My Favorite Foundations for Each Skin Type

By: Mandy Davis

Nashville Makeup Artist



Let’s talk about favorites today. The above picture is one of my favorite action shots taken at one of my favorite venues in my favorite city. And my FAVORITE category of makeup is foundation. I mean, if you have ever talked to me about makeup, foundations has come up within the first five minutes…I can almost guarantee. There is just something about it; it can transform, even out, boost confidence or just be plain fun. The issue that so many have with foundations is which one they should buy in a market that is saturated with hundreds of options. It is overwhelming to say the least. So, I have broken down five of my favorite foundations that I use in my professional kit that will cover all ages and skin types. Read on to see if there is anything you should add to your collection.


Oily Skin

Bare Minerals Bare Pro Liquid Foundation

This has been my go to foundation as of late for my normal to combo to oily skin clients. It’s just so lovely. It is a thin liquid that is easy to apply with a brush or sponge equally and mixes so well with beauty oils, moisturizers or an illuminator. Most recently, I have been loving mixing it with this illuminator. On it’s own it has a nice medium to full coverage and is one of the few foundations that I don’t think is absolutely necessary to set due to it’s almost powder down finish. It claims to have a 12 hour wear but I find you can get even more from it when you set it and prep your skin well. This foundation has no SPF which I like. If you are an SPF in your foundation type of person, I strongly urge you to use a separate sunscreen. The protection found in foundations in not near what is required for total sun protection. I LOVE this stuff, and see myself using it for a long time to come.


Dry Skin

Face Atelier Ultra Foundation


This is a staple in makeup artist kits and for good reason. It is one of the most skin like foundations with one of the most glorious dewy finishes that I have ever used. It spreads like magic across the skin whether you use a sponge, a brush or even your fingers. The color range is great and Face Atelier even sells shade adjusters that will help stretch your shade through all seasons. I personally find this light to medium coverage foundation works best on normal to dry skin. The finish is a bit too luminous and the lasting power just isn’t there for oily skin. BUT for normal and dry skin, it’s there and it’s glorious!! I do find that this works best used alone; only on top of moisturizer. Since it has a built in primer in the formula, if you add another primer underneath it can slide around a little. Used correctly, this is one of the most gorgeous foundations that I use on clients.


Giorgio Armani Luminous SilkĀ 

Another makeup artist staple, and again for good reason. It is a gorgeous satin finish that provides a light to medium-full coverage. I don’t find you can get a super full coverage with this, and that is ok with me. I don’t like something too full since letting skin shine through provides the most natural finished look. I do find that even thought I put this under “dry skin” it can work on normal to even combo skins as well. I do find that it works the best when set with some kind of powder. Definitely one to try out!


ALL Skin Types


Givenchy Photo Perfexion FoundationĀ 

This y’all…THIS!!! It’s amazing amazing amazing!!! Can you tell I love this stuff?? It truly is one of the most versatile and fantastic foundations I have used on my clients. It is a solid medium coverage with a natural finish that lasts all day long; no matter your skin type. I mean, all day long! One of my favorite ways to use this is to mix it with strobe cream from MAC and buff really well into the skin with a dense buffing brush. It becomes skin as much as any foundation can. It doesn’t set on top of the skin, settle into fine lines or move in any way throughout the day. And, it doesn’t have such a dry down to where it would be uncomfortable on dry skin. And even though this does have an SPF of 20, it is a chemical screen, so it won’t cause flashback in photos. It really is one to check out and, in my opinion, doesn’t get near enough love.


Osmosis Satin Wear Performance Foundation


Unless you know me personally or have this line in your dermatologist office, you may have never heard of this choice. And while it is my all time favorite foundation on myself, I can’t sit here and say I use it on my clients all the time. I only have one shade, so if they fall within that shade, I do. However, it is one that I am patiently waiting to fill my kit with; I just need to finish up some other brands first. Osmosis is a medical grade mineral skincare brand that also has a color extension within their line. And this foundation is by far the best product they have ever launched. If you want to look put together with a medium to full coverage but still look natural while also using a product you can be sure is good for your skin…THIS is your pick! It works on any and all skin types and lasts through the longest, most strenuous days. It is something that is not talked about enough and can be sure will be a part of my makeup collection for many, many years to come!


I hope you enjoyed this breakdown of my favorite foundations from my professional kit. Have fun shopping!!!

Mandy Davis

Nashville Makeup Artist