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As much makeup as I own and review, I have to admit that finding the right foundation can still be hard. There are so many releases of foundation in the last year that it was hard to figure out how what to buy and what to leave in the store. In this beginner makeup series, we are going to start with how to choose the right foundation.

Here’s the thing, foundation is not a one size fit all product. Unlike your lipsticks or mascara where you can pretty much wear whatever type you like, foundation is specific to your needs. In this post, we’ll go over different coverage types, skin concerns and formula types along with some of my recommendations.

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Let’s Start with Skin Types

Dry skin, normal skin, oily or combination are the most common skin types you’ll hear about when discussing foundation. I have normal to dry skin which means I look for my foundation to have some type of hydrating properties. Most of the foundations that were released were formulated for oily to combination skin. If you have oily skin, you may be more prone to acne and visible pores. So for your foundation, you want to look for liquid, oil-free formulas. A great option for oily/combination skin is the Makeup Forever HD Skin Foundation. For drier skin types, like mine, I like a liquid (not oil free) or a cream stick foundation. Oil in foundation is not a bad thing, some experts would say that oil is essential for it’s moisturizing properties. The Skin by Mented Foundation Stick is a dry skin, and sensitive skin friendly cream foundation stick. It’s hydrating without being oily and gives a smooth finish to the skin.

Finding Your Undertone

Undertones can be tricky, even for those of us who have been wearing makeup for a while. However, learning what your undertone is will save you loads of time and money when it comes to choosing the right foundation. So, what exactly are undertones? Good question, simply put, your undertone is the color under your skin. If you look at your inner forearm or even at your chest and you’re more pink or red, you likely have a cool undertone. If you’re chest or forearm is golden or peach, you’ll likely have a warm undertone. When you’re in the sun, if you tend to get red before you tan, you have a pink or “cool” undertone. If you tan first and then get red, your undertone is likely “warm”. Another easy way to start learning your undertone is the “jewelry test”. If you wear silver jewelry and it enhances your skin instead of washing you out, you’ll like look for a cool foundation undertone. If you wear gold jewelry or earth tones and they make your skin pop, you’ll likely go for a warm undertone foundation. You can watch my Youtube video where I do a further breakdown of undertones here:

Coverage Types

When it comes to choosing the right foundation, you want to think about the type of coverage you need. Most foundations now offer a medium coverage, your skin but better finish. This is ideal whether you have oily, dry, normal or mature skin. Figuring out what you want your skin to look like once you apply your foundation will help narrow down the choice of product. For the lightest coverage, a your skin but better pick, I absolutely love the Ami Cole Skin Enhancing Tinted Moisturizer. Skin tints give you the benefits of skincare along with light coverage. These are perfect for the days you just want to look pulled together will little effort and time. If you’d like a foundation that you can build up to your desired fullness, choose a medium foundation. These types will give you the makeup coverage without it completely covering your skin. It’s a “just enough” type of foundation and these are my personal favorites. Medium coverage leaves room for your concealers and powders to do their job and you still look made up but not overdone. Haus Labs Foundation by Lady GaGa foundation is a perfect example of medium coverage, it’s formulated with skincare ingredients so your skin looks flawless and healthy when applied.

Tips and Takeaways

So now that you have a starting point to choosing the right foundation, here are a few tips I recommend when shopping:

  • Samples, samples and more samples. Thankfully department stores and Sephora are back to giving samples of their facial products. Ask for samples, trust me, they will give them to you. I am a big proponent of try before you buy. If you’re unsure if a foundation will work for you or if the shade is off, get a sample and take it home. Wear it for a few days and see how your skin reacts, if the shade is right etc…
  • Once you get your sample, take it home and swatch it on your upper chest area. Why your chest? Well, your face is often lighter than your chest so if your foundation matches your chest, once you apply it to your faee, you’ll look seamless from face to chest
  • Application matters, using a damp beauty sponge will give you more sheer, natural application. Using a foundation brush will give you fuller coverage for a more done up look.

I hope these tips have helped you, as usual feel free to ask any questions in the comments. Also, make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter where you’ll find tips, freebies and other great information.

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