There are all types of Foundation out there that come in different formulations that are created for all sorts of skin types and it can be very confusing to choose the best for your skin.

There is one rule that you need to know about Foundation and I’m going to explain it in the simplest way possible because I’ve been confused about it before.

There is Oil and Water Based Foundation’s. If you get the wrong one for your skin type, then your skin will look like a hot mess and not look flawless and like ‘skin’ or all those imperfections like dry patches and oil on the skin will come through.

Water based foundations are best suited for Oily Skin. They blend more easily over the skin, giving it a smooth and even look with a little bit of shine. Now I know what you’re thinking! Water and Oil don’t mix? But in this case they do! People who have oily skin are best to use a water-based foundation because the skin is already over producing oil, so you don’t want to add more oil to the skin because it will just result in your makeup sliding around your face. So if this has been happening to you its because you’re using more oil on the face than you should and consider changing your primer or foundation look at more info. If you’re unsure if your foundation is water based then just check the ingredients and the first ingredient should be “Aqua/Water” and if it’s not then it’s an oil-based foundation. Look for foundations that are “Oil Free” and you should never have this issue. 

Oil Based foundation is best suited for Dry and Mature skin types. They are often greasier and because of their thickness, oil-based products are able to trap moisture within the skin, making it appear shiner than water-based formulas. With dry skin, your skin is not producing as much oil as it should and therefore lacking hydration. Using an oil-based foundation will provide you with the necessary oil to make your skin healthy, dewy and hydrated. Using a water-based foundation will only make your foundation cling to dry patches! So if your foundation is currently doing this, then it’s most likely because its water-based.

Again look at the ingredients in your foundation. You should have “Oil” in the first row to indicate that it’s an oil-based foundation. Some foundations have Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil or Rosehip Oil in the list of ingredients. The best foundations for dry skin are Gel or Serum formulations.  If you do see “Aqua/Water” as an ingredient in your foundation, don’t freak out, most foundations have water in them, but as long as it’s not in the first row of ingredients or there is some type of oil in the foundation then its still oil-based.

Just be careful before purchase a oil-based foundation, because some will claim they are “Luminous” but they are really water based, which means they were created for oily skin people who still want to look dewy! But they will only make your skin look worse! An example is the NARS All Day Luminous Foundation. Believe me I was fooled by this and it did not work for my dry skin at all.

If you have Combination Skin, then I would suggest an oil-based foundation and just powder or apply a matte primer to the parts of your skin that you get oily. I would only use an oil-based foundation if you’re after that glow on the skin, but if you’re all about that matte, then stick to water-based.

This general rule applies to all foundation formulations, such as stick, mousse, liquid and powder.

Stick / Cream / Mousse Foundations – Oil-Based/Dry Skin
Powder – Water-Based/Oily Skin
Liquid – Water and Oil Based good for all skin types.

Of course if you have oily skin you can choose to use a stick or cream foundation if you have a lot of acne scarring and need that full coverage look. They do make stick foundations for acne prone skin, just look for the ones that say "shine free". If you have mature and aging skin, it is best to use an oil-based foundation to cover fine lines and wrinkles because powder or a matte foundation will only emphasize them. My favourite foundation for mature clients is MAC Face ad Body, because of its sheer yet buildable coverage and it actually looks like skin. 

If you have sensitve skin then I would suggest mineral makeup or powder foundation because neither of these will clog your pores and have no harmful ingredients in them. But if you want to use a liquid foundation then just search for cruelty free an gluten free makeup. My favourite cruelty free foundation I use on clients is the Elcie Cosmetics Micro Silque Foundation. 

I really hope this cleared up a few things about foundation for you and helped solve your foundation problem. Once I learned this rule I found that my skin looked much better! But don’t get frustrated if you cant find the right foundation for your skin or even once you do and you’re still having problems, then I suggest taking a look at your skin care routine to see which products are either drying out your skin or making it produce more oil.

Here is a list of my favourite Water and Oil based foundations!

Water-Based/Oily Skin

  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid
  • MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation
  • NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear
  • Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless
  • Revlon Colour Stay Oily/Combination
  • L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte
  • L’Oreal True Match
  • Too Faced Born This Way
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation
  • Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation.
  • Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet Foundation

Oil-Based/Dry Skin

  • MAC Moisture Foundation
  • MAC Studio Waterweight SPF 30+
  • MAC Face and Body
  • Kryolan Derma Colour
  • Kryolan TV Paint Sticks
  • Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation
  • Make Up For Ever HD and Ultra HD Foundation
  • Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk
  • Bourgeois Healthy Mix Serum
  • Maybelline Fit Me Foundation
  • L’Oreal Lumi Magique
  • Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation
  • NARS Sheer Glow
  • Smashbox Studio Skin 15hr Wear
  • YSL LE TEINT TOUCHE ÉCLAT Illuminating Foundation SPF 19
  • Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation

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