Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cream, Liquid, Powder-Foundation Formulations and What They Mean to Your Skin!

 I have come to the conclusion that the reason I haven't found my Holy Grail foundation yet is because there are way too many choices and formulations to choose from! As promised, I am here to break it down for you and explain what the different formulations mean for your skin.

Foundation, the base of your makeup application, comes in 3 different variations: Cream, Liquid, and Powder/Dual Finish. I have already covered airbrush foundation.

What are the differences between the three?


  • Provides maximum coverage
  • Popular choice for film, video, and photography
  • Very pigmented
  • Very versatile
  • Packaged in a pot or compact
  • Applied with a sponge or a brush

  • Light, buildable coverage
  • Popular choice for everyday wear
  • Packaged in a bottle or a pump
  • Applied with a sponge, brush, or clean fingers


  • Provides good coverage
  • Easy to apply
  • Matte finish
  • Can be used wet or dry
  • Packaged loose in a jar or pressed in a compact
  • Applied with a brush or a sponge.

Foundation has many different bases, most commonly water based and silicone based. 

What are the differences and what does this mean for your skin?

First up Silicone based foundations can be formulated as a liquid or cream. The little silicone spheres found in your makeup are large so they do not settle into pores or fine lines, therefore floating over your skin and creating a very smooth, almost airbrushed finish. Silicone formulas are long lasting, water resistant and photograph beautifully making them my top choice for bridal or special events. The one con about silicone makeup in general, in any formulation is that a lot of people are sensitive to silicone and may break out. Not all silicone's are acneic so read the ingredients and learn which silicones are the ones for you. **Quick Tip-anything with the letters cone on the end of it is a silicone**

Next up Water based foundations. Water based foundations are very natural looking and much thinner than other formulations. They provide a medium coverage and set pretty quickly. They are really good for women who may have problems with breaking out. Water based foundations are water activated which means, if you're gonna cry don't do it wearing a water based foundation. Also, keep in mind-water and oil do not mix so if you have oily skin, you may want to try a different formulation. Make sure to keep your moisturizer water based as well to avoid your makeup separating and sliding right off of your face. 

Powder based foundations are usually loose, ground up minerals. So here is my public service announcement for the day:
Just because it is a mineral foundation, does not mean that it is "natural" or safe for everybody. 

All foundations, regardless of the formulation contain minerals, that is what gives makeup it's color. Not all mineral foundations are safe. As I always say, PLEASE READ THE LABELS. Ever hear of
Bismuth Oxychloride? Look it up, it is a by product of lead and it is in the formulation of a very large, well known mineral foundation line. Also, everyone's skin is different and you never know what is going to break someone out. Powder foundation in pan form are usually talc and pigment and most of the time can be used wet or dry.

There are also Alcohol based foundations which are very thin and dry very quickly, I believe they are mostly used for application on the body (I could be wrong about that but I wouldn't want to use alcohol based on my face). They have to be shaken up before use and are usually applied with a cotton ball.

Lastly Oil based foundations, which are becoming rare, are thicker and anyone with oily skin should stay away from them. 

So I hope this post helped you out and you know what to look for the next time you need to purchase foundation. 

Leave any questions in the comments below and I will be glad to answer them! If you haven't already, click on one of the buttons below. Photo credits below the buttons.


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