Finding the perfect Foundation

how to buy foundation
Foundation is one of those makeup items that, although essential in most peoples routine, still really scares others. Foundation really isn’t as scary as it first seems and finding the perfect foundation for you is something that is quite easily achieved.

1. Highend or Drugstore
Although I think spending a little more on your foundation is nice I don’t think it is necessary and the drugstore has some amazing ones for a fraction of the price of the highend ones. That said you do get a little more guidance on higher end makeup counters but don’t worry if you can’t afford it, opt for a drugstore one.

2. Work out what you want from your foundation
Do you want a full matte foundation that will last all day or are you after something more light in coverage with has a dewy finish? Keep in mind your skin type and what you want this foundation for, if it’s for evening then a heavier one might work better and for the daytime people typically go for a lighter foundation (but it’s completly up to you!)

3. Look online
There are so many reviews online that it would be silly to ignore them, I rarely buy a makeup item without first reading reviews. Find out about the finish, coverage, colour range and longevity particularly from someone with a similar skin type to you, if reviews are generally awful all over the internet then I would probably stay clear.

4. Colour Match
Colour is very important when it comes to foundation but potentially the hardest thing to get right, particularly if you’re quite dark or very fair.Unless you’re repurchasing ordering online is very very difficult and should only be done at a last resort. For higher end brands I would always recommend going in and getting the counter staff to help you and allow them to apply it to your face so you can really see what it will look like. I always try two or three shades on my jaw area and pick my favourite one to be applied all over.

Drugstore can often be a little trickier but doable. Try a few shades on the back of your hand and compare them to your face in a mirror, then pick a few shades to also apply to your jaw line to find the perfect shade. If you’re a little worried about this take a friend to help you decide on the best colour for you.

Avoid going a shade lighter or darker particularly in a heavier foundation and keep in mind the undertone of your skin, if the colour is too warm have a look if they have a cool or neutral range or move onto a different foundation all together, colour is so important and an off undertone can make your head look disconnected to your body.

5. Try before you buy
I very rarely buy a highend foundation without first wearing it for the day. I go into a counter in the morning and have it applied, I then have a nice look at the colour/finish in natural lighting and go about my normal day. By the end of the day I can tell if I’ve had a breakout and reaction to the foundation, if I like the foundation and how it wears. I think when you’re investing £25/£50+ in a foundation it’s important to make sure it’s right and if i like it I will always return later in the week to purchase it. You can explain this to your counter staff, people do it all the time and since you’re planning on buying it if it’s good enough it isn’t cheeky or anything like that.

A lot of counters will also offer you a few days/weeks sample of a foundation and I would really recommend taking full advantage of that. Trying a drugstore foundation is much harder, I’ve heard of people taking their own little pots to take a few pumps of foundation to try before they buy but I’m not too sure if this is widely acceptable but do let me know in the comments.

So onto some of my favourites (I have normal-dry skin)
,  (be careful if you’re sensitive to scented products), and

, and

My most recent purchases are photograph up above but I’ll report back on those soon!

Would love to hear any of your tips in the comments as always…


  1. 8th February 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Foundation can be a nightmare to buy. Personally I always stick to high end before they tend to have a better shade range, although sometimes the counter girls have crazy suggestion on my shade. Definitely agree that you should always get a sample to take away, as you said £30 isn’t cheap and it should work for you.
    Thanks for sharing your tips

  2. Erin
    8th February 2016 / 4:09 pm

    I posted up a top tips for picking a foundation this morning, its now live on my blog 🙂

    I find getting the colour right a total nightmare, being pale and neutral a lot of foundations will make me look orange, which is never a good look!

  3. Katie
    8th February 2016 / 4:47 pm

    I love this post! I find buying foundation a nightmare, and I don’t think I’d know what to do without the people that work there!

    Once they’ve applied it, then going about your day first is actually a great idea! Can’t believe I’ve never thought of it before!

    Katie | katieemmabeauty,

  4. 8th February 2016 / 11:00 pm

    I really want to try the Makeup Forever HD foundation! It’s definitely nice to splurge on high end products – but also, some of the best foundations I’ve tried have been Rimmel!

    Nicole x

  5. 8th February 2016 / 11:10 pm

    This are great tips for someone that hasn’t worn much foundation before! I know I used to be in the same boat, it took me quite some time before I regularly wore foundation. My other tip would be start with one that is a sheer or light coverage. I also would avoid high end until you really know what you like about foundations.

    Brittany |

  6. 9th February 2016 / 12:25 pm

    I always try to read as many reviews as I can, but in the end finding the perfect foundation is always a bit trial and error!

  7. 9th February 2016 / 6:42 pm

    Lancome Teint Idole has been my favourite for many years now! I have gone through several drugstore brands, purchased a few MAC foundations, and sampled many high end beautys but I always go back to my fave, and wonder why I bother to be unloyal and attempt new ones as it is so perfect!!

  8. 11th February 2016 / 1:25 am

    Thank you for posting this! Finding the perfect foundation has been (still is) one of my biggest beauty struggles 😐 Hopefully next time I purchase a new one, it’ll be THE one 🙂

  9. 20th February 2016 / 4:03 am

    Thanks for these great tips. I personally feel like nothing compares to going in store and having an associate colour match you!

    Abigail Alice x

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