Foundation polishes, perfects and protects your skin from UV and pollution. Find out how to choose it and apply it with our expert guide.
How to choose the right foundation
Foundation shouldn’t add colour to your skin – the right shade will blend in with your natural skin tone so it looks like your skin and not like make-up. Test out any new shade on your jawline in natural daylight – if it vanishes, then you’ve found the right shade for you.
Always match your foundation type to your skin type. If you have dry skin, go for dewy, softening and hydrating formulas. If your skin’s oily, go for drier compact foundations and oil-free varieties. Stick foundations give good coverage where you need it, while sheer formulas just help to even everything out when skin is already looking good.
How to apply it
Avoid creases. Foundation looks its best on cleansed, scrubbed and moisturized skin, so always prepare your skin first. Miss this step and you run the risk of your make-up looking dry on your skin and collecting in the creases more easily.
Always keep it sheer. Only apply base where you need it and leave it off skin that’s blemish-free to help your makeup look sheer but polished.
If you’re applying a liquid foundation, use your fingers, a soft sponge or brush and blend the liquid only over the areas that need cover – you’ll find that cheekbones and jawlines often need less foundation, if any. Use the back of your hand and add touches of cover from here rather than straight from the bottle, just where you need it. Dust a little translucent powder over the top along the T-zone to finish.
If you’re applying a creamy compact foundation that turns to a powder once blended, use the sponge applicator (or fingers) to blend in, but go lightly over any lines and skin folds, as this type of foundation tends to cover more thickly in general and may emphasise flaws rather than just cover. If your skin is dry, opt for these creamier formulas rather than powder foundations, which can be quite drying and are better for olive and oilier skins.
Remember – you never want to “look” as if you’re wearing foundation, just to look as if you’ve got great skin.