How To Choose The Right Foundation For Your Skin

How flawless your makeup base will look is heavily dependent on choosing the correct foundation for your skin. Unfortunately, you can’t simply pick a foundation blindly in the hopes it will leave you looking immaculate, it needs to be a formula that works well with your skin type so a little time spent researching that will reap huge rewards for your finished look.

Different skin types

Just like there are a variety of different hair colours or eye colours there is a variety of different skin types. Your skin will usually fall under one of six categories, these being: dry skin, oily skin, combination skin, acne-prone skin, sensitive skin or normal skin. We’ll get into a break down of the typical features you can identify to know which category you fall under shortly.

Once you’ve identified which skin type is yours then you can start picking the correct foundation formula to match. Usually, foundations will state which skin type they have been designed for in their product descriptions however, if you’re shopping instore then finding the right foundation in amongst the dozens of similar products may be a bit more tricky. If you find you’re often struggling to pick the correct formula then I can’t overstate just how important it is to do your research before buying.

Dry Skin

If you find your skin often appears flaky and perhaps feels slightly tight then the chances are that you suffer from dry skin. Dry skin tends to need a lot more moisture added to it in the forms of serums on more hydrating foundation formulas. You may suffer with dry skin all year around or it could be a seasonal issue that you find arises only in the colder months.

How to choose the right foundation for dry skin

As mentioned, if you have dry skin, you’ll be wanting to add some extra hydration into your skin. Matte formulas are a definite no-no when it comes to picking a foundation for your dry skin. Look for dewy foundation that create an ever-so desirable, glazed skin glow. Usually these are lighter coverage foundations which minimises the chances of your foundation sticking to dry patches.

The Ordinary Serum Foundation

Oily Skin

Having oily skin can often result in congested or blocked pores. If your skin is noticeably more prone to break-outs and you often find yourself having to retouch your base with powder frequently throughout the day, chances are you fall into the oily skin category.

How to choose the right foundation for oily skin

The main criteria you’ll be looking for in a foundation if you have oily skin is one to reduce the amount of oil in your skin produces. The best way to do this is through the use of primers and choosing the correct foundation formula. If you have an oily skin type you’ll be wanting to look out for mattifying formulas that help decrease oils. This will help to keep your foundation in place throughout the day and minimise the chances of looking like a shiny mess after one hour of wear.

Fenty Beauty PRO FILT’R Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

Combination Skin

Those with combination skin will likely recognise symptoms from both dry and oily skin types. Usually, you will have an oilier T-zone and suffer from dryness in other areas like your cheeks. This skin type is perhaps one of the hardest type to find the perfect foundation match for.

The T-zone may often extend to the chin

How to choose the right foundation for combination skin

Finding the right foundation for your combination skin may require a little more strategic planning. Most foundations seem to be more geared towards either oily skin or dry skin rather than a mix of both. It may be that you need to get slightly creative to get a formula to work perfectly for you.

You can even try mixing and matching your foundation to appeal to all areas of your face, dry or oily. Apply a mattifying formula to your T-zone and a hydrating formula to the rest of your face where you notice dryness. Setting oilier spots with a translucent powder will also help combat any shine throughout the day.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation (Various Shades)

Sensitive Skin

If your skin is sensitive to ingredients and perfumed products then you guessed it, you probably have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin can display symptoms in the form of skin flare ups that often cause sore and itchy symptoms. If you have sensitive skin, you may find that you need to be extra careful when choosing the right foundation for your skin as it’s often prone to reacting with new products.

How to choose the right foundation for sensitive skin

Pick a foundation with a lighter consistency that is not heavily fragranced. Mineral foundations are the types of product you’ll be wanting to reach for if you suffer from sensitive skin. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s a trial and error finding which products your skin isn’t adverse to. Stick with it and eventually you’ll find one that is just right for you.

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Foundation Stick


It may be called normal, but I have to admit I haven’t come across too many people that are blessed with the ‘normal’ skin type 100% of the time. Normal means you’re among the favourites in this world – you don’t suffer from any of the features of dry or oily skin, and you can pretty much choose any foundation that takes your fancy. Lucky you. Simply choose whether you’re looking for a matte or dewy foundation finish and the amount of coverage you want. You’re less likely to have to adhere to rules when it comes to choosing a foundation to suit your skin.

Understanding your skin type

If you’re applying makeup it’s usually to enhance your skin in a positive way, whether that be evening out your skin tone or covering any blemishes.

If you are still in a state of confusion about which is your skin type, then try consulting a makeup professional. Most makeup counter employees will be trained to tell you which category your skin falls under and can then advise you on how to choose the right foundations for your skin type.

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