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How to find the best foundation color shade for you

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

  • To find your perfect foundation shade, you should always dab a bit on your jawline and neck first.
  • Checking the color match on your neck and jaw prevents jarring discrepancies and results in the ideal hue.
  • Your face gets the most sun exposure while your neck receives the least, so you want to find a foundation shade that matches both areas when blended into the skin.

When you’re shopping for foundation, a solid color match needs to take top priority. But we’ve all made the mistake of picking a foundation that looks great on our cheeks, only to discover that it’s a completely different shade from our necks, making it look like we’re wearing a mask. Not cute.

The best way to avoid the dreaded line of foundation demarcation involves testing the foundation on different areas in order to determine the best color match. INSIDER asked a group of makeup artists to learn the best specific spots for foundation swatching. Our panel suggested a region that receives a lesser amount of sun exposure than the cheeks or nose, but enough to allow a seamless color blend throughout the face.

According to our experts, the sweet spot for foundation testing is the jawbone.

Many sources recommend the neck for foundation swatching, but the color discrepancy between the face and the neck proves too drastic for a natural match.

“The neck does not get the same amount of sun as the face, [so] it can be a different color completely,” warns Lora Alexander of Pretty Your World . “The foundation goes on the face, so it should be tested on the face to see if it ‘disappears’ into the skin.”

Jennifer Charm of Carabella Cosmetics said she likes the jawbone for swatching because of its proximity to the neck and decollete: “The hands and arms [popular suggestions for swatching] won’t give as close a match to the face as a region of the face itself. The face is smaller than other parts of the body, and it has more differently-toned areas. You’re looking for the ideal color to blend from the face to the neck and decollete.”

After swatching on your jawline to find the right shade, you’ll want to ensure the match with a streak test.

“Color matching is done by creating stripes of color from the center of the cheek down to the neck. The face is where we get the most sun exposure and the neck is where we get the least, so if you are able to identify a color that matches both areas, you’ve found the right choice,” advises Ami Mallon of Osmosis Colour Mineral Cosmetics .

So all it takes is a quick, two-step process: dab on your jawline for an initial match, then lock it in with a streak test from the cheek apex to the neck. Well worth the extra 30 seconds, we’d have to say.

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Step one: Understand your undertones.

Foundation sets the stage for the rest of your makeup. Unlike your favorite eyeshadow, blush, or bronzer, you want foundation to blend in more than you want it to stand out. A good foundation should create a seamless, natural-looking color that evens out your complexion. When applied correctly, the best foundation shouldn’t be seen at all. But picking the right foundation shade to do that can be tricky. According to one 2007 study conducted by Estée Lauder, up to 94% of women were wearing the wrong color foundation. And the wrong shade can make you look washed out, dull, or ruddy instead of radiant and glowy.

The key is finding a color that looks like a second skin, since you have to get the base layer of your makeup right to build the rest around it (hello, contouring). So we asked makeup artists to explain how to find your best foundation shade, and they’ve got you covered—literally.

How to find the right foundation shade:

1. Understand your undertones.

“Undertones are the shades that peak beneath the color of your skin that can be seen with the natural eye,” says pro makeup artist and YouTuber Kat Sketch. She explains that though undertones can come in a variety of shades, the main three are cool, neutral, and warm.

  • Cool undertones denote hints of pink or blue;
  • Warm undertones denote hints of yellow or gold;
  • And neutral undertones mean you have an even mix of warm and cool tones.

To determine what kind of undertones you have, flip your hand over and look at the veins in your wrist. Notice the color of the veins and how they look to the naked eye. If your veins look greenish, then you have warm undertones. If your veins look bluer, you may have cool undertones. If your veins look closer to your skin color or they’re more undetectable, you may have neutral undertones.

For the most natural look, you’ll to want to choose a foundation shade that matches these undertones. However, Luis Carrero, the artistry educator for shade-inclusive line KVD Vegan Beauty, says you can opt for a slightly cooler tone to get a brightening effect or a slightly warmer tone to get a sun-kissed complexion. “It’s all about what you’d like your complexion to look like,” he says.

2. Swatch out a few options.

Makeup artist Lauren D’Amelio recommends choosing three shades of your desired foundation that look close to your skin, then applying each in a vertical line from your cheek to your neck. Apply each one next to each other to see which blends the most, and which you like the best.

According to D’Amelio, “Many people are lighter or darker on their face and if you match the foundation to just your face color, it may not blend seamlessly into your neck and chest—which no one wants!” This can make your foundation look like a mask and create a visible line of demarcation. To avoid this, don’t stop the foundation at the jawline. Blend it out a tiny bit on your neck and chest for the most natural, seamless color all around.

3. Check them out in different lighting.

Whether you’re testing shades out in a store or trying out some samples at home, try and move to a window or somewhere where you can view yourself in natural light. This will allow you to see the pigments most clearly. If the shade is too light, you might notice yourself looking washed-out or ashy. If the shade is too dark, your complexion may look ruddy. Ideally, you should barely be able to tell you’re wearing foundation when you look at it in natural light.

4. Consider the coverage level.

Sure, we all love a heavy-duty, full-coverage foundation for covering up blemishes like acne, dark spots, and discoloration, but a thicker formula leaves less margin for error when it comes to selecting the correct shade. A medium or sheer coverage formula can provide a more buildable finish, which can be easier to blend in with your skin tone.

5. Take a shade-matching quiz.

Thank goodness for digital color-matching technology. This is a great way to find your foundation shade online. “Some brands offer amazing foundation quizzes on their websites that walk you through step-by-step toward finding the best foundation selection,” says Carrero. The quizzes will usually walk you through a series of questions where you’ll select the photos that look closest to your skin color, identify your skin needs/concerns, and select what your undertones are. Then, you’ll be able to shop or select the proper shade, right from the website. Drugstore brands like L’Oréal Paris, CoverGirl, and Revlon have complexion-matching applications on their websites, and Ulta has a shade-finding feature that helps you take a quiz by brand. This can be particularly useful since you often can’t try on drugstore products before purchasing.

6. Shop shade-inclusive foundation brands.

“Another tip that I recommend is to look for brands that offer many foundations shades and undertones,” says Carrero. “These are thoughtfully developed to match a full range of skin tones and undertones, so you’re more likely to find something that’s a fit for you. ” Below are some shade-inclusive brands to try.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Foundation is intended to cover up deficiencies in the skin. However, it may damage your image if you do not match your skin colour with colour of the foundation.

Makeup seems easier at a first glance. However, not every woman can impose and select the right makeup on her face. Applying make-up is a fine art since the main purpose of makeup is to highlight good features and hide the flaws.

Therefore, we should be careful to choose foundation colour before applying makeup because correctly executed makeup can transform an ordinary woman into an inconspicuous real beauty.

