How To Find The Perfect Foundation + My Favorite Foundations

Foundation is an essential part of any beauty regimen. I have been struggling to find the perfect foundation all my life and didn’t really know the difference between any of them until recently. I thought every foundation was the same, just marked differently by the brand. I had no clue what full coverage, medium coverage or light coverage was, nor did I know the difference between matte and luminous. I knew the simple differences, but not how it would look on my skin. Today’s blog post is on how to find the perfect foundation plus I’m sharing with you my top five favorite foundations!

My skin is oily with some dry spots. The dryness is caused mainly by my acne fighting regimen, so I have to be super careful when picking a foundation. Some matte foundations leave my skin looking cakey, and some luminous foundations make me look like a puddle of oil that you’d slip on. The most difficult challenge for me is finding something that doesn’t spread on my skin. Spreading is when foundation breaks away and leaves patches exposing your skin. It can look like streaky spray tan. Obviously, it’s not a good look. Too matte can leave your skin dry and flaky, and too oily can leave your skin too shiny and enhance your dryness as well. It’s a long hard battle not only finding the right color for your skin tone, but also the right brand.

–  DENIZ TIP: Also, if you have more oily skin, a more matte foundation is probably best, because a dewy-luminous can be too greasy. If you want to go for a natural dewy look, add a dollop of Argan Oil to your foundation to even out redness and discoloration, but also to balance the natural oils in your skin.

There are three major elements for skin tone, the undertones: Cool, Warm and Neutral.

What’s the difference you ask?

COOL: pink, red or bluish undertones

WARM: yellow or golden undertones

NEUTRAL: a mix of warm and cool undertones

In a way to find out which underlying skin tone you have, look at your veins. If they’re blue, purple, green, you can kind of gauge by verifying their color.

If your veins look blue then you’re cool toned with pink/rosy undertones.

If your veins look green then you’re warm toned with golden/yellow undertones.

If you can’t tell what color your veins are, you’re neutral toned with both cool and warm undertones.

Aside from the base color (undertone), you also need to find out what spectrum your skin tone is (surface tone). Is it porcelain, ivory, golden, medium, olive, tan, dark? This can be hard to do unless you physically go in to color match a foundation. The most important element when TRYING on different foundations, is to test them under natural light as well. What I realized is that every foundation goes on one color, and dries another.

For example, I matched beautifully initially with Marc Jacobs Re(Marc)able foundation in the color 29. But after an hour, it got significantly darker. I went back and purchased number 27, and it went on a tiny bit lighter but dried matching perfectly. This is crucial to realize because it changes the whole game.

Also, never match your foundation to your face. Your face is always lighter than the rest of your body (naturally). Match it your neck (more so your neckline).  You can always add bronzer or blush to enhance your face if you choose to. Sometimes, a little foundation with a bit of blush and bronzer and mascara is the simplest easiest look.

  • DENIZ TIP: It’s rare to find an EXACT match. It can happen but for the most part there will always be discrepancies. In order to create a more “perfect” match, you can blend various colors together to create a unique shade that’s fitting to you. It takes practice and trial and error, but if you’re chasing the perfect color, that is an option.

Next important step is determining the type of coverage you want to achieve. I usually prefer medium-full coverage, but in the summer I live on sheer coverage. Mainly because during the summer my skin is less acne-ridden and I’m tan which surprisingly makes me feel like I need less makeup.

SHEER COVERAGE: This type of coverage is perfect for those who want to a natural finish but just even out their skin tone.

MEDIUM COVERAGE: This type of coverage is for those who have blemishes and discoloration and want a bit more help in reducing the appearance of them.

FULL COVERAGE: This coverage is for those who have more severe skin issues who want to completely eliminate the visibility of anything on their skin. Full coverage foundations are perfect for weddings, photoshoots, a super a glam look.

It’s up to you to determine which route you want for your daily foundation routine, but most foundations are buildable. So you can get more coverage by layering your foundation.

There are so many forms of foundation as well, wether it’s liquid, oil-based, water-based, powder, stick, it’s more of a preference for each person. I personally love liquid foundations only because it’s what I’m used to. I’ve tried stick foundations, and didn’t really care much for them, but I also love powder foundations. I think it really depends on what works best for you. I’d say, try them all, and see what you love!

Below are my absolute favorite foundations and I’ll tell you why.

  1. Marc Jacobs Re(Marc)able Foundation in 27 “Bisque Neutral” $55: This foundation goes on so smooth and so beautfully. It’s truly magic in a bottle. One to two drops covers your entire face and it’s seamless. It’s soft, full coverage and lasts all day! It’s definitely perfect for a night out and builds beautifully, but you really don’t need to build with this. Both a beauty blender and foundation brush make this go on superbly well.
  2. Josie Maran Vibrancy Foundation in “Adventurous” $45: This foundation is perfect for cooler days. It’s already infused with Argan oil so it’s extremely hydrating. It not only smells good (some people don’t like it, some love it), it goes on smooth. It’s medium to full coverage and it builds very well. I personally only use one layer as it gives me a gorgeous glow. I do set it with a translucent powder and it’s managed to stay on my skin without separating. I really love this product, it’s not my go-to, but for cold or dry weather, it’s my favorite. A foundation brush makes this go on perfectly, I wouldn’t recommend a beauty blender or sponge. Even your hands make this go on flawlessly.
  3. Givenchy Luminous Silk Foundation “Color 5” $62: Talk about a lavish foundation. The name says it all, it’s truly silky. It glides on beautfully, covers beautifully and feels light as air. One of the best foundations for building your coverage. I honestly love this foundation, it lasts a long time, but not all day for me. So I use it off and on depending on what I have going on for the day. This definitely goes on smoother and more flawless with a foundation brush.
  4. Too Faced “Born This Way” Foundation in “Natural Beige” $39: This foundation is really impressive. It goes on smooth, doesn’t feel heavy and covers very well. It’s a great everyday foundation and like all the foundations I mentioned, it builds very well. It’s one of the two foundations I rotate with daily! I love using a beauty blender or foundation brush to apply this.
  5. L’Oreal Pro Matte Foundation in 102 “Shell Beige” $13: This is my favorite drugstore foundation because it truly does what it says. LAST ALL DAY! It’s definitely more full coverage, but if you use a beauty blender, it goes on flawlessly and one small layer is enough to get you shine-free and flawless all day. Who knew a $13 foundation could be so perfect? I prefer using a beauty blender for this versus a foundation brush. I use this as my daily foundation.

I hope this guide and list helped you understand how to choose the right foundation and that my favorite foundations are some you’d be willing to try if your skin is like mine. I know this may be obvious to some of you, but of course, it’s always good to learn sooner than later.

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