7 April 2014

Guide to foundations - what to expect from what coverage

Foundation - types - finishes - coverage - what coverage do I need? - sheer coverage - light coverage - medium coverage - heavy coverage - full coverage

In this series of posts I will be looking into Foundations. How to get one most suited to your skin? How to apply different types and what different types of finishes mean? One of the first steps of finding your perfect foundation is to find what coverage you need for your skin and what level of coverage different terms provide.


This is the most transparent of all the strengths of coverage. Sheer foundations have the least amount of pigment. These contain less than 50% pigment.
Will - Minimize contrast between skin tones and discoloration
Wont - Disguise any blemishes or discoloration
Best for - Clear blemish free skin.

Only slightly more pigment than Sheer foundations. These give a natural look to the skin, evening out skin tone. Any other blemishes can be covered with concealer.
Will - cover uneven skin tone and disguise blotchy skin.
Wont - Disguise freckles
Best for - Skin with only slight pigmentation or subtle blemishes.

Medium is more than enough coverage for most skins. These foundations tend to be build-able so you can build layers of foundation for extra coverage.
Will - Cover blemishes, discoloration, blotches
Wont - cover scaring or hyper pigmentation
Best for - pigmented or blotchy skin

Heavy or Full 
Gives the most opaque finish. Not normally required for day to day wear unless you need to camouflage flaws on your own skin.
Will - Cover blemishes,  discoloration and scars
Wont -  Give as natural a finish as other types of foundation. 
Best for - Hyper pigmented skin, scarred skin, skin with birthmarks.

Most of us opt for a higher coverage than we need, I'm guilty myself although ilo depends on where you are going. For a day out I will wear less coverage than when I'm going for a night out.

However most full coverage foundations available in shops are medium to heavy, so bear this in mind if you are looking to cover a birthmark for example. You will be better off looking for professional full coverage or camouflage foundation available in specialist beauty shops and some beauty departments.

Which foundation coverage do you go for? Has this made you change your mind on what coverage you actually need? Do you love a more natural foundation look or a full matte finish? Are there any posts you would like to see in this series?

Lots of Love, 
Laura x


  1. I am finding I am liking a more light to medium coverage for everyday and for special events, I pull out my Estee Lauder Double Wear. I am really enjoying the CoverFX CC Cream right now. I would love to see more information on how and what kind of powders are best to be used under eyes w/ fine lines and powders for someone with larger pores etc. I have my own beauty blog but I am always looking for these kind of tips. I am a 40+ woman so I can use all the tips I can get.


  2. I need to get a full coverage for my cheeks as I have a lot of scars/ pigment, currently use camouflage concealer, I just use a sheer foundation on the rest of me though and blend it in :)

  3. I definitely am guilty of going for heavier than I need!

    Georgina at itotallypaused.com

  4. I always buy lighter than I need (oddly) and end up having to really build my foundation up! Thanks for this handy little guide :)

  5. I'm sure I never buy the right one for me, or I buy one that I want to use all year long but if I bought it around summer and I get tanned, then it is too dark for winter and viceversa.
    As for now I'm sticking with Maybelline Light Sheer Tint Dream Fresh BB cream since my tan this summer is nowhere to be seen and because it matches my skintone perfectly at the moment.

    Lu | The Ankalli Style

  6. Great post hun, nice to read a simple straightforward explanation x

  7. Great post! I often go for light or medium coverage even though I might do fine with a sheer coverage for everyday wear.
    I've actually never used a full coverage foundation!

    Kat B - Katience

  8. Estee Lauder Double Wear is my all time favourite...a great guide though...thanks xx



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