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Instructions

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Probe and test any makeup item if you do not want to be mistaken with the colour tones of the foundation. Put the cream on the outside of the palm, on the cheeks, chin and neck. Look closely at the colour combination of cosmetic products with your natural colour of the skin after standing in front of a mirror. It is recommended to match the shade during daylight. The main difficulty behind choosing the right foundation colour is to check whether it perfectly matches the colour of the skin.

If possible, try to stick with just two shades of the same brand – lighter and a little darker. Mix them, to make a suitable colour at home. You can match the foundation colour to skin colour with the help of a yellow or golden caster corrector. If you learn how to dilute and pick the right shade of the tonal cream for you personally then you will have no difficulties in treating problems such as the removal of bruises under eyes or face contour adjustment with all of the same foundation with more saturated colour.

Choose a foundation that’s best for your skin type and tone. Most often, these cosmetics are presented in the form of fluids, creams or gels. When applied to the skin, all of these additives are mixed with the base which gives the face a smooth and radiant appearance. Many foundations contain reflective particles and give the face an additional glow. If your face is greasy, you should not use it.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Finding the correct foundation for you takes time. You have to carefully look through all the different options in order to find the one which is going to be the best choice for you, and this can be a lengthy process.

Thankfully, there are things that you can do to identify the correct foundation for your needs and requirements without considerable resources and funding. We will be examining the method used to identify the correct color face foundation for your skin tone.

Identifying Your Undertone

The first step in identifying what kind of foundation will be best for you is to find your undertone. This is a base tone which exists in your skin and will determine what kind of foundation you will need.

There are typically three different categories for undertones. These are warm, cold, and neutral. A warm undertone will represent skin best suited to yellow, peach or golden. A cold undertone will indicate skin which is more adjusted to red, blue and pink. A neutral undertone is one which can have a combination of cold and warm colors.

There are a selection of tests which you can do to identify what kind of undertone you have. Someone who is naturally blonde, black or brown with grey, blue or green eyes would be best suited to a cool undertone, then your ideal foundation will be one which has a red or blue base. Sable, rose and cocoa are all recommended shades to consider.. Contrastingly, someone with naturally black, strawberry blonde or auburn hair would best suit a warm undertone if they have hazel, amber or brown eyes.

Understanding Your Skin Type

Everybody has a different type of skin. While it is not mandatory for identifying the shade of foundation, it is important to know your skin type for the best results.

Oily skin will require a matte finish or an oil-free offering, and dry skin will require a moisturizing foundation. Sensitive skin will need an aromaless, hypoallergenic foundation, and an uneven complexion will need a full effect foundation.

Use Your Skin as a Guideline

If you are unsure about which foundation will be right for you, you need to use your skin as a guideline in your experimentation. Remember that undertone – it will come in handy later.

If you are someone who has a warm undertone, you should look for a foundation which has a golden or yellow base. Appropriate shades for you will include things like tan, caramel, chestnut, and beige.

If you are someone who has a cool undertone, then your ideal foundation will be one which has a red or blue base. Sable, rose and cocoa are all recommended shades to consider.

Those with a neutral undertone may explore both options, but if you are looking for a unique offering, then foundation which comes in shades of nude, Ivory or buff will be good choices.

Test Each Choice

When looking for the correct foundation it is important to select something which is relevant to your skin. These guidelines are generic and are not a guarantee of a perfect fit.

To ensure an accurate match, you should test each shade and see if it matches your skin tone. Obviously, you are searching for something which provides you with the closest match, so your makeup looks natural. It is important to experiment and test, but thankfully you will not need a large quantity to do so.

Overall, these are the steps you should take to find the ideal skin tone for your needs. It is not easy to do by any means, but it is an important part of making sure that you look your best and have collected enough resources to properly do your makeup. Foundation is an important part of this because it gives you the blank canvas that you need to apply makeup properly. Naturally, this makes finding it an important part of the process, and so it is important to take the time to find your ideal choices. It can be a challenge, without a doubt, but it can also be incredibly worth it to get it right, which is why a lot of people will spend a long time trying to make it work out.

Remember, experimentation is key, as understands your undertone!

These hacks are game changing.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

I hate to break it to you, but chances are, you’re wearing the wrong foundation right now. Don’t freak, that doesn’t mean you’re completely clueless. Shopping for foundation—whether it’s liquid, powder, or cream—is really effing hard. Especially with a billion different finishes, formulas, and shades out there, who can be sure of which base to choose?! But one thing that can make foundation shopping waaay easier for you? Knowing what your undertone is. Seriously, this info will take you from a makeup newb to a complete boss who knows how to find their perfect match.

What is your skin undertone?

Okay, first things first—what even is your skin undertone? Well, it’s different from your actual skin tone. Skin tone is the color you see in the mirror—light, medium, dark, or somewhere in between—and people usually know where they fall on that spectrum. Your undertone is the underlying color that your skin tone casts, says makeup artist Tanya Deemer, Temptu global educator. Skin tones change depending on sun exposure, which is why a ton of people have a summer foundation and a winter foundation. But your undertone stays the same no matter what season it is.

Like I said above, knowing your undertone makes alllll the difference when picking the correct foundation shade. But first, you need to know the three different undertones you could have—warm, cool, and neutral.

  • Warm skin undertone: The underlying colors of your skin are yellow, peach, and/or gold.
  • Cool skin undertone: You’ve got hints of red and blue tones under your skin.
  • Neutral skin undertone: There’s a mixture of both warm and cool tones.

If you have cool undertones, then you know to look for foundations with cool tones, and same goes for warm and neutral. Packaging on foundations usually also includes undertone letters—C, W, and N—with each shade number.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Why am I glowing like a light bulb?
Why does the color of my face and neck look so different from each other?
God, this makeup is making me look so dark!
When I did my makeup everything was fine, but why is it making me look so dull now?

The reason for all these problems is just one – wrong shade of makeup foundation. There’s no one foundation that fits all. Knowing how to choose the right foundation is as important as knowing how to apply foundation. Here’s our go-to guide on how to choose a foundation shade that is perfect for you.

In this post, we’ll cover:
1. How to find your skin tone
2. How to identify your skin undertone
3. How to choose foundation shade from swatches
4. How to make your foundation season-proof
5. Which foundation shade am I? – includes celeb-inspired help guide

How to find your skin tone

Skin tones are split into three main categories – Light, medium and deep. In the global context, Indians, largely, have medium skin tone irrespective of the region we hail from. Light skin tone typically is reflective of Caucasians while deep is for Africans.
Medium skin tone can be further sub-divided into beige, tan, honey and more such colors. Refer to the infographic below and find the skin tone closest to yours.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How to identify your skin undertone

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for YouImage Courtesy: NYX Cosmetics

Skin undertone refers to the color that comes through the skin from underneath its surface. Skin undertones are of three types – warm, neutral and cool. To identify your skin undertone, here are a few tests you can try:

1. The wrist test: Check the color of your veins. If they are purple or blue in color then you are cool. If they are green or olive in color, you are warm. But if you are unable to determine the dominant color, you are neutral.

