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MATCH IT: Which Foundation Makeup Type and Finish is Best for Me?

A product shot of a mixture of foundation creams from IT Cosmetics

Every flawless beauty look includes great skin thanks in large part to a flawless foundation (and a personalized skincare routine, of course). After all, foundation is the base for the next elements of your routine, including your blush, highlighter and contour, and even eye makeup. But, despite what you might think, foundations differ. In fact, not only is it okay to own more than one formula—we encourage it!

There are foundation makeup types that deliver dewy illumination while others offer a matte finish. Some are formulated specifically for oily skin types, whereas there are many foundations that are ideal for those with dry skin. You’ll also find foundations with extra perks, like SPF or skincare ingredients that liven up your skin immediately and look better over time.

To discover your ideal foundation makeup type, consider factors like the amount of foundation coverage you’re looking for, your skin type, climate, and which foundation finishes will achieve the look you’re going for.

Below, we’re taking out the guesswork to make it easy to find the best foundation makeup types for your needs. We’ve created a robust guide to the many different types of foundation makeup on the market and called out our favorite products that’ll help deliver the look you desire. So keep reading if you’re ready to finally know the answer to, “What foundation is best for me?”

Glowy Foundation Finish

Like the idea of natural foundation but want to dial up the glow factor? Reach for a glowy foundation that delivers lots of hydration and a dewy finish. Ideal for all skin types (including normal, combination, and dry skin), this foundation makeup type helps your skin look like you just got an amazing facial.

CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40

New

CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40

Who Loves IT: All Skin Types

Number of Shades: 22

Meet the newest member of the IT Cosmetics foundation fam! CC+ Nude Glow is a medium coverage dewy foundation that allows your natural skin to shine through while still minimizing imperfections and uneven texture. What’s more, this 90% skincare-forward formula is jam-packed with ingredients that help promote healthier skin over time. It contains a brightening glow serum featuring 2% niacinamide that helps to visibly brighten, hyaluronic acid to smooth the look of fine lines, and a clear SPF 40 that won’t leave a white cast. With the Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush #7 in hand, dispense one to two pumps onto the brush and then, starting at the center of your face and working outward, gently sweep over your face.

Match IT: This article goes deep to help you find the foundation makeup type that is best for you. But we also want to make sure you’re wearing the right shade, too. (No dreaded foundation lines here.) Enter our foundation finder. After answering a few quick questions about your skin tone and undertones, skin type, preferred foundation finishes, and skin goals, you'll receive the makeup foundation match that’s perfect for you!

Natural Foundation Finish

A natural foundation offers a range of coverage levels that help conceal imperfections while avoiding looking or feeling “cakey” on your skin. Depending on the formulation, this finish is great for all skin types—especially those who want to cover minor imperfections and enhance their skin’s natural beauty. Here are a few of our favorites.

CC+ Cream Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 50+

Old price $44.00 New price $30.80
Select a colour
Medium (W) (Most Popular)

CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

Who Loves IT: All Skin Types

Number of Shades: 12

Our original CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ is #1 best-selling*, award-winning and color correcting CC cream. This product gives a natural foundation finish that you can build to your desired coverage. In addition to instantly color correcting and concealing imperfections, it hydrates and visibly brightens via an anti-aging serum. The added SPF 50+ means you’ll get a dose of sun protection in the morning, too.

CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder Foundation

Old price $39.00 New price $27.30
Select a colour
Medium Tan (W)

Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder

Who Loves IT: Oily, Normal, and Combination Skin Types

Number of Shades: 7

If you prefer a powder foundation makeup type, try Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder. Suitable for all skin types, but especially oily skin, this talc-free, silky formula delivers sheer to full coverage and has a natural finish. The formula also features hydrolyzed silk and collagen, niacinamide, and peptides to help skin look soft and radiant.

Pro Tip: Use the Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder Brush #8 to lightly sweep this natural foundation over your face.

Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare

Who Loves IT: All Skin Types

Number of Shades: 40

Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare is a lightweight, buildable coverage foundation packed with skin-loving ingredients such as hydrating hyaluronic acid, soothing aloe vera extract, and antioxidant-rich vitamins E and B5. It has a fluid-like texture that glides on to offer all-day hydration and, when used regularly, helps your skin look better over time.

