Best Foundation Coverage: Learning about Sheer, Medium, & Full + application techniques

Posted December 4, 2019 by Kalyn in Foundation, makeup / 0 Comments

Aaaaand we’re back with the next installment in our foundation series! Today is going to be all about getting the best foundation coverage. We’re going to talk about it all: sheer, medium, full, buildable, and how that all translates on your skin. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my other posts on finding your perfect foundation. So far we’ve discussed undertones and the finish of foundations!

Best Foundation Coverage

The thing people most commonly know about foundation is that it varies in coverage. You can either get sheer, medium, or full coverage from a foundation.

But what exactly do those terms mean? And which coverage will best suit your needs?

That’s what we’re going to be exploring today.


A foundation with sheer coverage doesn’t have much coverage at all. It’ll feel lightweight on the skin and glide on smoothly and easily, giving the appearance of no foundation at all.

Who should buy sheer foundation?

Anyone that wants an easy, no-fuss routine. Sheer foundations are a great option for women who don’t want to spend a lot of time worrying about their foundation.

The sheer foundation coverage means it doesn’t need to perfectly match your skin tone either.

Overall, sheer foundations are pretty low-maintenance. It’s especially great for more mature women, as it won’t collect in any fine lines or wrinkles.

If you have oily skin, you may want to steer clear of sheer foundations, as they may break down quickly on your skin.

What’s the best way to apply sheer foundation?

Sheer foundations are great because they apply easily with your hands – no other tools required. You could use a brush if you wanted to, but I recommend not using a sponge, as it may soak up a lot of the product.

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A foundation with medium coverage is a happy medium for most women. It offers enough coverage to even skin tone and cover small blemishes, but can still be sheered out to allow skin to show through.

Medium coverage foundations have a lot of playing room, because they can swing either way: more sheer or more full coverage.

Who should buy medium coverage foundation?

Medium foundations are very user friendly and come in a variety of finishes, so medium foundations are a good suit for everyone! Women with varying skin types will be able to find a decent foundation with medium coverage.

What’s the best way to apply medium coverage foundation?

Since medium coverage can swing either way, it depends on the coverage you would like. For a more sheer application, use a damp sponge or your finger tips. You can even use buffing motions with a brush for more sheer coverage. For more full coverage, stipple it on with a brush or damp sponge.

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A foundation with full coverage is for those women who want to perfect their complexion. Full coverage foundations offer opaque coverage to cover dark spots, acne scarring, current break outs, melasma, and dark circles.

Who should buy full coverage foundation?

If you want a flawless base or feel like you have a lot you want to cover up, then a full coverage foundation is the way to go.

But be warned that full coverage foundations are high-maintenance! You really need to be sure that you select the right color and you need to be careful about touching your face through out the day.

What’s the best way to apply a full coverage foundation?

The best way to apply a foundation with full coverage is with stippling motions, using either a brush or damp sponge. Definitely never use your fingers and avoiding swiping motions, as lots of full coverage foundations will just look streaky.

One last thing…

I just want to encourage you to wear whatever type of foundation YOU want to wear. I don’t care if you have acne or aging skin, please wear a sheer foundation if you want something more low maintenance. I don’t care if you already have flawless skin and want to wear a foundation with opaque coverage. What type of coverage you wear is entirely up to you!

Have you guys been enjoying this series? Learning a lot? What else do you want to know?

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