The foundation of make-up

Tips and tricks on choosing and applying the right kind of foundation for your skin

woman applying foundationFoundation is the base or canvas on which you apply make-up that helps hide facial imperfections like scars, pigmented skin, zits, and dullness to name a few. It also aids in evening out skin tones and thus hide blemishes. Going one step further, the right usage of foundations also makes your skin look healthy and glowing.

Choose the best option

There are six types of foundations. You can choose the one that best suits your skin type and tone.

Liquid foundation

Perhaps the friendliest foundation on the shelf, liquid foundation suits most skin types and gives a natural and subtle look. It is available in two variants—oil and water based formulas.

Water-based foundations are easy to blend and even out on the face as they contain emollient that covers the skin smoothly with a hint of sheen.

Oil-based foundations are greasy and thick. They blend in well giving the skin a dewy, moist and healthy glow.

Recommended for: Water-based foundations are best for people with oily skin, while oil-based foundations are good for people with dry skin.

Cream foundation

Cream foundations have moisturising properties and are heavier to use. Look for sodium hyaluronate and petrolatum in your foundations as these ingredients add to the creaminess of foundations.

Recommended for: People with wrinkled and extremely dry skin.

Cake or stick foundation

stick foundationFoundations in this category give out a matte or dry finish effect. They are a little difficult to use as they are not creamy or liquid, but are good for occasional use. For those with acne-prone skin, look for the word ‘non-comedogenic’ on the label, or salicylic acid in the ingredients. These ingredients will help keep pores clearer and curb new breakouts.

Recommended for: Those with oily and acne-prone skin.

Waterproof foundation

In places where humidity is high, a waterproof foundation works best as they are water-resistant and thus ensures that your make-up stays intact for longer.

Recommended for: People living in sweltering conditions.

Powder foundation

Powder foundation comes in two variants—loose and pressed powder. Giving a semi-matte or matte appearance, powder foundation is non-messy and is capable of covering most areas with ease.

Recommended for: Oily-skinned people.

Mineral foundation

A new entrant, mineral foundation is one that is free of preservatives. A powder-like form, this type of foundation gives a smooth and silky finish to your skin.

Recommended for: People with sensitive or allergy-prone skin.

Apply it in style

A clean face and clean hands are a must before you start working on your foundation. Identify any particular area or spot that you would like to cover up so that proper attention is devoted to that.The foundation needs to be spread out evenly and lightly. Start by applying dots of foundation on your cheeks, chin forehead and tip of the nose. Use a sponge, brush or your finger tips to blend the dots.

If required, spread it out evenly onto the rest of your face. Pay special attention to your hair and jaw line so that no obvious line is left behind.

Wash it off

While foundation ensures a glowing face with intact make-up, do not forget to remove it however tired or busy you may feel at the end of the day.

  • Use a make-up remover to do the needful keeping your skin type in mind. If you have a dry skin, a gel or creamy cleanser works best while those with sensitive skin should avoid products with alcohol or fragrance. Those with normal skin have more option and can thus choose from gels, creams or liquid cleansers.
  • Use your finger tips to apply the cleanser on your face and gently rub it in circular motion. Repeat this for a little longer if you have used very heavy foundation.
  • Wipe away the cleanser with a soft cloth or cotton ball.
  • Rinse remaining foundation, if any, with cold water.
  • Finally don’t forget to apply a moisturiser [as per your skin type].

Keep them in mind

  • Buy a foundation that is closest to your skin colour.
  • In case of combination skin, determine the type most widespread in your skin and purchase a foundation accordingly.
  • Go for yellow-based foundations as they look natural on all skin types.
  • Try pink-based foundations if you are light-skinned.
  • Test the foundation by applying a thin line of colour on your jaw line before buying it.
  • Ensure that your face and neck end up in the same colour.
  • Do not let bacteria breed in your foundation. Immediately wash your brush/ sponge after use. Make a mixture of vinegar and water with more of the latter. Dip your brush in and gently give it a scrub-rinse off with running water.

While foundation is like a magic wand that helps you look flawless, do not overuse it. Foundations are generally recommended only for those over 30 years of age. Avoid using foundation every time you go out or apply make-up. Instead, reserve it for special occasions when you may need to look just that extra special.

Anuradha Ch
Anuradha Ch is a trained cosmetologist with a degree from the Christine Valmy Beauty School, New York. She is also the director of Anoo's a chain of salons in South India. Anuradha's hobbies include watching movies and sports like cricket, cooking and reading books. She lives in Hyderabad.


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