- Know your skin type. Skin types are thought to be dry, very dry, oily, very oily, normal, or combination (oily T-zone while the rest are normal). I used to have a normal skin type, which means neither oily nor dry but as I reached my late twenties my T-zone area had become oily. Also, a person may have two different skin types. For example, I have worked with clients who have normal skin type except for dry forehead or chin area. Some people also tend to be very oily in the T-zone area (nose, forehead and chin) leaving the rest of the face either oily or normal. When buying foundation, buy for your skin type.
- Skin types change. Yes, our skin changes in lieu of the weather, so people need to buy different bottles of foundation depending on the weather. Your skin may be producing enough amount of oil during rainy season but it becomes crazily oily when you hit the beach on a hot, humid day. I have worked with women who left overseas with normal or oily skin and then changed into a scale of dry or very dry days after arriving Philippines. There are certain medications that can alter skin types in a matter of several applications. I had a bride who surprised me with a very dry, flaky skin on her wedding day after applying a series of acne medication days before the big day. Age also has a huge role in altering the condition of your skin. I noticed that mature ladies have either very dry or very oily skin.
- Determine your skin’s coverage. Coverage means the extent to which something is covered. Generally, foundations have sheer, medium or heavy coverages. If your pores are nonexistent, you need a foundation that just evens out your skin tone. If you have a few spots and discolorations, go for medium coverage. However, you can still opt for a sheer foundation if you do not want anything heavy and just use a concealer to cover the spots. If your skin is riddled with major acne marks and large scars, it is best to settle with foundation with heavy coverage. I never really get ladies with already good skin that go crazy in lathering thick layer of base.
- The color matches. Make sure the foundation matches your skin color perfectly. No person has a 100% even skin tone all over his or her body. The most exposed body parts are usually darker than the hidden ones (tummy, chest, bikini, butt, and thighs). Sometimes, your face has a little more color compare to your neck, or your face, neck and arms are two shades darker than the rest of your body. Asian usually have yellow undertone so buy foundation with yellow bases to match your skin. Undertones like pink, blue, red, and peach have to be avoided at all cost, or else you will not get a good match no matter how hard you rub the product.
- Swatch the product before buying. Try a small patch of foundation on that area of your face where your jaw meets the neck. This is the perfect spot in trying out foundation because it color swatch your face and neck at the same time. If the product blends and looks seamless, consider buying it. If you are with someone, ask that someone a little later (like 30 minutes after) if he or she can spot a difference in color or texture where you tested the foundation. If the answer is no, still do not buy it. When you are home, do your own research about the product. If you are spending a stash of your money on a makeup product, make sure it is worth it so do your homework first. Once satisfied with the reviews of other users, return to the store and buy it.
I have about 15 bottles of foundation in my kit at the moment, with a few stocks coming in a box from the US. That is considered little for someone in the industry, but for ordinary people who get to make up themselves only, it is sad to see bottles or compacts of foundation go to waste due to mismatch coloring, allergic reactions, wrong coverage and unsuited formulation. I am pretty sure everyone has a pouch or drawer of make up used once or twice in their whole shelf life, which is a bad practice. Buying foundation has never been an easy errand. Not only these pieces of advice will save you money, you will hate yourself less for making a carefully thought makeup-related decision.
Happy foundation shopping!