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How to Choose the Right Foundation

Home > Everywhere > Health and Beauty | How To
by Chris Nugen (subscribe)
I can't get enough of food! I'm also passionate about music, dance, writing and makeup!
Published October 6th 2013
Putting your best face forward
Makeup to me is like magic. It's using products to create an illusion to the eye of the beholder to make yourself look more beautiful. If used correctly, make-up will enhance your natural beauty and hide flaws. Looking your best starts with a perfect canvas. Having the right foundation is the key to looking flawless.

Choosing the right foundation depends on 3 factors the colour of your skin, your skin type and level coverage of the foundation. The point of using foundation is to even out your skin tone and give you one uniform look.

maybelline liquid foundation age instant rewind
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Radiant Firming Makeup with Goji Berry and Caffeine


Before choosing the right colour, assess the skin tone on your face, neck, shoulder, chest and hand in daylight. Most likely, these areas of your skin will not all have the same colour. Ignore the small areas that are different in tone or colour like redness and darker spots. Instead, concentrate on the tone that is common to most or all of these areas. Often, when women go out, the neck, shoulder and sometimes chests are exposed as well as the face. Matching your foundation to these areas will give you the most natural look.

When choosing the right colour at the counter, if you try it on the back of the hands, make sure you put it against not just the face but also the neck, chest and shoulder. If you test it on your face, apply it at the back of the jawline near your ear and down to the neck. This area is usually more neutral. Don't be afraid to ask for a sample to take home. Usually, stores are lighted with white fluorescent lighting, which is the worst possible light to compare colours. The best way to test the colour is to wear it during daylight.

You may also need different colours for different seasons of the year. During summer, you may look slightly darker even if you don't purposely tan. If you have fake tans, make sure that your foundation matches to your tan colour.

lancome adaptive liquid foundation
Lancome Adaptive Continuous Skin-Balancing Makeup


Having the right foundation for your skin type is just as important as having the right colour. If the foundation doesn't agree with your skin, it can make your flaws stand out. It can sit on top of your skin or react badly to your skin, giving you a patchy thick make-up look, which can be even worse than having the wrong colour. If you have oily skin, then the foundation should be oil-free and mattifying to reduce the shiny look as you wear it. If you have dry skin, the foundation should be moisturising and not make the dry patches stand out.

Choosing the right coverage depends on your preference. You may like to wear something light for work everyday, or a more full coverage when you go out for a special occasion. You can also use a full coverage formula, but use a tiny amount to give you that light feel. However, the product must be extremely blendable and your skin must be primed sufficiently. You can also use a light or medium coverage and build up slowly to give you more control. However, make sure the product is buildable.

I hope this guide has helped you to get the right foundation next time you're at the counter.
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