Best for all skin types
Liquid foundation is great for the wide variety of shades it comes in and its versatility in terms of coverage and finishes ranging from matte to dewy. Dewy finishes are perfect for dry to normal skin types to brighten up dull and tired skin. However, they should be avoided by oily skin girls as they tend to exaggerate the shine; rather look for an oil free product with a matte finish. Matte foundations also tend to ‘stick’ better to your face so are perfect for hot tropical coastal climates where you may struggle to keep your makeup from slipping in the heat.
Use two pumps of foundation and a foundation brush with dense bristles to give you heavy coverage. A single pump’s worth of product plus a sponge or stippling brush is perfect for a more natural finish.
Liquid foundations often contain SPF to protect you from the sun and make your skin appear smoother by filling in your pores, lines and wrinkles. However, when it comes to blending, liquid formulas are less forgiving than, say, a powder formula so be extra aware of the neck-to-chin area. On hotter days, if the formula tends to melt, set it in with a translucent powder.
Our product picks: L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Matte Foundation, Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation, Yardley Stayfast Foundation and LA Girl Pro Coverage HD Long Wear Foundation.
Best for dry skin
A tinted moisturiser works best for someone who has borderline flawless skin and is just looking to even out their skin tone. If you don’t suffer from breakouts or have any discolouration to cover up but want to keep your skin looking fresh and even it out a bit, then a tinted moisturiser is for you.
These formulas will moisturise your skin, add a hint of colour plus provide protection from the sun. If you don’t want to spent a lot of time on your makeup in the morning a tinted moisturiser is ideal as you can apply it as you would your regular day cream. One of our faves is Eucerin Tinted Sun Crème with a super high SPF 50 sunscreen. If you have extra dry skin, you might want to apply a layer of your usual moisturiser beforehand.
Best for all skin types
BB Cream formulas are too varied to make general rules about so test a few out before you commit to a certain brand. BB creams are great if you’re looking for light to medium coverage and want your makeup to benefit your skin as well as make you look fabulous. These creams will contain anti-oxidants to boost your skin’s health, anti-ageing properties, a moisturiser, SPF and a touch of colour.
The downside is the range of colours available is very limited, with most brands only carrying four different shades. However, the lighter coverage means that each shade can cover a larger range of skin tones than a heavier coverage liquid foundation – it’s just a matter of testing to find out which one ‘disappears’ into your skin.
You can use a foundation brush to apply your BB Cream like you would liquid foundation, but if you’re more low-maintenance you can just use your fingertips. Dot the formula at the five key points of your face (chin, nose, forehead and each cheek) and blend outwards from there.
Our product picks: Garnier BB Cream for combo oily skin and LA Girl Pro HD BB Cream.
Best for uneven skin tones
The main difference between a CC Cream and a BB Cream is a CC Cream is aimed at colour correcting. The art of colour correcting is using complementary colours to balance out discolouration in your face and a CC Cream in the right shade for you can do wonders. One of our faves is the 12 in 1 colour corrector from Coverderm.
Pale girls who suffer from redness and dark circles under the eyes will love the effects of a good CC cream, but if you have severe discolouration like rosacea, just double up and use a foundation or concealer on top of the problem areas.
A CC cream moisturises, nourishes and colour corrects your skin, making it an excellent primer to use under your regular foundation too. Apply it in the same way you would a BB Cream.
Solid Cream Compact Foundation
Best for dry or mature skin
Foundation in a compact is great for a girl on the go who wants to be able to touch up throughout the day without messy brushes and liquid formulas. Because the formula is so moist it’s easy to layer on top of, meaning your skin won’t get cakey as you reapply later on. Use a sponge if you want a fairly heavy finish and a Kabuki brush for medium coverage.
Steer clear of cream products if you have oily skin; they can make you look even shinier than usual. As with all liquid or cream-based face make up, it’s a good idea to dust your face with translucent powder which will set the foundation in place without altering the colour of it.
Our product picks: Revlon Colorstay 2in1 Compact which includes a matching concealer, and Essence Get Picture Ready Long Lasting Compact Makeup.
Best for all skin types
A mousse formula has a bit of air whipped into it, which results in a formula that’s less likely to settle into fine lines and pores. The luxurious texture of this will add extra hydration to your skin and the formula of the product will give you a medium level of coverage. Use a damp sponge to apply or a dense-bristle foundation brush for a thicker coverage.
The same rules as liquid foundation apply to oily skin – opt for a matte formula to control your shine and steer clear of those that offer a dewy finish or glow which are more suited to dry or normal skin girls.
Our product picks:
Maybelline Dream Mat Mousse and Yardley Whipped Matt Mousse.
Related: Top Tips on How to Do Flawless Foundation Like a Pro
Loose Powder Foundation
Best for oily, combination, acne-prone and sensitive skin
If you’re not someone who needs to take their foundation with them everywhere they go and you love a light-weight and natural finish, then try a loose powder formula foundation like the one from Yardley. It instantly de-slicks your skin and offers an even look and finish. The messy nature of the powder means it’s not easy to pop into your handbag but because it’s a dry formula it won’t melt off during the day so you’re less likely to need to reapply.
Dip a thick brush into the powder, tap off excess product then apply in swirling motions. Take note that if you are going to use more products like bronzer, blush or highlighter on top they need to be a powder-based product too as liquid formulas will cake.
Pressed Powder Foundation
Best for oily or combination skin
A pressed powder is ideal if you have tried a loose powder and feel the coverage isn’t enough for you. This powder is dense so you get more product on your applicator which makes for a fuller coverage. It’s easy to blend, stays in place for longer than liquid or cream formulas and gives a great matte finish.
Apply with a dry sponge for medium to full coverage and a powder brush for a lightweight and sheer finish. Avoid powder foundations all together if you have dry or flaky skin as these products will exacerbate it.
Our product picks: Revlon Colorstay Pressed Powder, Essence Mattifying Compact Powder, LA Girl Pressed Face Powder and Bioderma Mineral Compact for sensitive skins.