Flawless Base for a Smooth Look
Not everyone is blessed with great skin. And that’s exactly why a foundation exists. Applied properly it can give you a flawless base like a second skin. But it can be tricky to create that illusion like you haven’t been wearing anything at all. The key to that is identifying a foundation colour that matches your skin tone and your skin type. A foundation that controls the shine on oily skin and is hydrating on dry skin. Choose a formula that your skin loves and accepts.
The next step is to create a perfect canvas for the foundation application. And then apply the foundation for that my-skin-but-better look. The former is in your hands but the latter two steps, we can help.
With the word prep, you are probably looking for your primer. But the most important step of all is your skincare. Without proper skin care, your primer cannot adhere to your skin. Start with a gentle cleanser followed by an exfoliator. Hope by now you’d have ditched all your harsh scrubs and jumped on the chemical exfoliation bandwagon. Skipping the exfoliation is what makes your foundation look uneven and patchy. Finish off with a moisturizer. Even oily and acne-prone skin needs a moisturizer albeit a water-based one. With a moisturized skin your foundation glides better and looks natural.
Prime for a Smooth Look
Now it's the time for your primer. It creates a smooth canvas for your foundation and helps last longer. However, the primer you choose depends on your skin concern. For oily skin, go for a gel-based primer like the "Chambor Anti-Shine Primer for Oily Skin". If you have visible pores, try the poreless primer like the "Sugar Cosmetics Base Of Glory Pore Minimizing Primer". Dry skin beauties can go for the "ELF Hydrating primer". Another option is the "M.A.C Prep + Prime Moisture Infusion", which is a lightweight serum that hydrates you as well as primes your skin. If you have any skin concerns, you can use multiple primers on the problem spots as needed.
Match Your Shade
Your foundation shade has to be as close as possible to your skin tone. Swatch on your lower jawline to determine your shade. Your choice of the shade should blend seamlessly with your skin. If none of the shades matches, you can mix two shades for a customized shade. It is also wise to invest in two foundation shades. You are not the same complexion all year round. You might get paler in winter and tanned in summer. Two foundation shades would cover you all year round.
Layer for Coverage
Start with applying foundations on the areas with uneven skin tone. Dab foundations on the centre of your face, the apple of the cheeks and blend out. The other areas to concentrate are the sides of your face and nose. Then apply foundations where you need coverage and again blend into the rest of the face. This way you can achieve a second-skin look and not be caked in foundation. If your blemishes are still visible add another thin layer of foundation.
Blend Blend Blend
However expertly you apply your foundation, it is not worth it until you blend it properly. Make sure you are using a dab-dab motion in the case of a beauty blender sponge. If you are using a foundation brush, use a foundation brush. A stippling brush is your best choice. Stipple the foundation which is a gentle tapping motion onto your skin. On condition that you are using fingers, press the foundation in your skin. You can use any of the above methods to blend the foundation but not a wipe and rubbing motion. The latter would result in a streaky look.
Set Your Makeup
The final part is to ensure the makeup stays all day long. Invest in a setting spray and a silky loose powder for your makeup. After blending your foundation, sweep a thin layer of loose powder with a powder brush. This helps the foundation to set and not budge. Go for a second sweep on problem areas like your T-Zone in the case of oily skin.
As the very last step, spritz some setting spray on your skin. Setting spray helps the makeup stay on and not melt away. It also gives a bit of dewiness to the look without going completely matte. Make sure you don't hold the spray closer to your skin.
The most common type of foundation and the most preferred one due to its versatility especially by beginners. Liquid foundations can be tricky at times, but with the right application, you can easily create an even flawless look.
Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte with Poreless Foundation
With an impressive 18 shades and a new pump bottle, the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte Poreless Foundation is all set to rule the cosmetic world yet again. Suitable for normal to oily skin, the foundation blurs the pores for a natural-looking matte finish. Priced at Rs. 500, it is dermatologically tested to be non-comedogenic. With medium coverage, the foundation can be layered for a clean look. It is available to buy from Nykaa.
- Inexpensive and perfect for beginners.
- Effortless blending.
- 18 shades covering a wide range of skin tones.
- Medium Coverage
- Lasts only 5 hours.
