Beauty Tips & Tricks


All You Need to Know About Choosing the Best Foundation for You

13 Apr, 2017
By BeYou[tiful]
When it comes to making your way through the foundation aisle of your favourite beauty store the choices can seem endless and overwhelming. What level of coverage do you want? How do you choose between a mousse and a liquid foundation? What foundation is best for covering up your breakouts? Should you use a sponge or a brush? What even is a CC Cream?
You are not alone. Research has found that only 15% of women are actually using the right base. No worries. We have all the insider tips & tricks you need to know before choosing the foundation to best suit you, your colouring and your skin. Read on before you waste your money on a product that doesn’t look good on you, a formula that makes your skin flake, or mix up your BB and CC cream.

Tip #1. Just Your Type

First things first: remember that foundation directly interacts with your skin so you need to find one that complements your skin type.
A quick and easy test to find out your skin type is to take a blotting sheet (or one ply of tissue), blot it all over your face and then hold it up to the light. If it comes away dry you have dry skin, if the sheet has picked up oil mainly from your T-Zone you probably have combination skin and if it picks up a lot of oil from all over your face you have oily skin. Now that you know your skin type you can choose the foundation formula that will work best to the oil levels of your face.
And what about acne prone skins? The wrong foundation can actually aggravate acne and make your skin look ten times worse. Avoid very heavy formulas as these restrict your face's access to oxygen, leading to even more irritated skin. Powder formulas are great as they absorb excess oil while providing coverage and anything that is labelled "matte-finish" is sure to be your new best friend. A lighter mousse foundation or BB/CC Cream is also an option for acne prone skins. Look out for makeup that contains healing anti-bacterial and oil control ingredients such as salicylic acid, green tea extract or tea tree oil. Keeping bacteria at bay from your skin is key so be extra vigilant about washing your makeup brushes; at least once a week.
Related: Oily Skin? Expert Advice on The Best Skin and Makeup Routine for You

Tip #2. Know Your Tone

Next up let's talk skin tone. Most of us are clued up when it comes to our actual skin tone - we know if you have fair, medium, olive or dark skin. What can be confusing is your skin undertone and how that affects the shade of foundation you use.
Your undertone will be one of three types - warm, cool or neutral - no matter your skin tone. A warm skin will have 'yellow/olive' undertones while more 'pink/blue' undertones means you are cool. A neutral skin has a mix of the two undertones.
The best way to find out your undertone is to check the colour of the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they are mainly blue/purple, you are cool; if they are more green/olive then you are warm; and a mix of the two means you are a neutral.
Cool toned girls are prone to getting sunburnt easily and will also find that silver jewellery is better suited to their colouring. They should choose shades that look more pink or red in the bottle. If you are warm toned, you will tend to tan rather than burn and look better in gold jewellery. Your choice should then veer towards shades which have a yellow/orange hue. A useful hint: most South Africans have warm skin undertones.
Once you have chosen the correct shade - a 'natural beige', a 'caramel' or ‘mahogany' - many of us then make the mistake of thinking we stay the same tone all year round. Change your foundation as the seasons change to avoid a too-light base in the summer or a foundation that's too dark for your paler winter skin.

Tip #3. Got You Covered

When makeup artists talk about 'coverage' they mean the thickness of your foundation. Heavy coverage will leave you with totally even skin that looks like it’s been air-brushed to perfection, medium coverage will allow a few freckles to show through, and light coverage gives you that barely-there natural look.
Coverage depends on both the consistency of your foundation formula, how you apply it and with what tool. Generally speaking, using a wet or damp sponge to apply formula will give you light coverage, while a foundation brush is great for medium to heavy coverage.
Related: A How to Guide on The Brushes You Need for Super Easy Flawless Makeup

Tip #4. Make Your Choice


Tip #5. Test It Right

While you can sometimes get away with not testing an eyeshadow or lipstick, if you want to avoid looking like a clown, it is important that you follow the correct testing procedure for foundation.
Once you have decided on the right product type and tone for you, test the shade you think you should use on a clean neck and jawline - not your hand or arm (their skin tones and colour are very different from your face). Then take the two shades closest to this (both darker and lighter) and swipe on either side of the first shade. Check first under the bright lights of the store and then, very importantly, move into natural light and check the shades again. Foundation looks very different under fluorescent lights compared to natural light and you need yours to work in both.
The one that 'disappears' into your skin is the correct shade for you. It shouldn't settle into fine lines and wrinkles or accentuate any pores.  Instead it should lightly cover up any kind of discoloration and uneven skin tone without being noticeable.


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