How To Choose Foundation Shade for Skin

by Insiya on September 26, 2010 · 61 comments

How To Choose Right Foundation Shade

Essential to flawless makeup is how to choose the right foundation shade. It evens out your entire skin tone hiding any flaws, be it blemishes, scars, acne or just plain dullness. But there are loads of different ones available out there in the market.

How To Choose Foundation Shade

You’ve to consider 3 things to decide how to choose foundation shade:-

  1. Skin Type
  2. Shade
  3. Coverage

How to Choose Foundation Shade for Skin Type:-

Check out this post to know what your skin type is.



Normal Skin: – Lucky you! You can use just about any foundation from mineral powder to tinted moisturizer; depending on your required coverage & shade.

Dry Skin: You need the added moisture in your product. The best ones for dry skin are oil-based foundations (oil based tinted moisturizer for light coverage & oil-based cream or liquid products for heavier coverage), mousse product, tinted moisturizers & mineral product. Look for words like hydrating & moisturizing while looking for a product for dry skin. Avoid matte ones as they will make your look dull.

Oily Skin:- An oily skin secretes enough oil on its own so use only an oil-free liquid foundation or moisturizers. A matte finish one is also great for controlling oily shine and breakthrough shine later. Use a pressed powder after your liquid foundation to set it right.

Aging Skin:- If you notice signs like wrinkles, fine lines & probably a little saggy loose skin, don’t get freaked out and start opting for a heavy coverage foundation. It will just worsen things. Choose a medium coverage product with light reflecting pigments that will make you glow naturally.

Right color

Right color

Combination Skin:- If you have a normal-dry skin but an oily t-zone (nose and chin area & the skin below forehead), you should avoid normal liquid foundations. The best foundation for this is the powder one followed by 2nd best one for combination skin– liquid to powder foundations.

Acne Prone skin: – Go for ones labeled as ‘non-comedogenic’ or have ‘salicylic acid’ listed in their ingredients as this will keep your pores & frequent breakouts at bay & also make sure it is an oil-free product, though it can be powder or liquid.



How to Choose Foundation Shade According to shade

Choosing a foundation to your shade can be quite a task.

  • Make sure you test the product in broad day light and not just in the store lightning as it can be deceiving.
  • Narrow down to 2-3 foundations matching best to your skin tone.
  • Never test it on your hand. Always test it on your jawline & then double test it on your forehead to see if the it matches your natural skin tone.
  • Also try clicking pictures of yourself while testing the product. You don’t want to purchase it later on & realize it causes your face to appear white in photos.
  • Don’t feel shy to ask for samples for usage of 2-3 times from SA’s as you can test it according to your convenience during day/night & decide for yourself if it’s right or not.
Right color

Right color

How to Choose Foundation Shade According to Coverage

  • Sheer – This is the lightest coverage for those people who want to just even out their skin tone & have a natural look.
  • Medium – These foundations are thicker in consistency and provide some coverage for people with blemishes, discolorations or other minor imperfections.
  • Full – This helps erase severe imperfections such as acne scars. Also it’s the best form of foundation to use for photo shoots or for occasions like wedding etc.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

rids September 26, 2010 at 5:34 pm

rati ji … i hav combination skin and currently i am using loreal mineral powder foundation . . .its quite nice … but i want to try liquid foundation too… please sugguest me good liquid foundation for combi skin …… NO HI FI BRANDS PLS .. MA MOM IS GOIN TO KILL ME !!! hahahahahahahaha


Rati September 26, 2010 at 5:59 pm

revlon colorstay or max factor foundation. 🙂

Check archives. 🙂

Tinkerball jee :laugh:


rids September 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm

?:-) archives made me all confused which one to buy. . . HAHAHAHA


Rati September 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm

oh!!! errr…too many options??? :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly:


Nids September 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm

nice post insiya.. but i think tht selecting the rght shade of a foundation is always a problem,atleast wid me…coz everytime i go to buy 1.. the SA chks it on my hand(not wrist) n they insist me on having a lighter shade for my skin tone howevr later i realize tht its a shade lighter than my skin tone(mayb i luk more fairer when buying a cum :rotfl: :silly: ).. i am making this resolution tht i am going to buy the rght shade of MF one which i am going to buy soooonnn… :-))


Insiya September 26, 2010 at 6:09 pm

I agree i used to face similar issues before. that is why I insist its always good to take a generous amount of sample & use it before you actually purchase specially if its a high end brand !!


Rati September 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Since the time I have stopped buying drugstore foundations, my life has become easier. I mean seriously. I can try to foundation on my whole day, bug the MUA as long as I want to and even walk out without buying a single thing.. :rotfl: :rotfl:

I think as you start experimenting with different textures , you kind of get to know what looks good on your skin and what doesn’t. Personally I like foundations that are buildable. I like to wear foundations depending on my mood and occasions. So I mostly avoid getting a sheer foundations or a full coverage ones.

