We hope you love our recommendations! Some may have been sent as samples, but all were independently selected by our editors. Just FYI, BuzzFeed and its publishing partners may collect a share of sales and/or other compensation from the links on this page.

    Here's Everything You Need To Know About Foundation

    You thought you knew everything you needed to know until today. Surprise!

    1. Test foundation shades on your neck *not* your arm. Chances are your arm is actually darker than your face, thanks to its constant exposure to the elements (aka sun).

    2. Consider which kind of foundation you prefer: there's liquid and powder. Powder is better for matte (but generally lighter) coverage, while liquid is dewier and can conceal more.

    3. Identify your skin's undertones as a sure-fire way to properly pick the right shade for your complexion. Checking the color of your veins is an easy way to do so!

    4. Also keep in mind the "burn test": how easily your skin tans and burns will indicate your undertones (aka what kind of shade your foundation should be).

    5. Can't decide between two shades? Go for the lighter. The foundation will most likely deepen as it warms up on your skin anyway, so lighter is a safer bet.

    6. Narrow down your search for foundations by identifying your skin type. Foundations are usually specialized for different concerns like oily, dry, acne prone, etc. Good thing there's this quiz to help you!

    7. Begin your routine with a Maybelline primer to create a smooth and long-lasting base for your foundation. Tldr: this will make your foundation stay 👏 put 👏.

    8. Apply your foundation with a kabuki or buffing brush rather than a paddle brush if you're a beginner. The softer bristles make it far easier to blend!

    9. Assign your products the proper order so that everything works to their full effect. For example, serums will just sit on top of your skin if put on after moisturizer. And that's just a one way ticket to Cakey Makeup Express.

    10. Rely on a shine-controlling option, like Maybelline's Fit Me foundation if you have oily skin. It features micro-powders that both absorb excess oil and blur pores — aka you're good to go all darn day. T-zone? I don't know her.

    11. Moisturize five to ten minutes before applying your foundation so your skin has a chance to actually absorb your product (which helps foundation spread evenly). Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is well-known for creating a great base for your makeup!

    12. USE 👏 SUNSCREEN 👏 FIRST. EVERY DAY. Even if your foundation has some included, dermatologists recommend you include a base, as well (UV rays are no joke, my friends!). Supergoop! sunscreen has foundation in mind so it won't clog your skin or make you look cakey.

    13. Try a well-loved crowd pleaser, like Makeup Forever's Ultra HD foundation if you have combo skin. It keeps your face hydrated, but also blends comfortably for a "second-skin feel" so you get the best of both worlds.

    14. Don't be afraid to ask for help from a sales associate — that's why they're there! They are TRAINED for this! A good sales associate will be able to match your complexion to a fitting foundation after just a few questions.

    15. Or take a test online — brands like Fenty Beauty have an optional interactive tool that takes all your traits into consideration before recommending a shade.

    16. Cut a tissue into four pieces and stick it on your face as a super-simple test for identifying what kind of foundation you need. The amount of tissue that stays on your face will tell you how oily your skin is!

    17. Wait around 30 minutes after testing out a new foundation to see if it oxidizes. Is there anything worse? Personally, I don't think so.

    18. Stick to a hydrating style, like Revlon's ColorStay Makeup if you have dry skin. Its formula contains hyaluronic acid to effectively hydrate your skin over time, because anyone with dry skin knows the goal is to MOISTURIZE.

    19. Turn to a color-correcting concealer if foundation isn't doing enough. The trick is knowing which color will neutralize your concern! For example, green has long been used as a solution to red pimples.

    20. Opt for a skin-clearing formula if the rest of your routine is focused on treating breakouts (why stop at makeup?). Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup Foundation puts skincare first by using an antioxidant blend to actually improve your complexion over time.

    21. Focus on brands that actually offer a wide variety of shades if you're struggling to find ~the one~. Fenty, Maybelline, and Nars are just some options that carry up to 40 shades!

    22. Keep up with seasons by adjusting your beauty routine. If your foundation isn't staying on suddenly come summer, try exfoliating more to control sweat and oil. Flakey finish in the winter? Time to moisturize like no tomorrow.

    23. Position your brush downward when putting on your foundation — gliding it in this direction eliminates those pesky errant bristles that sometimes get stuck on your face.

    24. Accept the help of a Tarte foundation stick if you're overwhelmed by all things makeup. It's super easy to apply and has all the same effects of a traditional foundation.

    25. Check your foundation's finish in natural light before leaving for the day to avoid any midday "ok but why is my face %$#*@ orange right now?" moments. If your room doesn't have a lot of sunlight, a well-lit mirror will do the trick!

    26. Blend your makeup seamlessly with a beauty sponge. It makes it extremely easy to even out your foundation and make it actually look natural.

    27. Adjust the shade of your foundation with color-correcting drops if the original shade is not *quite* right. It's a much cheaper way to get the hue you're looking for without having to try yet another brand.

    28. ~Seal the deal~ with Urban Decay setting spray so your hard work stays put rain or shine. I'm not exaggerating — this will literally keep every drop of foundation pristine on your face through every form of inclement weather. That pimple is staying COVERED, darn it.

    29. Get every last drop of your foundation with a Spatty. You paid good money for your products, you should be using every bit of it!

    30. Build up your coverage if going for a fuller look, rather than starting heavy right off the bat. This way you can fix any mistakes before it's too late.

    31. Drop a little bit of primer oil into your concealer or foundation for a more dewy *glow*. It's easy to blend, looks more like your natural complexion, and can cheaply let you experiment if you're looking to veer from matte.

    32. Consider options like Glossier's stretch concealer if you want to dabble in foundation but still prioritize skincare. Brands like Glossier include major health benefits (hello, avocado and jojoba oil) so you can enjoy the perks of both!

    33. Start in the center of your face and guide your brush (or sponge) outward in the shape of a star when applying foundation. This way the concentration of your makeup is in the center (where it really belongs) and thins out along your hairline.

    34. Consider a tinted BB cream if you don't like the idea of "wearing a lot of makeup." Its consistency should always feel like you're bare-faced (because you basically are). IPKN Moist & Firm Beauty Balm offers just enough coverage for a brightened but natural complexion.

    35. Prefer your fingers? That's actually fine. Some people prefer this, as the heat from your hands can melt the foundation as your apply (making it easy to blend).

    36. Blend two different shades of foundations together if you want a simple way to contour. Start with your regular shade and then apply one shade darker to your cheekbones, forehead, and chin. Voilà: you are an artiste now!

    You waiting for people to do notice *that something different about you* like:

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!