Find Your Match: Drug Store Foundation

Laura Cofrancesco

It can be a real pain in the you-know-what trying to find the correct shade of drug store makeup. They rarely have testers, some bottles are not clear, and others look nothing like the description. How are you ever supposed to find your shade? I'll give you some tips.
Reliable Brands
I've tried nearly every drug store foundation there is, so I know which ones to pass on, and which ones to use. After all, there are soooo many brands it can be overwhelming at times. Try L'Oreal, Physicians Formula, Maybeline, and Covergirl.
Skin Type
Would you say your skin is more...
Oily: Tends to look slick towards the end of the day
Dry: Flaky patches, lack of moisture, itchy
Combination/ normal: Oily T-zone and dry everywhere else, or not many skin issues 
For each skin type, look for this on the label:
Oily: Mattifying, oil free, no shine
Dry: Hydrating, satin finish, illuminating, liquid/ creamy
Combination/ Normal: Mattifying, satin (you could honestly choose whichever foundation you like)
What does that mean?
Matte/ Mattifying: You will have zero shine on your face. Sometimes this can cause your face to look flat, but you can fix that with blush, bronzer, and/ or contouring. 
Satin: This foundation has a more natural finish, usually a dewy appearance. 
Illuminating: Usually has some shimmer to create a glow. Oily people, stay away.
Types of Foundation
Liquid: Great for all skin types, medium to heavy coverage, medium to heavy weight
Cream: Great for dry skin NOT oily, heavy coverage and weight
Powder: Light to medium coverage, light weight, great for normal and oily skin types
Mousse: Great for all skin types, medium to heavy coverage, light weight
Tinted Moisturizer: For all skin types, extremely light weight and light coverage, moisturizing benefits
BB Cream: (Beauty Balm) All skin types, light weight, medium coverage, added skin care benefits, usually SPF
CC Cream: (Color Correcting) All skin types, light weight (more so than BB Cream), medium coverage, added skin care benefits, corrects redness/ sallowness
Choosing the Correct Color
Make sure you bring a mirror with you! One mistake many people make is comparing the foundation color to your wrist. The majority of the time, your wrist is a completely different color than your face, so that won't work. Bring a friend! They can help decide which color is best. Go into the store with a fresh face! If you already have makeup on, how can you tell what your skin tone is? You can't. Start by picking out the color you think you are and hold it up to your face. Make sure you're facing towards the light or a window so you can see. Too dark or too light? Pick one until it seems really close. When you think you've found the one, Choose the lighter color right next to it, and the darker color right next to it. (Example: If you chose 220 nude beige as THE ONE, pick up 219 light beige and 221 dark beige.) Now you have three really close shades, and after holding each one up to your face, it's easier to see which one is the best match. Although tempting, I highly suggest you don't dab some of the product on your face. Germs galore!
Now what?
Go buy it! Make sure to save your receipt; you don't know if you'll have to return your foundation later. The first time you wear your new foundation, pay attention to how it looks in artificial light (the office) as well as in natural outdoor lighting. It can look amazing inside, but make you look completely washed out outside! Take note if it looks too light or too dark, so you can grab the correct one next time. Yes, you can return makeup even after you used it (as long as more than half of the product remains). Make sure if you do return it, you let the cashier know you used it if you did. This guarantees it won't be put back on the shelf.
Don't get frustrated! You will find your perfect match.

Leave a Comment