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Porcelain doll or wax sculpture? Choose the right foundation and avoid both!

No matter where you shop for makeup, you are bound to run into a creamy, powdery or otherwise tricky predicament – with all the types of foundation available, which option is best for you? You don’t want to look like a pale porcelain doll, but you also don’t want that greasy, wax museum look.

You can chalk it up to your skin type, but of course, your skin goes through many different “types” depending on the weather and other factors. Here’s what you need to know about the most common types of foundation so you can pick the best one to reveal just enough of your natural beauty.

Liquid foundation

When you think of foundation, you probably think of the stuff in the bottle – liquid foundation. Liquid foundation is great if you have dry skin because of its creamy, moisturizer-like consistency. However, liquid foundation comes in a variety of textures, formulas and coverage, so its not meant for dry skin only. An oil-free liquid foundation can often offer a matte finish that will zap oil. However, in hot weather, almost all makeup is bound to melt, so if your skin is naturally oily, you might want to stick to powder.

Liquid foundation also has a reputation for providing heavy coverage and making you look “done up.” If you need lots of coverage, liquid foundation can be great for you. However, light-coverage foundation can be a perfect fit for dry-skinned ladies who just want to even their skin tone a bit.

Cream and stick foundation

These types of cover up (usually in a compact with a sponge or in a dabbable stick) tend to be heavy in oils or similar compounds that help them glide on the driest of skin. Mixed with your natural oils, however, they can be a recipe for wax museum disaster. These formulas are generally designed to help with dry spots and even your skin tone with plenty of coverage. If your skin is dry naturally, you live in an extremely dry climate (or your office AC is cold and DRY!) these options might be good for you.

If you don’t like the dewy finish these formulas inevitably leave, dust a loose powder over your face once the rest of your makeup is done.

Powder foundation

Powder is a great addition to any type of foundation to top it off or blast shine later in the day. It can also be the sole form of coverage if your skin is super oily, naturally even-toned and blemish-free, or if you are a foundation novice. Powders are also crucial in sweaty summer months.

Powder foundations contain minerals to soak up oils on your face, but also have plenty of blemish-hiding pigments. If you have combination skin, consider applying powder foundation to the grease-prone parts of your face and leaving other parts bare or covered with another type of foundation. If you’re not really sure how to put on foundation, powder is a good choice because it blends in super easily – making it hard to make a mistake. A tinted moisturizer or BB cream are other good options for light coverage that is easy to apply.

Once you have chosen the right foundation type for you, keep in mind the other cosmetics you layer on top matter, too. Generally, powder blush is compatible with powder foundation, cream blush with cream foundation, and so on. Using a cream blush on a powdered face can make it hard to blend, but powder blush can generally be layered on top of any type of foundation.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing