How to choose foundation for your skin type

Choosing foundation has to be one of the most difficult decisions a girl can make. Not only do you have to think about the colour but also about your skin type, coverage needed and how you apply it. There’s so much choice out there and while that’s great, it can often make life a little difficult too. What the hell do you need?

I’m pale and freckly. My skin isn’t terrible but I like to even out my skin tone while allowing my natural freckles to shine through. I’ve found most success with heavy BB creams. They look natural but give me the right amount of coverage. If I’m going all out, I opt for a Nyx or Chanel foundation depending on the time of the year and how much tan I have.

For those of you looking for an easy start and need some foundations to try out, take a look at this article for all the best foundations for your skin type.

If you’re out shopping and need to know what to look for, here’s some advice.

Type of foundation

Before we even get into colour-matching, you need to think about the type of foundation you’re after. Do you prefer creams, powders or liquids? They’ll all give a different kind of coverage and some are better than others for different skin types.

Powders tend to be good for people with oily skin as they’re naturally mattifying. Those of you with dry or mature skin should stick with a liquid foundation, these tend to be easier to apply and are good for anyone in a rush but they don’t always last as long as a powder.

Application type

Squishy sponge, brush, fingertips? How you apply your foundation is up to you but many foundations will give recommendations. Using your fingers is the quickest and easiest way and will work for lighter foundations but if you’re going for heavy coverage, a brush or sponge will help you keep it even. For powder foundations, these usually come with a special brush.


A thin layer of foundation might even out your skin tone while a second layer will have you ready for highlighting and contouring to your heart’s desire. Most foundations are made to be layered and this gives maximum flexibility. I tend to use a liquid foundation topped with a powder one if I’m doing TV and need the best coverage because it also mattifies my skin.

Skin tone

The colour of your skin will dictate the colour of your foundation. If you’re in a shop and trying out some testers, don’t put it on the back of your hand, look at the colour match on your fingertip instead. If in doubt put some on your face near your jawline. For anyone with darker skin, you now have a lot more options than you once did. Seek out foundations made for your skin tone as you’re more likely to find a good colour match.

Ask someone

If you’re really stuck, head to a department store and speak to some of the staff at the beauty counters. They’ll be able to give advice, help you choose your colour and test out some products on you too.

The more foundation you buy, the better you’ll get a finding the right colour and type that works for you. I can now go into a store and find a new foundation in my colour without much effort. I’ve levelled up.

How do you choose foundation?


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