Oil-free Liquid Foundations: Even though they are called "oil-free", most of these foundations do in fact contain some oils. When applied, they dry to a matte finish so are good choices for women who want a matte look. They are similar to a regular liquid foundation, but they can be slightly thicker and leave little to no shine.
Because they tend to make dry skin look even drier and somewhat flaky, these foundations are best for those with oily skin.
Ultra-matte Foundations: When it comes to ultra-matte foundations, it is imperative that you blend them quickly and well. Because moisturizers can tend to make ultra-matte foundations streak or appear greasy, you must be careful if you use a moisturizer underneath these foundations. It can also be difficult to apply creams on top of ultra-matte foundations. These foundations sometimes tend to go on heavy and leave the skin feeling dry. If you are a woman of color, you may want to be wary of these types of foundations, as they can leave a gray tinge to the skin and make it look ashen.
Liquid Foundations: These are the most common type of foundation because they work for practically everyone. Liquid foundation gives good coverage and there are many formulas to choose from. A majority of cosmetic companies even have different forms of liquid foundation for normal, dry, combination and oily skin. The first ingredient in liquid foundations is usually water, but they also often include some type of oil. These foundations are best for women with normal to dry skin. They can be worn without a moisturizer or, if the foundation itself does not already contain an SPF of at least 15, with one that contains adequate SPF. Liquid foundations tend to be flattering on women of color because they create a lovely glow that keeps their skin from appearing ashen. If the liquid foundation happens to leave behind too much shine for your liking, you can tone it down with a light dusting of powder.
Oil-based Foundations: As the name suggests, the first ingredient in these foundations is oil. Although they are quite thick and go on greasy, they can blend nicely into a soft, sheer finish. Oil-based foundations are best for women with very dry skin or those who have wrinkles. Because they sometimes have the tendency to turn orange on the skin, they may not be the best choice for women of color.
Pressed-powder Foundations: These foundations are the same as pressed powder, but they stay put longer and provide a little more coverage. You can apply these powders with either a sponge or a brush, with the brush application resulting in a sheerer look. They are not the best choice for individuals with dry skin. Instead, pressed-powder foundations are best for those with normal to oily skin.
Cream Foundations: These come in several forms including the original cream, a lighter mousse version, and a heavier stick version. There is also a relatively new hybrid called cream-to-powder foundation (also called dual-finish foundation), which looks like a powder and applies like a cream if you wet it, and then dries to a powder finish. Cream foundations provide a greater level of coverage than liquid foundations, provide long-lasting coverage (usually eight or more hours), and provide an extra barrier between the skin and the elements. They also minimize pores and fill in fine lines and small wrinkles. Since they also lock moisture into the skin, they are best for those with dry skin.
Cream-to-powder Foundations: These foundations come in a compact like a pressed-powder foundation, but have a creamier feel and appearance. They dry to a powdery finish and also provide better coverage than pressed-powder foundations. Cream-to-powder foundations are best applied with a sponge. These foundations are best for normal skin types. Individuals with dry skin can find that once this type of foundation has dried to a powdery finish it often causes more dryness. These foundations also do not work well for individuals with oily skin because the creamy formulation often adds to the oiliness.
Liquid-to-powder Foundations: Liquid-to-powder foundations feel lighter on the skin than the cream-to-powder foundations do. They also last longer on individuals with combination or oily skin. Liquid-to-powder foundations are best applied with a sponge and blend easily into a matte finish. However, be aware that they do dry quickly.
Stick Foundations: These are cream-to-powder foundations in stick form that also function as a concealer. Stick foundations are portable, quick and easy to apply, and are good for spot coverage. They work well for normal to dry skin.
Mineral Veil (Translucent): This is a mineral powder that can be used either alone or as a finishing powder over your liquid foundation. The translucent/opaque veil creates a transparent smooth, matte finish that does not alter your foundation color. Translucent mineral veils have a talc-free formulation, and many contain vitamin E, green tea antioxidants and gatuline, an ingredient thought to promote skin tightening and firming. They also aid in oil absorption as well. Translucent mineral veils spread easily, adhere to the skin, and help to reduce the appearance of large pores. Because of their ability to disperse light, they can minimize flaws, wrinkles and other imperfections. In addition to the minerals, they also contain cornstarch and do a good job of providing a perfect finish to your foundation. They are completely sheer and soften your look and makeup. They work well for all skin types, but are best for individuals with oily skin due to their ability to absorb oil and reduce the appearance of large pores.
Moisture-rich/Hydrating: This helps hydrate the skin and stops the makeup from feeling too tight or irritating on the face. Good for dry skin types. Tinted moisturizers are good for hot weather or when a heavier formulation isn't necessary.
Mattifying/Oil-control: This reduces the appearance of oil on the skin, making the face look less shiny. Good for oily skin or combination skin on the T-zone.
Light-reflecting: This brightens up dry or dull skin by providing a surface for light to bounce off of. Thus, making your skin look brighter. This is best for dry skin or more mature faces.
Line-smoothing: Rather than sinking into the skin and emphasizing creases, this formula helps to fill out facial lines and actually reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Color Match: The newest types of foundation come in a limited palette of shades that are supposed to 'adapt' to a person’s skin tone. There is still some debate as to how well they work, but if you are having a difficult time finding an ideal match they are worth giving a try. Just remember to go for the shade nearest to your natural skin color.