Basic Foundation Guide

foundationIf you ask me what is the most important thing for in a makeup, I would say it’s my foundation or my base makeup. If my base makeup is good, I would be able to carry most kinds of makeup.

Thanks to the technological advancements in makeup, the cosmetic houses have started to manufacture more than three shades of foundation. I think our Indian cosmetic companies are still trying hard to get there but I guess they all, finally. Lakme already has 4 shades, Colorbar-5 , Revlon- many, Inglot and MAC- too many 😛

According to Bobbi Brown: From fair to deep, I find that all complexions have yellow undertones. “

This concept works the best on Indian skin tones. The percentage of women with pink undertone is less as compared to percentage of women with yellow undertones.

How to determine your undertone?
Flip over your arm and look at the veins.If your veins appear greenish, this means you are warm toned. If the veins appear bluish, you are cool toned.

That’s just one of the ways. There are other ways as well but this one is quick and easy and would give you a basic idea.

Foundation types and textures

Foundations come in variety of shades and textures. They should be chosen depending on your skin type and tone.

mac liquid foundationLiquid Foundations: Liquid foundations hold a special place in women’s makeup kit. Especially most Indian women prefer to wear foundations only on special occasions. These kind of foundations are versatile. They are easy to use, don’t need too much blending ,may offer sheer-light-medium-heavy coverage. Liquid foundations are available on both oil based as well as water based formulas. Oil based formulas work great for people who have dry skin or mature skin while the water based formulas become best friends of people who have oily skin.

Some options for liquid Foundations

MACStudioFixPowderPlusFoundationCream Foundations: These type of foundations could give you the heaviest  coverage. If you are looking for no blemish, perfect velvety look-go for these. Application of these foundations could be tricky. Since these foundations have heavy texture , they need a lot of blending. If not blended properly, there is a high chance that you might end up looking cakey and too made up. Cream foundations work best for normal to dry skins, but they are way too heavy for oily skins.

Some options for cream foundations:

MAc StudioCompact Foundations: These are 3 in one kind of foundations. You have a powder, foundation and concealer all packed in one. They are easy to carry, give you a medium to buildable coverage and great if you know how to apply them.  Some people swear by using a sponge for these kind of foundations , I recommend fingers or a stippling brush. If you are just starting with makeup, these are not the best kind of foundations to choose from.

Some options for compact foundations

mineralizepowderfoundationMineral Foundations: Mineral foundations are a rage these days.These are fine powder foundations that feel weightless on skin. Mineral foundations are recommended only if you have a good skin texture. The coverage of mineral foundations is not very heavy. They are your best friends during summers and especially look very natural during the day time.These foundations are oil free so they might leave the dry skin flaky and patchy. Tip: Moisturize your skin well before applying foundation. 🙂

mac-studio-stick-foundationStick Foundations: These are similar to the cream foundations but a little thicker. They have a capability to give you medium to full coverage depending on how you use them. Stick foundations are also used as concealers. These are the most common foundations used for photo shoots or fashion shows. I personally think they work best as concealers.

Laura MercierTinted Moisturizers: If you are looking for a makeup base that would give you a ‘barely-there’ finish and keeps your skin hydrated, then tinted moisturizers are for you. These foundations are not meant to conceal your imperfections or blemishes, they are great to give just a hint of colour to your skin and even out your skin tone. Use these only if you have good skin.

TemptuAirbrush Foundation: These are one of the latest technological inventions. The airbrush equipment needs a professional hand to give you that flawless perfect finish. The closest example of airbrush foundation that recall is the make up done in Avatar. The airbrush equipment is expensive and the companies that provide it have specialists, who train you how to use it. Not recommended until you are a makeup artist and you know what you have to do with the equipment.

Image Source

Types of Coverage you get from foundations

Following are the terminologies that you might come across on your bottle of foundation. Read on to know what they mean.

  • Matte Finish: No shine, best for oily skin types.
  • Dewy Finish: Glowy finish, light coverage and best for people who are blessed with good skin.
  • Sheer Coverage: Light finish. Would just even our your skin texture but would not conceal your blemishes or flaws.
  • Full coverage: Would give you an opaque coverage and cover up all those nasty imperfections on your skin.
  • Pore minimizing: Would reduce the appearance of pores.

Image Source 1, 2

If I have left anything, do let me know. I will add it in my post. Hope this helps. 🙂

I have a very basic question for you all.

