If you’ve read any of my foundation reviews or Instagram recommendations, you know I always talk about matte foundations. But, matte is not the only finish. So, today, let’s go back to the basics and chat about the common foundation finishes and which might be best for you.

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Foundation Finishes

When I say “finish”, I mean the look and feel of the foundation once it has dried or settled on your skin. This includes liquid and powder formulas. The common finishes are:

Dewy – These foundations are meant to give an allover, lit from within, glow. They tend to be best for those with dry skin. Sometimes the word “luminous”, “illuminating” or “hydrating” will be used to describe this finish.

Natural – Just like it sounds. These products are going to look the most like your skin. This finish is typically best for normal skin types. Natural-looking makeup is very trendy!

Matte – The finish of a matte product is smooth and has no shine. It is most often oil-absorbing. This tends to be best for oily skin and can be hard to work with for other skin types because it can feel flat and dry.

Which One is for Me?

For a lot of people, it’s pretty simple. Dry skin = dewy, Normal = Natural, and Oily = Matte. But like everything in the makeup world, it’s not always that clear.

Can you combine finishes? Of course!

Sometimes, you’ll see things like “natural matte finish” like with this L’Oreal formula that just happens to be a fave that I recently reviewed. Huh?

What this means is that the product is more of a light matte. Are you still wondering what I’m talking about? Think of this as a product that isn’t glowy but isn’t drying either. So it’s going to help with oil and shine control but it’s not completely flat like we tend to think of. If I can, I’ll go for this finish in the winter when the air (and therefore my skin) is drier.

To be honest, when searching for foundations I tend to see natural mixed with the other finishes most of the time. So like I said when you see “natural matte finish”‘ it’s a foundation that will provide the oil control properties but not look like you are wearing a lot of makeup. I think this is really helpful with full coverage formulas because a lot of them can look too heavy.

I’ve also seen gals mix their own with say a matte foundation and a small bit of a dewy foundation or liquid highlighter to add a slight allover glow. Like with all products, do what works for you!

Read my latest foundation review here.

Do you have any other questions about foundation finishes? Leave them in the comments!

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