Choose Your Best Foundation

How To Select The Best Foundation For Your Skin

The majority of makeup artists and experts would agree that the most important tool in your arsenal is a good foundation. However, it's all too easy to select the wrong shade, quality, or targeted concern for your unique skin type, resulting in less than ideal results. Here is an easy guide to selecting the perfect foundation for your skin.

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1. Oily/Acne Prone Skin

For oily or breakout prone skin types, it can be tricky finding a foundation that won't melt within the hour or worsen breakouts. In this case it's best to steer clear of liquid foundations and opt for a powder instead. Most major cosmetic lines offer powder foundations that provide excellent coverage without the shine or greasy feel. Some even contain salicylic acid to treat blemishes while concealing them. Make sure to select oil free, non-comedogenic formulas, and take care if the product boasts mineral, illuminating, or brightening components, as these can potentially up the shine and oil factors. If you prefer a liquid foundation, make sure it's mattefying. Use tools instead of your fingertips when applying.

*Additional tip: because cosmetic shades can appear darker on oiler skin types, choose a foundation that's a shade lighter than your natural skin tone.

2. Dry Skin

Dry skin types usually require more of a moisture boost in their foundations, to prevent dullness or flaking throughout the day. Cream foundations with added ceramides, antioxidants, vitamins, oils, and humectants are ideal. Tinted moisturizers also offer a flawless application without a heavy makeup feel, and work to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.

*Additional tip: exfoliating and moisturizing the skin before applying foundation will ensure a smoother application and longer lasting results.

3. Sensitive Skin

Skin that is highly reactive to certain ingredients and environmental factors requires the simplest and preferably most organic of foundation formulas. Look specifically for "hypo-allergenic" and "fragrance-free" on the label. Mineral foundations soothe and even out sensitive complexions without irritating the skin or drawing attention to problematic areas. Avoid any added colors, parabens, or overly harsh ingredients, and definitely consider foundations with UV protection.

*Additional tip: if you're not sure whether a foundation will irritate your skin, ask for a sample first and try for a week. High end beauty retailers are generally happy to sample foundation products, rather than deal with potential returns at a later date.

4. Mature Skin

As we age our skin loses its natural collagen and elasticity, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness of skin tone. Certain cosmetics can cake and settle into creases on the face, exacerbating aging concerns and even highlighting imperfections. Aging skin, much like dry skin, requires foundation formulas packed with moisturizing vitamins, as well as additional collagen boosters. Opt for water-based liquid foundations and use only the lightest talc-free setting powders to finish. UV protectants are a plus, as prolonged exposure to sunlight has been shown to speed up the aging process, as well as increase the risk of cancer.

*Additional tip: Mixing lighter and darker foundation shades can harden and soften desired lines for a more youthful appearance. For example, apply a foundation that is one to two shades darker than your natural skin tone to lift sagging areas, while using a lighter shade to soften and blur certain angles.

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