Beauty 101: Finding Your Perfect Foundation – Part 2

photo from – becca cosmetics

Welcome back for Part 2 of Foundation basics!

Now that we’ve mastered matching the perfect foundation color, let’s talk about the different varieties of foundation out there.

Remember my 3 “C’s” of Foundation – We’ve covered Color, now let’s go on to Coverage and Consistency. These two things typically go hand in hand, so I like to talk about them together.

photo from-

When I ask about Coverage, it’s pretty straight forward, how much of your face do you want covered? The “Freckle Scale” is probably the easiest way to explain – say you have a face full of freckles, when you put on your foundation, are you going to still want those freckles to show through a lot, a little bit, or not at all? This translates to light, medium, and full coverage.

Typically, if you tend to have good skin and little to no blemishes, I would opt for something light coverage because you really don’t need it. I always recommend that if you don’t have to wear it, don’t, it’ll be better for your skin in the long run.

However, if you are concerned about unevenness, redness, or acne you may want to go for a foundation that’s medium to even full coverage.

Once you’ve decided what your ideal coverage would be, this should narrow down your foundation options – this is the last “C” of my 3, Consistency. I like to put foundation types (or Consistencies) into three main categories: liquid, cream, and powder (I also typically put tinted moisturizer, BB and CC creams within the “liquid” category although they are not technically foundations, we’ll talk more about those in just a bit).

photo from-

If you’re wanting to go for light coverage – your two best choices will probably be either a liquid or powder foundation. Depending on your skin-type, one will usually work better than the other; say you have oily skin, a powder foundation will probably be the better choice for you as it will help keep down shine through-out the day, it is also easily build-able so you’d be able to take it from a light to even full-coverage if you wanted to. However, don’t fall into the trap of packing on your powder foundation too heavily, as it can leave a cakey finish and further accentuate fine lines or flaws. For oily skin- my best advice would be to find yourself a good mattifying primer to apply before foundation first, and then use the powder to touch-up shine throughout the day (My primer recommendations – For the budget beauty: Boots. No7 Beautifully Matte Make-up Base $9.99 @ Target; For the Beauty Splurge: Lorac POREfection Mattifying Primer$32 @ Sephora).

As far as what I would suggest for powder foundations, I like L’Oreal True Match Powder Foundation ($10.95 @, if you’re on a budget. It provides great build-able coverage, feels silky-smooth and has great blotting power through-out the day. If you’re willing to spend a little more –  I like MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation ($27) or Make-Up For Ever’s new Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation ($36), it’s silky smooth and can be applied wet or dry.

Before I get into the other two main types of foundations, let’s diverge a little bit and discuss tinted moisturizers, BB and CC creams, another great option for those looking for just light coverage. Tinted moisturizer could be perfect for someone that doesn’t need much coverage, doesn’t want to spend that much time on their makeup routine, but may want to just even out the skin a little bit. The best part is, tinted moisturizers usually come with a built-in SPF so you get the added bonus of being protected by the sun. Plus, since it’s a moisturizer you can kill two birds with one stone by getting both hydration and coverage.  My recommendations – Boots No.7 Soft and Sheer Tinted Moisturizer ($11.99 @ Target for the budgeter), or crowd favorite Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer ($42 @ Sephora for the splurger).

photo from – Glamour

If you’re looking to go the CC or BB route, here’s my super quick analysis of both so you can decide which would be the best bet for you. BB creams (or Beauty Balms), an Asian import, can provide a great deal of skin benefits (each brand touting it’s own arsenal of features). Some of the most common benefits of BB cream is SPF protection, hydration, anti-oxidants and it evens out your skin tone.

A lot of people wonder what the difference between BB and CC creams are, and it’s very subtle. The differentiating factor between the two is that CC’s are more specifically formulated for color correcting (that’s essentially what CC stands for). Therefore, it’s better for those looking to correct redness, uneven skintone, or sallowness, plus, it still has most of the benefits of a BB (SPF protection, hydration, etc.). As I said, BB’s, CC’S and their benefits can vary greatly from brand to brand, so the best thing to do is try them out for yourself and see what’s best for you. Here’s a cool list from Glamour on some of the best BB’s and CC’s out there…

In my opinion, liquid foundation offers the best range of coverage, light to full, and is personally my favorite foundation medium to work with. Liquid foundations are usually the best choice for dry to normal skin types and are great because they apply smoothly and are easily blend-able. They also come in waterproof and long lasting formulas which are awesome if you are wanting a good foundation with staying-power. Some of my favorite drugstore liquid foundations include L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Foundation ($10.95 @ l’Oreal) and Revlon Colorstay Foundation ($10.39 @ Revlon) – this one is great if you’re looking for something long-lasting and also comes in a formula for Oily skin. Some of my favorite high-end brands include Make Up For Ever Invisible Cover HD Foundation ($42 @ Sephora), an awesome full-coverage foundation and my go-to for creating “camera ready skin”, as well as Naked Skin from Urban Decay ($39 @ Urban Decay). Naked Skin is the current foundation in my personal make up kit and I have fallen totally in love with it. It is lightweight, offers just enough coverage, and blends amazingly into my skin leaving it feeling like I have nothing on at all.

photo from – Maybelline

Last but not least, let’s talk about cream foundations. This is the best option for those looking for a full-coverage foundation. However, if you tend to have sensitive or acne-prone skin, be sure to use a good primer to serve as an extra barrier between your skin and the make up. Cream foundations can even be good for dry skin, as it is heavier than liquid foundations and can help lock in moisture. Apply it lightly with a wet sponge and you can still get a great amount of coverage without it feeling too cakey. Here are a couple cream foundation picks for the budgeter and the spender: Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse($9.79 @ Maybelline), yes I know it is called a “mousse” but it is still technically a cream and offers lightweight, blend-able coverage. For the spender – I recommend Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation ($43 @ Sephora), long-wearing, full coverage, moisturising  and easy on the skin, what more can you ask for?

And there you have it! We’ve reached the end of our Foundation 101. You’ve now (hopefully) learned how to choose the right color, coverage and consistency of foundation for yourself.

Whatever type you end up choosing for yourself, I hope I’ve left you with an arsenal of knowledge  to help you make the best educated choice to find the right foundation for you.

Until next time,


The Makeup Session

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