Home Beauty Basics of Foundation 101

Basics of Foundation 101

by Alexandra

“With the right foundation, any woman can look like she naturally has even, perfect skin.” – Bobbi Brown

Even and perfect skin it’s what we all are looking for which makes foundation the toughest makeup product to buy. With so many choices out there it can be overwhelming, especially if you are a beginner or if you are looking for a new product. We know the struggle, girls!

So, to make this process easier for you, we put together an easy guide on how to choose & apply foundation for a flawless look! All your questions will be answered so keep on reading.

Numero Uno: Skin

Keep your skin healthy

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The first step is to take good care of our skin. Foundation is not skincare. Using the appropriate skincare products to keep your skin well balanced and healthy is by far one of the most important steps in this process.

We all crave flawless and radiant skin which can be achieved with taking care of our skin, here’s our suggestions for the best products for super-clear skin.

In addition to keeping our skin super-clean and hydrated, we also need to fight acne, wrinkles, age spots, scarring, and uneven skin tone. This is where the use of the miraculous facial acids will come handy.

Skin Types

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Now that our skin is good, we can move on to the next step.

Question to ask: What foundation formula should you be using?

Well, this is also something related to your skin type.

The right foundation is the basis for good makeup. Our ultimate goal is to find that perfect foundation that looks like your skin, only better.

Oily skin

If you have oily and acne-prone skin choose oil-free powder or liquid foundations. You want to lean towards a foundation that lightweight and non-comedogenic. This formula will not clog your pores and will not cause any breakouts. A makeup foundation that is really thick and has a lot of moisturizer can make your oily skin even oilier.

Also, you can look for a foundation with salicylic acid, these formulas can actually reduce or prevent breakouts. A really good foundation with salicylic acid is Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup.

You can also try Neutrogena skinClearing Oil-Free Makeup. This foundation dries up the oil-producing glands that cause pimples.

Another really good foundation for oily skin that will give you a very soft matte finish is Clarins Truly Matte Foundation.

Related: These Are The Best Products For Super-Clear Skin

Dry skin

Foundation can be a dry’s skin worst enemy. The wrong formulas can cling and pill in all the wrong ways possible. And of course, we don’t want that to happen!

If you have dry skin look for liquid, stick or hydrating powder foundations. These formulas will leave your skin supple and radiant.

Why should you choose this foundation? Because you can add a few drops in your go-to moisturizer. You can go from the sheerest coverage to a full coverage in just a heartbeat!

This is a great foundation with brightening benefits and little extra skincare benefit as it is super hydrating.

This is an emollient product that will give you a radiant finish and that can be built up to your desired coverage. Also, perfect for sensitive and dry skin.

Combination skin

If you have combination skin it’s best to apply a powder foundation. This kind of makeup foundation will allow you to distribute more of the oil-absorbing makeup where you need it and less where you don’t, and very important, without leaving visible lines (as a liquid or stick foundations would).

Let’s see some recommendations!

Sensitive skin

If you have sensitive skin, you already know how difficult it is to find the perfect foundation. Apply just a few drops of the wrong formula and your skin freaks out. Breakouts, redness, irritation…

We rounded up the best foundations on the market for sensitive skin! These are all gentle foundations, thanks to ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E, aloe vera.

Related: 20 Best Overnight Masks for Every Budget and Skin Type

Choosing the perfect shade

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As we already established what kind of formula it’s best for your skin type, let’s move on and find out how to choose that perfect foundation shade.

In order to do that, you must know your undertone.

Check your undertone

A definition of skin undertone is pretty simple – the color from underneath the surface. Your skin’s undertone is the color underneath the surface of your skin that can affect your overall look and make shades look different on you. 

If you are not a makeup artist, you probably struggle to find a difference between your surface tone and undertone. Find out how to check your undertone.

We can divide undertones into four groups:

  • Warm – yellow or golden light and medium skin tones
  • Cool – pink or red light and medium skin tones
  • Olive – medium and medium-deep skin tones
  • Neutral – balanced light and medium skin tones

How do we choose our foundation based on the undertone?

