Before you even come to swatch a foundation, you need to decide what you want in a foundation formula-wise. Do you want it dewy or matte? I'd say that people with oily skin should go with something matte to counteract the oils; dry skin should chose something a bit more hydrating; and anyone with combination skin could get away with either.
Another important factor in finding your perfect foundation is determining the coverage you'd like. If you feel like you have a lot to hide (redness, imperfections, un-even skintones) then I'd suggest a more full coverage foundation like MAC's Studio Fix. Fuller coverage foundations tend to be a bit thicker than others in terms of consistency.
If you're blessed with naturally clear skin and you'd just like something to even out your skin tone, lighter coverages would be where you'd start. They have a thinner consistency and don't have to be limited to foundation. Tinted moisturisers, BB & CC creams are amazing for keeping the skin healthy whilst still providing a tiny bit of coverage.
"The natural undertone of your skin is key when it comes to chosing a foundation. If you find one that's the perfect shade, it won't look great if it's the wrong undertone."
Personally, I think that the undertone of your foundation is the hardest to get right. There are three undertone categories: warm, cool and neutral. The natural undertone of your skin is key when it comes to chosing a foundation because if you find one that is the perfect shade, it won't look as good if it's the wrong undertone.
People with a warm undertone tend to have slightly yellower skin. In MAC, you'd chose a foundation that began with NW_. People with a warmer undertone tend to tan easier & have more of a greenish vein shade on your inner wrist.
People with a cool undertone tend to have slightly pinkier skin. In MAC, you'd chose a foundation that began with NC_. People with a cooler undertone also tend to burn easily in the sun & have veins that look more blueish on the inner part of your wrist.
If you have neutral skin, you'll probably fit into both (or neither) of these categories. Generally speaking, you could wear either warm or cool toned foundations... Lucky you!
- When trying out a foundation in-store, apply it from the middle of your cheek down to your chin. The perfect foundation will blend in to the natural colour of your skin seamlessly.
- If you're not comfortable with asking someone on a counter to match your foundation, ask for a sample to take home & try in your own time.
- If you do try a foundation on in-store, head outside into natural lighting to see what the foundation would look like in the "real world".
- If possible, wait as long as possible in between testing the foundation & buying it to see how the product sits on your skin. There's nothing worse than buying a foundation and not being able to take it back when it isn't what you expected!
What's your best tip for chosing a foundation?