We all know how difficult it can be to choose the right foundation. There's just so many to choose from and let's face it, finding the right one can be discouraging especially for a makeup newbie. I was once in that situation and trust me when I say that having to shell out so much money to play foundation guessing game was tough and I would never wish anyone to go through it.
If I could break down what I think is the best kind of foundation, I would say to just be aware of some key factors when choosing the right one.
1) Know your skin type. (Oily, Dry, Normal, Combination)
2) Let the seasons guide you.
Now I know this may sound funny and at this point you are probably thinking, "What the heck does this girl mean?" Well it's actually simple. Foundations come in different formulas and consistencies (like matte or one with a dewy, glow effect) so you want to match it up according to the seasons, all while keeping your skin type in mind.
If you are oily and it's summer...you want to steer clear of oil based foundations and go for mattifying ones instead. If you already have dry skin, you can imagine how much dryer your skin will be during winter time so choose a foundation that is oil based or a hydrating kind.
3) Swatch baby! Swatch!
Drug stores, department stores, and makeup stores (like Sephora and mac) will actually let you or help you swatch foundations, but make sure you don't apply foundations prior to coming to the stores and if you forget, no need to despair because they can remove it for you too! Also keep in mind that some foundations will oxidize (get darker) after a while so be sure to stick around for a little bit or swatch one shade lighter.
4) When in doubt, ask for a sample
Although the sales person may be the nicest, most helpful one...no one knows what you like other than yourself so try not to get pressured into buying something unless you are 110% happy with it!
5) Don't be afraid to read the label
There is nothing wrong with being concern of what you are putting on your skin. If the label doesn't say, animal-cruelty free or no animals were harm/tested in the process then odds are they were. If you don't know what a word means, look it up or ask a makeup salesperson. It doesn't hurt to ask...remember knowledge is powerful and in many cases beneficial in the long run for saving you time and money.
Now to highlight some foundations that I've tried and have been happy with (at least at one point in time).
Ah my first foundation love, MAC Studio Fix Fluid.
I like this foundation. It has great coverage that is buildable and delivers a natural (semi-matte) finnish. I have combination skin but I have used this for both the summer and winter. It does not come with a pump but you can buy one.
The optional pump also has a small tip cover. The container itself is a clear, heavy glass. The only issue I have with this foundation is that it makes me break out.
NARS Sheer Matte Foundation
It is exactly what the name says, sheer and matte. I wasn't too crazy about this foundation to tell you the truth which was kind of a bummer since I paid so much for it. Nowadays, it collects dust but I am hoping to one day find a primer that might make it work better for me. I use this one for the summer, when I get oilier than usual.
Lancome Teint Idole Ultra
This is another great foundation. It's pricey but works pretty well. It doesn't feel heavy at all and goes on smoothly. It's an oil-free formulation so I don't get break outs at all whenever I use this. This foundation dries quickly so be sure to blend it right away. You won't need much powder with this either, so you can skip on piling on powders. The coverage is also buildable. It comes in a frosted glass bottle with a pump and a cap.
Last but definitely not least is Makeupforever HD foundation.
This reminds me of MAC studio fix fluid but with a smoother, more liquid consistency which is hard to believe because it's actually OIL-FREE! This is a foundation that was specially designed for flash photography. It looks great in real life however, it does leave a white cast in pictures which I am not too crazy about. I don't breakout with this foundation but it is also on the expensive side. I like to use this foundation during the winter because it hydrates. The only issue I have with this is that, if I have dry flaky areas on my face, it can settle in those areas and you actually see a separation in my skin color and the foundation color. Therefore, I would almost always use a foundation primer with this one.
Other foundations that I've used and loved are (left to right) MAC Studio Sculpt, Laura Mercier Silk Creme, and Cover FX Total Coverage cream foundation.
MAC Studio Scuplt is another hit foundation for me. It's great for the summer because it's waterproof and it feels cooling to the skin because of it's gel consistency. It also gives great buildable coverage and it's not too pricey. Another great thing about it is that it's in a sanitary-conscious tube.
This Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation (click link for more info) is also one of go-to summer foundations. It's compact, great for travel which also makes it costly for the size. It is also waterproof and doesn't break out my skin.
Cover FX Total Coverage cream foundation
This to me is the one foundation that gives me the FULLEST coverage I have ever had so I actually try not to use it as a foundation. Instead, I use it to spot conceal my acne scars and redness. It's a great foundation, especially for people with acne-prone skin. Cover FX products are formulated by dermatologist and skin specialists. Once applied, you may get a dewy medium to full coverage.
It comes in a compact, with a mirror and a sponge. The sponge is encased in a hidden compartment in the compact and is reusable, washable and antimicrobial.
I hope you find this post helpful and informative. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or e-mail me. Thanks for stopping by!
(wearing Lancome Teint Idole Ultra foundation)