It doesn’t matter if your skin is dry, oily, or acne-prone, finding the best foundation can be super hard. Drugstores don’t give you samples, and when you get the bottle home, the color on your face can look nothing like you thought it would. And even if you go to Sephora, or a department store that lets you test the color first, you still need to make sure you’re choosing the right formula for your skin. Before you buy new foundation, follow this easy guide to find the perfect formula and shade for you.
1. Choose a formula designed for your skin type. Don’t just go by what it says on the bottle—the beauty lingo can be confusing. Instead, choose the formula that works best for your skin. If your face is usually dry, pick a liquid or stick foundation because it’ll be creamy and pack the most moisturizing properties. If your skin is oily, go with a powder foundation that’ll help absorb the oil, leaving a matte finish. Combination skin seems difficult, but it’s really just a matter of being careful where you apply the foundation. Powder is the easiest because you can layer it lightly over dry spots, and heavier to soak up oily patches.
2. Decide what type of coverage you want. Love your freckles? Let them show through with a light coverage foundation, or a tinted moisturizer. Go with medium coverage if you want a more airbrushed look (like for prom), and full coverage if you want to cover everything, like acne.
3. Figure out your skin’s undertone. It sounds a little icky, but check out the veins on your wrists. If they’re olive, you probably have a warm undertone. If they’re more blue or purple, your undertone is cool, and if they’re blue-green, you have neutral undertone. Why does this matter? You want to look for foundation that complements your undertone. Warm tones look amazing in a yellow-based or peach-based shade; cool tones work well with pink-based colors; and neutral tones work best with yellow shades.
4. Test foundation shades against your jawline. If you’re able to score a sample, don’t test it on your hand.Find natural light outside or near a window, and dab the foundation on your jawline. It should totally disappear into your skin. If you can’t decide between two similar colors, put them side by side and see which one disappears into your skin the best.