Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Ultimate Foundation Guide-Shade Match, Shopping, Application Tips

I get asked a lot of questions about the perfect foundation shade match and I always try my best to suggest the best that I can as per my knowledge. But I understand that it isn't easy because I've also been through that struggling phase. Plus, there's also formula, finish and staying power that matters.

So today, I decided to sit and write the Ultimate Foundation Guide. Here I'll share lots of information and tips on finding the best one for your particular skin type. Read on to find out more.

Let's start with some basic questions.

Q: What is foundation and its actual purpose?

Ans: The foundation is basically that canvas on which you'll be creating that beautiful masterpiece using makeup. Its purpose is to create an even and uniform skin tone. Foundation is not meant to whiten the face.

Q: What is my actual skin tone?

Ans: Your skin tone falls within 3 basic categories.

1) Fair: Ivory to light toned skin
2) Medium: Beige to yellow toned skin
3) Deep: Medium brown to dark brown toned skin

These 3 are divided into sub categories but once you're sure about your basic skin tone, search for a suitable foundation within that range.

Q: What is skin undertone and how do I find out mine?

Ans: The skin undertone is a slight hue of color that shows on the surface of the skin. Undertones are either warm, cool or neutral. Look at the veins on your wrist. If you see blue veins your undertone is cool but if you see green veins your undertone is warm.

To make it a little easier I'll explain it this way:

1) If you have fair to pinkish skin, yours is a cool undertone.
2)  If you have slightly fair to medium skin, yours is a neutral undertone.
3) If you have medium to deep skin, yours is a warm undertone.

Q: What is the best formula for me?

Ans: Foundation comes in the following formulas:

1) Liquid
2) Mousse or Cream
3) Pressed Powder
4) Loose Powder
5) Stick

Your ideal formula depends on your skin type which should be either:

1) Oily
2) Normal
3) Dry
4) Combination (dry in winters and oily during summers)

My Skin Profile

Type: Oily/Combination
Tone: Medium
Undertone: Warm
Pores: Open on and around nose area and cheeks

My Foundation Collection:

1) Bourjois Mineral Matte Mousse Foundation in 83 (read review)
2) DMGM Studio Perfection Secret Wonder Foundation in 260 Praline (read review)
3) Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Powder Foundation in 202 Translucent Beige (read review)
4) Kryolan TV Paint Stick in FS 38 (read review)  

My preferred formula: Liquid
My current favorite foundation: DMGM Studio Perfection Secret Wonder Foundation

I prefer liquid formulation over all others because I find it easy to apply and blend. Plus, I know how much of it I need to use. I love a matte finish even though my skin tends to be on the drier side during winters. However, I do moisturize my face before application.

Shade Match: 

1) Always test foundation at the counter and don't rely on your monitor screen for color selection. Trust me, I've suffered so I know.

2) Apply foundation on your jawline. The one that blends into the skin is the perfect shade for you. Don't test it on your wrist. That skin is different and you'll regret it later.

3) Don't rely on the sales girls present at the counters. With what I have noticed, they usually lack product knowledge and end up suggesting the wrong shades.


Know your skin tone and undertone? Perfect! 

1) Choose a brand:

a) Do some research on which ones are available in your country and if they have counters in your city.

b) Decide whether you want a drugstore foundation or high end one.

c) Choose a formula and finish according to your skin type and tone.

2) Plan your budget: 

Quality matters. After all its your skin. You can't buy foundation every other day and experimenting is not a good idea, so spend carefully. Better safe than sorry no?

3) Brands I recommend:

Drugstore: L'Oréal, Maybelline, Revlon, Bourjois, Kryolan

High end: MAC, DMGM, Make Up For Ever, Illamasqua

Here's what these beauties have to say about some well known foundations. Click the names to read reviews.

Huda Naveed talks about the Catrice Photo Finish Foundation in 010 Sand Beige. Her skin type is Dry/Combination. 

Umaima Mehtab has Combination skin and she uses Maybelline Fit Me Liquid Foundation.

Sorath Majid also has Combination skin and has reviewed Chanel Perfection Lumeiere Long Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup with SPF 10.

Zubaida Rasool talks about Color Studio Professional Pro Luminous Foundation. Her skint type is Dry.

Huda BBlogger has Oily/Combination skin and she has compared Catrice Infinite Matt Makeup in 020 Honey Beige and 010 Light Beige.

Availability: You can purchase straight from brand counters at major super stores and markets across the country. Online, go through Just4girls and Beauty Arena and Face Book pages in Pakistan.


There are various tools one can use to apply foundation. Preferably, brushes are the best to go for and are recommended by makeup artists and beauty bloggers alike. There are also sponge blenders and powder puffs but for liquids nothing quite works like brushes. I prefer the Sigma F 80 flat top Kabuki Brush (read review) and have been using it for 2 years now.

Here's a breakdown of tools for different foundation types. 

1) Brushes and beauty blenders for liquid foundation. 

2) Sponge blenders for stick foundation. 

3) Puffs for powder foundation. A puff usually comes along in the container. 

4) Brushes for loose powder foundation. 

5) Dense brushes and Beauty Blenders for mousse foundation. 

That's it for my ultimate foundation guide. I hope you liked it and was of help to you. Do share your opinion in the comments section. Ciao!  

Kiran Imtiaz Author

I would love to hear from you. Leave in your valuable comments, questions and anything you want to share, below. Comments with irrelevant links will not be published.


  1. A excellent and detailed guide. It has everything that a newbie needs to know to get their perfect foundation :). This post reflects hard work so keep it up. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great post with so much detail, thumbs up for such great effort and thank you so much for mentioning my post :)

  3. Wow :) Such an helping post :) And liquid foundations are best :) i agree with you.Covergirl and MAC foundations are amazing and iam eyeing that MUFE Foundation it is amazing And estee lauder foundation is also amazing :) You have done such an hard work in this post :) Love it. *Claps*

    1. Thanku so much anna :) I'm glad u found it helpful

  4. Nice post very detailed and helpful!

  5. That is the most concise foundation guide I have read so far.. You nailed it girl.. and these are some great tips. I know girls who get annoyed at so much information and end up saying "Just give me a product name yar" :D

  6. Great post...Am sure it will help many people :)

  7. These types of guide posts never get old and you have covered it all in so much detail that it will surely help everybody! :) xx

    Jadirah Sarmad | Jasmine Catches Butterflies ʚϊɞ

  8. Amazing post Kiran! Answers all the questions regarding foundation selection and application. I'm definitely going to try your favourite DMGM foundation. xx

    1. Thanku zubia :) yes i highly recommend it. It's a great product.

  9. You have compiled a very helpful post. Good effort :)

  10. very informative post .its really confusing when it comes to finding the right foundation