Foundation is a form of face makeup. This product is used all over your face to create an even base—or foundation—for the rest of your makeup. Is foundation important for makeup? Yes! Just take a look at its name.

This product is meant to act as the groundwork for your makeup look. The right formula can help cover blemishes, correct your skin tone, blur imperfections, and create an overall smooth and even canvas. That said, there are many different types of foundation makeup available.

Foundation makeup is far from a one-size-fits-all deal. There are formulas available based on your preferred consistency, the amount of coverage you want, and the finish you like. Here’s a run-down.

When you go down the makeup aisle, there are five main foundation formulas you’ll likely notice. Here’s what to know.

1. Liquid foundation. One of the most popular options for foundation, liquid foundation, is just what it sounds like—foundation that has a liquid formula.

2. Cream foundation. This type of foundation has a creamier, thicker consistency. It’s also usually a great option for those with dry skin. 

3. Powder foundation. If you have oily skin, you may find yourself turning to a powder formula. While you can layer on the powder formula, they generally offer lighter coverage.

4. Serum foundation. A trendy foundation type, serum foundation, is a variation of your standard liquid foundation. Its formula contains a serum, making it a skin care and makeup hybrid.

5. Water-based foundation. Those with acne-prone skin may find themselves turning to a water-based foundation. Another liquid foundation option, this foundation includes water as its main ingredient and is generally free of oils. 

After choosing a foundation formula, you’ll also want to be knowledgeable about different coverage options.

1. Sheer coverage. A foundation with light or sheer coverage is ideal for someone who wants to improve their skin tone a bit but isn’t looking for a product that will cover or hide imperfections.

2. Medium coverage. A medium-coverage foundation will conceal some imperfections while still looking like skin.

3. Full coverage. A full-coverage foundation will hide all imperfections and blemishes, leaving you with a flawless canvas. The right full-coverage formula can even hide tattoos.

4. Buildable coverage. A foundation with buildable coverage can be built—aka layered—to your desired level of coverage. This is great if there are areas of your skin where you would like more coverage than others.


1. Natural finish. This finish is what most closely resembles your skin, hence its name. It’s neither matte nor dewy.

2. Matte finish. This finish is shine-free, making it a popular option for those with oily skin.

3. Dewy finish. This finish is radiant and glowing, which is why those with dry skin tend to gravitate toward it.

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