Tips & Tricks

Foundation 101: How To Choose The Right Foundation

February 4, 2006

Now that you guys have a better understanding of the different kinds of foundations, let’s look at how you can choose a foundation that is right for you.

First, focus on your skin type. If you have:

Dry Skin – Look for something that is hydrating like liquid and cream formulas. Stay away from anything with alcohol or words like “mattifying” or “anti-shine”.

Normal Skin – You are in luck because any formula will work for you.

Combination Skin – Liquid, cream, cream to powder formulas are your best bet.

Oily/Acne-prone Skin – Go with something that is water-based or oil-free. Liquid, powder and mineral foundations are all good choices.

Sensitive Skin – Avoid anything heavily scented. Try a liquid, cream or mineral foundation.

Mature Skin – Like those with dry skin, you want something that is moisturizing and possibly with light-reflecting particles to blur away fine lines and perk up the complexion. I like liquid and cream foundations best on mature skin.

Next it’s time to pick the right shade.

• One of the biggest mistakes people make is testing the foundation on the back of their hands. The color of your hand bears no resemblance to that on your face so make sure you ALWAYS test along the jawline. Apply 2-3 different shades of the foundation along your jawline then blend onto the neck. You have found a good match if the color disappears completely into your skin. Make sure you also check under natural daylight.

• Another common mistake is picking a foundation that is too light or too pink. You should always pick a color that is as close to your skintone as possible. If you have to pick between a lighter or darker color, err on the dark side.

Note: The above suggestions are based solely on my personal experience. Different people have different skin types, so what works on other people may not necessarily work for you. Sometimes, it does take trial and error to find the perfect foundation but if you keep trying different products, you WILL get a better idea of what works for you.

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  • Reply yz February 5, 2006 at 5:37 am

    So far what’s your favourite foundation?

  • Reply Anonymous February 6, 2006 at 11:55 am

    You .. me .. make up .. tonight.

  • Reply Phyllis February 6, 2006 at 12:03 pm

    YAY =)

  • Reply Anonymous February 6, 2006 at 3:37 pm

    how do you make your face ‘glow’? (:

  • Reply Phyllis February 6, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    Anonymous said…
    how do you make your face ‘glow’? (:

    there’s a couple of ways to make your skin glow. you can:

    a) use a foundation with shimmer in it. make sure the particles are super fine though – you don’t wanna look like a disco ball.
    b) add a drop of liquid bronzer/highlighter into your foundation (try Revlon’s Skinlights Face Illuminator or MAC’s Strobe Cream)
    c) use a shimmery bronzer

    I can prolly write an entry on this next week if you want.

  • Reply Jeffrey February 7, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    I want my face to glow too! I always have horrible complexion. Help me phyllis! Y_Y

  • Reply Anonymous February 7, 2006 at 3:50 pm


    hooray, i’m off to buy bare essentuals….question though…if i can’t match my skin tone, should i go for the darker, or spend more money on buying 2 pots so i can combine them?

  • Reply jasmine February 7, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    Hi! ahah from soompi here, i love ur makeup blog =) haha very nicely done! I LOVE LOVE LOVE MAKEUP TOO haha i am so obsessed =P i find ur information very accurate and knowledgeable! =) thanks!


  • Reply Phyllis February 8, 2006 at 10:24 am

    Anonymous said…

    hooray, i’m off to buy bare essentuals….question though…if i can’t match my skin tone, should i go for the darker, or spend more money on buying 2 pots so i can combine them?

    it would be best if you could get a color that matches your skin tone, so I say buy two and mix them if you have the money but if you don’t, go for the darker shade – just make sure it’s not 2-3 shades darker.

  • Reply vanggirlie February 9, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    yea i’m going to go get bare escentuals too. thanks for the tips, it’s been hard finding the right for my oily and acne prone skin. thank you again.

  • Reply Anonymous October 24, 2006 at 1:49 am

    It has been my biggest discovery in foundation. For years I’ve used some over-the-counter products and other professional brands but nothing tops BARE ESSENTIALS! Seriously…if you’re looking for a natural glowing beauty…Bare Essentials is the one for you!
    ( it comes with a bonus too…it’s a Confident booster!)

  • Reply Anonymous November 19, 2006 at 9:23 am

    After zillions of failures in determining the right shade, I have the following facts to share:
    Choose a darker shade when you have feckles to hide;
    Choose a lighter one if your skin is really the foundation tends to be “oxidized” by your face oil into a yellowish tone, and the a lighter shade may counteract the effect

  • Reply Anonymous March 24, 2007 at 3:42 am

    I’ve heard mineral make-up can make you look really shiny after you’ve been wearing it for a few hours. Have you had any experience with this? PS, your site rocks, I check it all the time for tips, tricks and new products. I’m in Oz so we dont have alot of the products you do, but its still awesome info. Keep it up!!

  • Reply Phyllis March 25, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    I personally am not a huge fan of mineral makeup. I’ve tried Bare Escentuals and Everyday Minerals and even though they both gave great coverage and a glowy
    (not greasy) look, they made my skin slightly dry and flaky. I’m going to stick to my liquid foundations unless something better comes along.

  • Reply Anonymous October 27, 2007 at 7:04 am

    Anonymous said…

    how do you make your face ‘glow’? (:

    I use this liquid foundation by Rimmel. It’s called Rimmel Recover or something, with a red cap and beige-y bottle. Oh it’s fantastic! It does what it says and has slight shimmer particles in it and looks really pretty.
    It’s got this anti-fatigue system for it, I can’t remember all the details, but it’s a good price, works well and gives nice coverage.

  • Reply Anonymous November 23, 2007 at 6:49 am

    Hey, this is a fantastic blog!! Anw, I am wondering whether u can perhaps teach me how to use foundation/concealers to cover operation scar…I have a growth on my face and an operation left a 1cm scar on my cheek…my type of scar is not potruding…its kind of like acne scar just that its a line. I really need help! Thanks

  • Reply Anonymous May 23, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Great blog, though one thing I will say is, that if having to choose between a lighter or darker shade, I would say go for the lighter one. My reason? Lighter shades blend more easily, darker shades don’t and thus can cause that horrible dark “ring” around the jawline.

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