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Help! I Don't Know What to Look for in a Foundation


Help! I Don't Know What to Look for in a Foundation

Question: Help! How to Do I Pick the Right Foundation?

I got an email from a woman desperate to find the right foundation. She has combination skin, which is mostly oily. She also has blemishes and some rosacea and she's frustrated having spent hundreds of dollars in her quest to find the perfect foundation. She writes, "I would love to achieve a dewy natural looking skin tone. I just can't seem to get it right. Any recommendations and advice you have will be so appreciated."

Here's my advice to her...

Answer: Finding the right foundation can be incredibly frustrating if you don't know what you're doing. Remember back in the 80s when you had to guess by studying the bottle whether you'd be picking the right shade? I inevitably ended up with the wrong tint and walked around with a tell-tale line at my jaw.

These days, department stores and drugstores alike have generous return policies. Because of this, I recommend women head to Sephora or a department store and have an expert help you find the right shade and formulation. Take your favorite home and try it out for a few days. If you hate it, return it. If drugstore foundations are more in your budget, remember to aim for a shade that most closely matches your skin. Take it home, try it out and if you hate it, return it.

The secret is this: The right foundation will disappear on your skin.

For recommendations on best foundations, see my list of best foundations. The foundations I suggest are beauty editor and user favorites and picked for that reason. To figure out shades and formulas, check out my article, "How to Pick the Right Foundation".

To get dewy-looking skin, I recommend:

  • Exfoliating with a scrub once or twice a week.
  • To avoid the "cakey look", use moisturizer on the dry parts of your face BEFORE applying foundation. Let the moisturizer soak in, then apply a liquid or cream foundation.
  • It's best to apply foundation only to the areas that need it most: Along the nose, under the eyes and maybe the chin.
  • Dot concealer on the red parts. Apply concealer AFTER foundation because foundation tends to cover up most problem areas.
  • Set makeup with powder if you want.
  • If makeup gets cakey during the day, spritz Evian water on your face (you can get Evian water in the spray cans at drugstores).
Here are more resources you may find helpful:

20 Secrets to Amazing Skin
Should You Splurge on Foundation and Concealer?
How to Even Out Skin Tone

Good luck to you!

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