Do You Know Your Foundations?

Do You Know Your Foundations? 1 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families {Photo credit: Hinge Photography}


Daily Mom gives you the lowdown on your favorite type of foundation. Learn what kind of coverage various foundations give you and which are suitable for your skin type.

From tinted moisturizer to powder foundation, we’ve got you covered.



  • Sheer: Almost transparent; will not cover marks or freckles
  • Light: More pigment used than sheer coverage; will not cover marks or freckles, but will even out a ruddy or blotchy complexion
  • Medium: Less opaque than full; will cover marks, blotchiness, unevenness
  • Full: The most opaque form of foundation; will cover most imperfections, however to cover freckles, needs to be applied with a concealer

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Tinted Moisturizer

What it is: Just as the name suggests, tinted moisturizers are moisturizers with a hint of tint to even out the skin. Some contain SPF or anti-aging qualities.

Coverage: Sheer to light. It will just even out the complexion.

Skin Type: Any skin type; anyone looking for light coverage and a shot of moisture in one step

Try: Laura Mercier-Tinted moisturizer;  comes in regular or oil-free formula.


BB Cream

What it is: The BB stands for “Blemish Balm” and has been popular in Asia for years. However due to this multitasking wonder creams abilities, it is now also dubbed as “Beauty Balm.”

Coverage: Depends; Because BB Creams can be used as not only a cover up, but a primer and a treatment all wrapped in one, the coverage can also change. On its own, it is light to medium coverage (also depends on the brand). You can use this gem as a primer under another foundation type, mix it into your moisturizer or use it  alone.

Skin Type:  Any skin type; especially problematic or acneic skin.

Try: Dr. Jart Rejuvenating BB Blemish Base SPF 35 or Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35


Stick Foundation

What it is: A condensed form of foundation in stick form. After application, the creamy texture will usually end with a powdery finish.

Coverage:  Light to full, depending on the application. You can easily layer this product to build more coverage, and due to its nature it can double up as a concealer, however make sure you wear eye cream and blend well if you are going to use it around the eye area.

Skin Type: Normal to oily. Since it has a powdery finish dry skins should try a foundation more suitable for dry skin.

Try: Stila Perfecting Foundation Stick or Benefit Play Sticks


Do You Know Your Foundations? 2 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

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Cream Foundation

What it is: A concentrated form of foundation,very little is needed and it is normally infused with treatment ingredients. You can find this foundation in a tube, or in a jar.

Coverage: Medium to full

Skin Type: Normal to dry if it states anti-aging, or normal to oily if it states oil-free or acne fighting.

Try: Cover Girl Advanced Radiance Age-Defying Cream Foundation or Clinique Stay Matte-Oil Free Makeup


Powder Foundation

What it is: Foundation that has been condensed into powder and then packed and pressed.

Coverage: Light to full depending on application; not to be confused with setting or blotting powders, this type of foundation will actually give you coverage. Setting and blotting powders are used on top of the other forms of foundation listed to “set” the makeup or to get rid of excess shine.

Skin Type: Normal to oily; if your skin is on the dry side with flaky patches steer clear as powder accentuates the dry areas.

Try: Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Powder Foundation SPF 20


Liquid Foundation

What it is: The most common type of foundation and probably the one most people refer to as foundation. It comes in a pump bottle and it is more runny than cream foundation. There are endless brands and formulations.

Coverage: Can range from light to full

Skin Type: Oil-free to moisturizing to anti-aging; reading the label is very important to getting the formula that is right for you. Here are a few key words that will help decipher the formula;

  • radiant, luminous, dewy, healthy = moisturizing
  • matte, longwear, flawless, natural finish = oil free
  • natural, naked, veil, invisible = sheer to light coverage

Try: Clinique Super Balanced Makeup or CoverGirl Clean Liquid Makeup

Do You Know Your Foundations? 3 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

{Photo credit: jackthumm /}


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Application Tips:

  • Do use a primer. It will have your makeup looking smoother, longer lasting and more even. Laura Mercier Radiance Primer will help your makeup last longer; and due to its opalescent quality, it will give your skin a beautiful glow without sparkles. Another to try: Nars Pore Refining Primer for oilier skin. Both are lightweight without the silicone feeling.
  • Avoid “rubbing” in your foundation, but try “tapping,”  it will apply the foundation more evenly and you won’t be rubbing the product off!
  • Use anti-bacterial sponges as they don’t absorb the product like most latex sponges do, rather they continue depositing the makeup and you won’t waste any. Bonus: they are easy to wash and last a long time. Try beautyblender Original.
  • Set your makeup with powder. “Setting” the makeup will help it to last all day.
  • Do not use your foundation as a concealer (unless it is a stick foundation) it will not give you the same coverage and will have your makeup running; same goes for using your foundation as an eye-shadow base. Due to the oily composition of foundation it will not keep your eye makeup on longer, and it will change the color of your shadow.

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Did you know…

  • Foundation has been used for many centuries; The Greeks, Romans and Egyptians all used foundation
  • During the Renaissance era many women and their husbands died from “Aqua Toffana”, an arsenic based face powder that was applied to the cheeks
  • “Beauty Patches” in the shapes of hearts, stars and moons were used to cover up marks left from small pox and lead based makeup.
  • In the 19th Century natural makeup became popular as Queen Victoria deemed makeup to be for prostitutes.
  • In the 1930s the first commercial foundation was made: “Pan-Cake” by Max Factor.


Note: With so many different brands and formulas on the market, and ever-advancing cosmetic technology, this is just a guideline. It does not mean that you won’t find a stick foundation suitable for dry skin or a full coverage anti-aging foundation that is oil-free. 

For more makeup tips tune into the Shine category!

Do You Know Your Foundations? 4 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families




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Rockie, is a makeup junkie, living north of the border with her husband and exclusively breastfed baby girl! She dreams to one day live in a sunnier and warmer city, but for now, tries to see the beauty in snow and the cold weather.She loves learning new things and enjoys the unexpected surprises life has to offer. You can catch snippets of her life at her blog, Life Unexpected, and follow her on Pinterest and Twitter.