Before applying foundation you want to make sure to take care of your skin. Apply an oil-free moisturizer and if you are oily apply a primer or mattifier. I personally love MAC's Prep+Prime Face Protect SPF 50. The face protect is designed to absorb oil and contains an oil-absorbing powder to mattify the skin and prevent oil from breaking through. As an added bonus it has an SPF to protect from the sun. Feel free to use whatever primer or mattifier you like.
After you have moisturized and primed the skin you want to make sure to use an oil-free foundation, powder or tinted moisturizer. I tend to stay away from cream products in the Spring/Summer months here because it is just too hot and the foundation does not last. It is only April and we are already dealing with 80 to 90 degree weather!
There are tons of matte foundations on the market you just have to test out the one's you like. Most department store counter's will give you samples. You can also email companies and ask for samples of their products. This allows you to then test out the foundations without buying a million different types only to find out they don't work for you.
One of my favorite foundation's is Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet + foundation. I admit that 70 is a bit dark for me, so it is best for me to mix 65 and 70 to get a better match. This foundation is nice and matte and gives a medium to full coverage. It really does apply to the skin like velvet. I like to apply this foundation using the Adesign Pointed foundation brush. Remember though, that if you don't like full coverage you can always sheer your foundation's out with moisturizer. Just mix an equal amount of moisturizer with your foundation and apply.
My color: 70
I really like Shu Uemura Face Architect Smoothing Fluid foundation(I think this may be discontinued). I have found it on ebay. This foundation gives a natural satin finish to the skin. It is a medium coverage foundation. I like to use the Hakuhodo G544 powder/liquid brush to apply this foundation. I really like how lightweight it feels on the skin.
My color: 524
Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover foundation is oil-free and gives a medium to full coverage. It is a bit of a creamier liquid, but applies really smooth and evenly. The color was quite a nice match for me. I use MAC's 187 brush to apply this foundation. I found that this gave my skin a natural satin finish.
My color: 173
One foundation that surprised me was NARS Sheer Glow and Matte foundations. When I first tried them I was not too impressed. It didn't seem like the color and coverage was the best. I gave it another try and was pleasantly surprised to find that the color and coverage were quite nice. I don't know if I used a different brush or what happened, but the foundation just worked. The coverage is really nice and light. I would say that it was a light to medium coverage. The NARS Sheer Glow gave me a satin finish. I didn't feel like I had a glow, and I didn't feel dewy. I just felt like my skin looked fresh and moisturized.
The NARS Sheer Matte foundaion does mattify my skin. It is also a light to medium coverage. The wear on these foundation was nice. I did not notice any fading on me. Mind you I am not extremely oily. My skin is combination normal/oily in the t-zone. I use the MAC 188 brush to apply these foundations.
My color: Cadiz
One of my fave's before I fell in love with MUFE's Matte Velvet + was MAC Studio Fix Fluid. This foundation is definitely for the matte lover's. It gives a medium to full coverage. The color's will fool you. Some colors may seem light when initially applied, but once blended they melt into the skin. I love to apply this foundation using the MAC 187 brush. I love the way the brush buffs and blends the foundation.
My color: NC45
MAC Pro Longwear SPF 10 foundation is a favorite among some of my clients. It is not particularly for me, because I find it a bit drying. For those who are super oily this foundation is love. This foundation claims 15 hours of wear. I don't know about that in this type of weather, but it is a long wearing foundation, maybe 8 to 10 hours. Be careful if you are not the really oily type. This foundation can feel a little tight on the skin. When applying I suggest you apply it to one side of the face at a time, because if you apply it all over it may dry on one side of the face before you get a chance to blend it out. I like to use the Billy B. Beauty Two foundation brush to apply this foundation.
My color: NC45
I don't really wear a lot of tinted moisturizers because I like medium to full coverage foundations. Also, if I want sheerer coverage I just mix moisturizer in the foundation I already have. A tinted moisturizer is basically what the name states, a moisturizer that has a small amount of foundation mixed in. These are great for those who want the 'no makeup, makeup look'. Tinted moisturizers are also great for those with beautiful skin, because they give light coverage and give the skin a refreshed healthy glow.
