Having oily skin means that you can wash your face and it can look shiny or even like an oil slick within 1-2 hours. Most people with oily skin will get excess oil in all areas and not just the T-zone. You can also tell that you have oily skin if your face never gets that complete feeling of being clean. Yes there are steps to take for oil control pre-foundation, but once you accomplish that then you will need the right foundation or all of your prep work can be for nothing.
Basically, oilier skins do not need anything with added oils. Your best bet is to find a water-based foundation. These foundations will be labeled in various ways such as oil-free, matte, or mattyfying. If you are having problems with excess oil and/or breakouts, then Clinique makes a wonderful Clarifying foundation called Clear Skin Formula (Compare Prices). If you don't like using a liquid foundation then try a cream to powder foundation. Most of these are oil-free, but you should check the package to make sure or ask a sales associate.
Combination skin can also sometimes be referred to as T-zone. This means that you can feel or look shiny or oily across your forehead, down your nose, and onto your chin. Most people with combination skin have limited oil that can be bothersome by midday, or say 4-6 hours after washing your face. The bad thing about having combination skin is that in the warmer months your skin can be oilier, while in the cooler months your skin may go more normal to dry. This means that you may need two different foundation formulas depending on the season.
People with combination skin can wear either oil-free or a regular oil-based foundation, depending on the amount of oil and if there are any reoccurring breakout areas. To play it safe, if you skin is combination and does not feel tight after washing then you should choose an oil-free foundation. If you don't like the idea of liquid foundation, then try mineral makeup or oil-free stick foundation. Smashbox makes a great high definition oil-free foundation called Healthy FX foundation (Compare Prices). As with all skin types, a proper skincare regime and prepping products are key to an overall good makeup look.
Those of you unfortunate enough to have dry skin that feels like the Sahara, especially in the winter months, I feel for you. You know you have dry skin if you wash your face and it feels tight after washing it. Sometimes you may see flaking on your nose or other areas, but this is not solely a sign of dryness since oily skin can flake as well. So you should base your assessment on how taught your skin feels after washing and throughout the day. If you have no shine or very minimal within six hours or more of washing, then you more than likely have dry skin. Another misconception is that older women all have dry skin. Age is not always a factor, so it's always better to go with what your skin feels like and looks like throughout the day.
Dry skin needs the added moisture in order for your foundation and the rest of your makeup to look great. The key is having a great pre-makeup routine that gives your skin the moisture it needs, and then using a foundation that will continue to moisturize. Some key foundation types for dry skin are oil-based liquid foundations (especially the ones that have natural oils), mousse foundation, tinted moisturizers, creams, or even mineral makeup. 29 Cosmetics makes a wonderful moisturizing foundation called Varietals (Read Review). If you would rather use a mineral makeup be picky because you don't want one that will dry up your face and make you look cakey or older than you are. A really great mineral makeup to start with is Neutrogena Mineral Sheers (Compare Prices). It's affordable, comes in great colors, and can be purchased anywhere.