- Not transfer-proof.
- Oxidizes after a few hours.
Revlon Color Stay Makeup for Combination / Oily Skin
After being the go-to foundation for oily skin beauties for more than a decade, the Revlon Colourstay Makeup for Combination/Oily Skin still gives the new entries a run for their money. The time-release technology makes sure the foundation lasts longer on your skin by controlling oil and shine giving you a matte finish. Despite giving you full coverage, the foundation does not fade off or transfer ensuring a flawless, second-skin-like finish. Costing you Rs. 1,285, it is available to buy at Nykaa.
- Transfer proof
- Full coverage
- Controls Shine
- Matte Finish
- Limited shade range
- Can cake if not layered properly
- Drying on other skin types
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation leads the way with over 55 shades suiting all skin tones including cool, neutral, and warm undertones. The oil-free and oil-controlling formula ensures that your foundation stays on all day even in hot and humid conditions. The 24-hour foundation promises you a flawless, matte finish with a natural look. The SPF-10 gives you additional protection during the day. Purchase yours from Myntra for Rs. 1,800(15ml).
- Transfer resistant and waterproof
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Medium to full coverage
- Free of oil and fragrance
- Can give a whitish look in a flash due to the presence of SPF
- Stubborn. Needs an oil-based makeup remover.
Stick foundations are not as versatile as a liquid foundation, but they are travel friendly and practical. A good stick foundation can also double up as a concealer. Stick foundations are one of the best options for oily skin due to its consistency and coverage.
Colorbar Full Cover Make Up Stick
A two-in-one foundation that also functions as a concealer with no need for colour correction. Colorbar Full Cover Make Up Stick glides on the skin giving you an even look without settling in the fine lines. It is enriched with shea butter, jojoba oil and vitamin E which moisturizes your skin and the broad spectrum SPF 30 protects against harmful UV rays. Priced at Rs. 699(9 gm), the foundation gives you medium coverage. It is available to buy from Amazon.in Cosmetics.
- Medium coverage
- Doesn’t feel heavy
- Long-lasting, non-comedogenic, and water-resistant
- Free of paraben, allergen and fragrance
- Melts later in the day and gets dewy
- Feels heavy to start with
- Semi-matte finish
Ace of Face Foundation Stick
With 22 shades, the Sugar Cosmetics Ace of Face Foundation Stick gives you a dreamy skin, lightweight and easily blendable. With a medium to heavy coverage, it can also be blended for a sheer look. Oily skin with concerns like large pores, blemishes, dark circles and fine lines can benefit from using this foundation. The other end of the foundation is equipped with a buffer brush to use with the foundation. You can also use it as a concealer when needed. Buy it from Sugar Cosmetics for Rs. 999(12 gm).
- Creamy and blends easily
- Long-lasting and waterproof
- Medium to full coverage
- Doesn't settle in wrinkles and fine lines
- Need a light-handed application
Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation
One of the best stick foundations for oily skin, the Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation has a unique transparent base with colour correcting pigments for a natural-looking, skin-like finish. The smart-technology formula provides targeted moisturization with a blend of emollients like olive extract and shea butter, making it perfect for oily and acne-prone skin. Available in 43 shades, it gives medium to full coverage. The award-winning foundation has light-diffusing powders and oil-controlling ingredients that control unwanted oil and shine. Priced at Rs. 4,000, it is available to buy from Nykaa.
- Sweat-resistant, water-resistant and humidity-resistant
- Free from paraben, phthalate, sulfate, sulfite and gluten
- Creamy and lightweight
- Matte finish
- Buildable coverage
Crazy oily, acne-prone and sensitive skin can benefit from powder foundations. The powder absorbs the excess oil but gives you sheer coverage at the best. The oil-absorbing properties help you control the shine throughout the day.
NYX Professional Makeup Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation
A powder foundation that has a smooth velvety formula and vegan is the cult favourite NYX Professional Makeup Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation. It can also be layered for full coverage and a matte finish without looking cakey. It blends into the skin without settling in the fine lines for a smooth finish. With 24 about shades, it is available to buy for Rs. 1,200 at Nykaa.
