warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Flawless Foundation Made Easy

Gabi Duncan |
October 18, 2013 | 9:47 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

M.A.C. offers several different foundation formulas (Gabi Duncan/Neon Tommy).
M.A.C. offers several different foundation formulas (Gabi Duncan/Neon Tommy).
Unless you’re a superhuman or Miranda Kerr, you need a little help achieving that luminous, picture-perfect glow...that’s where foundation comes in. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the right foundation can change your life.

Everyone wants the confidence that comes with perfect skin, but it can be daunting trying to decipher between the variety of choices on the market. It is crucial to pick a foundation that will complement your skin type and your lifestyle. Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know to give Miranda a run for her money. 

With liquid, powder, spray, cream, stick, and mousse, it can be tough to know exactly where to start. But, you should always choose based on the specific needs of your skin.

Liquid foundations are definitely the most popular preference. They are recommended for combination, oily or acne-prone skin. Liquids are also extremely versatile. You can use it sparingly for a fresh-faced look or pack it on for a more glamorous appearance. Try M.A.C. Pro Longwear Foundation, Nars Sheer Glow Foundation or L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Makeup for even, dewy skin. 

Cream is your best bet if you're looking for full coverage. Redness, blemishes and pores are completely camouflaged with this formula. Cream foundations work well with normal or dry skin types, but be careful with application. Creams are super heavy and overuse can result in that undesirable cakey look. Opt for M.A.C. Mineralize Foundation, Illamasqua Cream Foundation or Nars Radiant Cream Compact Foundation. They enhance your skin for a hydrated, velvety finish. 

Mousse or whipped foundations have a light, fluffy texture. The weightlessness factor is great for acne-prone skin, because it allows breathability and doesn’t clog pores. An added bonus is that you can find many quality ones at the drugstore. Pick up Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation, Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup or Cover Girl Clean Whipped Crème Foundation.

Dior Diorskin AirFlash Spray Foundation is so simple to apply (Twitter).
Dior Diorskin AirFlash Spray Foundation is so simple to apply (Twitter).
Spray foundations are the lightest on the market, but they are also the most underrated. Sprays offer the most natural coverage because they don’t have to be rubbed in or brushed on. You simply apply it to the face and let it settle in. Oily or combination skin types benefit the most from sprays. Dior AirFlash Spray Foundation and Sephora Perfection Mist AirBrush Foundation conceal imperfections and leave skin seamlessly smooth. 

Stick foundations are ideal for portability and ease of application. They are a low maintenance option and are great for spot treatments and quick fixes on the go. Stick foundations also work better with oily skin. Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick, Make Up Forever Pan Stick Foundation and Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick blend into skin effortlessly and dissolve any oil. 

Powder foundations are designed for people with combination or oily skin. They seriously eliminate any greasiness or shine, but if you have dry skin, stay far away. These will severely strip your skin of any moisture. M.A.C. Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation, Make Up Forever Duo Mat Powder Foundation and Nars Powder Foundation provide a soft, matte texture.

After you decide on a formula, you must find the correct shade. Your cheek is the best place to test and you'll know it works when the color disappears into your skin. If you are unsure, go to a department store counter and get a professional to match you. It’s free and quick and you can use it as a guide for future foundation purchases.

Actually locating your shade in the store can be an even bigger challenge, especially for darker skin tones. But, several companies make it a priority to offer colors that span the entire spectrum. Whether you're fair or ebony, Bobbi Brown, M.A.C., Make Up Forever and Cover Girl offer a variety of foundation hues and undertones that guarantee anyone can find the right fit.

Finally, do not forget to prep and moisturize your skin thorougly to create that perfect canvas. Proper skincare is always the basis for flawless foundation foundation application.

Reach Staff Reporter Gabi Duncan here. Follow her on Twitter



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.