Best face forward

Here’s how to find a foundation that’s the perfect match for your skin tone and type

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Here’s how to find a foundation that’s the perfect match for your skin tone and type

One foundation does not fit all, and besides skin tone, you have to also think about skin type. You may find that a foundation you’ve sworn by for years is now failing to be absorbed as well, or making your skin look dry or ashy. Or perhaps you want coverage but don’t want to look like you’ve got layers of foundation on. Use our quick guide to pick the right one for your skin now.

CONSIDER: Tone

Finding the right foundation can be a challenging task, and despite getting one that is close to the colour of your skin, it can still look “off ” if the tone is incorrect. When testing foundation, ensure that you check it under a bright neutral light so that it doesn’t alter the tone of the skin – you’d be surprised how different skin looks under fluorescent and incandescent light.

From left: Burberry Cashmere – Soft Matte Foundation, $85. Dior Diorskin Nude Air Ultra-Fluid Serum Foundation SPF 20, $88. Benefit Cosmetics Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow! Liquid Foundation, $63. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation, $72.
From left: Burberry Cashmere – Soft Matte Foundation, $85. Dior Diorskin Nude Air Ultra-Fluid Serum Foundation SPF 20, $88. Benefit Cosmetics Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow! Liquid Foundation, $63. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation, $72.
CONSIDER: Finish

Most people have a preference when it comes to foundation finishes. While the trend is to achieve a dewy glow worthy of a Korean celebrity, it is a look that should be attempted with caution. Generally, those with an oily complexion should steer clear of foundations with dewy finishes, but if you crave the glow, try applying them on the cheekbones while using a foundation with a regular matte finish on the rest of the face.

From left: Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation, $80. NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, $70. Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Foundation SPF 18, $89.
From left: Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation, $80. NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, $70. Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Foundation SPF 18, $89.
CONSIDER: Coverage

Although the instinct is to go for a foundation with the highest coverage, you’re not really doing your skin a favour by loading on thick foundation. Instead, choose one with the lightest coverage needed so that skin’s natural glow is able to shine through. If you have minimal blemishes and pigmentation, a light-to-medium coverage foundation should suffice. Better yet, select a foundation that has a buildable coverage so that you can vary the amount needed on different parts of your face. W

From left: Kat Von D Lock-It Liquid Foundation, $56. M.A.C Studio Waterweight SPF 30 Foundation, $62. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup, $62.
From left: Kat Von D Lock-It Liquid Foundation, $56. M.A.C Studio Waterweight SPF 30 Foundation, $62. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup, $62.