Applying makeup foundation is one of the most basic steps in makeup artistry. So it stands to reason that finding out what type of makeup foundation suits your skin is very important.
Makeup Foundation Types for Different Skin Needs
I’ve mentioned before that a good base begins with good skin. The next step is your makeup foundation and how it works on your skin’s chemistry. There are many types out there and I am here to discuss each one to help you pick what’s best for you.
Not all foundations are the same. They vary in function depending on the formulation – which includes not only the ingredients but also the packaging and the texture itself, whether they come in cream form or powder, and many more considerations. Check out what are the different types of makeup foundation and how it performs based on their formulation and packaging.
1. Liquid Makeup Foundation[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BQyEf_4BQNJ/ hidecaption=true width=625] Liquid foundation is the most popular kind amongst makeup users. It’s easy to work with and it’s conveniently packaged. Liquid makeup foundation formulas can vary from matte to dewy.
In most cases, liquid foundation will always turn to semi-dewy or semi-matte after long hours of wear—that just comes with having water in the formulation. But because of its formulation, it’s usually hydrating and works really well as a daily foundation for people with dry skin.
2. Cream Makeup Foundation[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/4fqINoEwwa/ hidecaption=true width=625] Cream-based makeup foundations also work well for dry skin. Most cream foundations are suitable for the colder seasons and on mature women because the loss of moisture in the skin happens more often around these times.
Bonus: some heavier cream-based foundations also work as a cover-up for blemishes and dark spots. Cream-based foundations can come in pots, compacts, or tubes and usually offer a dewy finish unless set with powder.
3. Cream to Powder Makeup Foundation[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/25hWeWR0RF/ hidecaption=true width=625] Cream to powder foundations transform from cream form to a powder finish when transferred onto the skin. This helps for a more matte finish and, like most types of foundation, creaam to powder foundation contains silicone. But the main difference is that it is able to melt into a powdery texture.
Most cream to powder foundations give a semi-matte to a matte finish and feel light on the skin. Generally, cream to powder foundations It’s suitable for all skin types, but the matte finish works really well for people with oily skin.
4. Pressed Powder Makeup Foundation[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BGLMrUkrKyq/ hidecaption=true width=625] If you have oily skin, a pressed powder foundation would be a good makeup foundation base for you to try mostly because it’s matte it can cover the shine effectively. Although there are different foundations that are not necessarily in powder form that can combat oily skin, pressed powder foundation takes it up a notch when combined with these foundations.
If you want to use press powder on its own though, try applying some primer before brushing the product on. Pressed powder offers lighter coverage than other types of foundation makeup, so a good primer can help enhance skin quality and it can also make makeup products last longer.
If you’re thinking of trying out this type of foundation, you can’t go wrong with Studio Fix pressed powder foundation by MAC. It’s a cult favorite that holds shine and lasts a long time.
5. Mineral Powder Makeup Foundation[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BQyLDsOFeFX/ hidecaption=true width=625] Mineral powder foundation can come in pressed or loose form. While arguably a marketing ploy because minerals found in mineral foundations are found in regular makeup also, some have attested to better wearability and better skin interaction, especially for sensitive skin.
I personally use a mineral powder foundation for my everyday makeup wear because it’s light. Even though I don’t need a lot of coverage, it can still take away the shine.
6. Cushion Type Makeup Foundation
Cushion foundations have started to become a trend these days and that’s why it’s worth a mention. Starting out in South Korea, this revolutionary product is not just a foundation in most cases but is also loaded with skin care benefits.
It contains a sponge soaked in the product that transfers to a sponge puff when pressed. It’s originally a dewy finished product, but there are now matte or semi-matte variants.
And one of its biggest advantages is the packaging because it’s easy to carry around. Check out the inside![instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BX1htZalEvZ/ hidecaption=true width=625]
7. Airbrush Makeup Foundation
Airbrush foundation can either be silicone based or water-based. It’s called airbrush makeup foundation because it uses an airbrush gun that deposits the foundation in microns all throughout the skin appearing smoother and lasting longer throughout the day.
While it’s not limited to professional use, most people who use this product are professional makeup artists. I mostly use it for my bridal gigs because it stays all day without having the need for constant touch-ups, also it photographs really well.
Airbrush makeup works best with hydrated and well-moisturized skin. It’s not as creamy or as buildable as other types of makeup, so it may look a bit flaky when applied on dry skin.
8. Serum Makeup Foundation[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BQz9pydjxxe/ hidecaption=true width=625] Serum foundation is another breakthrough product for the cosmetics industry. If you love the lightweight feel that tinted moisturizers offer but want more coverage, then the serum foundation could be just the thing for you.
High-intensity pigments are delivered in a high-fluid concoction that claims to appear airbrushed when set. Some also contain skin care benefits in every drop. I haven’t tried this type of foundation, simply because I have too much on my kit but I’m very interested.
