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How to Choose the Right Foundation

by Amigo Liang |  | 2 comments

With the current number of shades, finishes, and coverage levels available, foundation is just as customizable as a your go-to Starbucks order. And that's exactly what makes it one of the toughest makeup products to buy.

The ultimate goal is a foundation that looks like your own skin — only better. This can be hard to achieve when most makeup aisles have less than ideal lighting for swatching and mirrors smaller than most compacts.

Keep in minds the below 6 points when choosing your foundation.


Clean your skin and take a good look at the tones of your face, neck, shoulder and even your hands in the natural daylight. Then you may find out the area around your nose and forehead is darker than your face. Avoid trying foundation on these darker area and never matching up these small areas where there’s pigmentation or redness. And never match to the center of the neck directly under the chin, as this area is often much lighter than your face and body. The good place to test the foundation for majority is back of the jawline, because this area reflects lots of skin’s undertone, and with the least pigmentations.

Foundation’s real job is to even out your skin tone, give uniformity and cover minor flaws. It’s not to completely to blank you out or obliterate all of your skin texture or skin tones.


Unless you want to color-correct, don't fight against your skin's natural undertones. Some women try to look paler by using a much lighter foundation with pinky color.

If you have a warm complexion, go with a shade that has yellow undertones, and if your complexion is on the cool side, a foundation with pink undertones is your best bet. 

You can play it safe with a neutral or warm shade.


Matte or dewy? That's the question to ask before swatching foundation shades. Your skin type is an important factor when it comes to choosing finishes. Dewy foundations tend to work best on normal to dry skin types. Too much radiance on this skin type looks even oilier and its not a good feeling on the face. Matte foundations are usually more suitable for combination to oily skin types. 

Using a satin finish instead of matte on mature skin. More mature skin can get away with matte but again, just like dewy skin can emphasize flaws and wrinkles, so can matte foundations because the skin has no dimension.


If you hate wearing makeup, you're going to think a full-coverage foundation feels heavy. Understanding the look of every coverage level is the key to picking the right one for your needs. 

You'll still see your skin through foundations with sheer to medium coverage. Avendaño recommends picking a foundation on the lighter side as a default when you're not sure exactly what kind of coverage you need.

When you want a long-wear foundation that doesn't require mid-day touch ups, or have acne or discoloration, opt for a full-coverage foundation.

5. Try before you purchase

Lots of companies have samples, find the right person and ask for samples to try the foundation on your face when you are not in a hurry. That would be of great help in choosing the right one. If they don’t have samples, check with he return policy to make sure if you can return it easily in case it’s not fit for you.


It's true: You won't be able to stick to one foundation shade year-round. Our skin tends to warm up in the spring-summer while we're more active outdoors and in direct sunlight. Even if you're wearing sunblock every day, our tone warms up. So you need to change to the foundation shade to match your skin tone in different season.

Comments (2)

  • Deanna webster on March 15, 2019

    I can never find the right foundation to match my skin tone I have tried tan, nautical,bage medium and all those make me look orange or peal .

  • Deborah Kay Polloc on March 14, 2019

    Where can I find these foundations to try?

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