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  • Your Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Foundation for Your Face

    Know the difference among foundation, BB cream, cushion, and more.
Your Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Foundation for Your Face
  • If you’re new to the makeup game, you might be intimidated with the number of base makeup available in the market. In the past, our choices were limited to foundations, tinted moisturizers, and powders. But now we have all kinds of formulas for different skin types plus an expanded shade range. So, what’s the best foundation for the face?

    To help you choose what formula works best and determine what coverage and finish suit your face the most, we enlisted the help of celebrity makeup artist Muriel Vega Perez, who’s done makeup for the likes of Pia Wurtzbach, Jodi Sta. Maria, and Angel Aquino. He helps break down the difference between foundation, tinted moisturizer, BB and CC cream, cushion foundation and more. There’s a perfect foundation formula that’s best for you — let us help you find it!

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    The best foundation for the face

    Liquid foundation

    Estee Lauder's Double Wear is a perennial favorite of makeup artists when it comes to liquid foundations.
    PHOTO BY @esteelauder/Instagram
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    Liquid foundation has become versatile over the years, and it’s still the go-to foundation for most women. It’s easy to blend plus there are various finishes (natural, matte, and dewy) and coverage (light, medium, or full) to choose from. Liquid foundation gives you a lasting effect, says Vega Perez, so you might want to use these on special occasions when you don’t have time for a retouch.


    If you have oily or combination skin, Vega Perez suggests a liquid foundation that provides full coverage with a matte finish. Normal skin works best with a sheer finish, but you might still need a concealer to hide trouble spots. Dry skin works best with full coverage with a moisturizing finish.

    According to Vega Perez, liquid foundation is best applied with clean fingers. Dab it onto your forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin, then blend outward. “The warmth and heat through friction help you to have a better finish,” he says. “Your fingers also help the foundation glide onto the skin well.”

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    Tinted moisturizer

    Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer is a classic.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of BeautyMNL

    Think of this as a moisturizer with a hint of color. “It gives a light and natural finish but enhances the skin, so it looks even without the heavy feeling,” says Vega Perez. It’s for women who want to smooth out pores without erasing them, or even out their skin tone without completely changing it. If you don't want that overdone look, this is the base for you.

    Application is easy — use your fingertips or a foundation brush for more precise application. If your skin is extra dry, you can use it over your regular moisturizer.

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    BB cream


    If you’re a fan of Korean skincare, you’d know this as one of their beauty staples. BB cream, which stands for “blemish balm” or “beauty balm,”is an “all-in-one product for those who want to have a natural beauty glow,” says Vega Perez.

    The formula functions like a foundation, primer, and moisturizer. It’s loaded with skin-boosting ingredients like broad-spectrum SPF and antioxidants, while still giving you medium to full coverage without feeling too thick or heavy. While all skin types can benefit from a BB cream, Vega Perez recommends it best for those with dry skin. Look for creams that say radiant, dewy, glow and water on the packaging to ensure you’re getting the hydration you need with a natural-looking finish.

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    CC cream


    After the BB cream, the CC cream was introduced to “color correct” the skin. This target “sulkiness, darkness, and uneven skin tone,” according to Vega Perez. CC creams are great for reducing the appearance of red, blotchy skin, and masks dark spots while diminishing them over time. Like BB creams, they also contain SPF and anti-aging and moisturizing properties. But keep in mind that some of these offer less coverage than BB creams.

    If the best foundation for your face is something that you can use every day especially when you’re on the go, then you might like what CC creams have to offer. It’s easy to apply, too. Dot the product on your key areas — forehead, nose, each cheek, and chin, then blend. Use your fingers, a brush, or a beauty blender sponge depending on how much coverage you want.

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    Cushion foundation


    Korean beauty is the gift that keeps on giving — this innovation came from them, too! Think of it as a liquid foundation in a compact so you can easily touch up during the day.

    “Cushions are light on the skin, with some variants offering full coverage,” says Vega Perez. It may be the best foundation for the face for beginners, too. “It’s one of the easiest to apply,” he adds.

    Cushion foundations were meant to give light to medium coverage and a dewy finish called the “chok chok” effect. It’s how your skin would look like after a spa treatment — radiant, dewy, bouncy, and fresh. Those with dry skin benefit from this the most, according to Vega Perez.

    But many of the cushion formulations now offer a range of finishes from sheer to matte so you can choose what works for your skin type best. To apply, press the cushion pad onto the sponge to soak up the foundation. Ideally, one cushion pad worth of product is enough for the whole face. Apply on your forehead, nose, each cheek, and chin, then blend out by patting your face gently.

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    Stick foundation


    The Nars Velvet Matte Foundation Stick is super creamy and comes with a sponge applicator tip so you can touch up anywhere.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Rustans Beauty Source

    Stick foundations are portable multi-taskers — you can use them as foundation, concealer, or contour! Vega Perez recommends it for those with oily and combination skin who want full coverage, and fast.


    To apply, swipe on your key areas then blend out with your fingers, beauty sponge or brush. For a fresh finish, use a wet sponge to blend. If you’re using it as a contour, choose one that’s two shades darker than your foundation.

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    Powder foundation

    Powder foundations may be the best foundation for women with oily and combination skin, according to Vega Perez. It applies to the skin effortlessly and absorbs excess oil throughout the day. It comes in compact and loose powder options with sheer to full coverage.

    Loose powder is great for building coverage — apply on your skin by swirling your brush in the powder, tap off the excess, then buff into your skin using circular motions and blending outward. For powder, use a sponge or puff for medium coverage, and a fluffy brush for sheer coverage.


    What do you think is the best foundation for the face? What do you use and why is it your favorite? Share it with us in the comments!

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