9. Tinted Moisturizers[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BPO_6Qwjy0e/ hidecaption=true width=625] Tinted moisturizers are not really foundation but they come close, they provide a sheer amount of coverage along with a moisturizer. Most products I’ve tried are pretty heavy on the moisturizer and don’t really work well on oily skin.
10. BB Creams[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BQyTIYBDH8R/ hidecaption=true width=625] BB creams, or Blemish Balm creams as they are originally called, also hail from South Korea. And as we all know, they are very keen on skin care.
Good BB creams provide a load of skin care benefits that can either tone, brighten, and/or moisturize the skin. BB cream isn’t really a type of makeup foundation.
Originally, it didn’t even have a tint. Recent innovations have come to include this though and it even comes in variants for different skin types.
11. CC Creams
CC creams are a “spinoff” from BB creams. Whereas BB stands for “blemish balm,” though, CC stands from “color correction.”
It is much better than BB cream to use on sallow or slightly discolored skin, because it has some color-correction ingredients. Unfortunately, many CC creams don’t actually live up to their name. The high-quality ones, though, will really do wonders with unevenly colored skin.
Like their predecessors, CC creams also contain hydrating ingredients to maintain soft skin. Some of them even contain anti-aging ingredients. They are not quite as heavy or oily as BB creams, either, which makes them a great choice for those going with a more natural look.
Some companies have tried marketing DD cream, EE cream, or XYZ cream. They are all just CC creams with a different tint.
12. Whipped Foundation
If you’re looking for consistency in between liquid and cream foundation, you can try whipped or mousse foundation. Just like whipped cream, it feels light and airy when applied.
The weightless feel allows for a smooth application which results in a matte finish. It works well for most skin types, but it’s especially great for people with combination skin.
Depending on your application, it can offer medium to full coverage. It usually comes in jars, but some variants are also packaged in bottles.
13. Anti-Aging Foundation
Why limit skin care to the evening when you can have it all day long? If you’re starting to notice fine lines and wrinkles, then you may want to start using an anti-aging foundation.
Most anti-aging foundations look like liquid or serum foundations, but they contain active ingredients that help fight visible signs of skin aging. Look for foundation with ingredients like vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin C, retinol, and hyaluronic acid.
The foundation part makes you look good right then and there, but its ingredients help fight dullness, sagging, and fine lines. So if you’re worried about skin aging, make sure you get makeup that helps you look younger from the inside out.
Alternative: If you were never a full-coverage type of girl, you might want to try CC cream instead. CC or color-correcting cream is a moisturizing tint with light coverage which usually contains anti-aging ingredients too.
14. Oil-Based Foundation
Oil-based foundation is perfect for older women or those with dry skin. It provides a deep hydrating effect that other kinds of makeup foundation cannot.
You have to be careful using it, though. Since the oil will rise to the top in the bottle if it is left to sit for a long time, the foundation can make skin look greasy if it is not shaken up before use or if it is not applied properly.
Just remember to shake before use and apply evenly, though, and oil-based makeups will provide a youthful glow uncommon in most other makeup foundation types.
15. Waterproof Foundation
If you’re travelling or living in a hot climate where you’ll be sweating a lot, it will wash off most types of makeup foundation. Not so with waterproof foundations.
Waterproof foundations can take quite a beating. Not only can they withstand the elements, but they can be used for all skin types. They’re available in both cream and liquid forms, and they’re available in countless different shades.
They don’t provide as elegant a finish as most foundations, but they offer so many other benefits that we’ll give them a pass.
16. Stick Foundations
The stick foundation has been around for ages, but it’s notorious for producing that dreaded cakey look. Don’t worry though, with the right product and tools and you can totally make stick foundations work for you!
Stick foundations are usually heavier than regular foundation, so they can give you medium to full coverage. Most women make the mistake of applying the stick foundation directly on your skin, but you can have more control of your coverage if you use a brush or sponge (plus, this helps you avoid nasty bacteria build-up on your product).
Most stick foundations have a thick formulation, so it’s important to pick the right shade because you may have trouble blending. It also works best for normal or oily skin types.
With its cylindrical packaging, it’s so easy to pack in your purse. Bonus: it can also double up as a concealer!
Check out what Lisa Eldridge has to say about choosing the right makeup foundation type for you:
The search for the perfect foundation doesn’t just start and end with color matching, you need to find out what formulation works best for your skin type and what sort of texture is best suited. I hope this post has helped you understand the different types of foundation, what they do to your skin, and eventually bring you closer to your holy grail foundation—well, for this season, at least.
What do you think is the best makeup foundation type for your skin? Let me know in the comments below; if you already know your skin type and is puzzled at creating a flawless look, check out this tip for dry skin application.