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The DJs Beauty Team

Your Guide to Finding the Right Foundation

Image credit: CoffeeandMilk/Getty Images

Unlike eyeshadow or lipstick, foundation is one makeup item that many us seem to get wrong more often than not. It’s more than just finding the right shade, but also the right formula to suit your skin type, and the type of coverage and finish you’re after.

Start with identifying your skin type and tone, before deciding on the type of foundation best suited for your needs (you’ll likely need more than one). Read on for our tips and recommendations on how to find the right foundation to give you a flawless finish.

Need one-on-one help? Visit any beauty counter at your nearest David Jones store and ask for a complimentary foundation colour-match.

Type of skin

There are four common skin types: oily, dry, combination or normal. Unsure of your type? Inspect your bare face a few hours after washing it and look for oily or dry patches and pay attention to how your skin feels. 

Oily 

You have shiny patches on your face, especially your T-zone (forehead, nose and chin), and your skin feels greasy and slick. You may also be prone to blocked pores and breakouts. Try: Clarins Ever Matte Foundation

Dry

Your face feels tight with dry or flaky patches, and possibly dull in complexion. Try: M.A.C. Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation

Combination

You have both dry and oily patches on your face, but can be sensitive to a change in season or climate. Try: Lancôme Miracle Cushion Compact

Normal

Neither oily or dry, you’re one of the lucky few whose skin and complexion is near perfect and blemish-free. Try: Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Fluid Foundation

Type of tone

Finding the right shade of foundation starts with knowing your skin’s undertone. The easiest way to determine this is by looking at the colour of your skin and veins on the parts of your body that typically are not exposed to direct sunlight, like the underside of your wrists and neck, and the inside of your upper arms. 

Cool

Your skin has a soft pinkish shade and your veins are blue in colour. Try: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 02

Warm

Your skin has a slight yellow hue and your veins are green. Try: shu uemura Face Architect Smooth Fit Fluid Foundation in 754 Medium Beige

Neutral

Your skin has no obvious undertones of either pink or yellow, and same goes with the colour of your veins. Try: La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer Foundation Sunscreen in Creme Peche

Type of coverage

From light to medium to full, the coverage of your foundation depends on your makeup preference. Natural types would likely opt for a sheer foundation, while fans of contouring or highlighting would need fuller coverage. However, a good tip is to have more than one type on hand to suit the event or activity you’re doing.

Light 

A light-coverage foundation applies on quite sheer and is often quite fluid in formula. Perfect for the weekend or when you want the most natural-looking foundation. Try: Napoleon Perdis Personal Trainer Serum Foundation

Medium

A medium-coverage foundation is still typically light in formula but can be built up to cover blemishes and break outs. Try: Laura Mercier Candleglow Foundation

Full

A full-coverage foundation is typically highly pigmented and has a long-wearing formula. Ideal for day-long special events or when you know there will be pictures involved. Try: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup

Type of finish

The main deciding factor for the type of finish your foundation provides should be based on your skin type. As a general rule, those with oily skin should avoid luminous foundations as it will just add unnecessary shine to your skin, while those with dry skin should stay away from matte foundations which will leave your face dull and cakey.

Matte 

Best for oily skin as foundation with a mattifying finish often have a light-to-medium coverage that won’t be too heavy on your skin. Try: Clinique Stay Matte Oil-Free Make Up

Luminous 

If you have dry skin, a foundation with a dewy or luminous finish can help give depth and moisture to your face. Try: Bobbi Brown Skin Nourishing Glow Foundation

Shop all foundation.