Your Foundation Guide


Foundation is the one beauty product that we get the most questions on. Shades, brands, formulas, and whatever else is confusing to you was once confusing to us. Makeup schools spend multiple classes going over how to choose the right foundation for a variety of skin types and tones. Trust us, we’re experts. That’s why we figured we would dedicate a whole series to finding which face base is the right fit for you.


While skin tone is most important in choosing the right product for you, undertones are a close second. If you have light skin but your undertone is more golden than pink, adding a cool foundation onto your skin will make you look gray.

Okay, hang with us. Here’s the breakdown.

There are three types of undertones in skin. You can have “warm” undertones are more golden/yellow, “cool” undertones which are pinker, and neutral undertones are middle-of-the-road. The exception to this rule is MAC Cosmetics, which uses the opposite system for their colors (NC is “not cool” and is for golden/yellow tones).

How do I find out what my undertone is? You can tell my looking at the veins on your wrists. Those with blue and green veins tend to have warm undertones, those with purple have cool undertones, and those with a mix of blue, green, and/or purple will veer toward neutral.


While foundation coverage is something that can often be manipulated, why not buy the base that’ll serve its purpose? While some coverages are best for certain purposes but, at the end of the day, it depends on what you want your end look to be and what you feel comfortable wearing.

Full: This is the type of base that will give you a lot of product and a clean canvas to your look.

Medium: A step down from full, this coverage allows for any marks or acne to be covered without too much product. This is the most popular coverage.

Light: A small layer of coverage will allow you to even out any discoloration in the skin but won’t cover raised or darker marks on the skin.

Sheer: These are your BB creams and tinted moisturizers. They will give you a uniform base but allow your skin to show through.

Welcome to the series. 

We’ll be diving into the best bases for your skin type and even some special reports on clean and luxury products.

To start, here are the most inclusive ranges for all skin types and tones.


Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation

The newest addition to the Dior family has given us the gift of a perfect complexion. This all over product (yes, face AND body) helps give the look of TV appearance legs and/or a glowing even complexion. This formula provides medium coverage that can be layered for a fuller look and it sets matte. Don’t worry, though, the dry skin folks will feel comfortable wearing this foundation, too!


Fenty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

There was no way we were leaving off Fenty, the brand that made the biggest splash in the beauty industry this year. Not only did Rihanna make sure that all skin tones were considered in the creation of this seminal foundation range but she emphasized the importance of undertone. Not all fair skinned people have cool undertones and not all darker skin tones are warm. Time to get on board beauty 2019. Thank you, Fenty.


LANCOME TEINT IDOLE Ultra Long Wear foundation

Lancome has long lived in many of our cosmetics cabinets and there is something so special about a brand that, for many of us, was our first. This foundation totally remixed our nostalgic view of the French makeup and has become one of the most inclusive and universally flattering formulas in the biz. Not only does it flatter a variety of skin types, it’s stay-all-day technology allows for your face to look fresh for your 8 AM meeting and that happy hour.


Kat Von D Lock It Foundation

If you’re looking for that full coverage love, look no further. We are continuously in awe of what Kat Von D does with her conscientious brand. This foundation is cruelty-free, vegan, and free of phthalates and parabens. It’s strong enough to cover anything you don’t want showing (even tattoos). No more judging from your holier-than-thou great aunt at Thanksgiving. Bye, Shirley.


Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

This full coverage formula is a double whammy. Not only will it provide you with a completely perfect base but it will help your skin feel and look better over time. This foundation contains coconut water for hydration, alpine rose protects skin cells from UV damage, and hyaluronic acid increases skin’s firmness over time to help with fine lines. Just in time for the colder months.


Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation

Ever since it’s launch, Cover FX has been the quintessential brand to reach for if you want a glamorous complexion IRL. This compact elevates what you would already expect from this foundation by making is portable. The added benefit of this formula is that it contains antioxidants and vitamins like C and E to help protect and heal your skin for a flawless look, even when you aren’t wearing it.


See you for the next installment:

Foundations for Oily Skin


Cover photo by Roberto Delgado Webb.

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