2. The sun test: If your skin turns red when you are out in the sun, you have cool undertone. Conversely, if you get tanned easily in the sun you have warm undertone.

How to choose foundation shade from swatches

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Once you know skin color and undertone, your search for the right foundation shade narrows down considerably. You will, most likely, by now have a handful of foundations shades to choose from. In such a scenario it’s best to test the shades on your skin and find the perfect match.

Start by shortlisting three shades that seem to be a good match. Then, dab some of each shade as short lines on your jaw line (do keep some space in between each). Don’t just consider your face for making the final decision but also your neck. The foundation you choose should blend seamlessly with both your face and your neck.

How to determine which foundation shade looks best

Of the three swatches, remove the two that don’t suit you. Now, spread the finalised shade across your jawline, and sweep a cotton bud soaked in makeup remover right in the middle. If you don’t notice any difference between your foundation and bare skin, then that’s the foundation for you. But, if you see a difference between the two, this shade is not for you. Repeat the cycle till you find the shade you are looking for.

How to make your foundation season-proof

Summers and winters – different seasons mean different makeup foundations. In summers, our skin tone tends to be slightly darker while in winters, it is paler. So, the moment you see that your chosen foundation is not working the way it should, it’s time to switch. When preparing your vanity for seasons, it also helps to know the types of foundations that will work for you. For instance, if your skin dries up a lot during winters, you should opt for oil or cream-based foundations and not mousse or water-based ones.

Which foundation shade am I?

To help you figure out which foundation shade to go for, we have here a celeb-inspired go-to guide. Find out who’s complexion you resemble the most and test out the foundation shades mentioned alongside to find your foundation match. Note that these are indicative shades and might not be your exact match. Do test the shades to find your true match.

Table: Find Out Foundation Shades Matching Your Skin Tone

Unlike a lipstick that can stand out or a shimmering eye shadow that’s meant to shine, foundation is the star player behind the scenes. After all, the best foundation shouldn’t be seen at all. So how do you find the right foundation shade that actually lets your skin look like skin? Read on for a few tips on how to find your best foundation match!

1. Understand Your Undertone

You probably aren’t confused about whether your skin falls into a light or deep category, but undertones may leave you a bit puzzled. Warm undertones usually have traces of gold and red in their skin; these complexions typically get darker in the sun and never burn. Neutral undertones have an equal mix of cool and warm tones. These types typically tend to get darker in the sun and sometimes burn. Cool undertones have hints of pink and blue in their skin and may tend to burn more easily.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

2. Swatch Test

Sure, swatching on your forearms make for a great Instagram shot, but the skin on your body may not be the same shade as your complexion. Once you found a few shades that might work for you, swatch directly onto your cheek down to your neck Let it sit for a few minutes and see how it adjusts to your skin. Foundation can sometimes oxidize with wear and get slightly darker from the mixture of elements and the oils on your skin.

3. Find the Light

Just like getting the perfect selfie, lighting is everything. Once you’ve swatched, skip the fluorescent lighting in-store and head outside to see how the pigments look in natural light. If your makeup is too light, you will look ashy or as if you have a gray cast on your skin. If the formula is too dark, it can make your complexion look muddy. Look for the shade that disappears into your skin most is your right match.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Find your perfect foundation shade match with one of the 40 shades in our Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation collection! This weightless, full-coverage foundation gives you a flawless finish every time–especially when you apply it with a Beautyblender.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

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How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

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How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

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How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Finding the right foundation can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you don’t know how and where to test the best shade for your natural skin tone. Many foundations today can make your daily makeup look even more fabulous, you just have to know what you are looking for.

If you think that the best place to test your foundation color shade is your cheek, you are wrong! Many women are guilty of this beauty blunder. In fact, the best place to test the color is right below your jawline. The reason for this is quite simple. It is a much better place to test your foundation than on your wrist or cheek as it gives more realistic view of your skin tone. If you choose a shade that only matches your face, you will always end up wearing a foundation mask that ends at your jawline.

Select a few colors that are as close to your natural skin tone as possible. Apply all the three or four colors on your neck near to each other to decide which one is better. Make sure you blend the foundation into your skin. Look yourself in the mirror and decide which shade looks natural and disappears in your skin color. And remember: when applying the foundation on your face, do not put on many layers of it. It is not supposed to give you tan! Foundation should create a perfectly smooth skin and slightly hide your small imperfections.

And here is another tip: choose the best foundation which matches your skin type. For instance, if your skin is dry, search for moisturizing foundations which have a creamy consistency. If your skin is oily, use a foundation that is oil-free. Mineral, hypoallergenic and scent-free foundations work well on all skin types, especially on sensitive ones. Buying foundation which has an SPF is always a good idea since it will help protect your skin against damaging UVA and UVB rays.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How to How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

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Foundation

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How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Finding the correct foundation for you takes time. You have to carefully look through all the different options in order to find the one which is going to be the best choice for you, and this can be a lengthy process.

Thankfully, there are things that you can do to identify the correct foundation for your needs and requirements without considerable resources and funding. We will be examining the method used to identify the correct color face foundation for your skin tone.

Identifying Your Undertone

The first step in identifying what kind of foundation will be best for you is to find your undertone. This is a base tone which exists in your skin and will determine what kind of foundation you will need.

There are typically three different categories for undertones. These are warm, cold, and neutral. A warm undertone will represent skin best suited to yellow, peach or golden. A cold undertone will indicate skin which is more adjusted to red, blue and pink. A neutral undertone is one which can have a combination of cold and warm colors.

There are a selection of tests which you can do to identify what kind of undertone you have. Someone who is naturally blonde, black or brown with grey, blue or green eyes would be best suited to a cool undertone, then your ideal foundation will be one which has a red or blue base. Sable, rose and cocoa are all recommended shades to consider.. Contrastingly, someone with naturally black, strawberry blonde or auburn hair would best suit a warm undertone if they have hazel, amber or brown eyes.

Understanding Your Skin Type

Everybody has a different type of skin. While it is not mandatory for identifying the shade of foundation, it is important to know your skin type for the best results.

Oily skin will require a matte finish or an oil-free offering, and dry skin will require a moisturizing foundation. Sensitive skin will need an aromaless, hypoallergenic foundation, and an uneven complexion will need a full effect foundation.

