One of the hardest makeup products to find is the PERFECT foundation. It’s ironic because there are literally a million different companies that offer a wide range of shades and formulas, which I think adds to the frustration of “Where do I even start looking?”. Before I was a makeup artist I tried a ton of different foundations trying to find the formulation for my own skin. They either made me break out, oxidized and turned orange, or would slide around after a few hours.
After years of searching I have finally found a few different foundations that worked for me and also made it into my makeup kit. But before we get into those, let’s talk a little bit about skin types and picking the right foundation.
There are 4 different types of skin types: Dry, Oily, Normal and Combination Skin.
If you have dry or normal skin you can use a hydrating foundation to add moisture to your skin such as a stick foundation or liquid foundation. If you have combination skin you can also use a hydrating formula or oil free foundation such as a powder compact, liquid or cream formula. If you have oily skin you should use oil free foundation because you don’t want to add anything to you face that will promote breakouts or extra shine. You can find oil free formulations in several variations. Does that mean if you have a certain type of skin that you can’t use a product that isn’t “suggested for you”? Absolutely not. You may have to take extra time prepping your skin or setting it once the foundation is on. For example, I have often heard that people with oily skin should use creams or powder compacts for their face. However, I personally like liquid foundation for myself. I just like to make sure to find one that is oil free and I set my face with powder to cancel out any shine that liquid foundation can create.
How do you match foundation to your skin? There are two places on the body that give you an accurate match to your face.I prefer to swatch foundation in the center of the chest. I do this because your chest receives the same amount of sunlight as the center of your face, so they will match perfectly. I also like to use the jawline as an alternate location for matching foundation. The wrist doesn’t give an accurate read because that part of your body is often lighter than you face, which can leave you with the “ghost face” look if applied all over.
I like to eye the three closest shades and swatch them right next to each other. Your perfect foundation should completely disappear once applied to your skin. That is how you know you have found the right shade. It should literally become one with your skin making it invisible to see.
There are a few different types of foundations as well, even more than what I have listed but in hopes of keeping the list pretty simple I have included the most popular types. For the most part, varying types of foundations have a certain type of coverage which are associated with the formula. Depending on the brand you can find a product that provides more coverage, so it is a good idea to read reviews as well as asking for samples or testing it on yourself.
Types of Foundation:
Liquid (Light to Medium coverage)
Cream (Medium to Full Coverage)
Powder (Medium to Full Coverage)
Mineral Foundation (Light Coverage)
Tinted Moisturizer (Light Coverage)
I don’t particularly have a favorite type of foundation. Because depending on the occasion or time of year, I can use a variety of the ones listed above. I am a medium to full coverage girl so I do like a flawless face. For my everyday look I will generally reach for liquids. For a full coverage look I grab for my cream foundations. Powders is something that I always use to set my face. But having a powder foundation is a great option for a quick on the go application. Tinted moisturizer is what I like to wear during the summer time, for a breathable look which is still fresh. Mineral Foundation, such as BareMinerals, is something that I personally don’t use because I find the coverage to be almost too light for my needs.
These are my Top Five Favorite Foundations: All of these have been used on myself or are currently in my makeup kit.
Estee Lauder Double Wear $37
Available in 30 Shades.
This is my newest foundation find. Which is why I have been reaching for this one most recently.This is a medium to full coverage foundation which dries to a matte finish.
There is 30 shades in the collection organized by cool, neutral and warm. It can be slightly overwhelming to attempt to match your shade online, but the staff is very helpful. There is a nice range of shades from fair to deep. This product is also fragrance free, oil free and doesn’t clog your pores.
Pro: Shade Range, Matte Finish
Con: Waste of product due to spills and over pouring. A pump would have been a great addition to this product. Can become cakey with too much product.
Makeup Forever HD Liquid Foundation $42
Available in 26 Shades.
This High Definition, invisible coverage foundation is great for all skin types. It is a medium coverage liquid formula that can provide a dewy finish if applied with minimal powder or a matte look if completely set with pressed powder.
This water and silicone based product is a cult favorite and an overall amazing product. However, as amazing as the formulation is some of the shades are harder to match because they are slightly too true to the undertone. For example some of their foundations can be slightly too yellow, pink or orange. I often have to neutralize some of their shades to cancel out the unwanted extra hues. But that is not the case with all of the shades. You can find them at Sephora or Makeup Forever Pro stores.
Pro: HD Formula, Built-in pump, medium coverage
Con: Undertones overpower some of the shades
Face Atelier Ultra Foundation $48
12 shades. 4 Correctors.
After reading a bunch of reviews on this brand I decided to give it a try over a year ago. And I instantly fell in love with the finish of this foundation. It is a liquid foundation with a medium coverage that is build able without looking caked on. Your skin remains looking like skin. Face Atelier is a great product for all skin types that provides a natural satin finish.
The innovative foundation also has a build in primer. The soft-focus properties also diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
There are 16 shades in this collection which are race neutral, of which 4 of them are correctors. They have a great range of shades without providing too many options and the deeper shades are beautiful and rich. The 4 correctors adjust the foundation by lightening, deepening or adding warmth to match your face perfectly. It is a silicone based foundation so it sits on top of your skin and the HD properties photograph beautifully.
This item is not sold in stores. It is considered a Pro Brand, so it is often found at makeup trade shows. However, if you are unsure of your exact shade you can purchase samples for $1.00 each.
Pro: Built-in Primer, Adjusters, foundation looks like skin, minimal product needed
Con: Higher price point.
Graftobian Hi-Def Super Warm Palette $79.99
18 shades in one palette
This product is widely popular in the makeup industry and for good reason. It is a staple in my kit and a great investment for aspiring and working artists. This cream palette is a full coverage product, but you can transform it into a light or medium coverage by mixing it with your favorite moisturizer.
When I first started out as an artist this was the only palette that I had. You can mix any of these shades to make the perfect color.
There is a warm, cool and neutral palette but this is the one that I found fit the needs for most of my clients. The texture of the foundations are also thick enough to double as concealers. Just a tiny amount of product goes a long way. I have suggested this product to a good amount of clients, since each shade can be purchased separately once you find the color that is right for you.
Pro: Mix to match any skin tone. Convenient. Modestly priced.
Con: Can be drying for dry skin types.
Bobbi Brown $48 Long Wear Even Finish Compact Foundation
Available in 20 shades.
This cream compact is a good product on the go which covers imperfections well. It’s offered in nice range of shades for all shades of beauty. This 12 hour foundation is offered in an oil free formula and provides a natural finish.
The product comes with a compact sponge applicator, although I have always been weird with sponges. So I prefer to apply this foundation with a kabuki brush to avoid streaking or waste of product.
Pro: Great skin tone range. Compact.
Con: Price Point for the amount of product you receive.
This list consisted of pretty high end foundations. If you are interested in seeing my drugstore favorites. Please leave a comment.There is a lot of information in this article but I hope that you found it helpful or learned about a new product.
**It has been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog. Life happens and sometimes throws things completely off track. I had originally planned on posting a Top 5/10 series of my favorites in 2014. The New Year was only a few weeks ago, so I will continue with my original plan. If there is something that you want to see, let me know.
Thank for reading ❤