Makeup 101: Foundation

I have always loved makeup…absolutely loved it. But one thing that always confused me was the difference between all of the different types of foundation. Do I get cream to powder, stick or liquid foundation? What’s best for me?

After a little shopping trip with my bf Betsy a couple of months ago (she is a genius) and some research to educate myself a little bit more, I figured I would break it down for you as basic as possible!


The good thing about foundation is that it is totally optional. Since it can take some time to apply, some mornings you may just want to dab a little here and there for minimal coverage.

Tinted Moisturizers: 


What it does: This has very minimal coverage. It won’t cover blemishes, spots or dark circles. It basically just evens out your skin tone and (obviously) moisturizes your skin. BB creams are pretty comparable to tinted moisturizers. 

Best for: Women who have a pretty clear complexion and typically do not like to wear a lot of makeup. (It’s also good for really hot, humid days).

                NARS - Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30    Sonia Kashuk┬« Radiant Tinted Moisturizer With SPF 15

                                     Purchase Here                                                     Purchase Here

Liquid Foundation:

What it does: It gives a little more substantial coverage, evening your tone and the pigment of your skin. Hides blemishes.

Best for: women who have normal or combination skin (like myself). If you tend to have oily skin you can most likely find oil-free liquid foundations.

                         Lanc├┤me - Teint Idole Ultra 24H             liquid foundation

                                               Purchase Here                                               Purchase Here

Cream Foundations:

What it does: It moisturizes and covers. Typically comes in a compact form. Provides medium to heavy coverage. 

Best for: women with dry skin that tends to be flaky. The “cream” aspect of the foundation won’t dry out your skin even more. 

                    CG Smoothers AquaSmooth Compact Foundation

                                    Purchase Here                                                          Purchase Here

Cream to Powder Foundation:

What it does: It’s lighter than the cream, has about the same coverage, but has more of a matte finish.

Best for: women who have normal skin. It can really bring out dryness and blemishes, so those who are prone to one or both of those should steer clear of the cream to powder. 

                        Urban Decay - Surreal Skin Cream-to-Powder Foundation             

                                       Purchase Here                                                    Purchase Here

Ok so I know there isn’t too much detail with each, but if you are anything like me, sometimes the more details, the more overwhelming it is. These are just the basics. Like, the basics of all basics. Some tips when choosing what is best for you as well as applying:

~Pick a few colors that you think are close to your skin (if you are in a drugstore). If you are at a place like Ulta or Sephora they will color match foundation for you- just ask!

~Test the colors along your jawline. While testing, try and find the most natural light (for example near a window). 

~When applying your foundation with your bare hands, make sure they are clean before you start! (and for Pete’s sake, please make sure you blend into your neck!)

~Start out with a very light layer. Its easier to add more foundation for more coverage than it is to take away!

~Don’t be afraid to ask for help. For the longest time I was clueless and therefore wasn’t buying the right stuff. Finally I asked, and I now have a new friend at Ulta. She gave me her card and is my go-to girl! (Don’t get me wrong, I still am obsessed with my Bare Minerals routine, but a change is good every now and then).

Currently, I am using Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra and am loving it. For my concealer I am using Bare Minerals Correcting Concealer. I love this combination and find its really working for me! It is a little different than what I am used to considering I have been using Bare Minerals for years (literally…since like 2005). And I do still use it from time to time just to switch it up or give my face a little breather. 

So there you have it. Hopefully you have a little bit more of an idea as to what the difference is between all of the foundations, and some of your questions are answered. If not, find the nearest employee at your makeup store or makeup counter and ask away!




  1. Skylette from Sequins & Stilettos
    April 26, 2013 / 4:12 pm

    Amen on blending into the neck!!! I can't stand it when I see a woman with a mask that stops at her chin. Gross…

    • Rebecca @ Mommy in Heels
      April 26, 2013 / 5:35 pm

      Oh you and me both! It takes all I have to not just start blending it in myself. Don't they look at themselves in the mirror before they leave the house??

    April 26, 2013 / 5:26 pm

    Great post! I was a Revlon Colorstay user for years, but just recently have been loving Mac Studio Sculpt. Also LOVE the Cover FX liquid foundation brush for a flawless finish.

    • Rebecca @ Mommy in Heels
      April 26, 2013 / 5:36 pm

      Its so great to find makeup and stick with it for years but it really is so refreshing to try something new, isn't it?

  3. Parker
    April 26, 2013 / 8:07 pm

    Great post! I have been looking to try some makeup. I also have a pet peeve with woman who don't bleed there makeup. They remind me of the Phantom of the Opera.

  4. Liz Grace
    April 26, 2013 / 8:10 pm

    Thanks Rebecca. I have always wondered about the differences between foundations.

  5. Kelly { Messy.Dirty.Hair.}
    April 26, 2013 / 9:42 pm

    I love tinted foundations. Benefit makes a great one too!

  6. Because of Jackie
    April 26, 2013 / 11:41 pm

    I just recently discovered Revlon Colorstay foundation and the concealer stick and adore it! I have used Bare Minerals for a loooong time, but I break out lately from it and the brushes (despite multiple washings.)

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