I firmly believe that the right foundation can be a total game changer. I also believe that foundation is the most important makeup item a girl can have. Despite all of this, foundation is one of the most difficult things to get right. It can actually be incredibly difficult to get the right foundation, but I've compiled a list of eight items to help aid you foundation shoppers out there to get the perfect foundation for you. Intrigued? Click through for my complete list!
- Before even thinking about buying a foundation, you need to assess your skin situation. Foundation won’t make anything look good if your skin is an actual mess. Do you have dry, combination, normal, or oily skin? Do you have acne and/or acne scarring? Do you have eczema? Any skin sensitivities? These are all important things to take note of before shopping around.
- Think about what kind of coverage you want. The majority of foundations available are medium coverage, but buildable. If you have clear skin and are really just looking for something to even out your complexion, then you really just need a light coverage foundation, like a tinted moisturizer. If you have acne or acne scarring (or other skin imperfections), then medium coverage is the way to go. If you have pigmentation issues that you want completely covered (or severe acne scarring), then you will want to look for a full coverage foundation.
- Figure out your undertones next. You could go to your nearest makeup counter and try to have them tell you your undertones, but I’ve never had a makeup counter salesperson tell me the right information. Generally speaking, your veins are a good indicator of your undertones. If your veins look blue, then generally you will have pink undertones. If your veins are more green, then generally you will have yellow undertones. If your veins aren’t exactly green and aren’t exactly blue, then you may have neutral undertones.
- It’s also important to note that your face can have different undertones from the rest of your body. Or at least, it may appear that way. I’m going to use myself as an example. For years (before I was a makeup artist), I would go to the makeup counters and have them match me to a foundation, and the reps would always tell me I had pink undertones. But foundations always looked off to me, and I always looked kinda… pink. But I felt that they knew what they were talking about so never questioned it. After becoming a makeup artist and taking a long, hard look at my skin, I discovered I actually have yellow undertones. The reason I was always matched to pink-toned foundations was because of the redness in my skin from my acne. Doy! So if your face appears red but the rest of your body seems more yellow, then get a foundation with yellow undertones.
- Speaking of, it’s important to match your foundation to the skin on your chest. Don’t swatch foundations on your jawbone, neck, or wrist, as the colors will be inaccurate. Every time I’ve done that, my face is a WHOLE lot paler than the rest of my body. It’s almost creepy looking. At least if you match your foundation to your chest, you will look like a sane human being.
- If your body is really, really tan and your face is really, really not tan, then think about getting two foundation shades. It may not be a feasible idea to those on a strict budget, but it’ll help you match your body more accurately. How? You would use the darker foundation as a contour/bronzer, and use the lighter foundation more on the center of your face to highlight. I’ve written a post on contouring and highlighting, which you can check out more here.
- Do your research. Before committing to a foundation, look up some highly rated foundations online. Google blog reviews of foundations you have in mind. If you have a budget, look up reviews of foundations in your price range.
- Before purchasing a foundation, get samples of the foundation in a couple of different shades to trial at home. You can ask the person behind the makeup counter, or even ask the salespeople at Sephora and Ulta for samples, as well. The lighting in these stores are always terrible, so it’s hard to get an accurate idea of how the foundation will look on you. Getting samples is also a great idea so you can see how the foundation wears throughout the day.
Have any foundation questions you'd like to see addressed in these posts? Leave 'em in the comments below!