How To…#2

25 Apr

How To Buy A Foundation

This is probably the most basic and yet the most confusing matter when it comes to make-up, and it probably doesn’t help with the overwhelming flow of different foundations at make-up counters. Most of us just detest foundations just because it has that “fake” look so we rather not be caught looking like we “try too hard”.

To be honest, I wasn’t very good at picking the right foundation for myself, still probably isn’t that great now but I have learned and picked up a few information and tips here and there along the way. It was years ago when I was one of those heavy foundation wearer. I guess it didn’t occur to me then that the idea was to look like you’re not wearing anything, maybe I thought then it was to look like you’re wearing a thick mask. Like everything else, we learn from our mistakes. Thankfully mine wasn’t pointed out by anyone, then again people around me could have been too sorry to tell it to my face that I looked like a clown.

To me, back when I was clueless, it would’ve been helpful if I were to read a written a guideline to buying the right foundation. It would have saved me a few years of bad choices.The content of this particular post is inspired by all the make-up gurus and experts that I have read, watched, listened and witnessed. This is a mere encyclopaedia to the amount of information I have with me thus far

There are probably a few questions you need to ask yourself before going to the store to purchase a foundation. Most of the time we are so swayed by the sales person that we end up picking something that probably wasn’t what we wanted in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they are con artists hehe, it’s just better to be more aware and informed than walking into a store half-knowing.

1. What kind of coverage are you looking for?

There are typically 3 types of coverage; sheer, medium and full. Often enough, most foundation will deliver something that offers a range, for an example, sheer to medium coverage, medium to full coverage etc. If you live in a hot country or maybe you want a new foundation for the summer, it is best to go for something sheer to medium as it is generally a lighter formulation. That means, it feels light and almost like a second layer of your skin. There is a famous saying in the make-up world “a better version of your skin” and essentially that is what you will achieve with this.

Besides creamy formulation, there are also powder or mineral powder choices for those who are more prone to oily skin. By choosing powder foundations, it will instantly mattify the skin! For users with acne who are worried sheer coverage doesn’t cover the imperfections well, there is always concealer.

Tip: I tend to reach for my full coverage foundation to conceal as I find it works so much better.

My recommendations :
For liquid lovers; Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (this is a stunning stunning foundation that feels almost like you’re wearing nothing! Gives you the most glowing looking skin like you won’t believe), Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser Oil-Free ( beautiful option too, perfect for acne-prone skin as it is oil free so it doesn’t clog up your pores), Sephora Light Veil Foundation (It gives you a matte airbrushed look, absolutely light on the skin)
For powder lovers; Bare Minerals Foundation (one of the best mineral powder foundation that doesn’t give you a powdery look. It is a splurge item though.), Urban Decay Mineral Powder Foundation (My favourite for a cheaper option of the bare minerals)

If you are just not confident with the coverage sheer foundation gives or you are ready for a night out and you want something that will stay throughout the night, try foundations that will give you a full coverage. It will cover almost all your imperfections well! I love this type of foundation for a night out or a birthday do etc, as it usually is beautiful on camera and saves me the time of having to touch up my make-up.

My recommendations :
MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation (it covers all my imperfections without needing to apply concealer), Chanel Pro Lumiere (heard so many good reviews about this product, Chanel is discontinuing this product soon so get it fast!), Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation (it delivers exactly as it sounds, feels like silk on skin :), a thicker consistency though), Revlon Colorstay Liquid Foundation (a good product and it is relatively cheaper than the ones I’ve mentioned. Revlon has a good range of colours so it is so much easier to find one that matches your skintone)

2. With SPF or without

We are brought up to know that having SPF in a product is good for our skin, to protect us from the sunlight. It is however not ideal for flash photography as sunblock has properties that are UV light reflective therefore people tend to look shinier/oily on camera. I have combination skin so sometimes I tend to ignore this tip since the “shiny/oily” look doesn’t really transfer in pictures for me. Foundations with SPF are excellent for daytime wear 🙂

3. Colour match

This is where a lot of people, including myself have probably done wrong countless times. I think I had so many foundations that were so wrong for my skin tone. The most useful tip is to ask for samples, I know it seems a bit daunting when the sales person gives you a look or usually sounds reluctant to do so, but if you tell them you are allergic to most brands I’m sure that would do the trick? (let me know if it works haha) The reason for that is, if you have samples, you can try them at the comfort of your own home. Make-up counters’ lighting are usually misleading; you’d usually get a different effect in daylight. Also, taking testers home will give you time to see if the product breaks your skin out or not. Nothing hurts more than spending and not getting to use the item!

Our faces and necks are more often than not, of two different shades. Someone who has the same tone to their neck as they do to their face, I truly truly envy that person! When picking a foundation, try and match the colour that is closest to your neck. This way once you apply it to the face, it automatically blends in with your neck.


4. Dewy or Matte?

This boils down to personal choice. There is usually no right or wrong for the type of finish you want. Obviously during the summer, it is more popular to have a dewy finish to your skin but if you have oily skin, this probably would not appeal to you. Always ask the sales person what finish does the foundation gives you.


There are more questions to be asked or considered, but I won’t make it too boring for you guys 🙂 As long as vital questions are answered then it shouldn’t be difficult to find your perfect foundation.

Hope this helps!


One Response to “How To…#2”

  1. Jannah February 18, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Hi! This post is really helpful! I’m 22 and *still* looking for the perfect foundation. I shudder remembering those days where my foundation was VERY thick lol. Revlon products give very good coverage. I just bought light veil foundation by Sephora so we shall see how it goes…wish me luck!

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