Find Your Ideal Foundation Match
“The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy” – Yves Saint Laurent
The single biggest search you will ever endure in your life isn’t about finding the love of your life or the perfect LBD, it’s about finding the ideal foundation match!
The perfect foundation can change your mood, the events of the day, and everything in-between, with no exaggeration!
The perfect foundation will blur your pores, smooth out your complexion, get rid of blemishes, hide any perceived imperfections, and basically give you that smooth, clear canvas to add the rest of your makeup onto. The problem is, there are so many types of foundation out there, so many shades, and so many brands, it’s a search which many people give up on well ahead of time.
Don’t be that person! This isn’t a search for the Holy Grail, but when you find it, it will probably feel like you’ve found that longed for item in life!
The perfectly matched foundation will:
- Blur large pores and hide lines and wrinkles
- Compliment the tone of your skin, rather than making you look washed out or orange
- Smooth your complexion and cover redness on the cheeks
- Basically look great!
First things first, there is a fallacy that foundation has to be total coverage, leaving zero of your own skin behind, and far paler than you actually are. None of those points are true. Foundation should look like your skin, just smoother. It shouldn’t look completely fake and it shouldn’t be so caked on that your skin looks patchy. It should look super-natural and light, even if you have two coats on.
There are a few steps you need to take in order to find the perfect foundation, but you also need to know about the types. There are BB creams, powder foundations, liquid foundations, full coverage foundations, even cushion foundations. It’s personal preference which one you’ll go for, but your skin type does inform this decision to a large degree. We’ll talk about that shortly, however. For now, simply know that the range is large and you’re going to need to put in the work.
Step 1 – Figure Out Your Undertones
Your skin undertone is the single most important piece of information when it comes to choosing the shade of your foundation. Your skin type will inform the type, but undertone will inform the shade.
There are three options here – neutral, cool, and warm.
It’s very subtle and easy to miss, so the best way to determine for sure which camp you fall into, is to look at your veins.
- Green veins – warm undertone
- Blue veins – cool undertone
- Blue and green veins – neutral undertone
Understanding your undertone means that you can go to a makeup store or look online at foundation colours and identify one which will suit your best. It’s always a good option to head to a makeup counter and ask for a professional foundation match, but maybe you don’t have the time, or you simply don’t want to sit there and be plied with endless sales tricks. Fair enough! In that case, the following general information should allow you to find a few foundations to put on your shortlist:
- Cool tones should look for foundations with a small amount of pink in them
- Warm tones should look for foundations with a small amount of peach in them, or a golden sheen
- Neutral tones can work with both options, but less pink and more of a peach looks great on neutral undertones
You then need to give consideration to the type of foundation you’re going to go for. This comes down to your skin type. If you’re dry, opt for cream foundations and avoid powders. If you’re oily, move towards powder foundations or mousses. Liquid foundation is good for most skin types, but you may need to add powder to particularly oily spots, e.g. your T-zone.
Also remember to prep your skin with a good quality primer before applying your foundation, to make sure that it doesn’t literally slip off your face before lunchtime. Not a good look.
Points to Remember
- Choosing the ideal foundation is time consuming, but more than worth it
- Foundation should not look ‘caked on’ and doesn’t always have to be full coverage. It should be light and still look like your own skin
- Choosing foundation means knowing your undertone and your skin type
- Neutral, warm, and cool are the three undertones and you can usually tell which one you are by looking at your veins
- Dry, oil, and combination are the three main skin types, with powder foundations good for oily skin, and creams great for dry skin types.