Use Your Skin as a Guideline

If you are unsure about which foundation will be right for you, you need to use your skin as a guideline in your experimentation. Remember that undertone – it will come in handy later.

If you are someone who has a warm undertone, you should look for a foundation which has a golden or yellow base. Appropriate shades for you will include things like tan, caramel, chestnut, and beige.

If you are someone who has a cool undertone, then your ideal foundation will be one which has a red or blue base. Sable, rose and cocoa are all recommended shades to consider.

Those with a neutral undertone may explore both options, but if you are looking for a unique offering, then foundation which comes in shades of nude, Ivory or buff will be good choices.

Test Each Choice

When looking for the correct foundation it is important to select something which is relevant to your skin. These guidelines are generic and are not a guarantee of a perfect fit.

To ensure an accurate match, you should test each shade and see if it matches your skin tone. Obviously, you are searching for something which provides you with the closest match, so your makeup looks natural. It is important to experiment and test, but thankfully you will not need a large quantity to do so.

Overall, these are the steps you should take to find the ideal skin tone for your needs. It is not easy to do by any means, but it is an important part of making sure that you look your best and have collected enough resources to properly do your makeup. Foundation is an important part of this because it gives you the blank canvas that you need to apply makeup properly. Naturally, this makes finding it an important part of the process, and so it is important to take the time to find your ideal choices. It can be a challenge, without a doubt, but it can also be incredibly worth it to get it right, which is why a lot of people will spend a long time trying to make it work out.

Remember, experimentation is key, as understands your undertone!

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Foundation is the rare makeup product you don’t want to be able to see. Ask any pro how to match foundation, and they’ll tell you the final result should be a seamless veil that makes your skin look like skin. But sometimes, despite your best efforts, what looks like a good match in the bottle ends up being a less-than-perfect shade once applied. Whether it’s because you misjudged your undertones or the formula oxidized, it’s easy to end up with a bottle that’s almost right, but not good enough for daily wear. To ensure it doesn’t happen, take a cue from those who apply foundation best: professional makeup artists.

There are a few factors to consider before you even buy the bottle that’ll guarantee you’re picking a shade that fully matches your face—and getting the most from the formula you choose. Below, we asked makeup artists to explain the best process for how to match foundation, so you find your perfect shade every time.

1. Determine your undertones.

“The most important thing is to figure out your undertones first,” says Jane Iredale global makeup artist Hannah Hatcher. “Once you have those figured out, it narrows things down and you can begin to swatch on your skin tyu find that perfect match.” Undertones fall into three categories: warm, cool, and neutral. Warm undertones are golden, cool lean more pink or red, and neutral is a mix of both. Look at the overall tones of your skin to determine which applies. It can be a confusing process, so if you’re not sure, there are a couple more tricks to try.

“Usually, it’s about the veins,” says celebrity makeup artist Robert Sesnek. “Blue veins are cool, blue/green are neutral, and green are warm.” You can also consider the clothing and accessories that suit you best. “If you look better in cooler-toned clothing, chances are you also have cool undertones,” says Sesnek.

2. Read reviews and look for photo references.

Experts agree that testing shades in-person is the best way to find a match, but it’s still worth it to compare online reviews of brands you’re interested in first. This is particularly true if you’ve had a hard time finding a shade that closely matches both your skin tone and undertones. Many sites like Amazon and Sephora let reviewers leave photos, so you can see what shades look like on other people, while others feature shade-matching charts and model references that help too.

3. Take the finish of your foundation into consideration.

Full-coverage foundations are great for covering acne or discoloration, but they’re also harder shade match. Instead, Sesnek recommends opting for a sheer foundation with a buildable finish, since it’ll allow for more margin of error. (His personal favorite is Catrice Cosmetics HD Foundation because it can easily build up to a high-coverage base.)

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Foundation

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Foundation

4. Test shades on multiple spots of your face.

The most common advice you’ll hear is to swipe a small streak of foundation across your jawline (starting on your jaw down to your neck). Celebrity makeup artist Frederick Sanders recommends starting with two or three shades that look closest to your complexion and blending them all in fully. “The foundation should match the side of your face and your neck to prevent you from looking like you’re wearing a mask,” he says.

If you have a trickier time nailing down a shade though, pros recommend testing in other places too. “I swatch on multiple spots: jawline, cheek, forehead, and neck,” says celebrity makeup artist Emily Cheng. “I’ll usually go with one that matches my neck and forehead the most because that’s where I get the most color.”

5. Test it for a few hours.

It’s worth taking the time to test and wear before you buy. “A foundation in the bottle in its liquid state is a certain color, and it can oxidize on your face and change color as it dries or sets,” says Troy Surratt, makeup artist and founder of Surratt Beauty. “It can also change depending on your personal pH and chemistry.” Seeing how it adjusts to your skin over the course of a day is absolutely key.

Beyond making sure the color doesn’t oxidize, you also want to make sure something that goes over your entire face won’t irritate it. “True allergic reactions occur almost immediately, while sensitivities can take a little longer to show up, which is why a full day of wear will give you a better understanding,” says Hatcher.

6. See how it looks in different lighting.

Digital color-matching technology is a game changer, but neither the machine nor the person interpreting its results are infallible. (There’s an entire Reddit thread about how color-match readings can be inaccurate.) If you’re convinced the selection won’t look right for your undertone, take matters into your own hands and either request a sample or go outside to see how it looks in the sunlight.

“Ask if you can bring a mirror to an area where natural light is flooding in for the best match,” suggests celebrity makeup artist Carissa Ferreri. “Another great place to examine color match is outside in the middle of the day, where you can see the truest color pigment.” Also make sure that your skin is bare and you haven’t, say, gone on a five-mile run just before. Anything that can cause redness or distort your pigment will also affect your foundation reading.

Cheng adds that beyond checking how your chosen foundation looks outside, you should take a selfie—with a flash—before purchasing. “Some foundations can photograph lighter than expected,” she says. Whatever you do, don’t go solely by in-store lighting.

7. Prep your skin properly.

Sometimes what appears to be a bad match has more to do with how the makeup sits on your skin. Slathering foundation on without prepping first is the makeup equivalent of putting on nail polish without a base coat. “Dead or dry skin creates a lackluster finish for your foundation,” says Surratt. “Foundation will adhere to those patches and create an uneven look.” The key is to exfoliate, since your heavy-duty moisturizer can’t work its magic on your skin if it’s blocked by dead cells. On top of that—literally—it’s worth layering on primer, especially if you’re looking at a long night. Ferreri actually uses two different primer formulas on her clients, most of whom have combination skin. So she’ll apply a mattifying primer on the T-zone and chin and a hydrating version for everywhere else. (Check out a ton of our favorite primers, here.)