Very helpful write up Insiya. May I say one the the best you have written so far? :)) :-* :-*


Insiya September 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm

yayyyyy thank you Ratiii 😀 😀 :-* :-*


Rati September 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm

oh btw no one gives us generous amount of makeup samples here in India. :((


Nids September 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm

yeah… thts true.. vaise wht do u mean by drugstore foundation rati?? 😕 ?:-)


Rati September 26, 2010 at 6:43 pm

maybelline, lakme, revlon , colorbar. strretwear, lotus, etc..

Btw there is nothing called drugstore in India because we actually don’t have ones here (think so). But that’s how we kind of differentiate them – High end and drugstores. 😛


Nids September 26, 2010 at 6:46 pm

ohh .. okkk..thts a nice n strange differentiation vaise… :rotfl: :snicker: :giggle:


Rati September 26, 2010 at 6:48 pm

haan, how else would we differentiate otherwise. 😛


Insiya September 26, 2010 at 9:15 pm

that sucks. but i think if you go to a shop where you purchase frequently I’m sure those SA’s will give you a nice amount if you request.


calicoaster September 26, 2010 at 6:48 pm

nice article insiya!! 🙂 I have to buy a new foundation, coz mine loreal moisturestay is all over now.. I need to hunt properly now, and the articles like this give quite a good insight for the research!! :-).

BTW, I went to a local shop here, lol..and I saw the so called MAC duplicate products there..Gosh, they try to give it an exact packaging!!! :tremble: :tremble:…It really scares me so much!!!!


Insiya September 26, 2010 at 9:19 pm

thank you :-))

for stuff like MAC & all its better to buy from their original stores. I have heard they don’t even give rights to other stores to sell their products so definitely original MAC products would be available in the actual MAC stores only.


Rati September 26, 2010 at 6:55 pm
calicoaster September 26, 2010 at 7:09 pm

yeah…thats why I was really shocked to see these products spreading here and there like this. The shopkeeper was selling those ‘Mac lipsticks’ for Rs.99/- 😐 :-/ :-/ :-/


Rati September 26, 2010 at 7:14 pm

He just cautiously decided to remove the zero from the original price.. :rotfl:

I wonder if no check is kept on such manufacturers ?:-)


calicoaster September 26, 2010 at 7:33 pm

I was wondering the same. And he said, this is new thing they have got. This means that people are buying this fake stuff, because of which the manufacturers are spreading their business to all these local sringar ka shops!!! 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁


rids September 26, 2010 at 7:53 pm

yupss adjectlyy !!! HEHEHEHE … saw MAC’S hello kitty gel eye liner with mini brush in local shop here in vile parle … HEHEHEHE … IT LOOKED LIKE ORIGINAL THING… SO DECEIVING !!! he was sellin it under 200 bucks . . HAHAHAHAH


Tatjana September 26, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Nice article Insiya, enjoyed reading it :-* :-* :-* :-*


Insiya September 26, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Thank you Tatjana 😀 :-* :-* :hugright:


Sara September 26, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Nice post Insiya…

Hey Rati…Hope you can help..Ive got combination skin and ive tried all the possible drugstore foundation,but nothing suites me.. Currently im using Benefits Hello-flawless…Its a powder foundation…But i want to try either a liquid or cream foundation…Could you suggest something from MAC??..Anything that will work for combination skin.

Btw…Whats your skin type??


bulbul September 27, 2010 at 8:24 pm

hi, i hav a really oily skin and my skin is smooth & almost blemish-free. i hav problems of acne. is there any good economic foundation that is not cakey,stays without making face oily and sweat-proof?(quite a long demand, he he) 😛


Neha S. December 5, 2010 at 12:52 am

does mac give samples to take home…???


Rati December 5, 2010 at 12:54 am

no. 🙁 bt try asking if they can


Neha S. December 5, 2010 at 12:57 am

but who even gives here? have u got samples from any brand ? like realy any brand?
teatrday i asked in lush and they went like we only give samples if u purchase above ros 3000 🙁 🙁


sakhi September 20, 2012 at 11:32 am

this article has really come as a life saver for me


divya November 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Hi I have combination skin with pimples on skin please can you suggest some high coverage concealer and foundation for me..Please don’t suggest mac,as I live in ahmedabad and its not available here.


Amy shah September 25, 2015 at 10:50 am

My name is Anika I m looking for a foundation n concealer. I have wheatish skin n I have combination skin please help me out… Should I go for yellow pigment colour foundation???


Saru January 7, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Hello mam i sweat alot in summmers could u please suggest me a good foundation i have fair skin and clear nd no acne means no sensitivity issues …my budget is max 1000..currently m using oriflame studio artist.i love dis foundation in winters i add moisturizer in it due to dry skin in winters but in summers it sweat out within a minute plz help


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