Finding your perfect foundation is one of those rare occurrences, sort of a eureka moment that very few of us actually experiences. I’ve tried over 20 different bases in the search for mine and while some have come very, very close, I still feel like my perfect one is out there somewhere, waiting for me like some sort of fairytale ending. …Or something like that anyway. So, I thought I’d break down a few things you might look for in a foundation (and suggest a few I love) to help you find the one for you *heart emoji’s everywhere*
One of the things I look for first when doing a bit of base research is what type of coverage does a product offer. Typically, I like a medium/buildable coverage, as I have imperfections I want to cover and just think that level of coverage gives me the look I want. I do wear a lighter base on days when I’m not doing much or having a particularly good skin day, it just depends on what I fancy on the day. So, I think the main ones are:
Tinted Moisturiser/Light Coverage Foundation | A light to very light coverage tinted moisturiser/foundation usually offers the whole ‘your skin but better’ look ie. you can still see your skin perfectly through the base, but it blurs any imperfections, evens out skin and offers a bit of coverage if you’re not feeling being makeup free. It’s a good option for summer days or if you’re just going to conceal any blemishes. I wrote a whole post on my favourite light bases, but my love is torn between the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser and the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light.
Medium Coverage | Usually when a foundation is classed as medium coverage, I find it can actually cover anything from a light coverage to full depending on how much you apply. It’s probably why I like them so much, as they tend to be very buildable and blendable, giving quite a natural look. My favourites are the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation (NARS do a good base, guys) and the By Terry Cover Expert.
Full Coverage | Foundations for when you just want your skin to be as even as possible, cover up everything and forget any imperfections exist. My favourite type of foundation for when I just want a flawless look and to not have to think about concealing as much. Sometimes they can give you that mask-like look, but that’s nothing a bit of contouring/bronzing and a spot of blush can’t sort out to make your skin look less flat. My favourites for this are my new love and closest HG foundation, the RMK Creamy Foundation and an old love (and most repurchased), the classic Estee Lauder Double Wear.
I think how long a foundation lasts goes a long way into whether I’ll purchase it or not. I’m not one of those people who reapplies makeup (aside from lipstick) so when a foundation is whacked on, I expect it to stay there. I think you can tell how long a foundation is gonna stick around by a) the coverage and b) the formula. If it’s more hydrating then I find it tends to last a little bit less on my skin, as it’s combination. But, if you have drier skin, then you may find a hydrating formula works better on you. Fuller coverage foundations last longer on my skin than others, a perfect example of that is the EL Double Wear. I swear that stuff is indestructible.
I also think primers (and skincare) go a long way in extending the longevity of your foundation and I wrote about my favourite primers in this post. But, the biggest thing I can say is figure out what your skin type is and the formula of the foundation, then you can assess if it would suit, ie dry = hydrating formula, oily = avoid really creamy foundations. The best thing you can do is test them if you’re unsure! Any sales assistant should be able to give you a little tester pot, or take along your own empty one if you know they don’t have any!
I think the finishes on a foundation can be split into three different categories: Matte, Satin/Natural and Dewy. Depending on what finish you like depends on what foundation you should go for. Your skin type also comes into this, as oily skin may not want a dewy finish and dry skin may not want to go with matte incase it shows up any dry patches. Anyway, my favourite foundations with these finishes…
Matte | This was the only finish I’d go for back in the day, especially as my skin used to be much oilier. I still do like it when I want a more refined and pulled together look. Favourite has to be the Estee Lauder Double Wear (again).
Natural/Satin | A finish that’s a bit closer to normal skin, somewhere between matte and dewy. It’s a finish I real like and one that does look more natural on a day to day basis. I really like the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation or RMK Creamy Foundation for this.
Dewy | A more radiant and highlighted finish. I always find tinted moisturisers are best for this, but if you’re after a bit more coverage then opt for a foundation with ‘radiant’ or something similar in the title. I do have to stick with a tinted moisturiser, probably NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser as I don’t think I own any particularly dewy bases that offer high coverage.
Remember you can always powder over the top if a finish is a bit too dewy for your liking. Try something translucent (like the By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder or NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder) as it’ll offer a more natural look and won’t add anymore colour/coverage to your skin.
So that’s my little post on finding a perfect foundation. These are all the formulas that work for my combination/sensitive skin, so may not work for you but I hope it helps anyway!