Harder to pass than the bar.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Finding the right foundation is like finding the one. The only difference is you don’t have to settle. If you tick all of the following boxes, congratulations—your skin, like Hiddleswift, has found its happily ever after. Here, your ultimate guide.

“If you want to get the right tone, always try foundation in natural daylight, so at a window or outside,” says celebrity makeup artist Naoko Scintu. Daylight is crystal clear and even, which means it’ll be easier to detect the wrong color match or spots that need more blending. If it’s nighttime, you can use an LED lamp mirror like The Makeup Light, beloved by Blake Lively and Charlotte Tilbury, to mimic the natural stuff. PSA: Beware of department store lighting!

A post shared by Charlotte Tilbury, MBE (@ctilburymakeup) on May 12, 2016 at 4:01am PDT

The *center* of the face (make sure it’s clean and moisturized) is where women often need the most coverage, says makeup artist Jen Fleming. But just as importantly, you need to make sure it matches the rest of your body because a two-toned situation becomes no one. Your neck makes for a great tester palette because it’s typically even toned to begin with, but Tilbury and fellow makeup artist bigwig Troy Surratt have both gone on record saying that testing foundation on the jaw, which showcases your undertones best, in daylight is the most telling way to find the right flattering shade. We say play it safe and investigate both.

Undertones are inherently mystifying, but once you understand yours and know what to look for, you’ll be able to edit out the wrong-hued formulas with ease. At the end of the day, you’re either one of the following and should look for foundations that match:

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

  1. Cool (Blueish): You have pink, red, and blue undertones . Often times blue or purple veins can be the most obvious indicators.
  2. Neutral (Greenish): You’re somewhere in the middle as your complexion doesn’t lean too cool or warm. Other telltale signs are if your skin appears olive-y in the sun or if your veins are blue-green.
  3. Warm (Yellowish): Your complexion has warmer yellow or peach undertones with greenish veins. It appears yellowish in the sun.

“The fairer the skin is, the more neutral-to-pink undertones usually are,” explains makeup artist Tina Turnbow. “It’s good to figure out if you are more neutral or yellow so the shade blends in.” Often times makeup artists will suggest identifying your undertones by looking at skin against white clothing or a towel.

Foundations and concealers exist separately for a reason. “Foundation should always be applied lightly,” says Scintu. “If you need coverage, this should be done with concealer. It should look like real skin, showing off freckles.” But if you want more, albeit non-cakey-looking coverage in addition to concealer, look to a formula that’s layerable, like Oxygenetix’s Oxygenating Foundation.”It will allow skin to breathe, won’t block pores, and let the skin to renew underneath.”

Dry, oily, and sensitive skin all have different needs. Not to mention, different types of formulas will read—and bake—differently on the skin. If you have oily skin, you’re best off with lightweight, oil-free, and matte-finish foundations that will control shine and work well with loose powder. If you have dry skin, richer and hydrating formulas with moisturizer work best. For sensitive skin, there’s not going to be a one-size-fits-all-solution, but avoiding irritant-heavy and super-thick formulas is always wise. There’s also mineral-based powder which is known to be less aggravating to the skin.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

No7 Beauty

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At one time or another, we’ve all made a bad call when it comes to choosing a foundation color. Pick a shade too dark and your face can look much darker than your neck, leaving you to deal with those embarrassing foundation lines. Or pick a shade that’s too light and your face can look all grey and ghost-like. Neither is a good look! So, why is it so hard to choose the right foundation color for your skin?

Choosing a foundation color that matches your skin

Foundation is an essential part of any makeup kit. It acts as a base on which you build up your entire makeup look. It can give you a boost of confidence by covering up your imperfections such as spots, blemishes and dark circles and gives your face a blank and even canvas for you to work with. But it can only work its magic if the color matches your skin tone.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

With thousands of foundation shades on the market to choose from, that also range in coverage and finish, it’s no wonder many of us choose a color that isn’t quite right. Thankfully, there are things you can do to increase your chances of making the best choice each and every time. So, if you want to know how to choose a foundation color that works for you, follow our step-by-step guide.

Identify your skin tone

Take a look at your bare skin in the mirror in natural light to identify which skin tone you have, ranging from fair, light, medium and dark. You might find that instead of just being one tone, you’re a combination of a few skin tones such as light-medium or medium-dark. If you’re really struggling to work out what type of skin tone you have, ask a friend to help or visit a local beauty counter for assistance. Knowing which skin tone you have will make it a lot easier to determine which foundation color will suit you most.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Check your undertone

Now you have a better idea of what skin tone you have, it’s time to find out whether your skin has a cool, warm or neutral undertone. Again, look at your bare skin in a mirror and in natural light and see whether you can pick out pink or golden tones. If you can see more pink tones, you’ve most likely got a cool under tone, whereas golden tones mean you’ve got a warmer undertone. If you think you’ve got a combination of the two, your skin has a neutral undertone. Now you know this, you can go straight to the foundation colors that suit you and avoid the ones that don’t.

Our Lift & Luminate TRIPLE ACTION Serum Foundation packed full of anti-aging skincare ingredients, and comes in 13 shades. Formulated with a unique blend of optical blurers and light reflecting particles, it works to reduce signs of aging by reflecting light away from fine lines and wrinkles.

Always test on your face – not your hand

Now that you know which skin tone and undertone you have, it’s time to test some foundations. Just make sure it’s not on the back of your hand. The skin on your hands is not necessarily the same color as the skin on your face, as it gets more exposure to the sun. Any test swatches you make on your hand aren’t actually going to be as accurate as they could be.

As your foundation is going onto your face, it makes sense to test it there too. We recommend testing foundation colors on your jawline instead of your hand to find the perfect shade. Remember that your foundation shouldn’t show up on your skin; it should almost disappear when applied.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How to Find the Right Serum for Your Skin Goals

Applied before your moisturizer, serums are fast-absorbing, power-packed formulas that easily penetrate skin to directly deliver anti-aging benefits.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How many times have you picked up the wrong shade of foundation at the drugstore? We’re willing to bet it’s happened to you at least once, because it’s happened to all of us. Sometimes it’s because you’re in a rush, or you’re in bad lighting, but other times it’s because you actually don’t know your actual skin tone.

There are few things worse than wearing the wrong foundation color, so to help you land on the best shade every time, we turned to Dr. Sarah Vickery, P&G Beauty and Grooming Principle Scientist, who explained why most women choose the wrong foundation color, how to make the decision easier, and why the new CoverGirl TruBlend Liquid Makeup makes foundation more foolproof.

Beauty High: What’s the best way to go about finding the right foundation shade for yourself in the drugstore?