How do you select your foundation? What all do you look for before buying foundation? Any Holy Grails? 😛

I take help from Makeup artists and mostly go out with my friends to take their opinion. I also look for dewy finish in a foundation but now I am also liking the matte finish. I tried MAC Studio Fix  a few days back and liked it a lot. I bought the Colorbar’s foundation instead and it has almost the same finish as MAC Studio fix but that Colorbar’s foundation broke me out badly. 🙁 Also, colorbar does not have my same shade of foundation but Rs 225 didn’t pinch me too mcuh to give it a try. Now I am just gonna throw it away. My HG foundation is MAC Mineralize Satinfish SPF 15 in liquid foundation and The Body Shop’s Loose powder when I am not using liquid foundation.

Someone recommended me Chanel VitaLumiere. Looking forward to try it. Have you tried it?

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35 thoughts on “Basic Foundation Guide

  1. i’ve noticed a pattern in my behaviour before buying something. in this case, lets take foundation.

    1. i go through company websites and see what types of foundations they have on offer, paying attention to price, finish, packaging, quantity, coverage etc
    2. i go through reviews about how well those foundations work for people with dry skin as that’s my skin type
    3. i visit the respective outlets and don’t buy anything
    4. i ponder
    5. i visit the respective outlets once again and finally buy something
    6. celebration!

    i definitely try and take this friend along with me when i want to buy anything “heavy duty” like foundation or concealer. i value her opinion a lot. plus my boyfriend’s there too. he has quite an aesthetic sense. and rati, you’re a part of this, ok?

    i haven’t found my HG foundation, but i’m getting there. i go for the dewy finish, but am open to options. prefer a matte finish during summers. i usually do not apply foundation.

    1. Actually I also visit company’s sites if I have anything particular in mind and badly hunt for reviews for my skin type- dry. 😛 I am also a little reluctant to buy things at a first go but if I weally and weally like something, I buy it.

      Your foundation buying is quite a celebration and of course, how could I not be a part of it. 🙂 It’s been a month I have applied a liquid foundation. My loose powder is such an on the go thing but I am really liking mattes now- matte lippies, matte finishes. actually I am done with all the glossiness in my lippies atleast. Mattes are calling me badly. How is the weekend coming along. I am feeling so light and nice today. 🙂

      1. my weekend was great! my friend’s little brother had his delayed birthday party and we spent our time organizing it! buying cake, chopping vegetables for hakka noodles, setting up the party space, conducting games. it was sooo satisfying in the end! all the little kids had a great time! made me feel very indispensable and important. 😀 also had a sleepover!
        then of course i went for the makeup makeover with the same friend and another. gala gala time!

        1. That’s what I call a great weekend. I have always loved parties at home but mostly in my case, I order from outside. Lazy Me. 😀 You so love kids no, Rima. I remember that autograph post and now this one. So lovely. 🙂

          I also met tow of my closest friends after a long time. the best part is nothing has changed even after some of us have got married. *touch wood*

          Good Good! 🙂

  2. I too don’t like to hurry up my buys, esp things like foundation.

    Anyways, I am planning to go for a very good foundation + translucent powder too.

    Btw, how are the prices at Inglot? Rati, it would be nice if you could give a round up. Only if it is not a trouble for you ok? no pressures 🙂

    As of now, I think only Delhi has an outlet.

  3. My veins are blue-ish green ..what does it make me ? I hope not an Alien 🙁
    I have verryyyy dry skin and I have MAC mositureblend foundation,it comes in a compact and its suitable for dry skin.I love it. I have like 10 other foundation . I tried loreal true match, I loved it but it started to give me breakouts so had to stop using it. I am now using bourjois healthy mix and sometimes maxfactor second skin,but for photographs I use coastal scents HG. I am using mineral foundations these days too. To be honest I love how they give me such natural look.rati if you loved TBS loose powder ,you should invest in mineral foundation,they don’t give cakey feeling and good coverage.

    1. Sarah, most undertones have a yellow in it until you have a porcelain whitish skin. Another way to judge a skin tone is that if your skin tans, gets freckles or just stay the same , you have a warm undertone. If you turn bright pink in the sun, you have a coll toned. I tan and most women with whetish skintone so.

