Meet your match with foundation shades for every skin type and tone.

e.l.f.'s Best Foundation Makeup

Face foundation is a staple in so many makeup routines, working to smooth and even out your complexion so you can put your best face forward. But with so many formats and finishes out there, how do you know which foundation is right for you and your skin? It all comes down to personal preference, desired look, and skin type.

  • Powder foundation is formulated with pigments and minerals, delivering lightweight, breathable wear and a matte finish. Available in pressed powder or loose powder formats, these makeup foundations allow you to build pigment into a light-to-medium coverage look. Powders are great for those with oily skin and on days when you don’t want that feel of wearing heavy makeup (especially in the warm summer months).
  • Liquid foundation is a pigmented makeup mixture that works to turn your skin into a smooth, even canvas while concealing blemishes. They come in a wide range of finishes (e.g., matte, dewy, sheer, luminous) and can build up to full coverage for an airbrushed look. Dryer skin types may prefer using a liquid format hydrating foundation.
  • CC cream (aka, “color correction” cream) is a multipurpose makeup-skincare hybrid product for your face. Typically formulated with skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and peptides, CC cream works overtime to prime, moisturize, smooth, target discoloration and dullness, conceal blemishes, and deliver SPF protection to your skin. Ideal if you struggle with redness in your skin or want to simplify your daily routine, these formulas can be used in place of foundation and give you a natural, medium-to-full coverage finish.

What is foundation makeup?

Foundation is a tinted liquid or powder that is applied to the entire face. It evens skin tone, camouflages skin imperfections and irregularities, and in many cases treats and protects the skin.

In what order do you apply foundation?

Apply foundation after cleansing, toning and moisturizing. You may also wish to apply a face primer before your foundation, which will smooth the skin and help your foundation last longer. Once your foundation is applied, continue with concealer, cheek blush, eye makeup and lip makeup.

Do you contour before or after foundation?

We definitely recommend contouring after foundation. Foundation will help create an even base for your skin tone and allow your contour products to blend beautifully into the skin to create seamless dimension. If you feel like you might have gone a bit overboard with your contour, have no fear! You can gently buff a little bit of foundation over it to soften.

How do you apply foundation?

Cleanse, tone and moisturize your skin. Apply a face primer if you like. Choose your method of application—brush, sponge, fingers or any combination of these. All are equally effective; it’s all about personal preference.

Start by applying a small amount of foundation in the center of your face. Use a small amount to avoid applying too much—you can always add more foundation as needed. Begin feathering the foundation out toward the edges of your face, into your hairline, over your chin and down into your neck. Keep blending until the foundation is seamless.

How do you know which shade of foundation is best for you?

To choose the best shade of foundation, assess your skin. There are two aspects to consider—your skin tone and your undertone. Your skin tone is defined by the amount of melanin in your skin and can range from light to medium to dark. Your undertone is the appearance of your skin—warm, cool or neutral. One quick way to determine your undertone is to look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they appear blue or purple, your undertones are cool. If they appear green or olive, your undertones are warm. If you have both or you can’t tell, your undertones are neutral. Once you know your skin tone and undertone you can select a corresponding foundation shade. Or, you can try out our Foundation Shade Finder.

What is the difference between e.l.f.’s foundations?

With e.l.f. foundations, there is something for everyone. Flawless Finish Foundation is a lightweight liquid that improves skin tone and texture and produces a semi-matte finish. It comes in 40 shades to match every skin tone. Acne Fighting Liquid Foundation provides full coverage while fighting blemishes with salicylic acid, witch-hazel, camphor, tea tree and aloe. Camo CC Cream Foundation SPF 30 offers medium-to-full coverage, sun protection and skin plumping. e.l.f.’s BB Cream SPF 20 offers weightless coverage plus skin treating ingredients and sun protection.