June 1,
Photo of Estee Lauder Foundation Range

Finding the right foundation for your skin type is a crucial step in achieving your desired makeup look. With an array of shades, formulas, finishes, and coverage levels available, it can seem daunting. Discover our guide on how to choose a foundation and explore the process of selecting the perfect foundation for your unique skin type and undertone.

What is my skin type?

Before diving into the world of foundations, it's important to ask yourself “What is my skin type?” and consider any specific skin concerns you may have. Not all foundations work well with every skin type.

Our Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation is an excellent choice for all skin types, offering long-lasting coverage with a matte finish. For those with dry or sensitive skin, the Sheer Foundation provides a lightweight and hydrating option.

Foundation for Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, opt for an oil-free liquid formula or powder foundation. Look for products that offer a smooth matte finish to control excess shine like our Double Wear Sheer Flattery Loose Powder.

Foundation for Dry Skin

If you’re looking for a foundation for dry skin, choose a hydrating and moisturising liquid formula like our Futurist Aqua Brilliance Makeup. These formulas help to replenish moisture and provide a luminous glow, combating any dryness or flakiness.

Foundation for Combination Skin

Combination skin requires a foundation that strikes a balance. Look for a formula that offers hydration without overwhelming the skin or causing excessive oiliness. A semi-matte finish would work well in this case which you can achieve by using our Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation.

Foundation for Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, pay close attention to the ingredients in the foundation. The best foundation for sensitive skin usually includes a formula free from irritating alcohol and fragrance. Look for gentle, hypoallergenic options that cater to sensitive skin needs. A good option is our Re-Nutriv Ultra Radiance Liquid Makeup, containing millions of micro-fine gems to help boost your skin’s natural energy.

What is my skin undertone?

Understanding your skin’s undertone is crucial in learning how to choose the right foundation shade. Whether you have a cool, warm or neutral undertone, there is a foundation fit for you. Our Foundations cater to various undertones, ensuring a seamless blend with your natural complexion. 

Foundation for Cool Undertones

If your undertones are cool, you will notice pink or rosy hues in your skin. Look for a foundation for cool undertones with pink hues to complement your complexion and create a seamless match. Shade codes including a ‘C’ are designed for cool undertones.

Foundation for Warm Undertones

If your undertones are warm, you will see yellow or golden hues in your skin. Opt for foundations with warm undertones to enhance your natural radiance and achieve a harmonious look. Shade codes including a ‘W’ are designed for warm undertones.

Foundation for Neutral Undertones

If you’re looking for a foundation for neutral undertones, you need to balance both warm and cool hues. Foundations with a mix of pink and golden tones, such as peachy shades, work well for those with neutral undertones. Shade codes including a ‘N’ are designed for neutral undertones.

How to find the right foundation shade?

Now that you have an understanding of your skin’s undertone, it's time to find your perfect foundation shade. Explore our Foundation Finder to narrow down your search. Simply input your undertone and other relevant details to discover the shades that best suit you.

You can also use our Virtual Try-On tool to experiment with both Double Wear formulas. This tool allows you to visualise different finishes and shades on your own skin, providing a realistic representation of how they will appear. Or visit us in-store to experience our free shade matching service and find the perfect match for you.

What foundation finish do I want?

Learning how to choose a foundation finish is essential to achieve your desired makeup look. Whether you choose a dewy, sheer or matte foundation will change how your foundation sits and looks entirely.

Matte Finish

A matte finish offers fuller coverage and is ideal for oily skin types. It provides a shine-free, airbrushed appearance, perfect for a flawless look that lasts throughout the day. For the ultimate matte finish, use a powder brush to sweep our Double Wear Stay-in-Place Matte Powder Foundation over the Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup.

Sheer Finish

A sheer finish foundation is more common among lightweight formulas, offering a natural, no-makeup makeup look. This finish provides light to medium coverage, allowing your skin to shine through while providing a smooth, even complexion. For the ultimate sheer finish, use Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Makeup SPF 20.

Dewy/Luminous Finish

For a lightweight, glowy makeup look, opt for a dewy foundation with a luminous finish. This finish works well for dry or combination skin types, as it imparts a radiant glow and can counteract any dullness. To achieve an extra glowy complexion, try mixing two drops of Advanced Night Repair Serum with Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup. Blend onto the face, working from the centre out. For an extra dewy glow, tap the serum onto the high points of the cheekbones.

What level of coverage do I want?

Consider the level of foundation coverage you desire and the specific look you aim to achieve. Different occasions call for different coverage levels. 

Light Coverage Foundation

If you prefer a more natural, no-makeup makeup look, opt for a sheer or light coverage foundation. Our Double Wear Sheer Long Wear Makeup offers a lightweight formula that provides long-lasting coverage with a radiant finish. This foundation is perfect for achieving a fresh-faced, natural look while evening out the skin tone.

Full Coverage Foundation

For those seeking flawless coverage and the ability to conceal imperfections, a full-coverage foundation is the way to go. Our Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup offers buildable coverage that unifies uneven skin tones and effectively covers blemishes. This foundation provides a long-lasting, matte finish, ensuring your makeup stays in place throughout the day.

Where can I find a foundation sample?

For a foundation sample, visit one of our Estée Lauder retail counters to test our Double Wear foundations and find the best formula and shade for your skin. Our knowledgeable beauty advisors will be delighted to shade match your skin and provide free foundation samples for you to try at home.

Can't visit a store? Why not purchase online with the safety of our Shade Match Guarantee. We guarantee that you'll love your Estee Lauder foundation, concealer or powder makeup, so if you find that your shade isn’t a perfect match, you can send it back free of charge for an exchange with another shade*.

Basic Foundation Tips

  1. One of the biggest foundation tips when it comes to learning how to choose the right foundation is understanding that you may require different shades for different seasons. Your skin tone can vary throughout the year, so it's worth having a few foundation shades to match your complexion across different seasons.

  2. You should also experiment with brushes, sponges, and even your fingers to find the best application tool for you. Each method can offer a different finish and coverage level.

  3. Finding the right foundation for your unique skin type and undertone is key to achieving a flawless makeup look. Consider your skin type, undertone, desired finish, and coverage level when selecting a foundation. Remember, with the right foundation; you can enhance your natural beauty and feel confident every day.

  4. Did you know Advanced Night Repair is the perfect partner to your Double Wear Stay-In-Place foundation? For a glowing complexion, mix two drops of Advanced Night Repair Serum with Double Wear Stay-In-Place foundation. Blend onto the face, working from the centre out. For an extra dewy glow, tap the serum onto the high points of the cheekbones.

  5. For added protection, choose a foundation that contains SPF. With SPF and anti-oxidants, our Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Makeup SPF20 helps to protect skin against harsh UV rays and pollution.