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Thursday, 17 May 2012

How to: Choose a foundation

Over the last couple of years, I have got many emails, messages and tweets about which foundation they should be buying and how to select a foundation and some people have also said that they have a similar skin tone as mine so they want to know what colour in a particular foundation is mine.

I am very delighted that all of you want to know what my opinion on a particular foundation is, However I feel that the foundation type/colour that I love will not necessarily suit you.

I have always tried to reply to everyone who has ever asked me any question and I always try to be as descriptive as possible. So I decided that writing a blog post on how to select a foundation might be helpful to everyone out there who is venturing into the beautiful world of makeup.

PS: In this blog post I am not going to suggest any particular foundation from any brand. Might give some examples in some instances.

So below are few points which can be helpful to choose a suitable foundation


While trying to buy a foundation first thing to consider is "What is your purpose of buying a foundation? "

  •  Is it for a special occasion?

If it is a special occasion like wedding, party or any other occasion where you might get photographed,make sure that there is no SPF in your foundation. It’s true not just for foundation, it’s true for every makeup item you use on that day. Products with SPF tend to show a white cast on your face in the pictures.

  •  Is it for daily use ?
You can opt for SPF if you want, as it will be good in the sun. Also check coverage section for more info.


In dream world we would love to have best of everything, however in reality we always need to keep in check our budget. There are foundations that cost around £100 but we need to know how much we want to spend on a foundation.

Both drug store and high end brands make good ones. Only disadvantage of drug stores is that it is really difficult to test the foundation if it matches or not.


This again goes back to the question of for what purpose you need the foundation.

Depending on the need, you can go for either light, medium or full coverage

  • Light coverage:It is good for daily use. For ex. You can use a tinted moisturiser or a light foundation something like MAC face and body. If you are not comfortable with your skin, opt for medium or full coverage one.

  • Medium Coverage: I like medium coverage foundations like Nars sheer glow.

  • Full coverage: Is good for wedding day as it will be good to cover all the flaws but the disadvantages being it can make you look a bit cakey and artificial if not blended in properly.


  • Powder: To me it's good when I feel too lazy to take out a bottle and brush and start blending out foundation on to my skin. I use it as a qucik fix but again if not blended in properly can make face look cakey and artificial and old.[Stay away from it if you have dry skin/]

  • Cream: These are good and  can look like your second skin and can be a bit heavy(Good for dry skin).

  •  Liquid: It can be used by anyone.


Everyone has their own like and preference while choosing a foundation.If you have normal skin then you have a liberty to go with any finish.

  • Matt: Will give matt finish on the skin when it dries.I suggest that the people with dry skin must avoid anything with matt finish. Moreover matt will make you look old.

  • Dewy: Moderately dewy finish foundations looks beautiful on everyone. If you have oily skin steer clear of very dewy foundations.

  • Normal: It gives normal finish and can be used by anyone.


So after deciding what foundation you want to buy always go to the store to test it personally. You need to test if you are comfortable with the feel of the product on your skin as well as the colour suits you or not.

Sometimes some foundations oxidise on some people's skin.

Go to the store ask the MUA to apply the chosen foundation on your skin and tell them you will come back later and finish your other shopping. After half an hour have  a look at the skin and you will immediately know if the colour suits you or not. If the foundation has turned darker than when you applied it , it means it oxidises on your skin. So you know what to do.

These are few things that I think makes choosing a foundation much easier, but we still tend to make mistakes. With every mistake we learn and that's the whole excitement of being in love with makeup.

Hope this is helpful to you all. Let me know your tips to buy a foundation



  1. i have similar skin tone to yours but slighty lighter, the mua on mac counter suggested studio fix foundation in nc45 only to find that its too dark on my skin.. most foundation i have tried will usually oxidise on me are there any foundation you recommend that do not oxidise? at the moment im just using maxfactor creme puff in translucent because i have totally given up on foundations... ive also tried cornsilk powder which is ok too.. any suggestions please...

    1. Usually the foundations can oxidise if you have oily skin... Try using a silicone based primer... It will stop your face from becoming oily ... Have you tried using a foundation that is a shade lighter?

  2. thats a whole load of great information :)

    1. Thanks Purvi... I wanted to give more info but I thought readers might get confused and think that it's a PHd thesis :P

  3. that was good information.,Suggest me one foundation that last for 8 hrs and also protects from UV skin tone is same as yours.

    1. Hi, MAC Pro longwear is a good one.It stays upto 10 hrs and has SPF in it

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hey, This is Ramya, your Intermidiate classmate. Hope you are doing good. I have a question. First let me tell u im towards dry skin n i am currently using MAC Matchmaster 7.0 as recommended by MUA at MAC (but Acualy im still debating between matchmaster(7.0 my color) and Studio sculpt (NW43 my color)for my skin type n will figure it out which z best pretty soon..)..That is fine but can u suggest a foundation for special occasions which has no SPF(i read ur blog). What do u prefer fr u on special occasions n whil being photographed n jus curious what color are u at??


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