How to Find the Right Foundation

What is the perfect foundation for me? That’s a tricky question even beauty experts and professional makeup artists may struggle to answer. Being the foundation to your makeup, the perfect foundation needs to help sculpt and prepare a clean canvas before you apply the rest of your makeup. It takes many trials and a lot of experience to pinpoint the correct shade and formula for the enquiring person. Here are some tips that even amateurs and enthusiasts like us can employ, as long as we know what we want.

Fear getting a new foundation, only to realize that the color is totally off after 6 hours of wear? You’re not alone; in fact, the majority of the female population is with you on that one. Sarah Vickery, Ph.D and principal scientist of CoverGirl, once stated that “only 15 percent of women choose the correct shade if the appropriate tools aren’t provided.” And not all of us are going to be that 15 percent.


Many people still test foundation on their arms and hands, which will never be as accurate as doing a swatch on the lower part of the face. Your limbs tend to be on the darker side compared to the skin on your face, but if the face isn’t an option when testing foundation, try the neck or chest area instead.

Prior to popping anything on, examine your naked face with a mirror under natural lighting. Common foundation is categorized into three main color types: light, medium and dark. Start with these, and then look into the spectrum of foundation shades available from each makeup brand. Consider yourself color matched when the formula blends well and disappears into your skin.


Many people seem to neglect the hinted colors that seep through from our overtone. Understanding your undertone is a must in order to identify your true shade as mentioned in Chapter 8 of the YesStylist’s Beauty Book. Try and keep these rules in mind when choosing foundation: with cool undertones, veins will appear bluish/plum-ish, while veins on those with warm undertones will look green, and neutral undertones end up with a mixture. Simply remember that if your undertone is warm, aim for a foundation with a slight yellow/gold hue, while slight pink hues are more suited for cool undertones.

Not many people are blessed with even skin tones, especially since a person is continually aging, and problems like dullness, blemishes and hyperpigmentation can’t be completely concealed with foundation or concealer. These are stubborn problems that take time to improve, but utilizing color correctors can make an astonishing difference to your everyday makeup. Color correcting products also come in various forms such as cushion compacts, primers, concealers and balms.

Skin type & effects

Different skin types have different needs, and getting to know yours is crucial when hunting for that perfect foundation.  Makeup is commonly said to be bad for your skin. However, current makeup often provides more than one function, like being infused with SPF or featuring skin care properties to benefit your skin while wearing it. For instance, TROIAREUKE’s A+ Healing Cushion is designed for sensitive, acne-prone and oily skin, as its formula includes centella, tea tree and marigold to soothe irritation, control sebum and reduce redness. Its hydrating formulation and lightweight texture also allows skin to breathe.

On the other hand, oily skin types will benefit from a foundation that keeps excess sebum under control, so an oil free formula is recommended. More so, TROIAREUKE’s H+ Healing Cushion is an example of a cushion foundation that targets signs of aging, which is catered to improve the condition of dry skin. Some people search for foundation makeup that can adapt to their skin condition during the day, and AHC’s Perfect Dual Cover Cushion Glam Pink Set seems like a perfect match. On the other hand, for those who prefer a natural look and want to avoid chances of caking and ash-like casts, the Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream from Dear,Klairs is a probable candidate.

Coverage and finishing

What exactly do you look for when choosing foundation? If you’re looking for a full coverage foundation that’s long-lasting and doesn’t really oxidize, try MISSHA’s Magic Cushion Cover Lasting. For a lightweight fit that is buildable and covers blemishes effectively, opt for THE FACE SHOP’s Ink Lasting Foundation Slim Fit. When looking for a ready-to-go matte look with wide shade ranges, L.A. Girl Cosmetics’ Pro Matte Foundation is your call.

For those who prefer higher UV protection and moisturizing abilities, tinted moisturizers, like the ones from Kose, come with a broad spectrum of SPF 50 PA++++. Often, the same foundation may not work as effectively on your skin when the season changes. Just like skin care, different weather and humidity levels affect the way your skin reacts to products, so be sure to keep your summer and winter foundations separate.

Get your tools right

To bring out the full potential of a product, you should find out which type of tool is right for you to apply foundation with. A beauty blender, a.k.a., the 21st century’s makeup sponge, makes attaining a natural, streak-free look seem effortless. Beauty blenders are gentle and soft, making them suitable for those with dry skin. Meanwhile, makeup brushes allow better control for precision and blending, which is great for contouring as well as achieving an airbrushed finish. For those who prefer portability and convenience, cushion puffs leave a similar finish to beauty blenders, and they come inside a compact to make on-the-go touch-ups easy.

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