Dr. Sarah Vickery: Start by asking yourself if your skin tone compared to other women, is light, medium or deep. Deselect groups first to get rid of options you won’t need. Then, choose a couple that look the closest, and if you can hold them up to the upper inside part of your arm, you can try to figure out which one is the right undertone for you.

The other thing with every drugstore, if you choose the wrong shade, you can always return it. CoverGirl TruBlend makes it as forgiving as possible, so the likelihood of choosing a shade that just absolutely doesn’t work is as small as possible. It really does adapt.

Where do most women go wrong with choosing a foundation color?

Most women choose too light of a shade. Don’t assume that when you’re looking at shades, that they always just go light, then deeper, then deeper. They tend to be all similar, but they have these different undertones. Just because you have a fair skin tone, don’t assume that you’re the lightest shade. If you’re choosing between two shades, choose the one that is a bit deeper, because that one will be more accurate.

What’s changed about CoverGirl TruBlend Liquid Makeup from the previous formula?

Basically we expanded our shade range, and looking at our previous palette we realized there were some gaps. The face of America is changing and we adapted for that. We looked at women’s skin tones across america, in various different ethic groups, and we did technical measurements of thousands of skin tones.

We added seven new shades and altered the shades that already existed. Then we organized by light, medium, and deep ranges. Undertone is important, so within each lightness, there’s one for each undertone. 80 percent of women choose the wrong shade if they don’t have the right selection tools. By organizing the palettes as Light 1-7, Medium 1-7, and Deep 1-7, women can use our shade finder tools which are in store to get even closer to their skin tone. If you know you have a medium tone, you can find the right shade for your undertone, too.

Who should use CoverGirl TruBlend?

Women who are looking for shade matching technology in a foundation who want coverage that’s completely undetectable. Basically, the women who don’t want people to see that they’re wearing any makeup. This foundation is a blending technology versus just a matching one. We purposely made it water based instead of silicone based, because it’s more similar to skin, and it’s happy to sit and blend into the skin because your skin is mostly made of water. Silicone sits on top and sticks with the other silicone particles in the makeup, so it doesn’t blend into your skin. With TruBlend, it’ll still blend in and be untectectable. It’s okay if you have the wrong shade one up or down from your match, because it will blend in and be okay anyway.

January 2, 2020 By Karen Lang

Want to find the best makeup foundation shade but you’re always buying the wrong one? Guilty! It’s a good thing I’m going to talk about how to find the best makeup foundation match for you.

Know The Best Makeup Foundation Shade For Your Skin Tone With These Tips

Finding the best makeup foundation for our skin tone can be difficult, it’s like deciding what to wear to work every single day, it’s tedious. Then you factor in the fact that your foundation has to change by the season and it gets 10 times harder. Like, c’mon skin, just stay. the. same.

So while we love buying and stockpiling foundation like they’re going out of production, we also hate it when we buy a shade that looked great in the store, but terrible in natural sunlight. However, we’ve developed a few tips and tricks to nailing the right shade, regardless of what brand you use and season it is.

Today, I’m going to share a few tips I learned from other professional makeup artists so you’ll finally get the best makeup foundation shade for your skin!

Your Goal For Finding The Right Match

A post shared by Hourglass Cosmetics (@hourglasscosmetics) on Aug 19, 2016 at 10:19am PDT

Before we get started, let us keep the goal in mind: you’re looking for the best makeup foundation that looks natural on YOUR skin – like you’re not wearing any makeup at all. Now comes the difficult part: just how do you do that? Much like dating, it’s going to take a lot of trial and error, but you’ll know once you’ve found “the one.” When you do, then it’s so much easier to step out in style knowing your makeup isn’t weird.

Finding The Perfect Color

To find your perfect color, start with the 3 shades that are closest to your skin tone. Apply 3 strips on your cheeks, just below the eyes, and let them set for a minute or two before you start blending. Once you’ve blended them in, you’ll see which is the closest match to your skin tone.

Oh, and before we forget, please, please, please don’t go for a shade lighter than your skin tone. I know some people suggest that, but just don’t do it. It’s always so obvious and it’s never a good look especially in natural light.

Always be sure to test the foundation out. If there’s no tester available, skip that brand. Only by testing will you be able to find the right coverage you’re looking for, how it sits on your skin and, most importantly, if it matches your skin tone.

The best way to apply the best makeup foundation shade is to use your fingers to blend the foundation from the center of the face outwards. The warmth of your finger prevents your foundation from looking cakey. Of course, you can always use a beauty blender or brush if you have one on hand.

Mixing Foundation For The Perfect Match

For some skin tones, you won’t be able to find an exact match; although, given the shade range of some lines such as NARS, MAC, and MUFE, you’ll come pretty darn close. If you’re still having a hard time finding a shade that perfectly matches your skin, you may need to mix a custom shade for yourself.

To do this, mix two shades (one that is one shade lighter and one shade darker) and apply with the technique explained in #1 (let it partially set then blend outwards). Continue experimenting with various shades until you come across the one that is right for you.

Setting Your Foundation

A flawless-looking foundation starts with prepping your skin and ends with setting your makeup. To prep your skin, make sure it is well-moisturized (hydrated skin is the perfect canvas for perfect makeup application) and then primed. My favorite primer is Smashbox Photo Finish, it creates a smooth finish for your makeup.

After applying your best makeup foundation, be sure to set it with translucent or lightly tinted finishing powder. The trick to avoiding setting powder blunders is by pressing the powder with a fluffy brush in a specific area and then roll it outwards. The keyword here is roll as rubbing the brush on the skin only drags the makeup.

Picking out your perfect foundation shade in the aisles of the drugstore is no easy feat. You can’t sample the product, the color swatches aren’t always accurate and that harsh overhead lighting is not helpful or flattering. Most of the time, it feels like you’re playing a game of “Guess Who?” with a blindfold on, and that’s the best-case scenario. To help streamline the drugstore foundation scavenger hunt, we reached out to L’Oréal Paris Celebrity Makeup Artist Sir John for guidance. Below, find his genius tips and tricks for taking the guesswork out of buying drugstore foundation.

Drugstore Foundation Tip #1: Hold the Bottle Up to Your Neck

You might instinctively hold the bottle up to your hand to compare shades, but according to Sir John, this won’t give you the most accurate reading. “Bring the bottle up to your neck to try to match the color to your skin, as close as possible,” he says. Then, seek out the area of the drugstore that has the best lighting and mirrors. “Sometimes this is not always the makeup aisle. Look for a place with some natural light seeping through.”

Drugstore Foundation Tip #2: Determine Your Undertones

Knowing your undertones is another key to choosing the right drugstore foundation. “You can figure out your undertones by looking at the area in front of your face where your cheekbones are,” says Sir John. “It’s not your cheek and not your eyes — but, rather, right between those two areas.” Another spot that reveals your undertones? “In the middle of your forehead, close to your eyebrows. Depending on what color you see in either of these two areas (yellow, peach, green, flush pink, etc.) you can determine your undertone.” Knowing this information will help you decide if you should reach for a warm, cool or neutral foundation. You may also want to consider scooping up a color-correcting primer .

