When it comes to foundation, one size doesn’t fit all. Let us help you find the one

Laying down the foundations

Before you buy that flawless foundation your friend is wearing, you need to know it’s the right one for you, but how? What works for them may not be right for you, and there are many different foundation formulas for a reason – from liquid to powder, each has a benefit which could be just right for your skin type.

Oily skin needs specific and gentle care to allow it to find balance, so before you apply any make-up prepare your skin with a primer and add a touch of mattifying moisturiser to help remove excess sebum (oil secreted by your skin's sebaceous glands). Leave to dry for five minutes, then you’re ready to apply your foundation – but which one?

Dewy skin can often be seen as the holy grail of make-up looks, but if you experience oily skin you may want to be more subtle than full on glow, so opt for a long-lasting matte formula with medium to full coverage. Matte foundations are a good option for oily skin, as they won’t feel too heavy.

It’s best to avoid applying powder foundation all over for oily skin, as it may slide into your pores and appear clumpy. Instead, use pressed powders for a matte finish and any top-ups.

Tip: Use a beauty sponge or make-up brush to apply your foundation, as fingers can transfer extra oil to your face.

Dry skin can be a catch 22, as you want to cover its tracks but also create a flawless look. Well, this can be achieved with the right prep and insider foundation tips.

Before applying any foundation, use a lightweight day cream and a touch of primer, then wait for both to fully sink in. Hydration is key for helping dry skin, so it’s no surprise that you should opt for a hydrating liquid foundation. Try applying with your fingers and gently press onto the skin for longer-lasting coverage. But what about powder? This may enhance your dry areas, so add a light-touch of finishing powder instead.

If you’re not ready to dip your toe into the foundation pool, then a BB cream or tinted moisturiser is a great choice for dry skin – look for one with a dewy finish for a natural glow.

Tip: Mix a little water into your foundation right before application, as it adds moisture without any excess oil, and helps make skin look even more radiant.

One day your skin is oily, and the next it's showing signs of dryness – say hello to combination skin! Finding the right foundation for both concerns means you’ll be able to mix and match ones which work best for you, but where do you start?

Rather than going all out with full coverage, look for a buildable foundation – that way you can focus on any areas which may need a little TLC, such as an oily t-zone or dry forehead. Opt for a slightly matte liquid foundation, as this will help reduce any oiliness and won’t be too harsh on any dry areas. Feel free to play around with powders, but they may clog up any oily skin and highlight your dry bits.

Combination skin gives you the freedom to play around and find what works for you. Just because you may have an oily t-zone, it doesn’t mean a dewy look is off limits – there’s nothing wrong with a little mix and match!

Sensitive skin can flare up at any time, and with a little trial and error you’ll soon discover what does (and doesn’t!) work for you. It could be heavy skincare, fragranced foundations or anything which contains ingredients which are too harsh for your skin.

Mineral foundations are a great choice for those with sensitive skin, as they contain (you guessed it) minerals, which are not only kinder to your skin, but also won’t clog your pores and may help your skin to breathe.

They don’t just come in powder format, so look out for liquid and compact mineral foundations too.

Your skin may have changed over the years, so your go-to foundation might not be the best one to keep using, as heavier foundations may now settle in any creases or wrinkles. Choose a light-weight foundation (perhaps from your go-to brand) or try a BB cream or tinted moisturiser.

A full make-up look can still look fantastic, but it’s about knowing what works for you and how to enhance your features. Look for foundations that are hydrating, as skin may feel dryer and tighter. Also, if your lines aren’t too deep, press your middle finger lightly against the skin with a slight rolling motion to help remove any clogged-up foundation.

Tip: Help prevent foundation creasing by applying eyeshadow primer on your wrinkles, to create an even canvas for your make-up.

Pale skin has never been more in, and gone are the days where you need to choose the lightest shade in every foundation range.

The key to finding the perfect porcelain foundation is knowing your skins undertone, and working with it to find what looks good on you. But how? A quick way of finding out is to look at your jewellery (or try some on!) If gold enhances your complexion then you’re on the warmer side, but if silver enhances it then you lean more towards the cooler side.

Tip: Always use a translucent powder to set your foundation, as it helps keep the colour of foundation as it should be.

Whatever your skin type, Boots has a foundation for you.