One of the reasons Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare is so great (yes, we’re biased, but more than 500 5-star reviews can’t be wrong) is that it offers a natural radiant finish. It’s the ideal hybrid product toeing the line between a natural finish foundation and our next category…

Radiant Foundation Finish

A radiant foundation creates a dimensional, lit-from-within glow via subtle, light-reflecting ingredients. At the same time, you’ll get a beautifully hydrated, satin-like finish. This foundation makeup type is suitable for all skin types, and here are two top options:

CC+ Cream Illumination Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 50+

Old price $44.00 New price $30.80
Select a colour
Fair (W)

CC+ Cream Illumination with SPF 50+

Who Loves IT: Normal, Combination, and Dry Skin Types

Number of Shades: 12

In need of an illuminating finish without glitter or shimmer? CC+ Cream Illumination with SPF 50+ is your new BFF. This hydrating, radiant foundation instantly improves the look of dark circles, redness, and discoloration while imparting a beautiful radiant glow with micronized, light-reflecting pigments. Plus, the formula contains skin-loving peptides, antioxidants, collagen, and SPF 50+ protection.

Celebration Foundation Illumination Full Coverage Powder Foundation

Old price $44.00 New price $30.80
Select a colour
Fair (W)

Celebration Foundation Illumination Full Coverage Powder Foundation

Who Loves it: Normal, Combination, and Dry Skin Types

Number of Shades: 7

This radiant powder foundation gives you the look of instantly airbrushed skin and a subtle glow. Celebration Foundation Illumination Full Coverage Powder Foundation features Drops of Light Technology™, which helps brighten skin while blurring the appearance of pores. This highly pigmented formula also contains collagen, silk, peptides, and antioxidants to minimize the appearance of fine lines and create a soft-to-the-touch, radiant finish.

Matte Foundation Finish

A matte finish gives your skin a velvety soft appearance that absorbs versus reflects light. It’s ideal for people with oily or combination skin, those who tend to get shiny throughout the day, and anyone who simply prefers a matte foundation makeup type versus radiant or dewy foundation finish. Because matte foundations help absorb excess oil from the skin’s surface, they can also help large pores appear smaller. Here are a few we love:

CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 40

Old price $44.00 New price $30.80
Select a colour
Medium (W) (Soft Beige)

CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40

Who Loves IT: Oily, Blemish-prone, and Combination Skin Types

Number of Shades: 12

This variation on CC+ Cream delivers all the same skin-loving benefits of the original, only it’s oil-free, has a matte finish, and controls shine for up to 12 hours. CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40 helps to protect against sun damage, and the inclusion of colloidal clay and tea tree extract helps combat blemish-prone skin, too.

Pro Tip: To further reduce the look of large pores, set your makeup with Bye Bye Pores Pressed Setting Powder.

Bye Bye Foundation Oil-Free Matte Full Coverage Moisturizer™ with SPF 50+

Old price $44.00 New price $30.80
Select a colour
Medium (W) (Most Popular)

Bye Bye Foundation Oil-Free Matte Full Coverage Moisturizer with SPF 50+

Who Loves It: Oily, Blemish-Prone, and Combination Skin Types

Number of Shades: 12

Instantly conceal the look of dark spots, large pores, redness, breakouts, and discoloration with Bye Bye Foundation Oil-Free Matte Full Coverage Moisturizer with SPF 50+. It features a Proprietary 3D Skin Flex™ Technology that nixes creasing and cracking. The formula also contains hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and visibly smooth fine lines, while Moroccan lava and colloidal clays zap oil.

IT Cosmetics' fleet of foundation makeup types makes it easy to find the best foundation for your needs. To learn more about some of the different types of foundation makeup included above, check out our in-depth guides on Your Skin But Better, CC+ Cream Foundations, and CC+ Nude Glow.

*Source: The NPD Group/US Prestige Beauty Total MeasuMarkMakeup Product Sales, January - December 2020.

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