A Guide to Foundation:
Liquid, Powder, and Cream
Foundation makeup. You use it to even out your complexion as well as provide a base for putting on the rest of your makeup. There are different types of foundation including liquid, powder, and cream formulas. With all these options, how do you choose one? How do you know if you need lighter coverage or medium coverage. Read on as we explore the different types of foundation and give you the lowdown on what we love/don’t love about each.
One of the most common forms of foundation is liquid. They can be water-based or oil- based and can range from sheer to full coverage. One of the things we love about liquid foundation is that they are usually buildable. This means that we can apply liquid foundation in thin layer, let it set a minute, and then apply another light layer anywhere else that we need a little extra coverage- such as around the nose, tip of the chin, etc. It is also one of the easiest foundation formulas to work with as you can use your fingers, a foundation brush, or a blending sponge to apply. Some liquid foundations can sometimes streak, so take time when applying and blending.
One of the most common forms of foundation is liquid. They can be water-based or oil- based and can range from sheer to full coverage. One of the things we love about liquid foundation is that they are usually buildable. This means that we can apply liquid foundation in thin layer, let it set a minute, and then apply another light layer anywhere else that we need a little extra coverage- such as around the nose, tip of the chin, etc. It is also one of the easiest foundation formulas to work with as you can use your fingers, a ’s foundation brush, or a blending sponge to apply. Some liquid foundations can sometimes streak, so take time when applying and blending.
There are two types of powder foundations - loose and pressed. You can use them by themselves, or you can use them on top of other foundations to help set your base as well as add more coverage.
Loose powder foundations are super soft and finely milled to allow you to dust it across your complexion. If the loose powder is mineral- based, you can also buff the powder into your skin to provide more coverage than just dusting it.
To apply a loose powder foundation, you will want to use a fluffy powder brush if you are dusting it on. Dip the brush into the powder, tap off the excess, and dust it across your complexion.
If you are using a mineral loose powder and want to buff it in for more coverage, use your favorite buffing brush or kabuki brush. Dip the brush into the powder, tap off the excess, and then buff in downward strokes on your skin focusing attention on those areas where you want a fuller coverage.
Loose powder can give you a beautiful, airbrushed-look, however, it can be messy as anyone who has ever knocked over an open container. So be aware.
Pressed powder is easier to use and not as messy as loose powder. It is usually more pigmented than loose powder. Some pressed powders are so pigmented that you can use full- coverage and not need to add another type of foundation.
Pressed powders are also more travel-friendly and compact in size designed to be taken everywhere and many compacts have mirrors in them to help you with touch-ups throughout the day. Pay attention when applying an excess amount of pressed powder as it can easily settle into fine lines and wrinkles or start caking.
To apply pressed powder, you can use a round makeup sponge and swipe the powder onto your skin, or you can use your favorite fluffy powder brush or buffing brush depending on the look you are going for.
If you are looking for a full-coverage pressed powder with a primer built in, try e.l.f.’s Camo Powder Foundation available in 30 inclusive shades.
Cream foundation is one of the most misunderstood foundations. People tend to think that cream foundation changes colors on them, settles horribly into fine lines and wrinkles, and is thick, cakey and oily. That may have been true with the cream foundations of previous generations, but today’s formulas are sophisticated and very user friendly.
Cream foundations are available in three formats - compacts, jars, and foundation sticks.
Regardless of the format you choose, cream foundation is a good choice for those who want a quick, multi-tasking foundation. Cream foundations are typically easier to blend than liquids, can give you more coverage than most liquid or powder foundations. Because of their high pigment and consistency, they can also double as a concealer.
BB Creams and CC Creams
You may be wondering about BB and CC creams. What type of foundation are those?
BB creams, or beauty balms, have been around almost 15 years and CC creams, or color correcting creams, came around a few years later. Despite the name “cream”, BB and CC creams are more of a foundation hybrid or as we call a multi-tasking foundation. Many include broad-spectrum SPF for sun protection. They tend to be thicker in texture than a liquid foundation, but nowhere near the thickness of a cream foundation. They tend to have more coverage than a tinted moisturizer and many have added skincare benefits.
BB creams traditionally have ingredients that can help with acne prone skin. CC creams have undertones in them to help disguise discolorations and redness on the skin. BB and CC creams are also very easy to apply. You can use your fingers, a concealer sponge, or a complexion brush. For a medium to full coverage color correcting cream with an SPF 30, try the Camo CC Cream with SPF available in 30 inclusive shades.
There’s a lot of choices out there for all skin types and skin tones when it comes to foundation, and a little trial and error is needed to find the right format for you, but when you find the one you love, it’s amazing how great it can make you look and feel.