  • Cool Undertone – choose foundations with cool undertones and stay away from anything that looks golden. The wrong foundation will look too orange.
  • Warm Undertone – choose foundations with yellow or golden undertones. The wrong foundation will look too pink or red.
  • Olive Undertone – choose foundations that look balanced or are very subtly leaning towards golden. Stay away from any yellow or golden foundations, cool pinks, and reds. The wrong foundation will look too white or pink.
  • Neutral Undertone – choose foundations that look balanced or are very subtly leaning towards golden. Stay away from any yellow or golden foundations, cool pinks, and reds. The wrong foundation will look too white or pink.

Related: How To Tell If You Have Cool Or Warm Skin Tone

Swatch it and seek out good lighting!

You’ve seen lots of influencers swatching foundations on their forearms, but the skin on your body may not be the same shade as your complexion.

Find a few shades that might work for you and swatch directly onto your cheek down to your neck. After a few minutes, you can see how it adjusts to your skin.

Keep in mind that foundations can sometimes oxidize and get slightly darker from the mixture of elements and the oils on your skin.

Once you’ve swatched, you need to see how the pigments look in natural light. The shade that disappears into your skin most is your right match.

Skin Preparation

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The ultimate goal of applying foundation is to have a flawless complexion. There are some simple steps we need to follow to get the most natural-looking finish, every single time.

Prime or not to prime? That is the question!

A face primer is so important if you want your makeup to last all day…It’s a great product that offers a wide range of skincare and makeup benefits.

First, face primers contain ingredients that have the power to fill in fine lines and wrinkles, and some even contain light-reflecting pigments that give the appearance of a more radiant complexion. 

Also, primers act as a barrier between your face and the makeup you’re about to apply and create an even surface for your makeup products to sit on.

There are some really good face primers for every skin type, but if you really don’t want to add another product to your makeup kit, a really good moisturizer can be used as a face primer. Invest in your moisturizer and you can use it easily as a face primer!

Here are some good face primers recommendations.

If you are looking to give your skin a little extra glow, Becca’s Backlight Priming Filter is the primer you want to apply!

To control the oily skin Fenty Beauty has a really good primer!

To keep skin looking fresh and hydrated you can use Too Faced’s Hangover Primer.

Applying foundation

Actually, how do you apply your foundation is up to you. But if you want the ultimate flawless look, then beauty blenders or any good makeup sponges are the way to go.

Make sure you buy a hydrophilic beauty blender. First, get it damp with water, or it doesn’t work as well and dab a few drops of foundation over the main points of your face (forehead, cheeks, and chin) with your finger.

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Then, with stippling—not rubbing—motions, tap the sponge over the dots and blend the foundation out toward your hairline and jaw to diffuse the color. Keep tapping under your chin and jaw to blend the foundation’s edges.

You can get beautiful results from beauty sponges like these:

If you want to apply your foundation with a brush, you must first think of what kind of finish you are looking for.

If you want a full coverage, opt for ZOEVA Rose Gold Vol.2 104 Buffer Brush.

Or perhaps you prefer something a little more lightweight?  Then go for e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Stipple Brush.

We often end up not taking good care of them. It’s really important to constantly clean our sponges and brushes. Here is the best way to do this.

If you choose to apply your foundation with your fingers, do not rub it on your face – quick and smooth tapping movements.

Related: Makeup Brushes 101: Tips and Tricks

Setting foundation

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Foundation does a great job at evening out your skin tone, but sometimes it’s not enough. If you feel that you need to cover zits, acne scars or redness, apply concealer. Here is everything you need to know about how to choose and apply concealer.

To keep your foundation from slipping and sliding by noon, apply a translucent powder over just your T-zone (where all skin types get oily first) with a fluffy brush.

Dip the brush in the powder, tap off the excess and swirl it over your forehead, nose, and chin in soft, concentric circles.

There it is..PERFECTION!

More amazing tips

For those days when you don’t feel like you are in the mood for foundation, you can use a BB cream.

BB creams are somewhere between a moisturizer and a foundation. These products have really good ingredients such as antioxidants, brightening agents, acids, and broad-spectrum SPF to treat the skin while giving it a fresh and radiant look.

With high temperatures approaching, a lightweight BB cream with SPF protection won’t steer you wrong.

Here are our favourite products which offer really good coverage.

Hopefully, our complete guide helped you learn new tricks and a few new tips. Next time you want to apply foundation, find our guide, as it leads you through the process, step-by-step.

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