How To Choose The Right Foundation

how to choose the right foundation

So, it's the new year and you want to slay 2017.  One of your goals may be to do better with your makeup or get into wearing makeup altogether.  If that's you, I got you girl!  I'm here to help.  I'm always trying to learn more about makeup and makeup application myself.  

One of the toughest places to start with makeup is with foundation.  Foundation is 1 of 5 makeup products every beginner must have.  It is the basis for every look and it is the most important product of any of the products you will use for your makeup look because it is applied to your entire face.  Picking out the right foundation can be super difficult.  So, here are a few steps that'll help you choose the right foundation for you.

Step 1- Determine Your Skin Type

It's important for you to know if you have oily, dry, or combination skin.  Determining your skin type will greatly help you in choosing the right foundation.  For instance, if you have oily skin, look for foundations that are oil-free.  For dry skin, look for foundations that are hydrating or moisturizing.

Step 2- Know Your Undertones

You may have heard of undertones but have no idea exactly what that is or how to find yours. Your skintone and your undertones are two totally different things.  Your skintone is the overall appearance of your skin (light, medium, dark) but your skin's undertones is the color underneath the surface.  Your undertones can fall into three different categories, cool, warm, or neutral.  

Cool- pink, red, or bluish undertones

Warm- yellow, peachy, or golden undertones

Neutral- a mix of warm and cool undertones

Knowing your skin's undertones can make a great difference in choosing the best foundation match for you.  You can have the same complexion as someone else yet have different undertones.  Here are a few ways for you to find out what your undertones are:

1.)  Look at your veins- Check the veins on the inside of your wrist.  Do your veins appear to be green or blue?  If your veins appear more green, you have warm undertones.  If your veins appear to be blue, you have cool undertones.  If you have a combination of both or aren't able to tell, you may be a neutral undertone.

2.)  Gold or silver jewelry?- Another way to find out your skin's undertones is by finding out which jewelry metal looks best on you.  Does gold or silver jewelry look best on your skin tone?  If gold looks best, you have warm undertones.  If silver looks best, you have cool undertones. If both gold and silver jewelry flatter your complexion, you may have neutral undertones.

3.)  Clothing test- What color clothing looks best on you?  If yellows, oranges, browns, ivorys, and warm reds look best on you, you have warm undertones.  If blues, greens, pinks, purples, and blue-greens look best on you, you have cool undertones.

Step 3- Decide On The Level of Coverage

Now that you have determined your skin type and you know your undertones, it's now time to decide on how much coverage you want.  This is where you may be asking what do you mean by coverage?  Coverage is how opaque or transparent the foundation appears.  Full coverage makeup is more opaque and light coverage is more transparent.    

Light coverage- Provides minimal coverage and a more natural look. Best for clearer skin and in warmer weather.  If you're new to foundation, you may want to start here.  Look for lightweight liquid, mineral powder, or a tinted moisturizer.

Medium coverage- Provides more coverage than light foundations.  Covers skin discoloration, some acne blemishes, and redness.  

Full coverage- Provides total coverage of skin imperfections.  Used for a more flawless finish.  Best at covering acne, scars, and tattoos.

 Step 4- Choose Your Finish

There are many types of finishes from matte to dewy.  It's basically up to you what kind of finish you would like.  However, some finishes go better with certain skin types.  

Matte- With a matte finish, there is no shimmer or shine. Yet, it can sometimes be drying to the skin making it best for oily skin and for controlling shine.


Sheer- Gives you the barely there "no makeup makeup" look and provides light coverage.  Perfect for those who don't want an overly "made up" look.


Satin- This kind of finish falls between matte and dewy.  It works great for most skin types except oily.  A satin finish on oily skin can provide quite a bit of shine.  A loose powder on top of the satin finish foundation can remove some of the shine.

Dewy- Provides a soft, youthful glow.  This finish is great for dry skin and for covering wrinkles and fine lines.  This type of foundation fills in wrinkles and fine lines, decreasing their appearance.  If you have oily or combination skin, a dewy foundation may enhance pores and imperfections and add more shine.  Adding a loose powder to your t-zone will help to control shine and keep your makeup in place.

Lastly, when choosing your foundation, match it to your neck instead of just your face.  Many times our faces are a different color than our bodies.  Matching your foundation to only your face may cause you to have a mask effect and you don't want that.  Also, match your foundation in natural lighting.  Many times the lighting in stores and at home will give a yellow tint and skew the true color of your foundation.  If it looks like it matches, take it home, try it in the sunlight and keep it if it works but return it if it doesn't.  Most places will return open makeup.  

Let me know below if you've found this helpful!

Love, peace, and sole!


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