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Doesn’t cake
- Gives you an airbrushed finish
- Good coverage
- Oxides a lot
- Difficult to blend
- Clings to dry areas
Maybelline New York Fit Me Powder Foundation
Maybelline New York Fit Me Two-Way Cake Powder Foundation features an ultra-smooth refined micro velvet powder. A two-in-one powder foundation and compact powder deliver a shine-free and flawless finish. It comes with an SPF 30 PA+++ for broad-spectrum sun protection. It can be used wet or dry depending on the needed coverage. Priced at Rs. 600, it is available to buy from Amazon India. The powder foundation also comes with an applicator for flawless application.
- Nominally priced
- Wet or dry foundation
- No caking
- SPF 32+++
- No shade match for deep and dusky skin tones
- Blending is difficult
Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation
The best powder foundation for people whose oil glands are on overdrive, Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation gives a long-lasting luminous finish. With an 8-hour wear, velvety soft powder and light filter technology, it instantly blurs and diffuses imperfections. The foundation comes with a double-sided sponge for coverage of your choice. Priced at Rs. 3,300, the powder foundation is available to buy from Nykaa.
- Free from parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, fragrance and talc
- Not tested on animals
- Buildable coverage from sheer to full
Acne-prone oily skin usually breaks out even from the slightest of allergens. For such sensitive skins, mineral foundations are a godsend. Made from naturally occurring minerals, there is very little chance you could break out due to allergies.
Natio Pure Mineral Foundation
With light-reflecting minerals that gently illuminate the skin, the Natio Pure Mineral Foundation gives you a luminous and radiant complexion. It is enriched with vitamins C and E, to help smooth and repair. The jojoba oil present softens and moisturizes the skin. It also reduces the appearance of fine lines. The lightweight mineral in the foundation lets the skin breathe, something very important for oily skin. Priced for Rs. 1,325for 50ml, it is available to buy at Nykaa.
- Easy to apply and blend
- Illuminates the face
- Not suited for oily skin
- Just 6 shades and not inclusive
L'Oreal Paris True Match Minerals Skin-Improving Foundation
An airy powder foundation, the L'Oreal Paris True Match Minerals Skin-Improving Foundation gives you flawless 16-hour coverage. It is enriched with naturally occurring micronized minerals that cover the blemishes. Infused with Zinc and Kaolin, it absorbs the excess oil resulting in a clear, shine-free look. The sea minerals present tightens the pores preventing breakouts. It is available to buy for Rs. 978 at Nykaa. For an added advantage it comes with SPF 19.
- Free from preservative, talc and fragrance
- Safe for sensitive skin
- Doesn't clog the pores
- Lightweight and buildable coverage
- Dusky skin beauties would not find a shade match
- Doesn't hide dark spots and pigmentation
Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Powder Foundation
A foundation for the hot and sultry days when the skin is very oily and sensitive, the Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Powder Foundation is enriched with pure minerals to ensure flawless skin. With ingredients such as seawater minerals, mica, silica, squalene, Vitamins A, C & E, magnesium myristate, aloe vera and titanium dioxide, it delivers a matte finish, non-drying and comfortable to wear. The foundation is a pressed powder with a mill that delivers finely ground powder for a one time use. It also has broad-spectrum SPF-20 for protection against harsh UV rays. Priced at $40 or Rs. 3,015, the foundation can be purchased from Elizabeth Arden.
- Skin brightening
- Buildable from sheer to full coverage
- 16-hour stay
- Luminous finish
- SPF 20
- Doesn't cover imperfections and dark spots.
Mousse foundations otherwise called as whipped foundations can be used by all skin types but perfect for oily skin. Due to the air bubbles trapped in its mousse-like texture, it is weightless and non-greasy. This makes it a preferred foundation among oily skin beauties. Just like mineral foundations, you cannot cover dark spots and blemishes.
Lakme Absolute Skin Natural Mousse
With its airy texture, the Lakme Absolute Skin Natural Mousse is similar to CC cream. It has sheer coverage and stays on for up to 16 hours. The SPF 8 present keeps your skin protected and healthy. Though advertised as a foundation, it is best used under a foundation in case you want full coverage. Perfect for those days when you do not want to bother with makeup, the foundation is available to buy from Amazon.in. Buy it for Rs. 499(25 gm).
