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Find the best foundation for your complexion

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How To Choose The Right Shade Of Foundation

Ever wondered how Sonam Kapoor looks so stunning at each public appearance? Ask Namrata Soni, Kapoor's official makeup artist and celebrity in her own right. Soni has worked with countless film actresses from Deepika Padukone to Sonakshi Sinha, and her work has graced the pages of countless magazines including Elle, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Femina. The first step to flawless beauty, says Soni is finding the right shade of foundation for your skin. After all, faces are complicated and you can see imperfections others always can't. There are oily T-zones, spots, blotches and different skin tones on different areas of the face. The best way to smooth out all these problems is picking the right foundation.

Yellow is the way to go

Of course, while Soni can’t recommend specific products because everyone’s preference is different, the beauty expert is happy to share some insider tips on how you can pick the best colors for your skin and create the perfect base to set off your beauty. “Look for a foundation with a slightly yellowish cast or undertone,” is her first piece of advice. “As an Indian girl you’re bound to have some yellow undertones in your complexion whether you’re pale or dark.” Steer clear of pink, peach or whitish shades because “they’ll make you look chalky and old-fashioned. Meanwhile, a yellow-based foundation blends beautifully into skin, give a fresh, healthy skin tone, exactly what the right foundation should do.”

Find the right shade

Don’t use foundation to create a fairer skin tone; “Use it only to perfect your existing skin tone; going a shade lighter will look unnatural.” Start by making a stripe of the foundation from your cheek to your jaw line, and gently blend it into your skin. Do this in natural light. Now do the same with another foundation that’s one shade lighter and another that’s one shade darker. “The shade that blends in completely should be your pick, but double-check it against your forehead, since most women tend to be darker here,” says Soni. If it works in both areas, you’ve picked ‘your’ shade. She suggests having two foundations, one for winter when skin is paler, and one for summer when skin is slightly darker. “For those in-between months, you can always blend the two to develop your own shade.”

Find the right formula

Foundations come in many different formulations, ranging from mousse and liquid to cream and powder. “I’ve observed that many women are scared to wear foundation because they’re unsure whether the formula is right for their skin type.” Follow Soni’s expert advice and you’ll never go wrong.
Nykaa recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation, Nykaa SKINgenius Sculpting & Hydrating Foundation, Lakme Absolute Argan Oil Serum Foundation With SPF 45

Dull, dry complexions

You need a formula that gives glowing, dewy skin; pick a hydrating and moisturizing foundation that delivers sheer coverage like tinted moisturizers or balms for light-medium coverage. Nykaa suggests Olay Total Effects 7 In One Touch Of Foundation BB Creme SPF 15 or Colorbar Perfect Match BB Cream Or opt for a creamy liquid or mousse foundation if you want medium to full coverage. Avoid powder and mattifying foundations because they will make your skin more dry or chalky.
Nykaa recommends: Lakme Absolute Mattreal Skin Natural Mousse 16hr or Maybelline New York Dream Cushion Fresh Face Liquid Foundation.

Oily complexions

The trick is to find a foundation that makes your skin matte and shine-free. Try an oil-absorbing foundation. “Look for oil-free or mattyfying on the packaging,” suggests Soni. Usually oil-free or oil-reducing liquid foundations give you light to medium coverage, while cream and compact foundations give you full coverage. Choose a formula that contains silica beads and lecithin; silica soaks up oil on the T zone while lecithin hydrates drier areas on cheeks.
Nykaa recommends: Essence All About Matt! Oil Free Make Up, Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation.

Emergency cover up for blemishes

“My biggest nightmare,” says Soni candidly, “is waking up to a zit on my face when I have an important function to attend in the evening.” Start by applying foundation all over your face. Stand back to gauge how much of the pimple's redness is already camouflaged. Then using a concealer brush, apply concealer in the exact same shade as your foundation directly on top of the blemish, blending outwards in a star shape and then blending the edges gently with your fingertips. Next, press a small amount of powder on it to set. Repeat, continuing with concealer and powder until it's completely camouflaged.
Nykaa recommends: Wet n Wild MegaGlo Makeup Stick - Conceal and Contour, L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD, NYX Professional Makeup HD Photogenic Concealer Wand, L'Oreal Paris True Match Concealer
Read more about foundation makeup: The Foundation Directory - Let’s Talk All Things Foundation
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