Applying tone has firmly entered the makeup routine of millions of people. Bright and evening make-ups imply an even complexion, and even the simplest nude looks fresher and better with plain skin. How to choose the perfect color, how and with what to apply foundation, which tone is suitable for dry, problematic, aging or oily skin – we will figure it out in this article.

  • What are tonal foundations
  • How to choose the right face cream
  • Skin undertones and foundations
  • Foundations and skin types
  • How and how to properly apply foundation

What are tonal foundations

The modern cosmetics market has dozens of different types of tonal foundations. They are presented in various formats and textures: creams, serums, mousses, powders, sticks – each texture will give a different finish and effect on the face. To make it easier to figure out which tone is right for you, you should know and take into account the main parameters of the basics (in the next section we will cover each of them in detail):


Should blend in with your skin. Too light base will give the face a tired and sickly look, too dark will look unnatural in relation to the neck, collarbones and other exposed areas of the body.


Should match your skin tone, warm (yellow), cool (pink), olive or neutral (beige). The wrong undertone looks just as unnatural or painful as the wrong color.


The ingredient on the basis of which the product is created – tonal can be oil, wax, water and silicone, as well as powder or mineral. Texture affects many of the characteristics of tones, such as hold, density, and finish, as well as interaction with cream textures (for example, oily textures do not interact well with watery textures when layered).

Density / pigmentation

The coating can hide minor imperfections, but it should not completely cover redness and pigmentation. To look natural, you should take the basis of light / medium density. High pigmentation is useful for those who want to quickly work out large areas of redness, or for bright evening makeup, including oriental ones.

effect / finish

Foundations can have matte (velvet), semi-matte (natural) or radiant (moist, satin, satin) finishes. Also, tones can have various effects achieved by adding special components to the composition – this can be, for example, a sunscreen or lifting effect.

How to choose the right face cream

So, we have learned what parameters provide a variety of tonal foundations. Now let’s take a closer look at how these parameters can be used to achieve the durability of the coating and its ideal appearance on the skin.

The main features of the base, providing you with a natural and fresh look, are its color and undertone. The tonal color should merge with the face, although a discrepancy of one or two tones is acceptable and not striking. At the same time, if you cannot find a product that perfectly matches your shade, give preference to a lighter one – correction with blush, sculptor or bronzer can visually darken the face. It should also be taken into account that our skin has different shades in winter and summer, so it is desirable to have a suitable shade for each of these two seasons.

Skin undertones and foundations

Matching the skin tone with the base tone is just as important as choosing the right color for a natural look. The three main subtones – warm, cold, neutral – are not found in their pure form in everyone and can appear either very subdued or mixed (gray, olive). Sometimes it is advised to neutralize yellow, olive and gray undertones using a pink colored primer or foundation with a pink undertone, but in this case the neck and collarbones will begin to contrast with the complexion. You can add the desired shade to the foundation, and even lighten or darken the tone with a drop of the adjuster of the desired color.

Foundations and skin types

Foundations are generally suitable for all skin types, but different textures and effects look different on each skin type. To understand which foundation will be best combined with your skin type, you should pay attention to the features of the coating. It should be noted right away that only one tone will not cope with skin problems: dry and flaky skin needs to be moisturized, oily skin needs to be matted with primers or powder, and problematic skin needs to be worked out with a concealer.

For dry and dehydrated skin, foundations with a light texture based on water, oil or water-silicone are best suited. Heavy foundations, stick tones, tinted powders, and mattifying creams can dry out the skin and accentuate flakiness. Moisturizing foundations and radiance creams are also good choices for dry skin.

For oily skin, you can choose a water-based and silicone-based cream; thick products, matting creams, sticks will remove shine, but remember that oily skin also needs to be moisturized. If during the day shine appears on the face, it is masked with a transparent or tinted powder. Oil-based tones and with a radiant effect will only add shine, so it is better not to use such products for oily skin.

Tonal cream for combination skin, unfortunately, is not so easy to pick up. You can use a tandem of two bases – matting for an oily area and moisturizing for a dry area, or you can apply a tone suitable for dry skin and matte an area with oily skin with powder or blotters.

For problematic skin, it is better to use a foundation of medium pigmentation, water or silicone based (oil bases can negatively affect the redness), and dense foundations should not be used every day so as not to overdry the skin.

How and how to properly apply foundation

There are no strict rules in applying the tone. Different application methods will give different coverage density and effects. The foundation can be applied to the face with a sponge: a dry sponge will give a denser coverage, but will increase consumption, a wet one will apply the product thinly and help not emphasize flaky skin. It is convenient to apply the most liquid foundations with your fingers, as brushes and sponges absorb more than they apply. It is easiest to apply foundation on the face with a brush, but you need to remember that the tone falls differently depending on the material and density of the brush. Flat and taklon brushes tend to cover more densely than round and natural brushes (but a round brush applies light tones too thinly and invisible), and the more bristles in the brush, the softer it blends. With a brush, you can work with stretching, “stroking” movements, which gives a more dense and even coverage, or you can use circular motions – this will give a thinner coating and easy shading. The tone can be applied to a palette or hand (in the latter case, the tone heats up from heat and becomes more plastic) and from there pick up a little with a brush or sponge, or you can immediately apply drops or spots on your face and stretch it over your face – the latter will give a denser coverage, and with lack of experience, you can even go too far with the amount of product on the face. Excess can be collected with a sponge, a dry brush, or by pressing your fingers against the skin.

It would seem, what could be easier than applying foundation? However, quite a lot of mistakes can be made, ranging from the wrong selection of color and undertone of the base, and ending with the wrong choice of brushes. We hope that our article will help you not to make mistakes when choosing a foundation and using it.


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