How to Find The Perfect Foundation For Your Skin Type

Finding the perfect foundation can be like finding the perfect pair a jeans – a lot of trial and error!  But fear not because the key to the perfect foundation is to know the type of skin you have.  Once you have that information, you can follow these tips for picking the right foundation from Paula Begoun, the skin care expert you helped those who were acne prone in a previous post!

For Extremely Dry or Wrinkled Skin
Women who need medium to full coverage and are looking for moisturizing texture should try an oil-based foundation. The emollient in the ingredients helps the skin look very dewy and moist, which can minimize the appearance of wrinkles and give the skin a healthy glow.
Products Worth Trying: Clinique Supermoisture Makeup ($23) and Dior DiorSkin Ecalt Satin ($42).

For Dull or Dry Skin
Following the latest makeup trends that boasts a shimmer and glow to your overall look, try foundations with shine. These products provide a subtle glow and are best used when trying to achieve an evening look.
Products Worth Trying: Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer ($58), Maybelline New York Dream Matte Mousse Airbrush Finish ($8.79), and NARS Sheer Glow Foundation ($42).

Slightly Dry or Combination Skin
To achieve a slightly matte and powdery appearance, women should try a cream-to powder foundations. They provide a greater range of coverage than pressed powder–based foundations and blend easily.
Products Worth Trying: Clarins Instant Smooth Foundation ($38), Clinique City Base Compact Foundation SPF 15 ($23), and M.A.C. Studio Tech Foundation ($29.50).

For Normal to Dry Skin
For women who are looking for light to medium coverage, water-based and standard liquid foundations are the best option. The fluid nature of these foundations provides easy blending and, once set with powder, blush and eyeshadow will smooth on effortlessly.
Products Worth Trying: L’Oreal Visible Lift Line-Minimizing & Tone-Enhancing Makeup SPF 17 ($11.95), Paula’s Choice All Bases Covered Foundation SPF 15 ($14.95), and Stila Illuminating Liquid Foundation ($38).

For Normal to Dry or Slightly Oily Skin
If you are looking for a tough of color along with minimal coverage, sheer foundations and tinted moisturizers are the ideal option.  They provide a sheer almost transparent appearance and are great for casual weekend makeup.
Products Worth Trying: Neutrogena Health Skin Enhancer SPF 20 ($11.99), Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint SPF 20 ($14.95), and Laura Geller Barely There Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 ($30).

Normal to Oily or Combination Skin
For convenience and on-the-go application, a pressed powder–based foundation is a great choice for women who are looking for a polished appearance. These foundations come in a compact and perform much like any pressed powder (though with more coverage) and work great when applied over sunscreen.
Products Worth Trying: BeautiControl Perfecting Wet/Dry Finish Foundation ($21), Clinique Perfectly Real Compact Makeup ($23), and Laura Mercier Foundation Powder ($40).

For Moderately Oily Skin
An oil-free or liquid foundation with a matte finish is the optimal choice. It provides a smooth, refined finish with no shine or dewy appearance with sheer to medium coverage. These foundations are the best choice for women who want balanced coverage with minimal to no shine, and who need shine control and pore-minimizing.
Products Worth Trying: Avon Perfect Wear Extralasting Liquid Foundation ($12), Clarins Truly Matte Foundation SPF 15 ($38), and Paula’s Choice Best Face Forward Foundation SPF 15 ($14.95).

For Extremely Oily Skin
Women who have trouble with makeup slipping, who live in a humid climate, or have seriously oily skin must try an ultra-matte foundation. These provide medium to full coverage and offer truly impressive staying power.
Products Worth Trying: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Makeup SPF 10 ($33.50), Revlon ColorStay Active Light Makeup SPF 25 ($12.99), and Boots No7 Stay Perfect Foundation SPF 15 ($13.99).

For additional skincare and makeup tips from Paula Begoun, please visit or


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  1. Thanks for sharing these. I prefer mineral makeup but a close second is Clinique’s hypoallergenic line. Very good for sensitive skin. I like their Even Better cover up product and their face creams.


    • Your welcome!

      I partial to liquid foundations because it gives me just enough coverage and feels light on my face. I have combo/oily so it gives me moisture in the places I need it! I use Mary Kay’s medium coverage foundation. The only one I’ve tried to date that hasn’t made me break out! 🙂

      • I am combo oily too! Well, in the summer and then my skin transitions to dry in the winter. I switch up my products for the season. That’s not uncommon.

        I can’t stand Mary Kay! I know lots of people like them but I can’t take all their chemicals. My skin reacts immediately.

        It’s a shame too because I have some friends that sell Mary Kay with a fervor.


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    The advice and reviews of this blog are solely the opinions and experiences of the writer, MJ, unless otherwise specified. Products being reviewed have been obtained via free samples from featured companies unless otherwise stated.
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