The expert approved guide to choosing foundation

How to choose the perfect foundation

We round up of the next gen of high-tech flawless-makers

Marie Claire marie claire Beauty Director / August 27 2018

Knowing how to apply your foundation is only one part of the battle - you need to make sure you pick the right formula for your skin type and the result you want. Here's how to figure it out.

Choose your finish

When it comes to foundation finishes, there are three-camps - dewy, satin and high-coverage matte. Find out what will work for you.

High-coverage matte

More comfortable and long-wearing than ever, matte formulations promise coverage and shine-free skin all day. But there are some things to consider - mainly, your skin type. "If your skin is prone to dryness, use a primer prior to applying foundation," says Grant Power, national face designer at Giorgio Armani Cosmetics. "A matte foundation will then glide on...effortlessly."

Try: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, Giorgio Armani Cosmetics Power Fabric Foundation, Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover, Maybelline New York Superstay 24HR Foundation

Satin & radiant

This second-skin foundation offers radiance and satiny coverage in equal measure. "[A] satin finish is my preferred formulation as it reflects light on the high points of the face giving a healthy glow," says Liz Kelsh, make-up expert and ambassador for Max Factor.

Try: Chanel Le Teint Ultra Tenue Ultrawear Flawless Foundation Fluid, Nude by Nature Flawless Liquid Foundation, Max Factor Healthy Skin Harmony Miracle Foundation, Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation 

DO THIS: Multi-foundation. "Use a matt foundation on an oily T-zone, then add a dewy foundation on the cheeks where there are no oil glands." - Grant Power, Giorgio Armani Cosmetics

Sheer & dewy

We all want healthier-looking skin, and a sheer, natural-finish foundation can get us there fast. "A dewy finish to the skin is universally flattering," says Kelsh. If you're looking to enhance your foundation's radiance levels, enlist a luminiser. "If your foundation has a satin finish, try a cream luminiser," advises Kelsh. "If your foundation has a matte finish, go for a powder luminiser."

Try: Clinique Even Better Glow Light Reflecting Makeup SPF15, Rimmel London Fresher Skin SPF15, Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup

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Looking for more foundation tips? Check out exactly how you should be applying your foundation.

What’s your favourite foundation? Let us know in the comment section below.

Main image credit: @emrata

marie claire Beauty Director, Sally Hunwick joined the marie claire team in 2017. Previously Sally has worked on Cosmopolitan as Beauty and Lifestyle Director, Women’s Health as Contributing Beauty Editor, and Harper's BAZAAR and Dolly as Beauty Writer and Beauty Editor respectively. An award-winning journalist with a long-running career both in Australia and in the UK, Sally is passionate about all things beauty and health.