Types of makeup foundations

Foundation makes the base of makeup and if you go wrong with it there is only a poor chance for you to end up at a desired result. When it comes to choosing a foundation for your skin, things can be really confusing. There are so many types of foundations in the market from so many brands that going wrong is very possible.  While choosing a foundation for your skin, you need to consider your skin complexion as well as the undertone of your skin. Apart from that, the extent of coverage you are looking for from the foundation is the other point to decide.  The staying power of the foundation and the final finish that it is expected to give are the other factors that vary extensively from product to product.

So, with all these variations there is every chance of going wrong. However, if you do not really want to end up with a load of foundations stacked in your makeup box that you do never use, the best way is to know about your skin type and the available foundations before you actually purchase a product. This article will give you a brief idea about the different types of foundations that are available in the market.

Foundations can be categorized according to different factors. The most common factor of categorization used in this case is the foundation consistency or the form of foundation. Before we get into that arena, here is a brief account on the other factors depending on which foundations can be classified into different types. Always keep in mind that there are foundation formulations that overlap between different types and the particular features of a foundation depends on its exact composition.

Foundation coverage

Depending on the extent of skin coverage provided by a makeup foundation, it can be categorized into the following types. By skin coverage here we mean the ability of a foundation to cover the skin flaws and complexion to make it look perfect.

Light coverage: These foundations do not hide the skin imperfections or flaws and works only for evening out the skin tone to some extent and work as a base for makeup. This type of foundations is perfect for people with a perfect or near perfect skin.

Medium coverage: The foundations under the medium coverage category hide mild skin flaws and evens out the skin tone to give a fresh look to the face. However, these foundations will not hide any major skin imperfections or marks on the skin.

Heavy or full coverage: The full coverage foundations cover your skin completely, hiding out all the flaws and imperfection of the skin and giving you a completely even out tone to start with your makeup. You often do not need to use a concealer on a full coverage foundation.

The foundation base

Makeup foundations commonly use water or oil as the base of the formulation and depending on the base of a foundation it can be of the following types,

Water based foundation: These foundations does not include oil as base and are formulated keeping in mind the needs of the oily and normal skin.

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Oil based foundation: These foundations use oil or cream as the base. These foundations are suitable mostly for the dry skinned people.

Powder based foundation: The powder based foundations come in dry form and they do not use any liquid like water or oil as base.

The finish offered

The finish you can achieve by using a foundation also depends on its formulation. Depending on the finish it gives to your skin foundations can be of the following types,

Dewy finish foundation: Some foundations are formulated to offer a glossy and dewy finish on the skin. These foundations are mostly preferred by the dry and normal skinned girls.

Matte finish foundation: A mattifying foundation can be a blessing for the oily skinned people. These foundations are formulated to absorb the excess oil secreted by the oily skins and to provide a completely matte finish.

Semi-matte or normal finish foundation: These foundations lie in between the dewy and mattifying foundations as far as the final finish is concerned and they provide an end result that is neither dewy nor completely matt.

Types of foundation depending on their consistency

Depending on the consistency of a foundation it can be of many types. The most common types available in the market include,

Liquid foundation

Liquid foundation

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There is hardly any makeup enthusiast who has not used a liquid foundation ever in her life. Liquid foundations are one of the oldest forms of foundations available in the market and still they make a very popular choice to the majority of people. Liquid foundations can be either water or oil based but they are always liquid in consistency.  The best thing about the liquid foundations which make them such a popular choice is the fact that they are really easy to use and blend.

Liquid foundations that are water or gel based can be suitable for oily skinned people and the oil-based ones are formulated keeping the needs of the dry skin in mind. Liquid foundations can offer light to heavy coverage depending on the particular formulation.

Tinted moisturizers

Tinted moisturizers

These are not actually a complete foundation but often make a preferred foundation choice for people in need of minimum coverage. As the name suggests, these are moisturizers with tints to match different skin tones. Usually, unlike the typical foundations, the tinted moisturizers serve more than one purpose.  Many formulations in the range provide hydration to the skin and also helps in boosting the overall skin complexion to some extent. Some formulations also offer additional features, like SPF or skin lightening actions. All in all, they combine different skin care properties with a minimal coverage of foundation.  They can also serve as a makeup base.

Cream foundation

Cream foundation

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Cream foundations are heavy foundations that are formulated for giving good coverage to the skin. These foundations are cream based and they blend quite easily on the skin providing high coverage and hiding the skin flaws. These foundations are best suited for the dry skinned people as the cream base adds enough moisture to the dry skin. Most of the cream based foundations tend to give a dewy finish to the skin unless formulated otherwise. Cream foundations are not usually the best suited ones for oily skins, but certain formulations might suit the oily skin as well. If you are in need of good coverage and a dewy finish, opting for a cream foundation is surely the best option.

Stick foundations

Stick foundations

If you are looking for maximum coverage the stick foundations can be your best pick. These foundations come in stick form and they are thick in consistency. Stick foundations can have different types of formulations and depending on the particular product it can go well with dry, normal or oily skin. Due to the heavy coverage provided by the stick foundations often they are not considered suitable for daily or regular use. However, they can always serve the purpose for a party or occasion.

Mousse foundation

Mousse foundation

Mousse foundations are the latest trending type in the foundation arena. The best thing about these foundations is that they provide a whipped cream like consistency and does not dry out your skin or make it oily. These foundations are light in weight and they blend in seamlessly with the skin. Mousse foundations are known for going on smoothly on the skin instead of caking on the lines. They usually offer light to medium coverage to the skin and can be ideal for everyday as well as occasional use.  Many mousse foundations now also include SPF to provide added skin care.

Powder foundations

Powder foundations

Powder based foundations are the other type of foundation in the market. These products come in smooth, powdered form and can be applied onto the skin dry or wet according to the requirements. These foundations offer maximum flexibility in matter of coverage. You can use them for light to medium coverage as well as for getting a heavy coverage according to the expected end results. Powder foundations are most suitable for dry skins, as they can easily absorb the excess oil of the skin without adding extra shine to the face. The powder based mineral foundations are the latest fad in the beauty and skin care world as they do not harm the skin in anyway.

Tips to buy the right foundation

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Buying the right foundation that matches perfectly with the particular needs of your skin can be a real tricky task. The foundation is the one makeup product which needs to be exact with your skin tone and type. The complexity in choosing the right foundation often leads to spending money on products that mostly end up on your dressing table but not on your face. So, before you buy a makeup foundation for yourself keep the below mentioned tips in mind,

  • Know your skin undertone: When it comes to choosing the foundation, it is not only the shade of the foundation that needs to be a good match with your skin, the undertone of your skin and that of the foundation should also match perfectly. So, before you go for buying a foundation, be clear about your skin undertone and chose a foundation that matches with it.
  • Chose foundation according to your skin type and finish needed: Foundations should be picked according to your particular skin type. If you have oily skin, the mineral foundations can be perfect for you to get a matte appearance, but if you have dry skin and you are looking for a dewy finish, a mineral based foundation can never make the right option. In this case you should opt for a cream or liquid based foundation instead of the powder and cake ones.
  • Be cautious about the shimmers: Many foundations that claim to offer a dewy finish comes with small shimmer particles to impart that glow to your skin. However, if you are looking for a natural dewy finish, these foundations with shimmers can never make the right choice as they are appropriate mostly for parties and occasions. So, before you pick a foundation that claims to offer a dewy finish, check out if it contains shimmers.