When I do wear a tinted moisturizer I wear MAC Face and Body. It is super sheer and light. It claims to be waterproof and sweat-proof, but I didn't find that to be true. The color still rubbed off like a regular foundation. I usually wear this foundation with a pressed powder for added coverage and to matte out my skin. Face and Body gives a very dewy finish to the skin so would definitely need to add a blot, loose or pressed powder to matte out the skin. I use the Billy B. Beauty Two foundation brush or MAC 188 brush to apply this foundation.
My color: C7
Other tinted moisturizer's that get raves are Make Up For Ever's Face and Body Liquid Makeup and Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20.
Make Up For Ever Face and Body Liquid Makeup is a bit thicker in texture than MAC's, but has the same sheer coverage.
My color: Camel 18
Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 has more coverage than both the MAC and Make Up For Ever Face and Body foundations. It could really be more of a light foundation, because the coverage is not as sheer.
Most of my clients prefer powder. They want something quick and easy. So I have used my fair share of powders. I don't really like to use powder on it's own for weddings and photo shoots, because they tend to reflect flash and they don't look as natural on their own as a liquid or cream does.
MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus foundation is among the most well-known and probably one of the most controversial. This a foundation you love or hate! This powder can go from light to full coverage. A lot of people who have used this foundation say that this powder caused their skin to breakout in acne. Other people say that they absolutely love the feel and coverage of the foundation.
I rarely wear powder foundations, but when I wear Studio Fix I don't have any problems with it. It does give me great coverage. I don't find that it wears as well on my skin as liquid or cream, but I get at least 4 to 6 hours of wear out the foundation.
My color: NC45 or C7 when I get a bit darker
Graftobian HD Pro Powder foundation is probably my favorite foundation! The coverage is phenomenal and the color range is spectacular. This foundation looks great even when photographed. I use it for brides and on photo shoots all the time and have not had the 'ghost face' issue when the flash hits the face. This foundation gives medium to full coverage. If you are looking for a matte finish and want a powder foundation that gives flawless coverage, Graftobian powder foundation is the one! You can purchase these powders individually or by the palette.
My color: Cleopatra
If you are looking for a mineral pressed powder foundation then Cover FX Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 10 is a really good one. It has a silky, matte finish and feels really lightweight on the skin. It lasts well on the skin and there are quite a few colors to choose from. This foundation can go from light to medium full coverage.
My color: B0
A nice light coverage powder that I started using about a month ago is Rock & Republic Exhibition Pressed Powder. This powder is not a foundation, but a pressed powder that you can use to set your liquid or cream foundation or wear alone when you want sheer coverage. The powder gives a sheer to medium coverage and has a very silky feel. When I apply this powder over Shu Uemura Face Architect or MUFE Matte Velvet + I get a soft focus effect. The colors look a lot darker online than they do in person. So if you feel like the color may be a bit dark, don't worry it will probably be a good match. Rock & Republic cosmetics usually goes on sale on Hautelook, so make sure to be on the lookout for sales.
My color: Chenille
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural is among professional Makeup Artists favorites. The natural satin finish it gives to the skin is beautiful. The skinfinish is baked for 24 hours and made up of water and 77 different minerals. The subtle sheen this powder gives the skin is quite lovely. Be warned that this powder does oxidize so I would go a shade lighter in color. I love the finish I get when I apply this powder with the Beauty Blender sponge!
My color: Medium Deep, but it is still a bit dark on me.
One of the newest powders that I have added to my list of loves is MAC Studio Careblend/Pressed Powder. This pressed powder gives the skin that airbrush, flawless finish! I also use this powder over my liquid or cream foundation and it really helps to smooth over any imperfections and soften the appearance of fine lines on the skin. This powder does not oxidize on me like a lot of other powders. The Studio Careblend powder reminds me of one of my favorite powders ever, the old MAC Studio Finish pressed powder. I love to apply this foundation with the Hakuhodo 210 blush brush.
My color: Medium Deep
MAC Blot Powder Pressed is my favorite translucent pressed powder. This powder only has 3% color and is 97% colorless. This is great for taking away shine without adding any color to your face. I like to press the sponge into my face to absorb the oil versus wiping it across my face. Also you want to make sure to replace your powder sponge every two to three weeks so that you don't get oil build up on your product making the powder hard and cakey. This also helps to keep bacteria at bay.
My color: Dark
Please remember that you can use whatever products you like. These are a list of products that I have used on myself and clients and they work for me.
I hope this helps you to get some longevity in your face products and helps to keep you shine free! Be on the lookout for tips on eyes, cheeks and lips!