Dos and Don’ts of Finding the Right Foundation


Locating that perfect foundation has always been difficult for me. I blame that on my dry Asian skin, which tends to change in shade and texture along with the seasons. I’m sure most of you have certain issues that are unique to your skin type and tone, so to help you navigate the seemingly arduous task of finding the perfect foundation, here are some nuggets of expert information I’ve culled over the years. Some of them are utterly basic, but trust me, even the most adept of us need some reminding sometimes.

  1. Foundation is supposed to create an illusion of near-perfect skin, which means for it to be believable, it needs to be undetectable, so finding the shade closest to your skin tone and undertone is the most crucial.
  2. Always have 2 shades of foundation on hand: a lighter one you’ll use most of the year, and a darker one for the warmer months when you’re likely more tan.
  3. Your skin type matters. If you have dry skin, choose a liquid, cream or stick foundation, and if you have oily skin, reach for an oil-free liquid or powder foundation. Some foundation formulas now incorporate skin care ingredients like salicylic acid for acne-prone skin, collagen and antioxidants for mature skin, and calming botanicals for redness-prone skin—take advantage of these extra benefits!
  4. When it comes to finishes, semi-matte tends to look the most natural. But then again, consider your skin type. If you’re oily, choose matte; if you have dry or mature skin, dewy finishes will enliven your complexion.
  5. If you have oily skin, opt for foundations slightly lighter than your complexion. This is advised because oil can cause your foundation to oxidize and appear darker.

I hope this helps, but if you’re still unsure about what foundation to get for you—or if you just want to find new favorites, or look for a more affordable version of your designer foundation—here’s something you might want to try: DermStore’s Foundation Finder! This new feature is almost the same as getting professional help from the department store—but way better, because you can do this without getting off your comfy couch. Plus, the process is really simple: you can either enter your current foundation product and it will find all the similar products for you, or you can choose a model that closely resembles your skin tone and it will provide you with a list of options perfect for you. Not sure what your skin’s undertone is? Not a problem—there’s a video tutorial for that, too! So go ahead, try it, I’m sure your perfect foundation match is just a few clicks away!

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