- Airy texture and weightless
- Easy blending
- Stays for a long time with minimal touchup
- Natural finish
- Doesn't cover imperfections
- Limited shade range
Colorbar Flawless Finish Mousse Foundation
A mousse foundation that transforms into powder when applied and gives you a medium to full coverage seems like the stuff of dreams. Such is the Colorbar Flawless Finish Mousse Foundation. The non-comedogenic formula lets the skin breathe and doesn't clog the pores. It is enriched with glycerin for hydrated skin. Available at Nykaa, the foundation is equipped with a broad spectrum SPF 10. It is priced at Rs. 800.
- Medium-Full coverage
- Water-resistant and smudge-proof.
- Free from parabens, allergens, and fragrances.
- Can get patchy
- Oxidizes in the hot climate
- Low shade range
theBalm Even Steven Whipped Mousse Foundation
theBalm Even Steven Whipped Mousse Foundation is the one you need if you have a little too many imperfections to cover. The highly pigmented formula is light, glides and blends just as easily. A little goes a long way when it comes to this foundation. It has a weightless texture and can be built to full coverage with a natural matte finish. It is available to buy for Rs. 1,899 from Nykaa. Though the shade range is limited it covers fair, medium and dusky skin easily.
- Weightless and goes on easily
- Ultra pigmented
- Not all dusky skin tones can find a match
- Full coverage can give a cakey look at the end of the day
Foundation-Look-Like for the Women Who are Not Bothered
Not everyone is interested in wearing a foundation day in and day out. But if you need something to give your skin a boost without the trouble of foundation, BB creams and CC creams are your saviour.
Garnier BB Cream
Made for the busy woman, the Garnier BB cream is a foundation and moisturizer all in one product. With sheer coverage, the BB cream brightens your face to give you a healthy glow. With its SPF 24 and 8-hour moisture technology, your skin looks fresh and fresh all day long. Priced at Rs. 135, the BB cream is enriched with vitamin C, almond extract and brightening minerals. Buy it from Garnier.
- Goes on light
- SPF 24 and 8-hour moisture
- Sheer to no coverage
- Oily skin beauties better skip except maybe in winter
Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream
Quite pricey for a BB cream, the Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream simply delivers to your expectations. It has a non-comedogenic formula, hence non-sticky. It is enriched with vitamins and minerals. The BB cream also comes equipped with SPF 42PA+++ protecting you from harmful UV rays. Priced at Rs. 2,466, it is available to buy from Amazon.
- SPF 42 PA+++
- Even tone and buildable
- Waterproof and maybe a little sweat proof
- Medium to full coverage
- 27 shades
- Oxidises after 2 hours in the sun
- Lasts for 4-5 hours
Lakmé 9 to 5 CC Color Transform Cream
Enriched with aloe vera the Lakmé 9to5 Naturale CC Cream protects your skin from the dirt and grime from pollution. It comes with SPF 30 PA+++ for broad-spectrum protection. It also brightens your skin, hydrates it protecting it from dullness and dryness.
- Lightweight cream for daily use
- Blends easily for a brighter-looking skin
- Not for oily skin
- Just 2 shades
M.A.C Lightful C + Coral Grass Tinted Cream
A colour correcting cream that controls the oil is just what you need on a busy day before heading to work. And M.A.C Lightful C + Coral Grass Tinted Cream drivers just that. It has a unique complex that works to correct your complexion, reduce dark spots and reduces the appearance of pores. Infused with coral grass and vitamin c, it increases the natural radiance of your skin. The CC cream is equipped with SPF 30/PA+++ to protect you from UVA/UVB rays. Priced at Rs. 2,950, it is available to buy from Nykaa.
- Oil-free and controls shine
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- SPF 30/PA+++
- Smooth skin
- Doesn't hide dark spots and blemishes
- Less shade range
Use the Right Tools for Applying Foundations
Different foundation formulas respond better to some application techniques than others. Selecting your makeup tool is very much a matter of personal preference. With that said, different foundation types and formulas do tend to lend themselves to different methods of application. Sometimes a makeup brush will suffice, other times a makeup sponge is the best route to go, and on more than a few occasions, even your fingertips will do!