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How to Find Your Perfect Foundation Match


Elizabeth Arden Foundation brush, $54
Elizabeth Arden Foundation brush, $54
Not sure how to find the perfect foundation? We find out from a make-up expert.

Finding the perfect foundation – one that’s not too heavy, not too light and is just the right shade – can be harder than you might think. With so many options available these days, it can be difficult to know where to start. We spoke to Lidean Erasmus, Elizabeth Arden boutique manager, and make-up maestro, to find out how to ensure your foundation is right for your skin.

What is the secret to finding the perfect shade of foundation?

We all need to ensure we find and wear the perfect shade of foundation. One that is just right for our skin tone, one that absolutely disappears and melts into our own natural tone, one that creates the look of naturally great skin. This is how I usually do it:

  1. I pick 3-4 shades of foundation that looks to the naked eye the most likely to match.
  2. I then apply these shades in long vertical lines down the full length of the cheek and down onto the jawline and neck area on clean, skincare-prepared skin.
  3. This is when I stand back and look for the shade that has disappeared. Some of the lines will still be visible – either being too pale or too dark and muddy looking. These are all the wrong shades to not wear.
  4. Find the one that disappears and melts away into your natural skin tone, this one is your true shade and the one you need to purchase.

How many different shades does the average woman need throughout the year taking into account sun-kissed skin during summer etc?

Depending on your lifestyle you might need more than one foundation shade in a full year overall seasons. For example: if you have a job or a hobby with moderate to high sun exposure your skin tone could be darker around summer months and several shades paler over winter months. Therefore two shades of foundation are needed. One for summer and one for winter. If you have a full-time job and don’t expose yourself to the sun that much over weekends, your skin tone could stay very close to the same shade year round and in that case you can get away with just the one foundation shade.

There are so many different formulations available these days. How do you start to narrow it down? Are there certain types of formulations that suit certain skin types better?

The main factor when it comes to choosing a foundation formulation is all dependent on your skin type. Many don’t take this into account, but then they are also the individuals that struggle with how their foundation looks and lasts throughout the day. Dry skin types usually feel and look way better with dewy, radiant, luminous formulations. Oily skin types are happier and more comfortable wearing a drier, non-shiny, matte or powdery formulation.

How do you know once you’ve found the perfect formulation?

I have always felt strongly about the fact that your skin’s thirst should be quenched and fully satisfied with the skincare you apply first, otherwise if your skin is thirsty and your skincare is not enough or inappropriate for your skin type, your skin will want to drink in and absorb your makeup, this is when you experience your foundation not lasting and disappearing into the skin. You will know when you have the right recipe. This will be when your skincare is taking total care of your skin and your foundation looks great and stays looking smooth and flawless all day long. 

Once you have found the perfect formulation, what is the secret to applying it properly?

After prepping the skin with your skin-type appropriate skincare, some of us love to apply foundation with our fingers, some with sponges/brushes or beauty blenders. I personally love using a combination of the flat foundation brush that you would be able to buy from most cosmetic outlets and I also use a sponge to create an airbrushed look. Whatever your preference, blending is the key. Create a streak-free smooth complexion by dabbing and pressing your foundation on and continue to apply your other colour products on top to finish the look.

What is the best type of foundation formulation for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too long on their make-up each morning?

Some foundation formulations give you that “all complete” ready to wear look straight after application and others would look better after a setting powder or bronzer. So try and test-drive a few by getting some samples to try before you buy. A compact foundation is usually a quick option for ladies in a hurry and can easily be kept in a handbag for quick application on the fly.

What does the future hold for foundation formulations?

Let’s hope the future can present a lightweight serum-like liquid foundation that truly lasts 16 hours, has great coverage that melts into the skin so no one can tell you are wearing anything, but creates the best natural looking flawless skin texture. One that doesn’t create an unwanted oily sheen, but is also non-drying. You know that perfect one product that is everything we want all in a drop of blissful foundation. Oh yes and also comes available in multiple shades for all skin tones. Yes, please!

To get a helping hand finding your perfect match, visit Lidean at the Elizabeth Arden Boutique, Queen Street, Auckland.



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