The Lancôme Beauty Magazine
Make Up

How to Choose the Perfect Foundation

Discover how to apply foundation flawlessly with this step-by-step guide from Lancôme’s beauty experts.

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Foundation is notoriously one of the most tricky makeup products to get right. It can be difficult to know where to start when choosing the perfect foundation when there are so many different types available. The perfect foundation should complement your skin tone and type, and leave your complexion looking naturally and effortlessly beautiful. Our Lancôme experts are here to help you with a step-by-step guide on what to consider when choosing the perfect foundation, and how to get the most out of the formula you chose.

Why You Should Consider Your Skin Type

Understanding your skin type is key to knowing how to choose the right foundation. For example, if your skin is on the oily side or you experience blemishes then you would want to opt for something oil-free, long lasting and water based. If your skin is prone to dryness then a hydrating and nourishing formula will work best and can even help to improve moisture levels.

Identify Your Skin’s Undertone

A good place to start when choosing your perfect foundation is to identify your skin’s undertone. Undertone is the colour that comes through the skin from underneath the surface, and it can have a huge effect on how types of foundation appear on top of your skin. There are three different types of skin undertones - cool, neutral, and warm. If your skin has a rosy pink tint and you have blue veins, you have cool undertones, whereas green veins and skin with a yellow or golden tint signifies having warm undertones. Somewhere in the middle of these two? Then it’s likely you have neutral undertones.

The most important thing to check is that the foundation shade you chose has the same undertone as your skin, this will give you the most natural result. We’ve made this step easier for you thanks to our Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation which comes in 45 shades clearly noting the most suitable undertone along with each shade of foundation!

Get Your Shade Matched Seasonally

Despite the fact that you may religiously wear sunscreen every day, being exposed to more sun in the summer months will inevitably lead to your skin tone becoming slightly darker than in the winter months. One shade of foundation is not going to work all year round, therefore it’s best to shift when you start to notice the shade is slightly off. Once you’ve found the type of foundation shades that work best for you during the winter and summer months, you can even blend them together to customise a shade for the mid-season transition period to give you the most natural and flawless finish.

Swatch and Test Drive

A great way of ensuring you’ve found the perfect foundation shade is to swatch three shades that appear to be the right colour for your skin tone. You can do this by applying a short line of each colour on your jawline and comparing their suitability. Remember to ensure that the colour also matches and blends seamlessly into your neck.

Another tip is to take home samples of these three colours so that you can test out a few colours and formulas in natural daylight as well as different times of the day to ensure you find the perfect fit.

Choosing Your Ideal Foundation Type

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After discovering your perfect shade the next step is to choose a type of foundation that has the best formula for your skin’s needs. For some, a lightweight, barely-there look is the goal, and therefore something with a sheer coverage like a BB cream or tinted moisturiser would work best. For those who experience redness, blemishes or pigmentation, a medium to full coverage liquid foundation may be preferable.

Liquid Foundation

Liquid foundation can be a winning choice for most since it works well on all different skin types and the formula leaves skin looking natural. We recommend Lancôme’s best selling Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation which comes in 45 different shades and has an oil-free, 24h long lasting formula. It is suitable for oily skin and shine-prone skin, has great staying power, and offers a medium to full coverage. This is a perfect choice if you’re looking to even out your skin tone or experience redness or pigmentation. It has a velvety matte finish and great staying power as well as special ingredients to prevent caking.

Powder Foundation

Powder foundations are best used on oily skin to reduce shine and are the most convenient and easy types of foundation to apply. The Teint Idole Ultra Compact Powder Foundation comes in a compact case which is perfect for touch ups on the go and provides breathable matte coverage whilst controlling any unwanted shininess.

Cream & Stick Foundation

Cream foundations work best for drier or mature skin types as they are emollient and fill in the skin’s surface leaving a dewy finish. If you’re looking to cover blemishes or require touch-ups during the day or on the go then we recommend a stick foundation. The portable Teint Idole Ultra Wear Stick Foundation is a powder-cream foundation stick that has a silky texture and gives a seamless, full coverage finish. These types of foundations have the added bonus of also being able to be used as a concealer if desired.

Tinted Moisturiser, BB & CC Creams

Tinted moisturisers BB and CC creams are a great lightweight option since these types of foundations create a bright dewy complexion with a natural finish. BB (beauty balm) creams have a creamy formula and can help to moisturise the skin whilst providing just a hint of colour. CC (colour correcting) creams are similar to BB creams as they provide a light hydrating coverage and natural, fresh faced finish.

Understanding your skin type and undertone is essential in determining what types of foundation will work best for you. Once you have selected your foundation, all you need to do is apply it like an expert to create the most natural and flawless result. Don’t forget to make sure your foundation is thoroughly blended into your skin, paying special attention to your jawline and neck area to ensure you will be left with an even and beautiful finish.

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