Foundation guide 101: Create a glowing canvas for flawless makeup.

Foundation guide

A foundation should feel like a second skin, providing a smooth & texture-free canvas to create your masterpiece. But with different shades, undertones & consistency, choosing the perfect foundation to flaunt your makeup is an absolute battle. And if you are shopping online, the choices can be tricky & overwhelming. 

Addressing all the essentials ahead, the article will prepare you for your next shopping expedition – online or offline. 

How to pick the right foundation for your skin type? 

The first step towards flaunting a flawless & impeccable complexion is choosing the right formulated foundation that goes well with your skin type. Correct foundation formula will bring a sense of comfort to your skin & vanishes smoothly into the complexion. 


a. For normal skin-

A number of formulas are good to go when you have normal skin. Although, with changing seasons & the texture of the skin, you might need to shuffle between the consistency of your foundation. Get a more dewy formulated foundation for drier days & stick with your semi-matte foundation for hot & humid hours. Moderation is the clue here- cream consistency will exaggerate the shine whereas matte might make a lackluster skin. 

b. For dry skin-

Pick a water-based foundation that provides a satin texture keeping the moisture intact in your skin. “Dry skin produces less oil, so having a foundation with a radiant, luminous finish is essential to creating glowing skin,” says celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles. A luminescing finish provides hydration & conceals the redness. Hydrating & satin formulas even neutralize the dry spots with a dewy finish. For aging skin this type of formula offers a supple complex, making your skin feel fresh & glowy. 

c. For oily skin-

Go for a mattifying foundation to combat the excess oil & any sebum production. “When it comes to oily skin, you want to manage oil and radiance,” explains Fiona Stiles. For a long-lasting & shine-free result set the foundation with a translucent powder or sheer foundation powder. Stiles further adds “It’s key to avoid luminous foundations because although they may look good hour one, by hour three you’ll be far too luminous and merge into the greasy territory, having to heavily rely on powder to temper the glow. You want a foundation that is lightweight, oil-free, and shimmer-free. ” 

 d. For acne-prone skin-

Any non-comedogenic formulation will work wonders for acne-prone skin. Determine the ingredients of your foundation & stay away from any formulation that has mineral oil & lanolin. “If I need to cover acne or blemishes, I will still use a discreet foundation as a base and then spot the undesirables with a small brush and a full coverage foundation. It’s a way to avoid relying on a thick, opaque coating of product all over the face just because of a few imperfections. I find that thick foundation erases the natural quality of the skin and creates a heavy, made-up look.” explains makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen. A powder foundation with a mineral base is another good option to look for. In case your skin feels dry & stretchy, invest in a good water-based foundation. 


Know your skin's tone.
Know your skin’s tone.

How to find the perfect foundation when you are shopping online?

Step 1: Select the right formulation. 

Taking pointers from our previous section, know your skin type & figure out the best foundation formula for your skin. 

Step 2: Tackle the shade game. 

Understanding your shade is so much more than light, medium & dark. First, understand your undertones & then move your way up with ‘cool’, ‘warmer’, or ‘neutral’ shade chart. In simpler terms look for your jewelry preferences while deciding the undertones. “If you think yellow gold looks good on your skin, you are more likely to have warm or olive undertones,” Los Angeles-based makeup artist Jenna Nicole explains. “In case you tend to wear more silver, white gold or platinum jewellery, you’re more likely to have cooler undertones. If you look great in both, you may have neutral undertones.” Adding further on the same notion, she mentions “look for colors that come up on your face when flushed. Pinkish hues with blue toned veins lean more cool-toned whereas reds, yellow with hints of green in the veins are more warm-toned.”

Step 3: Refer to the images.

Look for celebrities or any beauty influencers who have similar skin tone as yours. “You will most likely be able to look up what brand and shade of foundation they wear” suggests Nicole. Additionally, many online stores offer reference images to help you pick out the perfect shade.  

Step 4: What to do if you get the wrong one!

Imagining the worst- you’ve ended up with the wrong shade. Or it seems to work perfectly but oxidizes & changes color with time. First step – don’t panic. Coming to the second one- taking suggestions from the professional – “If your foundation is a little too dark for you, make it sheer by mixing your favourite cream with it before applying,” Nicole recommends. “If you receive a foundation that’s too light, there are many great custom bronzing drops you can mix in to darken it. If it has the wrong tones altogether, try mixing in a colour correcting agent.”    

To control the oxidizing issue prepare your skin & use a good primer that will act as a barrier between your skin & foundation. Furthermore, set your foundation well with a loose power to slow it down.   

Determine your perfect shade of foundation.
Determine your perfect shade of foundation.


A few rookie mistakes to avoid: 

a. Wrong level coverage-

From sheer to full, your foundation’s coverage is essential to know. 

In case you are looking for something lightweight & minor to ‘no-skin imperfection’ look, sheer coverage is what you are looking for. On the other hand, in order to completely cover blemishes & discoloration, you should go ahead with a full coverage foundation. 

b. Wrong primer-

Make your foundation last longer & glide smoothly on your face use the right kind of primer. Pick one which is suitable for skin texture and & type.   

c. Too much foundation-

Avoid making your makeup look ‘cakey’ with layers & layers of foundation on your face. Go for a full coverage foundation rather than applying thick layers of foundation. 

d. Setting liquid & creme wrong-

Be cautious while setting your foundation. Although, loose or baked power are great options but avoid overusing the products on your skin. Pick & choose the right amount of liquid & creme combinations to avoid creating mixtures leaving your skin all dried & chopped. 

e. Unfinished blending-

You might have noticed a visible difference in the skin shade of your face (once you have foundation on) & your neck. This is because of unfinished blending around the perimeter of your face. Blend your foundation into your skin, around your hairline & down to your neck for a more cohesive look. You are worth all the time in the world, consider giving 5 minutes to pull off a glowing & luminous real-skin finish.  

Different textures of foundation.
Different textures of foundation.


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