Find The Perfect Foundation Formula For Your Skin Type

You might think using the wrong foundation shade is the biggest makeup faux pas you could commit, but using the wrong foundation formula for your skin type is also a major no-no.

Not every foundation is made equal, and we’re constantly seeing new formulas come on the market, from matte and pore-refining, to dewy and illuminating. Enter our resident makeup artist who’s here to tell us what we need!


Acne-Prone Skin

With acne prone skin, you want to lean towards a foundation that is non-comedogenic – whether that be a liquid or a powder formula. Non-comedogenic products have been formulated not to clog pores, and ultimately to not cause breakouts.

Personally, for very acne-prone skin I’d recommend using a powder foundation, as liquid formulas often have an oil base which can cause problems for skin types prone to breakouts. A fantastic powder is the Inika Mineral Foundation – it provides buildable coverage, which means you will be able to disguise redness and blemishes.

Inika’s powder is a mineral foundation, which means it contains minerals like zinc. Zinc reduces inflammation associated with acne, while helping your skin to heal and fight bacteria.

★★★★★ Amazing product  Ashleigh

“This foundation is amazing. It gives really great coverage and doesn’t look or feel like you have any makeup on at all. Great at covering up any redness or uneven skintone, and the concealer can be used along with the foundation to really give a great, even coverage.”

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Dry Skin

Especially in the cooler months, dry skin needs a lot of nourishment, as it can feel tight, look dry and the skin tends to flake.

If you have dry skin, you need to stay away oil control/waterproof foundations, as they will enlarge any imperfections and dry the skin out more. You want to find a product that will have a lot of nourishing ingredients such as Aloe Vera, or any kind of oil. Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation it is enriched with 60 percent water and 10 percent mineral pigments that are encapsulated in 30 percent, highly filtered, botanical oil.

On top of a rich moisturiser and hydrating primer, this formula will keep your skin feeling plump and comfortable all day, without that tight feeling (or worrying about flakiness).

★★★★★ Dreamy full coverage for dry skin  Shannon

“This stuff looks INCREDIBLE on camera and to cover up redness and discolouration. This is my go-to event foundation, as it gives a matte finish without looking flat or fake, but you definitely need to set this one if you don’t have dry skin! The best way that I found to use this was very sparingly (one tube lasts forever) and treat it like a concealer – concentrate the product where you need it, blend it out as much as you can, and focus on the centre of your face.”

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Oily Skin

For oily skin you want to go for foundations that are described as oil-free, long-wearing or mattifying. The most popular foundation for oily skin is Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup. This particular foundation has 24 hour wear, the colour won’t oxidise during the day, and the formula maintains semi-matte coverage even in heat, humidity, and exercise.

If you’re looking for a full coverage foundation that is transfer-resistant, fade-resistant and smudge-proof, this one is for you.

★★★★★ Worth buying! – Lauren

“This is an absolute winner – it’s a versatile foundation, can be applied for full coverage or you can apply a small amount of product for a lighter look. I have oily skin and do apply a light dusting of Laura Mercier Translucent powder (for insurance) and it lasts all day, it never looks greasy, dry or flat. They key is to prime the skin and work quickly in application as it does set fast.”

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Ageing Skin

As you age, you’ll notice your skin starts to get a little dryer, you might notice a little more texture to your skin and generally you don’t want too much coverage, but still want to look fresh and flawless.

I would suggest staying away from anything that’s too thick, or too mattifying on ageing skin. The Clarins Extra-Firming Foundation SPF15 is a rich, comfortable foundation which has ‘age-control’ properties, minimising fine lines and wrinkles, while also reducing the appearance of dark spots. This formula also has an illuminating effect on the skin, and keeps the skin feeling hydrated all day.

★★★★★ Five Stars  Mel

“I have been using Clarins Extra-Firming Foundation for quite sometime. It is great because you only need a small amount and when you apply it, it absorbs quickly so you seem to use less and it appears to blend in with your natural skin tone very naturally.”

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Normal Skin

If you have normal skin – lucky you! Likelihood is, you probably don’t have many skin concerns. Normal skin types are characterised by no or very few imperfections, a natural glow and no sensitivities. Normal skin types can choose whichever coverage, finish or formula they like. I would suggest going for something lightweight, like a tinted moisturiser, BB or CC cream.

La Roche-Posay Uvidea BB Cream is a light silky smooth cream that melts into the natural skin tone to smooth the complexion and cover minor blemishes and unevenness. It’s formulated with SPF 50 to ensure your skin is protected from the sun. This product is a best-seller at Adore Beauty!

★★★★★ Best all day tinted SPF  Jodie

“I have been using this product for almost 2 years now. I constantly get people asking what I use on my skin. Feels great to tell them no makeup, just a tinted BB cream with SPF50 (great in the Aussie climate). Worth every cent. I am very fair and use No:2 (the darker one), it looks a lot lighter on.

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Shop Foundations here

Got a foundation that you absolutely swear by? Share your favourite foundation recommendations with other Adore Beauty members and beauty lovers on the Adore Beauty Forum over here.