Choosing a Foundation

Choosing a foundation

With so many types of foundations and brands on the market it is hard to know which to choose. But there is much more to it than finding the right shade of foundation, as demonstrated in this article.


The texture of your foundation is particularly important to your skin type and concerns. Once you have worked out your skin type you will know which texture of foundation will suit you best. Oily skins will want lighter, fluid or mousse textures which help to matify the skin and reduce the appearance of oil. Foundations suited to oily skin also reduce the appearance of open pores. If concealing wrinkles are your main concern then it is best to avoid matifying foundations which can crease in lines; instead look out for light-difusing liquid makeup which helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Dry skin types are best suited to a liquid foundations which give some hydration and add luminosity to the skin. Foundations for combination skins need to be clever and adapt to meet your skin’s needs. This includes preventing shine in the T-zone and not drying out your cheeks.


You will need to decide how much coverage you want from your foundation. There are three options: light, medium and full coverage. Lighter foundations give minimal coverage and a natural finish. They are good for younger, clearer skins as well as oily skins or those looking for lighter coverage in warmer weather. Medium coverage foundations provide a good coverage without sitting in lines. For skins prone to acne or with scarring, a full coverage foundation will conceal problem areas and even out the skin’s texture. Full coverage foundations are also ideal for someone looking for a completely flawless finish and are particularly good at covering imperfections, blemishes and spots.  Full coverage makeup helps skin look flawless and more photogenic.


Cream foundation

Cream foundations offer a full coverage makeup and are ideal for normal and dry skins because they often have moisturising benefits. They give a luminous or radiant finish which is particularly flattering on dry, dull skins. Anti-ageing foundations often come in a cream texture and have ingredients which help to firm the skin such as RMS Beauty Uncover Up Concealer Foundation ($36).

RMS Beauty Uncover Up

Mousse foundation

Mousse foundations tend to give the best finish on combination to oily skin types as they leave a powdery, matt finish. They are easy to apply and soft to the touch. Mousses foundations make an ideal everyday makeup and additional powder is not required.

Liquid foundation

Liquid foundations are usually suited to normal, combination and dry skins. Liquid foundations can give dewy, luminous or natural finishes depending on the type. Combination skins may require a loose powder to finish the look and prevent shine in the T-zone. MAC Mineralise Moisture Foundation, from $39, is our top pick.

Mac Mineralise Foundation


Oily and combination skins often need a powder over the foundation to help prevent shine. While oily skins will require powder across the whole face, combination skins will just need powder in the area most prone to oil — the T-zone (forehead and nose) as cheeks will be normal or dry.

Whether you choose a loose or pressed powder will depend on the amount of coverage you require. Pressed powders can often offer a full coverage and can be used as a complete foundation on oily skins. However, if applied with a brush rather than a sponge, a lighter coverage is given. Loose powders are the ideal finish to any foundation and help its staying power. Loose powders are best applied with a powder brush to avoid caking.

Translucent coloured powders suit most skin tones and are ideal for women using powder over a liquid foundation. If you require a fuller coverage from your powder it is best to get your colour matched so that it is not noticeable.

Mineral makeup

Mineral makeup is a relatively new phenomenon and is known as skin loving makeup. Mineral makeup contains minerals to help strengthen and support the skin, vitamins to improve the skin’s condition and anti-oxidants to protect against free radicals. Mineral makeup gives a natural finish. Although most of the mineral makeup currently available are in powder form, more and more brands are developing liquid foundations including INIKA Certified Organic Makeup, there liquid foundation has the added benefit of hyaluronic acid, and retails from $45.

Inika Certified Organic Foundation

Tinted moisturiser

Tinted moisturiser is the ideal summer time foundation because it is much lighter and is suited to warm conditions. The light coverage allows you to tan while protecting your skin from sun damage with high SPFs. Tinted moisturisers can usually be worn a shade or two darker than normal foundations as they blend in very naturally with your natural skin tone. Tinted moisturisers are usually suited to all skin types. We recommend Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser $45 for a lovely, natural sunkissed glow and the protection of SPF20.

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