The XEX Blog

Choosing the Right Foundation

August 10, 2017 · Posted in: Beauty, Blog

foundationA good relationship always begins with a good foundation. You can’t have something that flakes or melts away on you! No, we’re not talking about a significant other. We’re talking about your face foundation. Most of us begin (or end) with a layer of foundation in our makeup routines. Foundation is there to help us even out our skin tone, cover up blemishes and create a dewy- or matte- base for the rest of our look. When you choose the wrong foundation for your skin, you run into problems like overly dry looking skin or foundation that just melts away. Knowing your skin type and the products that work well with it can help create the flawless skin of your dreams.

Two things to consider

Before you dive into different brands of cosmetics, you need to think about your own face first. Choosing the right type of foundations comes down to two things: Skin type and Skin tone. Your skin type is important to determine what formula of foundation will work and your tone will help you find the right shade to blend in. Your skin can either be dry, oily or a combination of both (normal). In reality, you can use whatever foundation you please, but you won’t always get the same results. Mineral powder foundation may make oily skin look matte and soft, but will cause dry skin to appear even drier.

Once you’ve found your skin type, you will need to determine your skin tone. Your skin tone is broken up into two things: Lightness and undertone. Know the level of your skin can be relatively simple, but it is mostly trial and error. A lot of lines have a good spectrum of light to dark shades and different brands have different variety. When it comes to your undertone, this is where the tricky part comes into play. You can check your undertone by looking at the veins on the underside of your wrists. Blue veins mean you’re cool, green mean warm and both means you’re neutral. Brands often have a different undertone to their foundations, so the best way to check is to spend some time trying them out at the sample counter before you purchase.


Foundation comes in all different formulas from powder to creams. It’s important to know which formulas can work for your skin in order to achieve the best results.

Liquids and Creams

One of the most common forms of foundation is a liquid/cream foundation. These usually come in bottles and are applied with a foundation brush first and then blended into the skin with a buffer brush or a makeup sponge. They can be applied sheer, but will allow better coverage the more you build them up. These types of foundations usually come in a variety of formulations from oil-free to waterproof and often offer two different finishes: Matte or Dewey.

Matte-finish liquids and creams are great for humid climates, lightweight and hold back a shiny complexion. These types of foundations are recommended for those with oily to normal skin types. A matte finish may emphasize a dry complexion, so it’s best to steer clear.

Dewey-finish foundations are wonderful to add a little natural glow to the skin and work well in dryer climates (especially winter time). These are best for those with dry to normal skin types since they tend to offer a little moisturizing power. If you have oily skin, stay away from this type of finish. The dewiness can cause your skin to look too shiny and may even slide off throughout the day.

Powder Foundations

Powder foundations are the next most common forms of foundation. They either come pressed in a compact or loose in a jar. Don’t confuse these with setting powders. An easy way to tell the difference is that powder foundations will be tinted while setting powders are usually translucent. There are straight powders and there are some that go on as creams, but dry to powders giving you the same, soft finish.

Pressed and loose powder foundations offer a quick, smooth finish. They’re applied with a fluffy brush or a powder puff. These are usually sought after for their convenience and easy, on the go application. Pressed and loose powders are recommended for those with oily to normal skin types since the formula often helps reduce oil and shine. Sometimes, loose powder can emphasize dry patches, so stay clear if you have dry skin. If you do have oily skin, don’t go overboard with powder since they can occasional cause clumps.

Cream to powder foundations go on creamy but dry as powders. They’re great for slightly dry, slightly oily and normal skin types. These foundations offer coverage from sheer to full and tend to be a little bit heavier than the foundations listed above. Be wary with these foundations. If your skin is on the extreme side of oily or dry, these will not work for you. The cream exaggerates oil without having enough of a powder finish to absorb and the powder finish can exaggerate any dry patches you may have.

Other Types of Foundation

Beyond liquids and powder, there are two other types of foundation worth mentioning. They are: Stick/Cake foundation and BB/CC creams. Even though they both are liquid/cream, they’re opposite spectrums of coverage. Stick foundations are extremely heavy while BB/CC creams are extremely lightweight and offer minimal coverage.

Stick/Cake foundations are best for normal skin types. They are thick and can often replace concealer when it comes to covering up blemishes. These are not recommended for oily skin since they can clog pores and worsen acne. They also can settle into wrinkles and other creases in the face; however, pairing them with a setting powder can help prevent this from happening. This look can also benefit dry skin. Since they go on so thick, they may help add extra moisture to dry areas and prevent caking or flaking throughout the day, but be cautious! If your skin is too dry, you may find the foundation caking up around your dry patches.

BB/CC creams are tinted moisturizers. They’re amazing for normal-dry although they offer very little coverage. They moisturize, even out your complexion and even offer SPF to protect you from the sun! These are great for hot, summer days where wearing any makeup can be unbearable. They’re also good for beach days when you’re still trying to wear a little bit of something, but don’t want to wear full face.

From liquid to powder, foundation can come in all different types of formulas. Finding the right foundation is key for any makeup routine (if you use foundation that is). Even if you’re not huge on it as an everyday look, it’s always good to keep in mind for special events such as weddings or date nights. Knowing your skin is the first step to knowing your foundation. If you’re unsure about your skin type or tone, talk to your stylist or schedule an appointment with a makeup artist here at XEX to get more information.

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