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Perfect skin starts with foundation since it’s the base of your makeup and most crucial product in your routine. It’s so easy to choose the wrong foundation and if you do, it can have a catastrophic impact on your entire makeup look. So here are five helpful tips for ensuring you choose the correct foundation and one that’s perfect for you in every aspect.

1. Undertone

It can be hard to look at your skin and recognise it as warm, cool or olive but this is an integral part of making sure your foundation matches your skin seamlessly. If you have a warm undertone then your skin tone is predominately yellow or golden, cool undertones are mostly beige or pink and olive skin tones are slightly green or brown. The way you can tell which one you are is by looking at the veins in your wrist and spotting either of those colours.

2. Colour

If in doubt between two colours, always go with the lighter shade because it’s much easier to darken up a foundation with some bronzer than it is to lighten up one that’s too dark. Sometimes it can be a struggle to find foundation that is dark enough but brands you can always count on that cater to most skin tones include MAC, Clinique, Bobbi Brown and of course Black Opal, specifically designed for darker skin. Remember that the best place to test foundation is on your jawline because it takes into consideration your neck, that’s lighter than your face. The correct colour should seamlessly blend into your skin and if you have any doubts then it’s probably not the shade for you. The friendly makeup counter girls are usually more than happy to assist you in colour-matching you so don’t be afraid to ask for their assistance.

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3. Coverage

This is definitely an important aspect to consider since you don’t want to be piling on full coverage foundation if all you need is a tinted moisturiser to even out your skin-tone. With that being said, it wouldn’t be ideal to be using a low coverage foundation when your aim is to cover acne. The best way to approach this aspect of your foundation is take a look at your skin in the mirror and decide if you need low, medium or full coverage. Acne generally requires a medium-full coverage foundation while redness or skin tone can be evened out with low-medium coverage.

4. Texture

The texture of foundation you decide on will most likely depend on your skin type whether it be oily, dry, normal or sensitive. Powder is the texture of choice for oily skin since it doesn’t add any more moisture to the surface but instead provides a product that will potentially help keep oil at bay. Despite this there are many foundation options on the market aimed at mattifying and oil control so you aren’t left with just one option. Dry skin thrives on liquid and cream products since it adds an aspect of moisture to help hydrate. Normal skin can usually get away with using any of the textures and it comes down to personal preference. Sensitive skin is best treated with natural based and fragrance free foundations to avoid irritation or blotchy red flair ups.

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5. Finish

Next you have to decide what skin-finish you want; matte, dewy or somewhere in-between. For a matte look you might use a mattifying foundation then set it with a powder. If you’re looking for something dewier you might go for a foundation with pearl or reflective properties and leave it as is or set it with an iridescent powder. An in-between would be the use of a dewy foundation and mattifying powder. This depends on the season or occasion as you might prefer a matte look in Winter and for night occasions but a dewier look in Summer and for the daytime.

The best part about department stores are that they usually offer little samples of the foundations that give you a few applications where you can try out the colours and consistencies on your skin and see how they wear in your everyday life.

Finding your perfect foundation may seem like a huge process but the great part is that when you find it, you won’t have to worry about it again until you decide you want a change. Follow these five tips and you’ll be on your way to finding your flawless base in no time.

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Words By Beauty Writer: Jordan Cannon
Editor: Florence Bailey