Base Camp: Find Your Perfect Foundation

By Erica Metzger

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Model with Good Foundation
By Michael David Adams

The Rules of Foundation

-- Look for a formula that's made for your skin type. If you're dry, a moisturizing cream or stick will blend nicely; for oily or sensitive skin, go for an oil-free liquid or mineral powder. Worried about sagging or age spots? Choose a targeted anti-aging formula with firming or brightening ingredients.

-- Beware of pink tones. The pros agree they look chalky and unnatural. "But foundations with yellow undertones are like magic on your skin," says Joanna Schlip, Physicians Formula celebrity makeup artist. "A little bit of yellow helps to neutralize any redness and leaves every skin tone looking healthier."

-- Try it on your face, not your hand. Swipe the color along your jawline and look at it in natural light (near a window or outdoors). If it's a match, the color will disappear into your skin.

-- If you're buying at a drugstore, do your homework first. Many popular brands have online tools to help you find the right color, says Emily Kate Warren, a bicoastal makeup artist. (L'Oréal Paris even has a new app for that.) "Or, if you already know your department store shade, some sites can match it to the equivalent shade in their line," says Warren.

-- Use a sponge or brush to apply. Sure, your fingers are a handy tool. But a sponge or brush gives you a silky-smooth finish and allows you to blend away lines of demarcation along your neck, says Schlip.

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