Women have been using makeup to alter their appearance for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used copper and lead ore to improve their skin tone, while other ancient cultures used ashes for eyeliner and berries for lipstick. In some cases, this experimentation turned deadly as women used arsenic, lead, mercury and leeches in pursuit of beauty [source: WebMD].
You'll undoubtedly see a wide variety of foundation options when you walk through a cosmetics aisle. However, you'll notice that liquid foundations are by far the most common option. Liquid foundations are available for people with normal, dry or oily skin, and they offer the greatest variety of colors, formulas and costs [source: Dolezal].
Liquid foundations are available in water-based and oil-based formulas, and each type has a slightly different look to better match your particular needs. Water-based foundations blend more easily over the face, giving the skin a smooth, even look with a little bit of shine. Water-based formulas typically work well for people with oily or acne-prone skin. Oil-based foundations, on the other hand, are often greasier and work well for people with dry skin or wrinkles. Because of their thickness, oil-based products are able to trap moisture within the skin, making it appear shiner than water-based formulas [source: Colino]. When applying liquid foundation to the skin, use small brushes or a dry sponge to evenly spread the makeup across your face [source: Kaylor].
Liquid foundations vary in cost -- bottles can range in price from a few dollars to $60 or more. If you opt for the higher-priced bottle of beauty, you may want to do your homework to make sure it's worth the investment.
If liquid foundations don't work well for your skin type, you may want to consider a matte foundation. Keep reading to learn more.