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The Ultimate Guide to Foundation Formulas

Foundation is the base of any good makeup routine. With so many different types of foundation out there, it can be hard to know which one is best for you and your skin type. In this blog post, we'll discuss the three main types of foundation—silicone-based, water-based, and oil-based—and explore the advantages and disadvantages of each for different skin types. This will help you make an informed decision about which foundation is right for you. So let's get started!




Silicone-Based Foundation

Silicone-based foundation is frequently preferred for a long-lasting or specific look.


What is a Silicone-Based Foundation?

Silicone-based foundation is a popular choice for those with normal skin types. Silicone is a synthetic material, most commonly seen in the form of dimethicone (or other ingredients that end in “cone,”or siloxane), that creates a barrier on the skin to keep oils and moisture in.


Who is a Silicone-Based Foundation Good For?

Silicone-based foundations are great for someone who wants a blurred effect. Depending on the formulation, this includes those with fine lines and wrinkles or uneven texture and enlarged pores.


Advantages of Silicone-Based Foundation

The longest-wearing type of foundation is frequently touted to be silicone-based. This is so that silicone can help prevent makeup from fading throughout the day by forming a barrier on the skin. Also, it aids in laying down a uniform, smooth foundation for other cosmetics.

It also has a light, airy texture and doesn't feel heavy or greasy, and offers a soft matte finish, making it ideal for people with larger pores or wrinkles or those who want to achieve a blurred or soft-focus skin effect. Its light consistency also allows it to be easily blended into the skin.


Disadvantages of Silicone-Based Foundation

There are some drawbacks to silicone-based foundations. It is a common irritant for those with sensitive skin. Additionally, some people may experience an allergic reaction when using products containing silicone.


Water-Based Foundation

Water-based foundation is another one of the most popular and widely used types of foundation. It's a great option for those with dry, dehydrated, sensitive, or problem skin.


What is a Water-Based Foundation?

Water-based foundation has little to no silicone or oil and tend to have nourishing and skin-loving ingredients to help maintain a moisturized look. Our Colorlab water-based foundations include Superior Performance, Natural Foundation and Mineral Moisture Tint.


Who is a Water-Based Foundation Good For?

Water-based foundation is great for dehydrated, acne-prone or problem skin. It also often comes packed with skin-loving ingredients, making it an ideal choice for most skin types.


Advantages of Water-Based Foundation

Water-based foundations are typically lighter in texture than silicone or oil-based formulas, making them a good choice for those who don't like the feeling of heavier makeup. Water-based foundations also tend to provide more sheer/medium coverage than their silicone or oil-based counterparts, so it's ideal for those looking to achieve a more natural look. Water-based foundations are also extremely gentle on the skin.


Disadvantages of Water-Based Foundation

Water-based foundations typically are not as long-wearing or full-coverage as silicone foundations, so skin prep and finishing products help with this.


Oil-Based Foundation

Oil-based foundation is a popular choice among those with dry and mature skin types.


What is an Oil-Based Foundation?

An oil-based foundation, like our Cream to Powder compact, is a foundation that uses oil as its primary ingredient. Oil-based foundations generally offer a good amount of coverage and provide a natural or dewy finish.


Who is an Oil-Based Foundation Good For?

Oil-based foundations are great for those with dry skin types, this can help counteract dryness and provide a healthy sheen and glow to the skin.


Advantages of Oil-Based Foundation

The key advantages of oil-based foundation are that it provides maximum coverage and can help to hydrate and nourish the skin. Additionally, oil-based foundations often contain anti-aging ingredients, such as Vitamin E, which can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging. Lastly, oil-based foundations tend to be more resistant to sweat, humidity, and other environmental factors, making them a great choice for those with active lifestyles.


Disadvantages of Oil-Based Foundation

The downside of an oil-based foundation is that it can be difficult to blend, and if you have oily skin, it may make your skin look even shinier or greasy feeling. Additionally, oil-based foundations are not recommended for anyone prone to breakouts, as they are trying to balance an overproduction of oil, which can lead to skin problems such as acne.


Choosing the Right Primer

Now that we've discussed the different types of foundations let's talk about how to choose the right primer to get the most out of the product. Primers can be a great way to create a smooth base before applying your foundation and make it last longer throughout the day, primers offer the same advantages and disadvantages to the skin as the foundations, depending on the type of primer you choose.


It’s a good idea to opt for a primer that has a similar formulation as your foundation. If you are looking for a flawless finish, choose Sheer Porefection to give you a smooth and matte canvas. Daily Dose and Fringe Benefit are going to be great to boost your hydration, and a light amount of our Beauty Oil can be used to prep your skin. It all goes back to the formulation of your foundation. We want our prep and finishing products to complement the formulas of your foundation.


Closing Thoughts

Now that we’ve discussed the different types of foundations, hopefully, you can make better product selections for you and your clients. If you need help learning about the different types of foundations that we offer, be sure to contact us today!


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