How To Choose The Perfect Foundation

Megan McIntyre
how to find the right foundation

Photo: Jason Ecks


How to choose the right foundation: it can be an epic quest, and one that doesn’t always have a happy ending. Our drawers are full of foundations that seemed right for us but turned out to be all wrong. Choosing your ideal face makeup means making choices on everything from the coverage you need to the type of benefits you want–don’t even get us started on finding the right foundation shade. It can all get a bit overwhelming, so we went to a pro–Giorgio Armani Beauty National Creative Director Tim Quinn–to find out how you can ensure you buy the right foundation for you, every time.

The first thing you’ll want to decide is which kind of formulation you want. Besides the standard liquid and powder versions, you also have the choice of mousse, cream, spray, cushion compacts and cream-to-powder. A great way to narrow down your options is to choose based on your skin type. Oily skin should opt for a powder foundation like Physician’s Formula Super BB All-In-One Powder ($13.99, Ulta), as they will help mattify shine and won’t feel heavy or greasy on the skin. Cream foundations are a smart choice for women with dry skin as they tend to be more moisturizing. Women with mature skin should try cream-to-powder foundations because they help deliver that velvet texture without drying out the skin or enhancing the look of wrinkles. Liquid foundations like Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear EvenFinish Foundation SPF 15 ($48, Bobbi Brown) are extremely versatile and work with all skin types; so when in doubt, choose liquid.

Once you’ve found your formula, you need to choose a coverage type. According to Quinn, this all boils down to what you need to hide. If you like the no makeup look or simply like the option to layer, go for a sheer foundation like Philosophy The Supernatural Airbrushed Canvas SPF 15 ($38, Philosophy). Those who want to hide minor skin discolorations should try medium coverage and anyone who has serious skin issues should use full coverage

Many foundations today also have bonus skin benefits to help make your skin look even more fabulous. From illuminating to hydrating, there’s an extra for every need. Two of the more prominent perks in foundations today are anti-aging and long-wearing. Anti-aging foundations like Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Foundation ($7.99, Target) are chock full of ingredients that help treat the signs of aging. “If you’re worried about fine lines and wrinkles, you want a foundation that’s targeted towards those areas,” says Quinn. Long-wearing foundations like Clarins Extra-Firming Foundation SPF 15 ($46, Clarins) usually feature ingredients like silicones that help the product adhere and stay in place. “If you’re a working woman who’s up early and not touching up her makeup all day, you’ll definitely want a long-wear foundation,” says Quinn.

So the next time you’re lost in the foundation aisle, just remember these tips and you’ll be sure to find your perfect makeup match.

More from Daily Makeover: Everything You Need to Know About Cushion Compact Foundation.