Whether you've spent hours on your hair and makeup or you're just doing the school run in your pyjamas, a flawless foundation can give you the confidence of a catwalk model. This guide will explain how to choose the right foundation for your skin type and desired coverage. We’ll also explain how to apply foundation for a natural look that will leave you feeling ravishing.

Foundation Types

The various foundation formulas favour different skin types; later, we'll come back to exactly which one is best for your complexion.

Liquid foundation

An easy-to-blend consistency and smooth appearance makes liquid foundation one of the most popular options out there. There are formulas to suit all needs and skin types, like oil-free, waterproof and 24-hour. You can build up fuller coverage by applying multiple layers.

Cream foundation

Cream foundations are a handy on-the-go option, with compact or stick forms ideal for touch-ups during the day. Newer cream-to-powder foundations achieve a matte finish, which is wonderful for oily skin.

Mineral foundation

A true mineral foundation is made of completely natural ingredients that won’t clog the pores, so you can banish breakouts. It can be as buildable as a liquid foundation and gives a natural finish.

Powder foundation

Pressed powder foundations have excellent oil-absorbing properties to help lessen shine throughout the day. This evens out the skin tone smoothly, creating effective but barely-there coverage.

Foundation Alternatives

If full coverage foundation isn't your thing, one of these milder options may be for you.

Tinted moisturiser

Moisturisers with a touch of toning pigment are lightweight in texture and will smooth your skin tone for a dewy, no makeup look.

BB cream

Blemish balms, or BB creams as they're more commonly known, moisturise, protect and correct imperfections. Many have bonus sun protection and antioxidants in their formula.

CC cream

CC creams, or colour correct creams, offer hydration, sun protection and a semi-sheer coverage to help improve uneven skin tone. Try one if you just want something to give your face a moisturising pick-me-up.

Foundation Skin

Different skin types have different requirements when it comes to finding the most complementary finish, so it's important to get the right match.

Dry skin

The best foundation for dry skin will hydrate without being greasy. Avoid a matte finish as this can exaggerate flaky dry patches.

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Oily skin

Choose a foundation for oily skin to help control shine, cover any blemishes and absorb excess oil.

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Combination skin

Recommended foundations for combination skin will be oil-free and rich in hydrating ingredients to moisturise dryer areas of the skin. Choosing one that's easily buildable will ensure that dryer areas of skin get full coverage while oilier areas can breathe.

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Mature skin

Mature skin tends to be drier, so opt for an anti-ageing foundation with moisturising properties. Mineral foundation is particularly flattering for older skin as it has a luminous finish that won't settle in fine lines.

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Foundation Shade

Here are a few quick tips for getting the best match for your skin tone the first time:

  • Check the colour of your veins on your wrist. If the veins are olive, you have a warm undertone. Purple means you have a cool undertone, and a combination of blue-green means you have a neutral undertone.
  • Test three swatches of foundations you think may have potential by applying them to your jawline. Choose the match that most appears to disappear into the skin.
  • Remember to test in natural light where possible.
Foundation Coverage

The amount of coverage you need will depend on your skin type, personal preferences and even the time of the year.

Sheer coverage

If you have naturally clear skin or prefer lighter coverage, you'll appreciate a sheer finish. Tinted moisturisers and BB creams are sound choices when you want just a little help to achieve that natural glow.

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Medium coverage

Medium coverage formulas are best if you're looking to cover imperfections, but also leave the skin with breathing room to feel hydrated and looking radiant.

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Full coverage

If you want your foundation to leave you with zero blemishes, dark spots, scarring, shadows or redness, look for a full coverage finish to create a flawless base.

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Foundation Apply

  • Step 1: Add a small amount of your chosen formula onto the best tool for the job. A damp sponge or beauty blender works well with cream foundations. Other types of foundation can be applied with a flat brush.
  • Step 2: Apply to the centre of the face and blend outwards in circular motions in order to achieve the most natural finish.
  • Step 3: Use any leftover foundation to top up problem areas like the under-eye or blemishes.