Foundation Finishes Explained


Ceryn Signature

Shopping for the right foundation finish can be a difficult task. With so many options it’s hard to know where to begin, but right here is great start!

When it comes to foundations one size does not fit all. It’s important to find a formula that works with your skin not against it, ensuring you get the best possible result. But, how do you choose? The answer is right here…


How to pick the finish for you…

• Consider how important coverage is to you. If you have clear skin you may not need a full coverage foundation, so a sheer or dewy finish may be perfect. But, if you have acne-prone skin, you may be more comfortable with the coverage a matte finish has to offer.

• Think about the texture of your skin. If you’re not a fan of your skin looking shiny then a sheer or dewy finish may not give you the look you want. And likewise, if you don’t like your skin to look flat and without a glow, avoid a matte finish.

Longevity should also be on your radar. Matte finishes will last longer than a sheer finish, so if topping up isn’t for you, go for satin or matte.


Some people will know right away, which foundation they should go for; others like myself, may find that they could wear a few. And, that’s crucial to remember, you can whatever finish you like, it’s subjective. Now, let’s get some more info and see what they look like on!




bareMinerals Complexion Rescue

What is a sheer finish? The main things to know about sheer finish foundations is that they look natural on the skin and feel ultra lightweight. Designed to even out minor imperfections, sheer finish foundations allow your skin to shine through, enhancing your skin rather than masking it. Sheer finish foundations are more like moisturisers with a subtle tint.

Who should wear a sheer finish? Sheer finish foundations can be worn by all skin types, however they’re usually best suited to dry and combination skin types that like natural coverage and a lightweight feel. If full coverage isn’t important to you, then a sheer foundation may be just what you’re after.

Who should avoid a sheer finish? All skin types can wear a sheer finish foundation, however those with oily skin may find it makes their skin look greasy. Coverage will also sway people away from a sheer foundation, as it is very minimal; but, if you have problematic skin that you don’t want to overload, a sheer foundation could be perfect (pair it with a mattifying powder to minimise excess oil).

Our Pick: 
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Tinted Gel Cream SPF30
The bareMinerals Complexion Rescue was the first foundation to pop into my head when I thought sheer finish. A cult favourite, this foundation is everything you could want in a sheer foundation; lightweight, comfortable and super hydrating.

With sheer-to-light coverage, I wear this foundation at the weekend when I want to give my skin a break from heavy duty makeup. Perfect for evening out skin tone, correcting minor imperfections and making skin look healthy; the Complexion Rescue is a great no makeup, makeup option.

Infused with marine botanicals, which replenish, mineral electrolytes that energise; and heart-leaf globe daisy, which protects against oxidative stress; the Complexion Rescue is as much skincare as it is makeup.




Laura Geller Baked Liquid Radiance Foundation
What is a dewy finish? When you think dewy finish, think glowing and youthful-looking skin. Dewy finish foundations allow shine through, giving skin a post-facial type glow that exudes radiance and luminosity.

Who should wear a dewy finish? A dewy finish foundation is best suited to those with dry or mature skin (without pronounced wrinkles) as they reflect light, which softens the skin and creates a youthful glow.

Who should avoid a dewy finish foundation? Some people find that dewy foundations can look wet on the skin, especially if their skin is already oily. Also, as dewy finish foundations are all about enhancing the skin’s radiance, they can draw attention to blemishes and deep wrinkles, so acne-prone/oily skin and mature skin with deep wrinkles may want to avoid.

Our Pick:
Laura Geller Baked Liquid Radiance Foundation
If you want coverage but hate the feeling of heavy makeup, then this foundation is made for you. The Baked Liquid Radiance Foundation has a second-skin feel, and leaves skin with a beautiful flawless glow that is both comfortable and natural. This dewy finish foundation is perfect for days that you want your skin to look like skin, but want more coverage than a sheer foundation has to offer.

Crafted with aloe vera juice and an essential oil complex, in a water-rich formula, the Baked Liquid Radiance Foundation will soothe and moisturise your skin while you wear it, ensuring your skin feels as good as it looks.




Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Natural Perfection
What is a satin finish? A satin finish foundation is right in between dewy and matte. Considered the most common foundation finish, a satin finish isn’t as flat as a matte finish or as shiny as a dewy finish, it hovers perfectly in between.

Who should wear a satin finish? All skin types will enjoy a satin finish, however oily skin types will reap the benefits of pairing it with a powder. Also, mature skin may find that satin finishes look best, as they won’t accentuate fine lines and wrinkles.

Who should avoid a satin finish? Everyone can wear a satin finish, however it does have a heavier feel on the skin, which may be off-putting for some.

Our Pick: 
Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Natural Perfection – Skin – Fusion Texture SPF20
Newly launched, the Lingerie de Peau Foundation has become my go-to foundation in record timing. Why I hear you ask? Well, the first time I tried this foundation I was inundated with compliments on how great my skin looked, so as you can imagine it quickly became a firm favourite.

The Lingerie de Peau Foundation definitely leaves the skin glowing, however it doesn’t dry shiny, which makes it the perfect satin finish pick. Formulated with skin-fusing technology (inspired by the world of fabric), this glow-enhancing foundation is definitely in it’s own satin league; offering good coverage and radiance that doesn’t look shiny or greasy. Deep in the formula are mesh correcting pigments and powders, which leaves the skin looking… well, there’s only one word for it: flawless. And, you don’t have to take my word for it, even mega blogger A Model Recommends is obsessed; read her rave review here.




Dior Diorskin Forever
What is a Matte finish? Matte finish foundations have no shine to them and tend to dry flat, which makes them ideal for oily skin types as they reduce the appearance of pores.

Who should wear a Matte finish? Oily and combination skin types will benefit most from a matte foundation, as they last longer on the skin and help to minimise the appearance of pores and imperfections.

Who should avoid a matte finish? Dry skin and mature skin with wrinkles may want to steer clear of matte finish foundations, as the formula will cling to, and accentuate problem areas. Also, if full coverage isn’t for you, matte finish foundations may feel too heavy.

Our Pick: 
DIOR Diorskin Forever Foundation SPF35
When a foundation has been around for as long as Diorskin Forever has, you know it must be good. Recently reformulated, this matte foundation is loved by many, including me.

The new formula has so many amazing additions that make it the perfect pick for someone looking for a matte, long-wearing foundation with excellent coverage. Firstly, a Poreless Effect skincare essence helps to minimise the appearance of pores. Secondly, an Activ-Mat™ complex does exactly what it says on the tin, it keep skin matte and shine free. And last but certainly not least, a combination of Wear-Lock™ polymers ensure the foundation stays perfectly in place all-day long.

I personally like to wear Diorskin Forever on days that I may be out of the house all day, and unable to touch-up my makeup. I know when I apply this in the morning, my skin will still look great come 5pm.


Over to you!

Now that you’re all clued up on foundation finishes, which is for you? Tweet me at @EscentualCeryn or comment below!


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