Foundation is an important part of most individuals’ makeup routines. Choosing a foundation can be difficult, however, because so many options are available at drugstores, department stores and specialty cosmetics stores. However, several brands of foundation stand out because they offer formulas and colors that can work on a variety of skin types and tones. Chances are you will find a foundation from one of these brands that fits your needs.

M.A.C. Cosmetics

Makeup artists often prefer to use M.A.C. Cosmetics because the brand was originally created with professionals in mind. M.A.C. offers several different types of foundation, which work for most skin types. M.A.C.’s color system for foundation shades uses a letter designation for cool (NC) and warm (NW) tones in the skin and numbers for the light or darkness of the color. In most cases, 10 or 15 indicates the lightest shade, while 55 is usually the darkest. For full coverage, M.A.C. Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 and Studio Tech are the best options. Both Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation and Mineralize Satin Finish SPF 15 Foundation offer medium coverage. For lighter coverage, Studio Fix Moisture Tint SPF 15 or Face and Body Foundation work well. M.A.C. foundations can be purchased at M.A.C. counters in select department stores and M.A.C. freestanding stores, as well as online.

Make Up Forever

Make Up Forever is another brand often used by makeup artists because the company offers a wide range of colors to suit many different skin tones. One of their better-known foundations is the Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover, which is an oil-free formula that offers medium to full coverage. It can be used on sensitive, oily and even dry skin, and photographs well. Make Up Forever also offers a formula geared toward oily skin, Mat Velvet +, which provides a fully matte finish. For lighter coverage, Make Up Forever Face and Body Liquid Makeup is a good choice. Make Up Forever foundations may be purchased from counters at select department stores, Sephora, Make Up Forever boutiques and online.

Bare Escentuals

Bare Escentuals is probably the best-known manufacturer of mineral makeup. Their Bare Minerals foundation has won six “Glamour” magazine Readers’ Awards for “best department/specialty store foundation,” most recently in 2010. Bare Minerals is a loose powder foundation made from natural minerals, such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and mica. It is free of oils, preservatives, talc and wax, so even individuals with extremely sensitive skin can use it. Many people also find it easier to apply than traditional liquid foundation because it can simply be buffed onto the skin using a brush. Two formulas are available: the Original Foundation, which provides a dewy finish, and the Matte Foundation, which provides a shine-free finish. Both have an SPF of 15. Bare Escentuals may be purchased at Bare Escentuals Boutiques, Sephora and online.