We have come a long way since the time when we could just slather on some cream and then some loose compact powder before stepping out for an event or a gathering. Rather than slapping on a thick layer of makeup that looks artificial and flaky, today’s Gen X populace prefers a perfect base to give the skin an even texture and a subtle glow. And what better way to achieve this than getting your hands on an excellent beauty staple like the foundation that serves multiple purposes.

Unlike lipsticks, eyeshadows and eyeliners that can be played around with, finding the perfect foundation can be a real quest. With the plethora of shades, finishes, textures, coverage levels and personalization available, it can be a daunting task to nail down a formula that’s perfect for your particular needs and compliments your skin.
Woman with foundation brush in hand

Well, worry not, we’ve got your back! We bring you a simple guide to finding your dream formula, finish and shade based on 5 different categories.

Skin Colour: This chiefly refers to the skin tone and is sorted into 3 main types – light, medium and dark. In the global setting, most Indians are largely categorized under medium skin tone, whereas Caucasians have a lighter skin tone and Africans are considered to have a relatively darker skin tone. While medium skin tone can be further divided into tan, honey, natural and beige, light can be classified into porcelain, ivory and sand. The darker skin tones can be sorted into almond, walnut, chestnut or espresso.

To find out which foundation suits your skin, first swatch the product on your jawline, neck and forehead. The correct shade blends in perfectly with the skin whereas an incorrect one would either make your skin look pale or dark. You can even blend two different colours closer to your skin tone to get the perfect shade during summers and winters as your skin tends to change colour throughout the year.

Skin Type: Another pivotal step to choose the perfect foundation is to determine the type of skin you have. Basically, there are 4 main skin types: oily, dry, combination and sensitive skin. The best way to know whether the formula suits your skin or not is to apply it behind the ears and see if it causes any rashes or irritation.

For oily skin, you can go for a powder-based, oil-free or even mineral-based foundation that helps absorb the oil, giving you a smooth, matte finish.

For people with dry skin, you can choose from a hydrating powder foundation, a liquid or a stick one with a creamy consistency to keep your skin moisturized and avoid patches.

For those with combination skin type (i.e., oily in the T-zone and dry in other parts), you can mix and match two foundations or choose one that keeps your skin moisturized but also sucks in extra oiliness.

For people struggling with acne-prone or sensitive skin, choose a foundation that is alcohol, fragrance and mineral-free. Consult a dermatologist to get the perfect formula.

Undertone: Undertone, also known as skin shade refers to the hue beneath your skin that affects your overall colour. To know about your undertone, look at the veins on your wrist or at the back of your hand. If the colour of your vein looks greenish and you have golden-hued skin, you have a warm undertone, while a more purple or bluish appearance of the vein and a slight rosy skin means that you possess a cool undertone. If the colour of your veins as well as your skin falls somewhere between the above-mentioned colours, then your undertone is most probably olive or neutral.

Skin Texture: After narrowing down your skin type, tone and hue, the next crucial part is to know the correct texture of your skin. Apart from the usual oily, dry and combination types, the human skin can also be classified into even, patchy, or one with the presence of spots or moles. Well, people with even skin texture can pick a formula immediately after determining their tone and type. But the ones having spots or patchy skin should choose a formula that gives them maximum coverage and masks all the textures.

Finish: Last, but not least, the finish of a foundation simply refers to the kind of sheen or matte effect a formula leaves behind on your skin. Be it a newbie or a beauty blogger, to get the perfect look or create different looks based on the occasion, you can opt for foundations that can give you either a dewy, semi-matte, matte or aluminizing finish.

Well, now that you know more about foundations, ace that base effortlessly!