The purpose of foundation makeup is to even out the skin tone by covering light scars and blemishes. To cover darker marks you need a concealer to achieve full coverage. Check our previous step by step tutorial on how to apply colour correction concealers.

The foundation you choose will depend on your skin type and the look you want to achieve – if you want a natural day-to-day look or full coverage look for a special occasion. Knowing which foundation to use will help you achieve the perfect blend and coverage. If you’re looking for the right foundation makeup, here’s a guide on different types of foundation and a DIY skin type test below.

Liquid foundation

  • Liquid foundations are the easiest to apply to the face and blend, they are available in a lot more colour shades and with bases too.
  • You get oil-based and water-based liquid foundations:
    Water-based or oil-free is perfect for women with oily skin, they often contain silicone oil helping you to achieve that nice shine to your application.
    Oil-based is perfect for dry skin and wrinkled skin as the foundation blends well and leaving the skin supple and moisturised.
  • Waterproof is best during rainy or humid seasons and for when it is very hot. A liquid waterproof foundation is ideal for women with oily skin.

Cream foundation

  • Cream foundation is more thick and creamier, you get them in tubes or compact even stick form.
  • It is mostly used on normal to extra dry skin and for heavier coverage and leaves the skin hydrated. It also lasts for long.
  • This foundation is not ideal for women with oily skin.
  • You also get cream foundations that are waterproof which are perfect for rainy, humid seasons and for when it is very hot.
  • Women with dry skin should go for a cream waterproof foundation.

Cake/wax foundation

  • They are available in stick or solid container.
  • It can be used as a concealer as it provides with total coverage.
  • It is ideal for photo shoots or stage makeup.
  • This makeup is heavy for everyday wear because it is thick. It is not that easy to blend too.
  • Women with normal to dry skin are not to use this kind of foundation as it appears dry and blotchy on the skin after application.
  • They are best for oily skin

Powder foundation

  • Powder foundation is available in pressed or loose form.
  • They are used to fix the makeup, they are also dry without any moisturiser.
  • It works well for women who do not usually apply makeup and for foundation touch-ups.
  • Pressed powder foundation – it is available in many colours/ shades.
  • Mostly come in a compact form and are applied with a dry or damp sponge. It is best for oily skin.
  • Loose powder foundation – mostly used to set makeup application and adding a finishing look to your application. Very good for women with oily skin.

To check your skin type, try the tissue paper test

Use plain facial tissue. Cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry. Wait for 3 hours for the skin to normalise. Press the tissue to your cheeks, chin, and forehead.

  • Patches of oil on the paper when you hold it up to the light = oily skin
  • The tissue sticks to your skin but there are no oil patches when you remove it, maybe just light spots = normal skin
  • The tissue does not stick at all, no oily spots = dry skin

What type of foundation do you use? And how did you decide that it was the best one for you?


Makeup artist: Basetsana Seripe
Model: Refiloe Malekela
Photographer: Masego Morulane



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