How Do I Choose a Foundation for My Face?



With the scores of shades, coverage levels, and finishes, there is practically no limit to how you can customize foundation. Looking for the right product can practically be like scouring the vast seabed for a tiny pearl at times.

A foundation that matches and enhances your skin should be the goal. However, the poor lighting in most makeup aisles can make it difficult to determine a product’s exact shade.

Finding out if it works great for oily skin should be easy enough. That said, to know whether it matches your skin tone perfectly or not requires testing-conducive conditions.

Even if you manage to avoid that dreaded mask-line around your neck through shade matching, issues regarding coverage, texture, finish, and formula may still surface. Thus, there’s a lot to break down when picking out the perfect foundation. Fortunately for you, you have us for that.

Top Considerations for Choosing Face Foundation

Shopping for a new foundation calls on you to look at the following aspects:

1. The “Perfect” Shade

When it comes to wearing foundation, the goal is for the product to lend to the illusion of perfection. So getting a foundation that’s close to your shade may not be enough; it has to be exactly like your skin—but better.

What does it mean to have the perfect shade? Swatching foundations on the forearm is usually how people test for shades. However, this may not always work since this section of your body tends to be a bit darker than your face. The skin on the chest is usually a closer match, so you may want to swatch foundations on this area to nail the right shade.

When swatching on the chest, you don’t always have to aim for an exact match. You can go for something a few shades lighter, considering that color shifts throughout the day. Foundation oxidizes and turns darker with wear due to exposure to the elements and the oils on the face.

Testing directly on the face is also an excellent way to find the right shade. Look for a more central area on the face to apply the foundation and blend it out slowly towards the hairline. In doing so, you match down the middle of the neck and the sides of the cheek.

Regardless of your chosen method, it’s vital to test foundations under ideal lighting.

2. Undertones

Working with your skin’s natural undertones can save you from the hassle of color correction. If your complexion is on the warm side, pick a shade with yellow undertones. In contrast, choose a foundation with pink undertones if it’s more on the cool side.

However, these aren’t the only options to choose from. Neutral and warm shades are easier to match across the range of skin tones, so feel free to experiment if you feel like it.

3. Coverage Level

If you’re more into the makeup-free makeup look, the last thing you may need is a full-coverage foundation. That’s why understanding the different coverage levels is key to picking out the ideal foundation.

If you aren’t quite sure what you need yet, a sheer foundation should have you covered in the meantime. It offers a wider light-to-medium coverage because of its buildability, a quality that lends to experimentation.

Alternatively, opt for a full-coverage foundation if you need to cover up skin conditions or are not fond of doing midday touch-ups.

4. Skin Type

Before swatching shades, consider whether a product is dewy or matte. The foundation’s specific finish is mostly dependent on a user’s skin type. According to experts, dewy finishes are ideal for normal to dry skin, while matte is more suited for users with oily to combination skin.

Furthermore, a satin, as opposed to matte finish, is ideal for mature skin. While matte can sometimes match well with mature skin, it does make certain imperfections that you’d rather want to conceal a bit obvious. Matte can sometimes make wrinkles and blemishes pop because of its lack of dimensions.

5. Season

How well a foundation matches your skin could also depend on the season. No single foundation can be good for all-year-round use, especially if you’re from a region that has four seasons.

Complexions can warm up during the spring and summer months and cool during fall and winter. Even when you take sunblock into the equation, it may not be enough to stop your complexion from darkening a few shades.

Foundation Selection: The Takeaway

Ultimately, nature (skin qualities and the environment) and your personal preferences determine your ideal foundation. While the options can be overwhelming to look through at times, it should be easier to find the right product when you know where to look and what to go by.

Stand by good brands and credible experts; they should lead you to the right makeup path and your future go-to products in no time.

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