Beauty Makeup

A Beginner’s Guide to Make-Up Foundations

When you think of make-up foundations, remember ‘one type doesn’t suit all’. Mona Punjabi gives you a foundation tutorial to help you choose the perfect one for your skin.

Imagine this. You’re at the cosmetics store to buy a make-up foundation but the make-up alleys are stocked with a plethora of options. Narrowing down on that ideal make-up foundation to suit your skin type and skin tone is a humungous task and nothing short of a never-ending expedition. Did we get you all puzzled and bemused? Fret not! Come deep dive with us as we take you across the vast sea of the popular types of foundations and help you make your choice to ace that perfectly scintillating look.


One of the first steps to get your make-up right is to choose the correct foundation type. A good foundation not only makes your face look uniform but gives a perfect sheen to your skin thereby making it look young and fresh.

Most make-up foundations can be broadly classified into three main categories:

  • Cream foundations
  • Powder foundations and,
  • Liquid foundations

Cream foundations

As the name suggests, these are thick and have a creamy texture. They offer great coverage and you only need a small quantity to do the trick for you. Highly pigmented, these also aid in covering blemishes and scars and give you that ‘extra edgy’ feel that comes with good OTT make-up.

Ideal for skin type: Normal to dry skin. Oily skin, stay away!

Highlights: Women with extra dry skin, this is your go-to makeup foundation! It not only stays longer but its moisturising capacity also helps to keep your skin hydrated and fresh. However, avoid using this foundation during the hot humid summers.

Powder foundations

Available in a loose powder and pressed-pan form, these are extremely convenient, portable and easy to apply. Dry and devoid of moisture, they offer a light natural and understated look and work wonders on the oily skin type.

Ideal for skin type: Normal to slightly oily and slightly dry skin.

Highlights: Perfect for daily wear, this foundation type is also good to add finishing touches to your make-up. However, avoid applying it on extremely dry skin as the powder will absorb the moisture and overstate the dry skin areas. Also remember ‘less is definitely more’ when it comes to this foundation type as excessive usage can make your face look chalky.


Liquid foundations

Liquid foundations are by far the most popular choice across beginners and veteran make-up mavens. The reasons why they are loved so much are: they are lightweight, spread easily, blend perfectly with almost all skin types, and many of them work super effectively even during summers.

Ideal for skin type: All skin types

Highlights: Available in multiple shades, liquid foundations come in various forms – oil-based, water-based and sheer foundations to name a few. Let us understand how they work on your skin.

Oil-based foundation: Dealing with dehydrated skin? Oil-based foundations instantly breathe a new lease of life into your dry/wrinkled skin thereby leaving it supple and rejuvenated.

Water-based foundation: If you have an oily skin type, it’s better to avoid an oil-based foundation; opt for a water-based foundation instead. These offer great coverage and blend seamlessly with the skin.

Sheer: If you’re aiming for a light coverage but with an extra glow for that party, choose a sheer foundation as it holds the innate capability to spread smoothly across the skin. Sheer foundations mostly come loaded with SPF too and give you the additional benefit of sun protection. This foundation type also works wonders on old and aging skin and does not settle into the wrinkles.

Other popular foundation types are:

Mineral foundations: This foundation type is ideal for those who want to jump onto the ‘go-natural’ or ‘go-organic’ bandwagon. Composed of natural minerals, this is a perfect choice for sensitive and allergic-prone skin too.

Tinted moisturiser: Tinted moisturiser is a beautiful blend of moisturiser and foundation. It plays the most important role of a foundation–that is covering up unevenness and imperfections and making the skin look smooth–and gifts your skin with the goodness of a great moisturiser.

BB creams: BB creams aka ‘Beauty Balms’ are a relatively newbie in the world of base make-up and promise to offer scores of advantages. A multi-faceted skincare product, a BB cream does many things – from providing coverage to offering skincare and from giving sun protection to helping breakout-prone skin. No wonder they are also rightly called ‘Blemish Balms’.