Drugstore Foundation Tip #3: Consider Your Skin Type

“Another huge thing to consider when picking out foundation is your skin type, not just your skin tone,” explains Sir John. “This will be a major deciding factor in choosing the foundation that suits you best. How the foundation dries (matte, luminous, etc.) will affect different skin types . If you are oily, lean toward a matte finish. If you have dry skin, lean toward a hydrating, luminescent formula.” A few of our favorite drugstore options include the Maybelline New York Dream Radiant Urban Foundation and the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation for a dewy finish and the NYX Professional Makeup Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Full Coverage Foundation or the Urban Decay Stay Naked Foundation for a matte finish. These formulas are sure to take your makeup look to the next level.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Drugstore Foundation Tip #4: Err on the Dark Side

If you’re deciding between two foundation shades, Sir John advises going for the one that is slightly darker. “The key word here is ‘slightly,’” he stresses. “Typically, liquid foundation will appear to be a little darker in the bottle, so when you pour out the formula and test it on your skin, the color will lighten a bit.”

When she’s not working with big names like Mandy Moore, celebrity makeup artist Jenn Streicher is part of the Laura Mercier Makeup Artist Collective, and she’s agreed to share her expertise with us via our new Ask an Artist series. Need help selecting the best foundation for your skin type? Want to master a three-minute eye makeup look? Come back every month for a unique beauty lesson from a pro.

It happens all the time… You’re at Sephora, the shade looks great, and you happily make the purchase. But a few days later, you try it in real life and you realize you’ve done it again: You’ve added yet another not-quite-right foundation to your growing collection. Yes, we’re all too familiar with the foundation graveyard. It’s a growing epidemic, but it can be stopped. This is where our resident makeup guru Jenn Streicher comes in. You ask the questions, and she answers. Foundation-matching is no different. We asked her to show us how to never buy the wrong foundation again, and she proved it’s not as hard as it seems (but it does require a bit of expert know-how).

Learn Streicher’s tried-and-true tips and never go home with the wrong foundation again.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

First things first: When shopping for foundation, identify the reason you’re using foundation—what do you want it to do? “You’re not always matching your skin tone,” Streicher says. “For example, if you’re really reddish and pinkish, and you want to tone that down, you shouldn’t go with the same color as your face because you’re going to look really white since you’re used to having all this pink. You kind of want to go in between.”

Or maybe you’re someone who is naturally sallow. “In that situation, you’d want to warm your skin up a little bit, so maybe don’t even need to go a shade up but just a color tone. Instead of a neutral, maybe go warm. Or if you’re cool, go a little more neutral,” Streicher says. But don’t be extreme—when you’re dealing with undertones, keep it subtle.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Streicher’s biggest tip is to try a few options. And try them where you’re going to wear the foundation (i.e., on your face, not your arm). But most importantly, try them out yourself. “Even if the person at the counter tells you one thing, don’t be intimidated,” Streicher says. Everyone is opinionated, and foundation is subjective. So do a few stripes on your cheek; you may be surprised which one you actually like. Case in point: the three shades of Laura Mercier’s new Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation ($48). From left to right, we tried Chai, Suntan, and Maple.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Once you’ve got your stripes, wear them for a bit. Walk around and check them out in not only good natural light but different light. “Remember that for some people, once you put a color on them, that color changes because of different acidities,” Streicher says. Everyone’s skin is different; that’s why you need to give it some time and see it in different lighting.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Then identify your favorite. Apply whichever shade you like the best to one side of your face, and keep the stripes on the other. Again, walk around, find different light, and spend time wearing the shade to ensure you’re getting the truest representation. As you can see, this technique worked out for our model, thanks in part to the high-performance yet weightless formula of the Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation, which is resistant to oxidation.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Finally, buy one or more. “Sometimes you just can’t buy one,” Streicher says. Dark skin tones tend to be a couple of different colors, for example. “Usually they’re darker around the outer edges, so you don’t want to go too light in those places or it’ll look ashy,” she says. “I actually always tell people to buy two anyway, because you go up and down in color all year, and you can mix them to get the most perfect color.” With 20 breathable matte shades of medium to full coverage, Laura Mercier’s newest foundation is the perfect place to start (and end) your search for your true-match foundation.

Shop the Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation ($48) below.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Now that you’ve finally found your foundation match and put an end that foundation graveyard, what else do you want to Ask an Artist? Ask away and professional makeup artist Jenn Streicher could answer your question next. In the meantime, check out Streicher’s tips on how to apply eye makeup for small eyes.

Finally, tried-and-true tips for finding the perfect shade

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Foundation is the everyday girl’s Photoshop. A simple swipe of product camouflages blemishes, redness, and scarring. And just like Photoshop, when it’s done correctly, it’s invisible to the naked eye. The sad truth: Most women apply the wrong shade. “People should never know you are wearing product,” says Sonia Kashuk, a makeup artist and founder of Sonia Kashuk Beauty. “It should seamlessly blend with the skin so it evens out your tone and makes you look natural, but the best you can look. When you choose the correct shade you will not see it.” So how do we go about finding the right color? Kashuk offers simple solutions.

When in Doubt, Go Darker
“People always tend to go too light, when in reality, it’s better to go slightly warmer,” says Kashuk. “If you are ever in between shades and are unsure directionally which way to lean, go with the darker shade. Going lighter almost always looks chalky and artificial.”

MORE: 6 Genius Eyeliner Hacks You NEED to Try

Never Color Test on Your Hand
“It’s not an accurate read of color,” says Kashuk. “The skin on the back of your hand is not the same tone on your face. So instead, swatch along the side of the jawbone for an exact color match.” Your hands are subject to more sunlight, so they they have a tendency to be darker.

Trust Your Neck Over Your Face
“Sometimes the face and the neck can be two different tones,” says Kashuk. Similar to the hands, the cheeks also get more color. “My trick is to always choose the warmer shade to cover both the neck and face area, bringing it all to one even tone.”

Don’t Use it All Over
Kashuk’s last word of advice: Think of your foundation as a spot corrector. “You rarely need it all over the face. You should use it on an as-needed basis. This will only work if you chosen the correct color for your skin.”

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

Foundation range is a vital part of the beauty world, and brands everywhere are accountable for creating a shade range that fits every skin tone and undertone — whether you’re cool, neutral, warm, and everything in between. Choosing your exact foundation match is the next step in the process, and in order to break down how to do so once you’re in the aisle at your nearest Sephora or drugstore, NYC-based makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran had a few tips that will help. Ahead, find her three hacks to master finding the best foundation for your skin tone.

