Makeup Artist Tips | How to Find Your Perfect Foundation

FOUNDATION ; It’s that one makeup product that I probably invest the most money into and I am forever finding new formulas and brands that I love and use. Fortunately as consumers we are pretty spoilt for choice with foundations with innovative formulas constantly coming out trying to entice us in. I don’t know about you, but I have probably around 4 that I consistently use, depending on how my skin is, what finish and coverage I like and also how tanned my skin is.

If you are struggling to find something that works for you then here are some tips and tricks to finding ‘THE ONE’ ; that holy grail foundation, which can be quite a time-consuming and arduos task, not to mention heavy on the purse strings!


There are 4,00000,000000 foundations to choose from and we all haven’t got a lifetime to go through them all ; ask yourself these questions that will help whittle down the options and help you find your perfect match.

1) Budget Find your comfortable price-point. Not everyone wants to spend £30 on a foundation every 6 months and there are some fantastic budget options.

2) Coverage Don’t straight away think you need a full-coverage! How is your skin without makeup? Unless you have heavy blemishes/ scarring and high redness, it’s unlikely you need a full coverage, although SO many people think they do. Your skin will looks it’s best with the lighest foundation your skin needs with strategic & clever concealing…as opposed to using your foundation as a concealer.

3) Skintype This will dictate how a foundation sits and wears on your skin. Dry skins will prefer a more dewy and hydrating foundation wheras oily skins will prefer a semi-matte and perhaps oil-free finish.

There are also many different formulas of foundation which may effect your choice ; cream, powder, fluid & stick foundations being the most common. You may prefer makeup to be quick easy and compact, in that case you may want a powder with a sponge or brush in the compact.


Not on the back of your hand, but on your ACTUAL face. If shopping in a store then usually you will be able to get a sales assistant to apply it & match your skintone for you, so you can wear it around for a bit to see how it wears and sits on your skin. Also a good way to see if it actually IS the right colour when you walk about outside as sometimes store lighting is not great, particulary if there is no natural light. How many times have you purchased a foundation after swiping it on your hand for it to look terrible on your face later @ home?! 

Drugstores are a little trickier, as sometimes you are lucky enough to even have a foundation tester, let alone anyone to help you! Take along a small compact mirror, and hunt down the foundation tester you want to try on your skin and match is as reccomended below.


Yes, you can be yellow (warm), neutral or pink (cool) toned in your skin. If you can’t see any obvious tones in your skin and can’t work it out….go for neutral

Some brands such as Bobbi Brown are very yellow-based but most brands have a reasonable selection of pink and yellow tones. MAC offer their infamous NC (Neutral Cool) vs NW (Neutral Warm) shades with C actually being yellow and W more pink. Another brand which I am loving for their ease of tone selection is Cover FX and their custom drops which are split into Pink, Neutral & Gold.

When I am matching a client for foundation, yes I will look at the colour on the neck but often this IS paler than the face anyway as the sun does not catch it as much, so DON’T get matched just on your neck ; try the neck, forehead and chin if you just want a quick match & get the one that is adaptable to all areas of your face and a happy medium between all the areas. Often a colour that is perfect on the neck will be 2 shades too pale on the forehead. 

Are you using fake tan? Will you be going paler or much darker anytime soon? Take that into consideration. I always have my winter VS summer foundations, so don’t expect 1 colour will suit all year round, you will have to switch it up or get some form of liquid bronze you can add into your foundation to make it warmer. I love the NARS liquid laguna and the The Body Shop shade adjusting drops to add depth to my foundation.



Application is also important to get the most out of your foundation and to get it looking perfectly polished. Your foundation formula will dictate what the best way to apply it will be and get advice on how is best to apply. In general :

+ Cream/Fluids work best with brushes or sponges

+ Powders work best with brushes or sponges
+ Don’t feel comfortable with a brush = use your fingertips!

 If you like a heavier coverage, try a sponge. Beauty Blender is the most well-known and does live up to the hype although there are plenty of dupes out there now if you are on a budget. I prefer a buffing brush as I just think it works so much better at working the product into the skin, with this one from Crownbrush being one of my favourites. Foundation brushes have advanced so much in the last 10 years ; before the ‘paddle’ foundation brush was the main option , but now there are lots of different styles and types so there will always be one that works for you. 

I’ve collated a few of my favourite foundations below so it may make it easier to find your perfect foundation based on your skin type, coverage you want and the all-important budget:

Have you found your perfect foundation yet? What do you like for both budget and high end? Would love to hear your suggestions.