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How to choose your foundation in three simple steps

Published on December 20, 2022 at 13:35 / Updated on December 21, 2022 at 13:10

Let's face it. We've all been guilty of using a foundation that isn't the right shade or finish for our face. Sometimes, there is no cosmetician to advise us. Sometimes, we don't dare ask for help because we feel overwhelmed in the beauty department and end up picking a shade that "looks okay.” Here's how to find your foundation in three steps.

1- know your skin type

Even before selecting a foundation shade, the most important aspect is knowing your skin type. Do you have oily, normal, combination or dry skin? There are product formulations that are beneficial to your skin type in terms of comfort and makeup wear.

Combination skin

If your skin is dry on the cheeks and temples, but rather oily on the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin), you probably have combination skin. Creamy textures are fine, but you'll probably need a mattifying powder for the T-zone of the face to control excess oil.

Oily skin

Are you prone to developing acne and blackheads more easily? An overproduction of sebum causes these symptoms. If your face is constantly shiny, you probably have oily skin. Powder and even creamy powder-finish textures will be more beneficial to your skin. Your pores will be minimized, and excess oil will be controlled.

Dry skin

If your skin is fine, sensitive, and you feel a certain level of tightness after cleansing your skin, you definitely have dry skin. Creamy/liquid textures with moisturizing agents will keep your skin luminous and plump all day long.

Normal skin

If your skin is even, soft, smooth, and has few imperfections, it is considered normal. You have a wide range of choices! Powder, cream or even liquid foundations can blend well with your skin. Your choice of finish will guide you to the right texture.

2- what coverage do you want?

High coverage

Preferable for textured skin, with imperfections, scars, and rosacea. The texture of the foundation will be thicker and will correct your complexion.

Medium coverage

Ideal for those who want to enhance their complexions, even it out and correct some slight signs of fatigue. The texture of the foundation will be more fluid than creamy.

Light coverage

Preferable for normal skin that only requires a little balancing out for your complexion. The texture will be a very fine powder, barely tinted, or a very fluid liquid. They are often found in the form of bb cream, tinted cream or even tinted sunscreens.


These three types of coverage for certain skin types are only "guidelines" in the beauty world. If you have normal skin with very little redness and/or blemishes, but you love makeup and like to look made up, why not go with high coverage? If you have blemishes, but they don't bother you, why not go for a tinted moisturizer? The choice is yours!

3- what shade suits you best?

Now we've reached the final step, where we select the shade for our face. To save time and energy, we suggest you ask your cosmetician for help choosing the right shade. You'll be able to tell them your skin type and the finish you're looking for as well. 

Before you even buy, ask if it's possible to get a sample and the return policy if the shade doesn't fit. That way, you can test the formula and colour before you buy. If there is no one to support you, but testers are available, you can do the test yourself. It's not a matter of picking a shade at random, or applying it to the back of your hand or even the center of your forehead. You need to take a little foundation and blend it along the jawline. Do this test with 2 or 3 shades that are close to your skin tone. The shade that best blends with your face and décolletage will be yours. It's important to keep an eye on the décolletage, and even a little bit of the upper body, because sometimes the face can be lighter or darker than this area.

Wear what makes you feel great

Following these three rules will make your foundation selection faster and more effective. Don't rely on shade alone, as coverage, finish, wear, and comfort are just as important as colour.

By Jean-François Casselman-Dupont in collaboration with Familiprix.

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