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The Ultimate Guide to Foundation Finishes: From Dewy to Matte and Beyond

Makeup is an art, and the foundation is its canvas. With a multitude of foundation finishes available, it's essential to understand the nuances of each to achieve the perfect look. In this blog, we'll delve into the different types of foundation finishes, their best-suited skin types, and expert tips to enhance your makeup routine.


Demi-Matte/Semi-Matte/Satin/Velvet Finishes;

These finishes offer a flawless coverage with a balance of matte and light-reflective properties, suitable for all skin types. They are especially recommended for skin with blemishes due to their full coverage. For instance, brands like EX1 and Revolution offer excellent demi-matte foundations that provide this sophisticated balance.

Revolutions conceal and hydrate foundation is a great choice for those seeking a satin finish. It provides a smooth, subtle glow suitable for any skin type, and includes the added benefit of hyaluronic acid for lasting wear as well as being very affordable and available in most highstreet stores.

EX1 Pure Crushed Mineral Powder Foundation: Ideal for everyday wear, this natural finish foundation is soft, light, and breathable. It offers buildable coverage and contains antioxidant and vitamin E. This is particularly friendly to oilier skin types due to its oil-absorbing formula however choosing a shade can be difficult without a tester.


Dewy/Sheer Finishes:

These give the skin a natural, wet look without appearing too oily. Ideal for clear complexions, they're crafted mostly with silicones to offer a soft, natural finish. However, their sheer coverage means they are less effective in covering imperfections.



Light Diffusing/Pore & Line Minimizing/Light Reflective Finishes:

These are excellent for creating a youthful glow, disguising blemishes, fine lines, and pores. They contain pigments that reflect light off the skin, ideal for countering the effects of aging.

MAC Radiance Serum Foundation is a personal new favourite to me it provides good coverage whilst remaining dewy on the skin and it is light to apply with a kabuki (buffer) brush.


Matte/Oil-Free Finishes:

Perfect for oily skin, these foundations provide a flat, shine-free look. While they are long-lasting, their rapid drying time requires swift application.

Estee Lauder Double wear that provides a matte oil free finish that stays put all day it is waterproof, sweat and humidity proof. This type of finish might not be the go-to for natural looks but are excellent for high-definition makeup needs.


Pearlized Finishes:

Pearlized foundations offer a unique wet look, or when used as a highlighter, they can add a subtle shimmer. While they are great for youthful skin, caution is advised as they might affect photography and lighting similar to SPF formulas.


Application Techniques:

Each finish requires a specific application technique. For a sheer finish, a damp beauty sponge works best, while brushes can offer more coverage. Mixing application tools can also create custom finishes.


Skin Type Recommendations:

Understanding your skin type is crucial. For example, oily skin may benefit from matte finishes, while dry skin may prefer hydrating dewy finishes.


Longevity and Seasonal Suitability:

Considering the wear time and seasonal changes is important. Matte finishes often have longer wear time, ideal for summer, while dewy finishes are preferable in dryer winter conditions.


Photography and Trends:

Matte finishes are generally better for high-flash photography, avoiding unwanted shine. Also, staying updated with trends can help you choose the right finish for the occasion.


Expert Opinions:

Incorporating insights from makeup artists can provide real-world advice. For instance, many professionals mix finishes to achieve a balanced look. By familiarizing yourself with these different finishes, you can make informed decisions and enhance your beauty routine. For an in-depth exploration of foundation types and more personalized recommendations, don't forget to check out our book, 'Make up Your Face' where we delve deeper into the world of foundations. Remember, the right foundation finish can transform your look and boost your confidence, making it a pivotal part of your makeup arsenal.


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