The Foundation Guide Part 1 - Finding your Perfect Coverage

Posted by Sara Wainwright on

The Calla Lane Foundation Guide Part 1

Finding your Perfect Coverage


Finding the perfect foundation can be quite a journey. I want to start off by saying that “Makeup is not a tattoo”. It’s ok to go through some trial and error to find the perfect match for your already fabulous face. At the end of the day, you can always wipe it off and start over.

Let’s get into Part 1 of our Foundation Guide...the easiest and quickest way to find the perfect coverage clean foundation. I promise to keep it simple!


Coverage means how “see-through” you want your foundation to be. The scale ranges from sheer to full coverage. To make things a little clearer (see what I did there), I like using the panty hose-tights-leggings analogy: 

  • Panty hose are your sheer coverage (i.e. you can see your legs and feel a cool breeze through panty hose. It feels like your legs can "breathe") 
  • Tights are more of a medium coverage (you can still see your legs through tights but you won't notice light bruises or veins as much. You'll also feel more "covered up" in tights)
  • Leggings are your full coverage (it's basically like wearing a second skin. You can't see your legs through leggings)

Understanding coverage will affect the shade match. The fuller the coverage, the more spot-on your shade match has to be because you’re essentially creating a second skin. The more sheer the coverage, the more the makeup will take on your natural skin tone. Sheer products are more forgiving because they allow more of your natural skin to shine through.

So, look at what skin conditions you want to cover and how you want your face to feel when wearing your foundation to determine what your coverage needs to be.

Sheer coverage

  • If your looking to achieve that coveted "no makeup makeup look" by subtly evening out your skin tone without a mask-like feeling, sheer coverage may be your cup of tea. 
  • Sheer foundation may also be an option for warmer weather or on days when you don't feel like having a product with a "heavier feeling" on.
  • You can build up coats of sheer foundation if you choose, by using a damp Beautyblender (or makeup sponge) to create a natural finish. 
  • Sheer foundation works best on normal to dry skin types as well as mature skins as the product won't settle into fine lines or wrinkles. 
    • Having said that don't count sheer foundation out entirely if your skin does have spots or pigmentation. In the event you still want to give a sheer foundation a try, having a good concealer at hand will be a game changer. With the right concealer, you can address your skin concerns without caking on too much product.  
    • If you have oily skin, you may need to check the ingredients to make sure that there aren't any that will make your skin look and feel too oily.
    • Sheer coverage usually comes from Tinted moisturisers, BB Creams and CC Creams.

    Note: The Hey Gorgeous Tinted Moisturiser offered at Calla Lane provides subtle radiance rather than coverage. For sheer coverage, we recommend adding a small amount of either the Inthusiasm Liquid Foundation or the Dr. Hauschka Foundation to your moisturiser. 

    Medium coverage
    • Medium coverage describes a foundation that creates an even canvas while maintaining a natural skin finish. 
    • This foundation coverage level is the most commonly requested, because it's buildable (meaning that however much you slather on will affect whether it's a lighter finish or more full coverage). One thin layer may still show your freckles a little bit, but with another, you'll start to cover them up. 
    • What's more, by mixing your moisturizer with a medium coverage foundation, you can sheer it out to create a lighter feel and a less covered up look. 
    • Medium coverage usually comes from most liquid foundations and some powder foundations. 
    At Calla Lane, the Inthusiasm Liquid Foundation and Dr. Hauschka Foundation provide light to medium buildable coverage. Drier skin types may prefer the Dr. Hauschka Foundation

      Full coverage

      • To really make your skin look completely even-toned, full coverage foundation is the way to go.
      • Full coverage foundation is meant to completely cover the skin.
      • Like medium coverage, these formulas are also buildable, so you can either layer more on or add moisturizer to sheer it out a bit.
      • Full coverage foundation may be called in just when you need it, like if you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, or if you've just noticed a few new spots cropping up. In these cases, a tinted moisturizer may not be up to the task and that’s where more full coverage foundation could come into play.
      • Fuller coverage usually comes from some liquids, most cream/stick foundations or powder foundations.

        At Calla Lane, the Hey Gorgeous Liquid Matte Foundation provides medium to full coverage and is suitable for all skin types. 

        We hope that this post has helped. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 where we cover finish and shade matching. 

        As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have so get in touch!

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