When it comes to creating the perfect look, there’s one type of makeup that literally lays the foundation for all else. But foundation—regardless of quality—can vary widely in terms of consistency, application, and ingredients. So how do you know which type is right for you? We’ve put together a quick guide to seven common types of foundations, each of which has its own set of advantages. Read on to refresh your makeup bag with confidence.
Liquid foundation is one of the most popular types of foundation and with good reason. It glides on easily and is a good choice for both dry and combination skin. Whether you’re working with a water- or oil-based formula, it’s a good idea to shake before applying to avoid separation in the bottle. Liquid foundations also tend to provide the heaviest coverage and are best used if there are larger patches of skin you’re looking to even out.
Perhaps the most classic type of makeup foundation, powder is convenient and easy to apply. It typically comes in a compact case, which is ideal for on-the-go touch-ups. However, given its drier formulation, it’s best used on oily skin without too many fine lines. Powder foundation typically provides a more lightweight, natural-looking appearance.
If covering blemishes is your main goal, stick foundation represents one of the best types of makeup foundations. Since it comes in an easy-to-use “stick” format, it’s great for slipping into your purse or makeup bag. The consistency tends to be a bit thicker, so it’s important to find your ideal shade. Stick foundations can also be applied as concealers to larger areas of the skin if you prefer a cream formulation to liquid.
As interest in natural and organic makeup solutions grows, there have never been more options for mineral powder. This type of makeup foundation is powder-based and typically comes in a compact or sifter. The only downside to this option is that it can be quite messy if not applied carefully. This is an option best used during your morning routine and swapping with powder for touch-ups during the day.
Unlike many types of makeup foundations, the primary purpose of tinted moisturizer is skincare. This means that coverage will be lighter and may not be ideal for masking heavy discoloration or blemishes. However, tinted moisturizer is amazing for creating a bright, dewy complexion and evening skin tone. This is also a great lightweight option for summer.
Perfect for a broad range of skin types, BB cream stands for “blemish balm” or “beauty balm.” It’s made with a relatively creamy formulation and can help even skin tone while moisturizing skin and providing just a touch of color. If you are prone to oily skin, use a BB cream with a mattifying effect.
Similar to BB Cream, CC Cream (which stands for “color correcting”) is intended to provide a light layer of coverage with a natural tint. These creams are often hydrating and frequently contain anti-aging ingredients. Just like their alphabetical predecessor, CC creams can help even skin tone to create a bright, fresh-faced look.
Up next, read on for nine of the best sweatproof foundations—just in time for summer.