how to choose the right foundation for your skin

There are so many shades, formulations, brands and whatnots of foundation out there that choosing the right one for your skin can seem really daunting for most people.

I am not really a big fan of foundation. Thankfully, I'm blessed with fairly okay skin so I don't really need to apply it all the time. I prefer using primers and tinted moisturizers but there are certain occasions and photography sessions that require a lot more coverage than that. A plain face can spoil an otherwise glamorous outfit/look so it's pretty essential that we have the proper foundation in stock all the time in case of emergency situations like an impromptu invatation to a formal event/wedding.

Before you even hit the mall, here are a few of the things you should consider first:

  1. What are the needs of your skin? Do you need oil-free, moisturizing or long-lasting?
  2. What is the amount of coverage you want? Sheer, medium or heavy? (heavier formulas call for
  3. Do you want it in a liquid formula, cream or stick?
  4. Check the internet for reviews, they can be really helpful in narrowing down the list of brands to check out.
How to determine the amount of coverage you need:

The amount of coverage depends on the amount of pigment; the more pigment the foundation contains, the heavier it’s going to feel. (If you buy a foundation that is too pigmented or heavy, you can make it sheer by applying it with a damp sponge.) 

If you have fairly even skin, go for light coverage. If your skin tone is more on the uneven side, you'll need more coverage. Something to remember though, foundation is not meant to cover imperfections and pores. Don't pile it on too much or you'll end up looking cakey and overdone.

And now, color. Which shade is best for you?

First off, DO NOT test the foundation on the back of your hand. The skin on your hand has a very different shade from your face. Next,

  1. Choose three shades that are closest to your complexion.
  2. Put a small stripeof each on the skin right above your jawline. 
  3. The one that seems to disappear is the best foundation for you.
*If the skin tone on your face, neck, and chest don’t match, you may have to adjust your foundation for that. Probably 85% of of women have face, neck, and chest skin colors that don’t match. You can bring all the tones in line by blending a darker tinted moisturizer into your foundation so your face can match a darker d├ęcolletage, for example. You can do this trick in the summer if you get some color on your chest.

And lastly, make sure your foundation is not too pink or yellowish. Sometimes, in an attempt to look natural, women with pink or red skin tones will gravitate toward pink formulas and women with yellow, olive, sallow skin will gravitate toward yellow. Look for a color that is more balanced; otherwise, you’ll just overemphasize the undertone.

There you go. Hope this helps break it down a bit for you.

***special thanks to Laura Mercier's Flawless Face for some of the info and research