Tips & Tricks

Foundation 101: Different Types Of Foundations

February 3, 2006

With the myriad of choices on the market nowadays, shopping for a foundation can be a daunting task. So read on to find out more about the various types of foundations and what they do!

Clockwise from top left:

Liquid Foundation. These usually come in bottles and tubes. The coverage can range from super sheer to full. Thanks to their texture, liquid foundations are easy to blend and the coverage can be built up gradually. Another great thing is you can easily mix 2 different shades together to get the perfect match. Liquid foundations also create the most natural-looking finish and are suitable for all types of skin.

Cream Foundation. Great for achieveing the dewy look, these usually come in compacts and jars and work best on dry skin. They tend to have a slightly heavier texture and provide higher coverage compared to liquid foundations. Make sure to apply sparingly as a little goes a long way.

Cream-To-Powder Foundation. Unlike cream foundations, cream-to-powder foundations actually dry to a powdery finish. They tend to create a matte look and are good for people with combination skin.

Stick Foundation. These are similar to cream foundations but provide an even heavier coverage. One thing I like about stick foundations is their practicability. Stick foundations are great for traveling and they can double as concealers as well. The downside is most of them tend to contain oil and can clog your pores more easily. If you have acne-prone skin, I suggest you to steer clear of them.

Powder Foundation. These usually come in compacts and are great for creating the matte look or for touch-ups. Some can even be used dry and wet for more coverage and they work best on oily skin. Like stick foundations, powder foundations are convenient and easy to use. If you have dry skin, try to limit the use of a powder foundation to touch-ups only. Putting powder on your dry skin would only accentuate wrinkles and flakes.

Mineral Foundation. These are made out of crushed minerals extracted from the Earth and are free of preservatives, talc, oil, fragrance and other harmful chemicals. They usually come in loose powder form and provide medium to high coverage. They also tend to do less harm to your skin and you can even sleep in some. Mineral foundations are good for people with very sensitive skin or those who suffer from acne or rosacea. The downside of mineral makeup, however, is that they might be a little too dry for those with dry skin. Another thing about mineral makeup is that you have to get the right brush and it does take practice to master the basic “swirl, tap and buff” process.

Tinted Moisturizer. These are not really foundations per se, more like moisturizers with just a slight tint of color to even out your skin. They provide the sheerest coverage out of all foundations and are great for those who are blessed with flawless skin or want light coverage.

Stay tuned for Part 2 for tips on how to choose the right foundation based on your skin type!

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  • Reply yz February 3, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    Useful and practical review! look forward to part 2

    Have you heard of “Ole Henriksen”? What’s your comment on it?

  • Reply Anonymous April 18, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    what’s a good tinted moisterizer that you would reccomend?

  • Reply Shenaz June 1, 2007 at 11:56 am

    hi,i’m shenaz..i’m an indian.i have dry skin with yellow undertone.lately i tried out lauramercier tinted moisturiser in almond..but then i felt it was too sheer for was only acting as a moisturiser for i wud like to go for a fuller silk creme foundation good?or shud i go for laura mercier’s moisturising liquid me..plz!

  • Reply Shenaz June 1, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    first of all congrats for a wonderful site.i am an Indian.i have dry skin with yellow undertone.i wud like to go for a foundation that offers full coverage with a natural look.i have been using laura mercier’s tinted moisturizer in almond..but it was too sheer..maybe the color was so blended into my skin..i just felt it was a moisturizer.what is ur opinion about silk creme or shud i go for laura’s moisturizing liquid foundation? me plz.

  • Reply Anonymous September 30, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    which mineral foundation would you recommend?

  • Reply irma September 30, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Which mineral foundation would you recommend? How did you like the mabeline instant age rewind cream foundation? I did not like the fact it had aluminum in it???

  • Reply radhika April 22, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    I LOVE bare minerals, although there is a trick to apply it. first use the Skin Re-ver Upper or a moisterizer
    right b4 u apply it
    and put no the foundation whenn the moisterizer or re-ver upper is sitll somehwat wet/sticky. and gives a beautiful finish and isn’t dry at all. and deff. use the mineral viel.
    btw, teh rev-er upper is by bare escentuals nd comes with the start kit at sephora.

  • Reply Radhika April 22, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    i LOVE bareMinerals. actually, theres a trick to applying it. DOn’t just apply it. first apply a moisterizer udner it or the Skin Re-ver Upper by bareEscentuals (it comes in teh getting started kit at Sephora). the trick is to apply the mineral foundation right after applying the moisterizer or rever upper while it’s sitll a little tacky/sticky. the miernal foundation kinda blends into it giving you a much better almost dewey finish that works well on both oily and dry skin.

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