10 Qualities of a Good Foundation

Foundation comes in all shades and finishes. It is one of the difficult beauty items to choose as there are so many different types out there. A good foundation can often run you upwards of 60$. For the most part, you get what you pay for, but there are hidden gems that work just well as the high-end foundations. You can find these if you know what to look for. 

Today I'm sharing 10 qualities of a good foundation that will make you a pro at spotting the best foundations on the market no matter the price. 

1. Formula

The most important aspect to consider when choosing a foundation is its formula. The first thing to find out what is your skin type. Based on the composition of the product you'll be able to determine if it will work for your skin needs. The basic formulation of the product will also affect how it will react to the other products you apply on your face (skincare, primer....). There are 4 basic types of formulas to consider: Water-base, Oil base, and Silicone base and Powder. More than the base, you'll want to look at the ingredients used to make the foundation. Are they non-comedogenic? Are they vegan? Do they contain any toxic ingredients? A good rule of thumb, is to look up the foundation on cosmetic ingredients websites, they give a full list of the ingredients in virtually any beauty product you can think of, and rate them on how safe they are for your skin. 

Here are some of my favourite resources:

EWG Skin Deep - A handy tool that helps you search up how safe, or irritating a product on the market is for your skin. Simply type in the product and get an instant rating with a simple ingredient breakdown.

Paula’s Choice - Paula Begoun has an extensive beauty ingredient list for those who want much more details about ingredients so you know whats in your cosmetics.

Logical Harmony - Fellow beauty blogger Tashina Combs , shares a complete list of clean beauty products, from cruelty free to vegan and much more!

2. Consistency

Once you know your skin-type and you understand the formula of foundation, you'll want to consider the consistency of the product. Liquid foundations are typically water-base and should have a light, weightless feel. Cream foundations are typically oil-based and feel like a thick cream as the name suggests. Silicone foundation lie between a liquid and a cream feel. They usually lean more on the liquid side but it could feel like velvet as they are more hydrating than liquid. And of course there's powder foundations which are dry pigments and often minerals. These should be so finely milled that you cannot feel the grain but rather they feel silky smooth to the touch. Pressed powders should  be compact enough that when you dip your brush into them they don't fly everywhere.

3. Colour

A good foundation should most importantly suit your skin tone. Regardless of what shade of skin you have, you should be able to find a shade of the foundation that matched your skin colour. In addition to finding the right colour, you want to also make sure that it does not oxidize badly. This is an annoying chemical reaction to the foundation when it hits the air. This typically makes the foundation turn orange on the skin. All foundation is going to oxidize, the trick is how much the brand pays attention to the wear of the foundation. A quality formula will take oxidization into account so the foundation should not turn a bright orange on your face. It may get slightly darker (if at all) but not to an extreme extent. That is one way of knowing the foundation is made well.

Most brands now-a-days have stepped up to the plate and offer a wide range of foundations in both high end and low-end. Budget friendly options like The Ordinary, Colour Pop, L'Oreal, Black Opal, ELF. In the mid-range you'll find Fenty, Makeup Forever, Lancome, Nars, Dior, Mark Jacobs. And for the more expensive one's we have Hourglass, Guerlain, Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, Kevin Aucoin. 

4. Coverage

Foundation's main priority is evening out your skin tone. It should be able to cover up minor blemishes and discoloration without the need for concealer. Unless you're purchasing a tinted moisturizer, the foundation should give you enough colour to the skin that you won't need to apply much else. 

5.  Blend-ability

You know when you're colouring in tape with a sharpie marker and every time you pass over the same spot the mark you previously left lifts off the tape? Yeah, that shouldn't happen to your foundation when you apply it on your face. A good foundation should melt right into the skin. Blending it out should come ease. The foundation should apply on the skin with a smooth consistency and soak into the skin rather than just having it spread all around without appearing natural. 

6. Build-Ability

Sometimes you need more than one layer. If you're looking for a more high coverage look or simply want to cover up a specific spot when your blemish is poking through, you'll want to be able to build the foundation. 

7. Finish/Dry-Down

Foundation's main goal is to enhance your natural beauty. That of course entails actually staying on your face, exactly where you put it. Your foundation should melt into the skin. It should not be able to be easily differentiated from your natural colour, which means no dreaded line of demarcation. A foundation should give a healthy sheen to the skin (this of course depends on the finish you'd like: matte, dewy, satin). It should dry down to the point where it feels like silk on the skin rather than sticky. Placing your hand on your face should not immediately leave a hand print where you're fingers have been. If this does happen, that means there is a high oil content in the product and it is not suiting your skin well. Sometimes this happens naturally to oily-skin types but that is where blotting sheets come into play. 

8. Long Wear

In this day and age, makeup needs to last all day long. From when you head out the door to when you come in after happy hour, you makeup is supposed to hold up under the pressure of a busy day. It should at the very list still cover your skin with few blotting and retouching. You should be able to easily get 8 hours of wear with one single application regardless of the foundation. It shouldn't make leave you looking like a grease-ball but it shouldn't dry out your skin either. A good foundation will leave you with a slight healthy glow by the end of the day as your skin warms up the product and it settles. Just make sure you never sleep with said foundation on your face - It's called long wear not sleep wear!

9. Price

Ahh the pricetag. When it comes to how good quality a foundation is, price is always something that gets thrown around. The truth is, most often you pay for what you get. Pricey products are given a specific dollar value because of their ingredients. They are less likely to break you out because their formulas are curated to perfection to deliver the best ingredients. Lower-end brands often make substitutes in their formulas to provide similar results, these "cut corners"can cause your skin to break out. However, price isn't the whole story. Some inexpensive brands have very minimalistic packaging and feature natural ingredients and so forth. These brands pay more attention to the formula of the product rather than how its beautified. One brand that comes to mind is of course The Ordinary. From their skincare to their makeup, they keep it simple and focus on the product itself. There are many other gems like this on the market, however, most of them don't spend nearly enough on their marketing so not too many people are aware of them. But if you look hard enough, you'll find the diamond in the rough. 

10. Suits Your Skin Needs

Besides everything I mentioned above, your foundation should do what you expect it to do for your skin. It is one of the most personal items in your makeup collection because it rests on your entire face. Choose your foundation based on what your skin needs. If you have really dry skin you might want a oil base, hydrating cream foundation with a dewy-satin finish as it will only add to the moisture on your skin. For oily skin types you might want a water base liquid foundation or even a powder with a matte finish as it will help keep your skin's natural oiliness at bay. 

Regardless of the price-tag, you can most certainly find a good foundation. You wont find crushed diamonds or liquid gold in a foundation bottle so you don't need to empty your bank account to look put together.