      Found this here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art3209.asp

      Cool undertones for darker ethnic women are usually bluish to violet in color. Natural undertones usually consist of olive (green/yellowish) or yellow colors but is very hard to distinguish. Warm undertones on average is the most recognized among ethnic women. Warm undertones include the color spectrum of yellow, orange, red and olive with each one growing in intensity and depth of their color spectrum.

      To explain more, if your veins appear to be bluish in color then you fall into the cool category. This also means your undertone is on the blue or pink side of the color spectrum. Now If your veins appear green then you fall into the warm category. This usually means your undertone is on the yellow/peach or olive side of the color spectrum. Most ethnic women and multi ethnic women as well as biracial will fall some where between red, orange, yellow and olive undertone colors with blue to violet undertones being more prominent in darker women.

      I am so going for mineral foundation this Summer. Just have to figure out which one. And Bourjois one is in my wish list. 🙂

  4. I have Mac studio fix powder/foundation too.its an excellent product if used with a kabuki or powder brush ,I still can’t use it with the sponge provided 🙁

  5. Ok first of all…the hair color of the girl in that pic is the exact one I’m aiming for…good luck meee!! 😀
    As for foundation, I really do prefer liquid. Mineral just doesn’t give me the finish I want. I love tinted moisturizer n compact foundations too
    ♥XX♥

    1. That’s a lovely colour, Cynthia. No matter how much I love hair colours I have never dared to get my hair coloured. When you get it done, do write about your experience. May be I could give it a thought as well. 🙂

      I also like liquid foundations but I guess I am going to like mineral ones as well. Soon gonna give them a try and will let you know. 🙂

  6. Hi Rati, I really don’t know what foundation to use,
    I have tried Chanel pro lumiere semi-matte #60 hale but
    it makes me look pale, then I used Clinique superbalanced
    make up teint #09 sand and it doesn’t look natural.
    My skin color is brown but not very dark, like chestnut
    I think. My veins look more blue than green.. Can you
    recommend anything? I also have a Chanel natural finish
    loose powder #50 peche but I don’t know how to use it,
    and if I should use it, I don’t want to look all covered up.
    So now I don’t use anything at all. By the way: I don’t think
    I have a yellow undertone but people say I look yellow and
    sometimes they even call me a Simpson or a banana. :/ xx

    1. Sunaina, why don’t you try something from Inglot, Mac or Max Factor? I have swatched clinique foundations many time but I never got inclined to purchase them. There is something orangish about them or is it just me who finds them like this?

      If you want some coverage, apply loose powder with a powder sponge. Apply concealer first and then powder. Just press the powder in your skin than dusting it all over.

      If you just want to set your foundation , apply loose powder with a big powder brush.

      Check what undertones does your chest have. Is it more towards pink side or on the yellow side. Sometimes our face does not show our real undertones but since our chest is mostly protected by clothing, your real un dertone comes from there.

      However the best thing that i may suggest you is that go to a Mac or Estee Lauder store and take help from the MA. They have good trained staff and in most cases you get the right stuff.

      1. Thank you so much for taking the time!
        You’re right about Clinique, I think that’s why
        it doesn’t look natural on me. I took a look at
        my chest and it’s more towards yellow side.

        A friend of mine has good experience with
        Mac so I’ll try it there!

        1. Most welcome, Sunaina. Hope that helped. And you are definitely warm toned. Trust, me. 🙂

          I have had no bad experience with MAC so far, I hope it might work for you as well. 🙂

  7. I have almost given up on foundations a while back. While it is true that all of us have some yellow tones in our skin.. I also have pink tones – I am not like 100% yellow toned. But most foundations are yellow based or pink based – never a mixture..

    If I use the yellow toned one – start to look pale and washed out.. Skin appears too yellow. & If I use pink, well, it turns orange after a while..

    My solution these days is to use Tinted Moisturiser that is yellow based and offset with with either a drop of Revlon illuminating lotion in Pink light (this does not have shimmer like the other shades) or a dusting of lakme rose powder in light pink..

    1. It’s Bobbi Brown who came up with the concept that ‘all’ have yellows in their skin tone. People do have pink undertones and MAC didn’t come up with the NC and NW range for no reason. I am really skeptical about whether you would like MAC foundations or not because the NC and NW ranges are not the neutrals tones that you are talking about. You would probably have to mix say NC 20 and NW -20 to get Your shade and that would means spending almost 3600 on a foundation. 😛

      Oh I would check out this pink light illuminator. The SA showed me the ones that had loads of shimmer and were good only for highlighting.

