Buying a new foundation: 3 questions to ask yourself first
Foundations have evolved dramatically in the last five years. Advanced new formulations offer a handful of benefits over and above simple complexion coverage so it’s worth revaluating if your tried and true favourite is still your best option.
From foundations with skincare benefits like pollution-protection to those that intuitively continue to mattify oily areas, there are an overwhelming number of options available. To make the search easier, there are three key questions you should ask yourself.
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1. Consider your skin type. Is it dry, oily or combination?
If it’s dry: Look for one that offers extra hydration and glow-inducing properties.
If it’s oily: Avoid any overly dewy finishes, the new long-wear offerings are your best bet.
If it’s combination: Go for lightweight formulas that adjust to your needs, controlling midday shine without looking flaky and dry by 3pm.
2. What finish and formulation are your preference?
Are you looking for a sheer, lightweight product that you can apply just where you feel you need a bit of smoothing, or do you like full coverage colour that instantly conceals redness and imperfections? Are you comfortable applying liquid with a foundation brush or would a stick or a compact and sponge you can blend with your fingers suit you better?
3. Does your skin have a cool, warm or neutral undertone?
Generally foundation shades are divided into these categories so it helps to know what yours is. One of the quickest ways to tell is to consider the veins on your forearm. Do they appear blue or green? If they look more blue, you are likely to have cool undertones. If the veins look greenish, you’re warm. Cooler tones usually suit silver jewellery while warm tones look better in gold.
The upside of buying a higher end brand is that generally cosmetics counter staff will offer to colour match your skin tone, as well as sending you home with one or two samples, so you can try the foundation at home on your own time to consider how they work with your lifestyle. If you are doing an in-store swatch, try the foundation on a neutral area like the lower area of your cheek near your jawline. Check it in natural light and look for the shade that almost disappears.
Once you’re narrowed down your answers, use them to inform your purchases or help explain to counter consultants what you’re looking for.
What foundation are you using right now and is it the best match for your skin?
Main image: Glossier