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How To Find The Right Foundation For Your Skin Type

We all know different skin types behave differently and have different needs.   If you’re shopping for foundation it is important to understand your skin type.  Get to know the basic skin types: dry, oily, combination, and normal as well as some suggestions for the best foundations to suit your beauty needs. 

Combination Skin

In Stephanie L. Toures book “Pure Skin Care: Nourishing Recipes for Vibrant Skin & Natural Beauty”, she identifies combination skin as “seasonally aggravated.  In winter the oily areas tend to normalize while the dry areas are parched. “ Toures points out that as humidity rises, dry areas typically normalize.

Here’s how you can determine if you have combination skin:

  • Dry in some areas
  • Oily in other areas, mainly the T-Zone (chin, forehead, and nose)
  • Pores look larger than normal
  • Prone to blackheads

Recommended Foundations:

Dry Skin

Dry skin tends to lack natural moisture and oils and may appear flaky and feel rough or tight throughout the day.  It also tends to develop lines and wrinkles more rapidly than other skin types.  As per Toures, warm temperature and humidity are usually loved by dry skin, however colder temperatures in the winter can strip the skin of its natural moisture which can leave you prone to irritation, sensitivity, and chafing. 

Here’s how you can determine if you have combination skin:

  • Almost invisible pores
  • Dull complexion
  • Red patches
  • Less elasticity in the skin
  • More visible lines

Recommended Foundations:

Oily Skin

Oily skin tends to not develop fine lines and wrinkles as easily as the other skin types, however this skin type is mostly associated with other problems such as blackheads, pimples, and whiteheads.  These issues can clog pores, therefore it is important to keep oily skin free from excessive oil. 

Here’s how you can determine if you have combination skin:

  • Enlarged pores
  • Prone to blackheads and blemishes
  • Excess oil on the face
  • Tends to be greasy typically in T-Zone (chin, forehead, and nose)

Recommended Foundations:

Normal Skin

Normal Skin tends to be well balanced and is less likely to have other skin conditions such as blackheads, whiteheads, and flaking.  This skin type is mostly typical for those that are younger in age.

Here’s how you can determine if you have combination skin:

  • Not too dry or oily
  • Very few imperfections
  • Little to no serious sensitivity,
  • Barely visible pores
  • Radiant complexion

Recommended Foundations:

How Do I Choose The Right Foundation? Understanding Coverage

Do you know what foundation coverage is right for you? We’re here to help you decode the meanings behind some of the more common terms when trying to find what foundation coverage suits you best.

Describes the opacity and transparency of makeup.

Sheer Coverage:

  • Most transparent
  • Minimizes discoloration and lightly evens skin tone
  • Gives appearance of no foundation
  • Provides a more natural look
  • Very lightweight
  • Pigment content of 8-13%
Maybelline Fit Me Dewy & Smooth Foundation

Maybelline Fit Me Dewy & Smooth Foundation

Leaves a smooth and natural finish

Source: Maybelline


Light Coverage:

  • Covers blotchiness
  • Covers unevenness in the skin
  • Pigment content of 13-18%

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

A velvety matte foundation with a smooth finish.

Source: NYX


Medium Coverage:

  • Smooth coverage that does not shift or settle into lines of the face
  • Pigment content of 18-23%
  • Works well for combining two or more shades
  • Works for most skin types,
  • Thicker concentration
  • Provides more coverage than liquid foundation
  • Minimal quantity required
  • Perfect for those with dry or mature skin
  • increased hydration helps skin looks soft and smooth
Makeup Revolution Fast Base Stick Foundation

Makeup Revolution Fast Base Stick Foundation

A velvety matte foundation with a smooth finish.

Source: Makeup Revolution


Full Coverage:

  • Opaque coverage
  • Typically referred to as camouflage or corrective makeup
  • Pigment content typically 23% – 35%
  • HD performance makeup can contain up to 50% pigment.
LA Girl Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation

LA Girl Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation

A full coverage finish in a light weight high definition formula.

Source: LA Girl


How Do I Choose The Right Foundation? Understanding Formulation

Do you know what foundation formula is right for you? We’re here to help you decode the meanings behind some of the common formulations for foundation.

Cream Foundation:

  • Thicker concentration
  • Provides more coverage than liquid foundation
  • Minimal quantity required
  • Perfect for those with dry or mature skin
  • increased hydration helps skin looks soft and smooth

Liquid Foundation:

  • Flexible and provides a natural look
  • Works well for combining two or more shades
  • Works for most skin types,
  • Thicker concentration
  • Provides more coverage than liquid foundation
  • Minimal quantity required
  • Perfect for those with dry or mature skin
  • increased hydration helps skin looks soft and smooth

Mineral:

  • Does not include fragrances, preservatives, alcohol, oils, or chemical dyes
  • Typically in powder form
  • Perfect for acne prone, sensitive, or oily skin due to lightweight feel and buildable coverage
  • Made mostly of inert minerals, also tends to accentuate fine lines.

Mousse:

  • Liquid air-whipped foundation
  • Provides heavy coverage but tends to be matte and weightless
  • Best for those looking for smooth texture, such as dry, sensitive, or mature skin

Powder:

  • Pressed, dry makeup typically with a silky matte finish
  • Tends to offer sheer to medium coverage
  • Perfect for normal to oily skin
  • Helps to control shine
  • Illuminating or matte

Stick:

  • Delivers more product and thorough coverage
  • Provides extra coverage but has a drier consistency
  • Perfect for normal or slightly oily skin