Foundation can be overwhelming. With literally thousands of varieties out there, how are you supposed to know which products are right for you?
We all have different reasons for wanting to wear foundation. Whether you want to cover pimples, even out your skintone, control shine, add a touch of radiance or just simply look more polished there’s a foundation to suit your needs.
Let’s start with the basics. There are a lot of different terms and names thrown around with foundation, and there’s more to it than just choosing between a powder or liquid foundation.
Sheer Coverage provides only the lightest touch of colour, similar to a tinted moisturiser or BB Cream.
Light Coverage provides enough coverage to even out skin tone but won’t cover blemishes.
Medium Coverage will cover minor blemishes and provide a flawless base that still looks like real skin.
Full Coverage will completely cover all blemishes, pigmentation, scarring, veins and any other imperfections.
Dewy foundations will add radiance and shine to your complexion and are great for normal to dry skin.
Matte foundations aim to reduce shine and are ideal for those with oily skin.
Liquid Foundation is what we most commonly think about when we mention foundation, and comes in a tube or bottle. It is very blendable and there are varieties suitable for all skin types.
Powder Foundation can be either pressed or loose, and ranges from sheer coverage to full.
Tinted Moisturiser has only a hint of coverage and is best for those who don’t want to look like they are wearing any makeup.
BB Cream is similar to a tinted moisturiser but usually has added skincare benefits.
Cream Foundation usually comes in a compact or little jar and has a thicker consistency. It offers a medium to full coverage.
Stick Foundation comes in a big wind up tube and is usually applied directly to the skin and then blended. It generally offers a full coverage.
Whipped/Mousse Foundation comes in a small pot, feels very light on your skin and offers a sheer to medium coverage.
Mineral Foundation is a powder foundation that blends onto the skin very easily. It is buildable for sheer to full coverage.
Tools and Techniques
There’s more than one way to apply your foundation, but which method works for the formulation you’re using and the finish you want to achieve?
Sponge:A classic technique, using a square or triangular makeup sponge. Pour a little liquid foundation onto the back of your hand and then use your sponge to pick it up and apply to your face. Rather than wiping the sponge across your face try a dabbing motion for a more thorough application.
Best For: Liquid or Powder Foundation
Finish: Maximum coverage
Manicare Foundation Sponge
Foundation Brush: A flat brush that can be used to “paint” your foundation onto your face. Put a small amount of foundation on the back of your hand and then use the brush to transfer it to your face. Start in the centre of your face and brush outwards with broad strokes. Use the tip of the brush to blend around your nose and eyes. Don’t overload the brush with product or you’ll find it hard to blend.
Best For: Liquid or Cream Foundation
Finish: Well blended with a medium to full coverage
TBX Foundation Brush
Kabuki Brush:Your powder foundation probably came with a flat sponge, but a big soft Kabuki Brush will give you a much more professional looking application. Simply buff the powder across your face using the brush. Also great for bronzer!
Best For: Powder Foundation
Finish: Polished with a light to medium coverage
TBX Kabuki Brush
Stippling Blush: The favourite of makeup artists across the globe, these brushes have a circular head and two toned bristles. To apply use a stippling motion - dab or tap the brush onto your skin - to create the appearance of an airbrushed application. You’ll look flawless because the foundation is sitting on top of your skin instead of being rubbed in and absorbed.
Best For: Sheer to Medium Liquid Foundation
Finish: Airbrushed and flawless
Real Techniques Stippling Brush
Beauty Blender:The next step up from a regular sponge, the Beauty Blender is a game changer. This teardrop shaped sponge works best when slightly damp, and it will give you the smoothest foundation application of your life. Use the Beauty Blender to pick up foundation from the back of your hand and stipple it onto you skin. You’ll get full coverage that still looks natural.
Best For: Liquid Foundation
Finish: Great coverage with a natural appearance
Fingers: Sometimes your fingers just work best, especially if you’re in a rush. Apply to your skin like you’re using moisturiser, but don’t rub too hard – you don’t want it to all disappear.
Best For: Tinted Moisturiser or BB Cream
Finish: Sheer and natural
Which Foundation Is Right For Me?
Normal Skin: If you don’t have any imperfections to cover or issues with dryness and oiliness then the world is your oyster! But keep it simple with a BB Cream or Tinted Moisturiser like theBalm Shelter Tinted Moisturiser. If you like powder try Nude By Nature Natural Mineral Cover.
Oily Skin: Oil-free liquid foundations or pressed powder foundation will help to mattifying your skin and prevent shine. For liquid try the ever popular Revlon ColorStay for Combination/Oily Skin which is specially formulated to control oil or for powder you’ll love Maybelline Fit Me Pressed Powder which comes in a great range of shades.
Dry Skin: A hydrating foundation will add moisture to your skin and prevent foundation from sinking into any flakes and cracks. A liquid foundation you will love is CoverGirl TruBlend Liquid Foundation. Powder is best avoided for those with dry skin. A hydrating primer will also reduce flakiness and dry spots.
Mature Skin: Some foundations can sink into fine lines and wrinkles, making them even more obvious. Try L’Oreal Paris Nutrilift Gold which is infused with anti-ageing ingredients or Maybelline Instant Age Rewind which has a Micro-Corrector Applicator that fills and smooths imperfections. Add a primer to your routine to create a smoother base and skip powders which will make your lines more obvious.
Acne: It’s easy to find yourself in a never ending cycle with pimples and acne. You want to cover up your blemishes, but that can often make your skin worse. Try Almay Clear Complexion Makeup, which comes in a liquid foundation, powder foundation and concealer. This range helps to clear pimples while concealing them at the same time.
Pro Tip: Don’t let your foundation do all the work. Adding a concealer into your routine will allow you to use a lighter foundation but still cover any imperfections.
What are your favouite foundation tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments!