5 Steps To Choosing A Foundation

A range of different types of foundation

Finding the right foundation can feel like searching for the holy grail. Even with so much choice on the market it can seem impossible to find the one that works for you.

If you’re stuck with a foundation that’s the wrong colour or formula, try following my five step guide below.

Skin type

Knowing your skin well means that you can shop around for a foundation that’s right for it. Basic skin types are oily, dry and combination but there are also products out there if your skin is mature, acne prone or suffers from redness.

As a general rule, if your skin is oily look for oil free or powder formulas that aren’t going to make your sebum situation worse. For dry skin you’ll want to go for a moisturising formula that reflects light well. Balancing foundations are great if your skin is changeable or combination.

Skin tone

Finding the right shade of foundation for your skin can be daunting. After all, no one wants to make their skin look orange or ashy with a colour that’s too dark or light.

Luckily, I already have a post where I go into detail about finding the right shade of foundation for your skin.

A range of different types of foundation and makeup brushes

Your undertone

Your undertone is different to your skin tone. It can be either cool, warm or neutral and is determined by how much pink or yellow tones are in your skin.

Knowing what your undertone is makes shopping for foundation so much easier as you can narrow down the colours at the wrong end of the spectrum. Here’s how you can find your undertone.


There are many levels of coverage on the market from super light tinted moisturisers to think pancake types. There are even buildable foundations that allow you to work up heavier coverage in some areas while keeping it lighter in others.

The level of coverage really depends on your personal preference. Some people love the security that a heavy foundation gives them, while others hate the feel of it on their face and would rather wear something light.

Remember that the heaviest possible coverage might not really be necessary. I find some women really overestimate how bad their skin is. Even if you have problematic skin (such as acne or eczema prone) it doesn’t affect every part of your face. Sometimes a medium coverage foundation plus a concealer for some areas is enough.

A range of different types of foundation


Matte, dewy or light reflecting- the texture you choose will be largely down to personal preference. It’s worth taking into consideration any skin issues you have that can be helped or hindered by certain textures.

For example, matte foundations can make dry, flaky skin look worse but a light reflecting one will minimise the appearance of dry patches. If your skin has spots then a dewy texture will highlight them but matte won’t.

Some Bonus Tips

Before you start, set yourself a budget and stick to it. Foundation is a workhorse product that you’ll buy time and time again. You don’t want to fall in love with Armani Luminous Silk if you can’t afford to shell out £42 every time you run out.

Ask for samples if you can. That way you can try the foundation in the morning and see if it lasts the day.

And finally – be picky. Makeup is expensive so make sure you spend money on something you love.

5 steps to choosing a foundation


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Hi I’m Rebecca

I’ve been a makeup artist and hair stylist in the fashion industry for 15 years. Welcome to by blog where I write about all things beauty, makeup and skincare. Check out my Instagram below for daily content and mini tutorials.