      I think you are doing the right thing . 🙂

      1. Yea, the peach light and walnut light are full of golden shimmer.. Pink light is the only one with no shimmer.. Well, it has a tinsy-winsy bit of shimmer – but no more than lets say the TBS loose powder has.. Just enough to give a glow..

        Thks for the tip on MAC – I did feel like tht when I tried their tinted moisturizer. My face looked very yellow 😛

        & yea, I have heard this Bobbi brown concept & i think she is absol right. All skin tones do have yellow, though in varying percentages (this is what i feel) 😀

        1. If you say comparable to TBS loose powder, I am sold. 😀 I have read a lot of people mixing the two to get the right shade or they make a total brand shift.

          She might be right after all, she is Bobbi Brown. 🙂

  8. Hi Rati…
    i was eagerly waiting for u’r post on foundation and concealor.
    Thank u soo much for giving this knowledge abt foundation..but still i m not sure which one i shud choose..i mean again i’ll need u’r help. See i have wheatish complexion.combination skin(T-zone oliy)..and i have mentioned earlier also the area just below my lower lip looks darker when i apply foundation..i had that lakme creme foundation.its useless..also suggest me the right shade and brand for foundation , powder as well as the concealor also for my type of skin and such kind of prob..

    1. Hi Anshu,

      You need to conceal all the places that have blemishes or redness or as you say the problem areas. I apply concealer under my eyes, around the corners of my mouth, around the sides of the nose and at my blemishes. On top of that I apply powder foundation.

      If I am using a liquid foundation, I apply foundation first, conceal with a concealer and then set my makeup with powder.

      You may try a Colorstay foundation by revlon. They have one designed for combination skin. I have never liked Lakme foundations, have used all of them by now.

      I wouldn’t be able to suggest the shade because that is impossible for anyone to suggest. Go to a shop and check the foundation either on your neck or jawline. The foundation shade has to be exactly the same shade of your skin. If you are looking for high end brands, you may check MAC or Inglot as well (range is between 1000 and 2000)

      Mrunmayee here suggested Maybelline base primer for the foundation base: https://makeupandbeauty.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&p=164&sid=6c1ba7d7472504b59c17a06cfd22e9b5#p164

      I love the Body Shop Loose powder but I have use Lakme compacts powders and have had no issues with it. You may also look at Lakme’s rose powder. You may also look at Maybelline’s white stay compact. Regarding concealer, I have used MAC and Coolorbar. Here are my reviews:

      https://makeupandbeauty.com/2010/01/colorbar-concealer-is-the-secret-of-my-bright-eyes/

      https://makeupandbeauty.com/2010/03/mac-studio-finish-concealer-review/

      Have heard good reviews about revlon’s concealers as well. Do let me know if that helps or if you have some confusion. 🙂

      1. Thanks Rati ..actually i’ll also prefer using concealor and then powder..even i do have Lakme Rose powder but dont use it daily…its only ocassionally i apply powder. it has been loooooong time i have applied foundation.At present i dont have a foundation..thinking of buying a right concealor and powder for my skin tone..hope i’ll buy it soon..and i’ll let u know..thanks again..but i’ll be a regular visitor of MAB..All the best!!!

  9. i have combination and acne prone skin…i want to know about some suitable cream foundation(orange) available in market.liquid and mineral foundation doesn’t blend with my skin like cream foundation.but i need to know some best products in said category

  10. Hi Rati,
    I am a beginner when it comes to applying makeup. I am planning to buy tinted moisturiser for the first time can you recommend something, I have a dry clear skin and m wheatish complexioned , i am looking for dewy finish. Can you also tell me wat other stuff I need to get to complete my makeup kit if thats not a problem.

  11. Hey Rati,one more great review of urs…mine is a combination skin…have been using the lakme bridal collection foundation..n i dont like it at al…the thing is I live in chennai which is so hot, that by the time I do my makeup and move out, I sweat badly and look like a ghost 🙁 🙁 ….have seen many of ur reviews on MAC prodcuts…planning to try out the one that is oil free…i also learnt how to apply foundation using a brush from one of ur videos…so useful…
    il get it and let u know how i feel about it…..ur rockin!!!

  12. I currently living in USA ….i tried some foundation here ….never got exact shade for me most of them are pink tone….I want to try loreal true lumi foundation which shade is best for me(I’m in between mac 30-35)pls give me reply

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