How to find the perfect foundation
Here's everything you need to know about which shade and texture suits your skin type
It doesn't matter if your skin is dry, oily or acne-prone, finding the best foundation can be tough. About 15 per cent women are able to select their foundation without assistance at most leading stores, and the right shade is just a small cog in the vanity machine. From tinted moisturisers, soufflés and whipped foundations all the way to loose powders, there is an ever-growing range of formulae and finishes, along with different techniques and tools for application.
My personal knowledge stems from a myriad of tried, tested and tossed foundations that have helped me work my way through the clutter of 'undertones', 'overtones', and 'pigmentations' that are quite important when buying the right foundation. To understand the right formula for your skin type, you need to understand your skin first. Below are points to consider when buying foundation:
1. Skin type: What does your skin feel like when you wake up in the morning? Does it feel dry and patchy, completely oily or only oily on the forehead, nose and chin? Is it irritated, broken out or red and itchy or just slightly bumpy? Dry skin works well with hydrating formulae, while combination to oily skin works best with water-based foundations that penetrate into the skin without layering over sebum.
2. Skin texture: If you have large or visible pores, a silicone-based foundation may be a good fit to go over the texture. Acne and fine-lines need HD-style foundations while lighter cushion-style foundations go beautifully on slightly blemished skin.
3. Skin sense: Are you looking at having slightly dewy skin? Go for tinted moisturisers, oil-based foundations or cushion foundations. For a matte look, more powder-based foundations may work better.
Once you figure these out, you will be able to shortlist the foundation type you are looking for. For foundation colour, here's a check-list of things to do:
1. Get the right undertone: Is your skin more rosy or slightly bronzed and golden? Rosy or pink-toned skin has a cool undertone, while bronzed or golden skin is warm toned. If you simply cannot tell, you have a neutral undertone. Look for N, W and C in your foundation shades.
2. Test your ideal match: There are three spots to test your foundation on in natural light, and none of them are on your hand: the forehead, the jawline and the décolletage. If the foundation blends flawlessly into these parts, you've found your ideal match.
3. Mix your ideal match: Feel like N3 is too light but N4 is too muddy? Mix the two and you'll have your own custom shade. Invest in foundation drops that can help customise the foundation should you be a frequent self-tanner or switching your foundation from summer to winter.
Some of my personal favourites are:
1. Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Natural Perfection Foundation SPF 20: I wear this for occasions that demand extra coverage and my skin smells amazing as well. Personally, I like matte finish but this gives a natural finish and full coverage. I select a shade lighter because I notice the foundation oxidises to a darker shade in some time.
2. Hourglass VanishT Seamless Finish Foundation Stick: I mix two shades to get flawless finish. I can even skip the concealer with full coverage this foundation gives.
3. Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation: A drugstore foundation that does the magic. It is medium coverage but you can build on it. It has been favourite among beauty influencers and comes in large colour selection.
4. Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-In-1 Foundation + Concealer: This is another foundation I can apply every day without harming my skin. As the name suggests, it is full coverage and, again, I can skip the concealer. The finish is so flawless you will feel you have a silicone skin.
5. EX1 foundation: Another foundation I have used for long for office wear. It has light-to-medium coverage and is very lightweight. Since I don't refresh my makeup, it wasn't really long lasting. However, it's the one foundation that works very well with several of my primers.