powder foundations are usually applied with a brush, puff or sponge, and most give medium to full coverage. Oily skin does best with powder foundation.
Compact: Usually packaged in a flat compact and applied with a sponge, compact foundations go on like a cream, but dry with a powdery finish. Coverage is medium to full, and most compact foundations are best for dry skin. However, there are oil-free formulations suitable for oilier skin.
Tinted Moisturizer: A blend of moisturizing ingredients with a little bit of color; tinted moisturizers are very sheer and natural. They are best for individuals with skin that needs little coverage. Most are applied with fingers or a sponge.
Matte: Matte foundations give full coverage. They can come in liquid, compact or powder form, each enabling a flat, non-shiny finish. The matte finish is a good choice for oily skin. Application depends on which form (liquid, compact or powder).
Mineral: Colored with ground minerals and without chemicals or artificial ingredients, mineral makeup is excellent for acne-prone or sensitive skin. Most are loose powders applied with a dense brush.
Illuminating: These are liquid foundations with ingredients that give a glowing finish to the complexion, blur minor imperfections or fine lines and impart a smooth, perfect look. Illuminating foundations are good for mature or dry skin.
How to Pick the Right Color
- You should test foundation on skin free of makeup
- Choose a formula suited to your skin type
- Look for a shade that appears closest to your color and matches the undertones of your skin
- Apply a stripe of foundation to your jawline, blending slightly; the right shade will disappear into your skin
- Don’t use your wrist or neck to test foundation, as these will not match your face
- Check the color in natural light if you can
- Avoid foundations with strong pink undertones, which tend to look unnatural
- If you are shopping in a store with no testers, hold bottles of foundation against your jawline, and choose the one that is closest to your skin tone
Even if you don’t wear much makeup, a good foundation can protect your skin from pollutants and sun damage while giving a natural, healthy glow to your complexion. Take the time to find the foundation that is just right for you, and enjoy the benefits of smooth, glowing skin.