Your go-to foundation guide

In recent years, the make-up industry has churned out launch after launch of hi-tech, next-generation foundations and make-up bases. But sometimes, it can feel overwhelming.

There’s so much to think about, and when you’re making a considered purchase – of a product you might end up applying every day – it’s important to cover all bases (pun intended).

We’ve created a comprehensive guide to choosing your perfect foundation, with a range of formulas and textures, finishes (from sheer to full coverage), and shade ranges to choose from. Whether you love a matte base, prefer a sheer, dewy look, or haven’t a clue what will suit you, you’ll find all the answers here.

Find your formula

Formula is the easiest place to start on your quest for your holy grail foundation, as choosing the right consistency will be based on your skin type. So, if you have oily skin with enlarged pores and are prone to excess shine, you might like to go for a powder-based formula to help smooth the look of pores and control oil on your T-zone (like our bestselling Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten Foundation).

If you have a drier complexion, you might prefer a liquid formula that you can build up to your desired finish, with a touch of radiance to help cancel out any dullness. Tarte Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation is a must-have for keeping skin beautifully moisturised while also adding all the coverage you need.

Check out some more of our favourite foundation formulas here:

  • Doll 10 Hydrabalm Swirled Serum Foundation – a serum foundation with a water-based formula to help create a dewy, radiant look. Great for dehydrated skin in need of a surge of moisture, without looking greasy.
  • IT Cosmetics Full Coverage SPF 50 CC+ Cream – this bestselling CC cream works to hydrate all skin types, while reducing the look of pigmentation and blurring blemishes for a perfected, natural finish – all with impressive SPF 50+ for all-day sun protection!
  • Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick – if you have oily or combination skin, but don’t like using powders, this cream formula is a great option. The adaptive texture works to add moisture and control excess oil only where you need it, and the handy stick design makes it easy to apply (even if you don’t have a brush). A must-have for keeping in your bag for on-the-go touch ups.
  • Bareminerals Original Foundation SPF 15 – a true make-up icon, this Bareminerals foundation is one of the most popular in the country. The reason? Its loose powder formula can be built up to your desired coverage, while sensitive skin types love its gentle, skin-smoothing formula. Whether you want to cover fine lines, blemishes or irregular texture, this Bareminerals pick will soon be your go-to.

Coverage is key

When it comes to coverage, think about how you like your skin to look: do you want your complexion to appear fresh and natural, but just a bit more perfected and even? Or do you prefer a full glam effect? For a flawless base, it’s all about choosing the right coverage to suit you.

A lot of formulas are buildable (like our formula picks above), so you can layer up to your desired finish – but if you know what you’re after, take a look at the selection below, ranging from the lightest BB and CC creams, to full coverage finds to help you feel skin confident.

BB/CC/tinted moisturisers: these skincare-make-up hybrids are perfect if you’re after something quick and easy to apply.

Sheer: if you’re look for a touch more coverage that still feels weightless and undetectable, a sheer formula should be your go-to.

  • Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel Cream – with a refreshing gel-cream texture, this dreamy base adds lightweight coverage and a subtle glow. It can be built up too, if you need more coverage in certain areas.
  • Bobbi Brown Liquid Skin Foundation SPF 15 – a water-based, oil-free formula developed with light-reflecting optic brighteners to help your skin look like skin – only better! It blends seamlessly and creates a lightweight, flawless finish.

Medium: if you want a base you can wear all day, and layer up when heading out for the evening, go for medium coverage.

  • Benefit Hello Happy Flawless Radiance Foundation – this long-wearing foundation is a great option if you want to blur over imperfections and pores. If you’re feeling tired, apply this and you’ll love the instant brightening effect.
  • Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation – a high-performing base that’s beloved by make-up artists worldwide, go for this if you love a satin (not too dewy, not too matte) finish that instantly perfects your complexion without masking it.

Full: if you love the drama and glamour of a full face of make-up, or you have specific concerns like blemishes, texture or discolouration you want to address, a full coverage base will ensure you feel skin confident.

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation – a top-rated base, and particularly adored by those with oily skin due to it’s shine-blotting properties, this gorgeous base will work to blur, smooth and conceal imperfections in an instant. It’s super blendable too, and if you want to thin out the coverage, just mix a little with your favourite primer, liquid highlighter or moisturiser.
  • Doll 10 HydraGel Foundation – hydrating and comfortable to wear, this foundation features high-density pigments suspended in a gel formula, so you get instant full coverage that feels weightless. It’s easy to blend and a go-to for bridal and special occasion make-up, as it photographs beautifully.

A shade to suit you

It’s taken the beauty industry a while to create foundations in a wide range of inclusive shades. At QVC we stock some great brands that cater to all skin tones, ranging from palest to deepest, so you’re bound to find a base that effortlessly complements your complexion.

Which foundation will you be ordering?

Let us know if you think you’ve found your perfect match, and head to our Beauty department for make-up inspo and more.