RULE 1: Swatch, Swatch, Swatch

Jaikaran’s first tip is a no brainer: You’ve got to swatch the product first and foremost. “The side of the face along the jawline is the best place to swatch,” she says. “If you can blend down to your neck and the color disappears, that’s a good match.” This trick will help make sure that the foundation color you choose will not only blend seamlessly onto your face, but will also perfectly complement your neck.

RULE 2: Mix if You Please

Jaikaran’s next tip is that it’s okay to mix foundations if you find yourself falling between shades. “When using foundation, sometimes it’s not necessarily about making your entire face lighter or darker, it’s about letting certain areas be their natural color,” she notes. This means you can always mix two shades to customize as you please.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

In an effort to make your beauty routine as easy as possible, we’re constantly offering up advice on the best beauty looks for every skin tone. Looking for the most complimentary red lipstick for your complexion? We got you. Same goes for nude nail polish, hair color, and blush. As far as determining the best base itself, though, it’s not always as easy as it sounds.

Tone vs. Undertone

“Skin tone is the surface skin color,” says makeup artist Lauren Gott, who works with Kiernan Shipka. Generally speaking, it’s whether you’re fair, medium, or deep (simple, right?). Undertone, on the other hand, is the subtle hue underneath the surface, Gott explains. Undertones can be cool, warm, or neutral. Moreover, there are limitless skin tones/undertone combinations, Gott notes, which is why finding the perfect foundation match is not as simple as choosing a fair, medium, or deep shade.

There are three kinds of undertones.

According to Gott, there are three undertone categories: warm, cool, and neutral. If your skin veers pink, red, or blueish, you have cool undertones. If your skin has a yellow, peachy, or golden tinge, you have warm undertones. If you have a mix of both, your undertone is neutral. Still unsure? Take a gander at these tips to determine once and for all:

Look at your wrists in natural light. Are your veins more blue or green? People with veins that appear blue or purple have cool skin tones, while those with warm tones have veins that look green, Gott explains.

What color do you see when you hold a blank piece of white paper next to your face? If your skin appears more yellow, than you’re probably warm. If your skin looks pink, then you’re likely on the cool side. Also, it helps to always test this, as well as actual foundation swatches, in natural light to see the most accurate color reading.

Do you think you look better in gold or silver? This concept is a bit more outdated and subjective than it is telling, and many people’s jewelry collections probably contain a fair mix of both. But if you’re game to try it, the adage goes that gold better complements warm undertones and silver will complement cool undertones, following in the rule that the warm tones in gold jewelry bring out the warmth in like-undertones and the cool reflective properties of silver draw flattering light to cool undertones. (Honestly, you could replicate this test with warm vs. cool-toned highlighters on your face.)

Seasons change, but undertones remain the same.

It’s not uncommon to have a foundation shade for winter and foundation shade for summer that both work for you. “Skin tones can change with the season due to sun exposure,” says Gott, “yet undertones generally remain the same.” So next time you’re swatching a million shades at Sephora or buying a foundation online, remember that the shade itself can go one or two hues lighter or darker depending on season, whereas your undertone should remain the same, regardless of season. Gott loves the Allure Best of Beauty-winning Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation for it’s “spectacular range.” For more shade-spanning foundation lines, check out this list of brands with wide foundation ranges.

More Foundation Facts:

Allure‘s 2017 picks for Best Bases:

Flawless skin, here you come.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

It doesn’t matter if your skin is dry, oily, or acne-prone, finding the best foundation can be tough. Drugstores don’t give you samples, and when you get the bottle home, the color on your face can look nothing like you thought it would. Even if you go to Sephora or a department store that lets you test the color first, you still need to make sure you’re choosing the right formula for your skin.

Before you buy new foundation, follow this easy guide to find the perfect formula and shade for you.

1. Choose a formula designed for your skin type. Don’t just go by what it says on the bottle —the beauty lingo can be confusing. Instead, choose the formula that works best for your skin. If your face is usually dry, pick a liquid or stick foundation because it’ll be creamy and pack the most moisturizing properties. If your skin is oily, go with a powder foundation that’ll help absorb excess shine, leaving a matte finish. Combination skin seems difficult, but it’s really just a matter of being careful where you apply the foundation. A powder formula is the easiest because you can layer it lightly over dry spots, and heavier on oily patches.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

2. Make foundation work overtime. Other than checking out the shade and the formula, make sure to read the ingredients to get the most out of the product. Have acne-prone skin? Use a foundation that contains zit-fighting salicylic acid. Dry, flaky skin? Look for serum-infused products that will help you stay moisturized. And if you don’t feel like putting on SPF before foundation, find a formula that has at least SPF 15 already in it.

3. Decide what type of coverage you want. Love your freckles? Let them show through with a light coverage foundation or a tinted moisturizer (like BB or CC cream). Go with medium coverage if you want a more airbrushed look (like for prom), and full coverage if you want to cover everything, like acne.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

4. Shop stores with liberal return policies. You probably know Sephora lets you return opened makeup, but there are some drugstores that do, too. (CVS is great about taking back used makeup if you have your receipt.) If you’re worried that a product might not be right for you, inquire about the store’s return policy before you purchase it.

5. Figure out your skin’s undertone by checking out the veins on your wrists. If they’re olive, you probably have warm undertones. If they’re more blue or purple, your undertones are cool. If they’re blue-green, you have neutral undertones. Then choose a shade of foundation that complements your undertones. Warm tones look amazing in yellow- or- peach-based shades; cool tones work well with pink-based colors; and neutral tones match best with yellow shades.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

6. Test foundation shades against your jawline. If you’re able to score a sample at a makeup counter, don’t just swatch it on your wrist. Find natural light outside or near a window, and dab the foundation directly on your jawline. This will help you see how it blends between your face and your neck. It should totally disappear into your skin. Testing multiple colors side-by-side will make it even more obvious which shade is the best match for you.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

7. Feel free to mix a few colors together to create your own perfect shade. Just add drops of the darker foundation into the bottle of the lighter foundation and shake, gradually adding more color until you arrive at the exact right color.

How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You

How many times have you bought the wrong foundation shade?

If you’re anything like me,, too many to count. When I first started getting into makeup, I didn’t have much of a choice. I was a broke teen and none of the foundations at the drugstore were available in light shades that matched my skintone.

I always had to get a darker shade. It wasn’t a big problem in winter, when I wore high-neck sweaters. But in the summer? I’d have to go barefaced or look like I’m wearing a mask.

But even when I finally had more money to invest in a pricier foundation, I would still often end up purchasing the wrong pale shade.

Awful lights in the shops, had something to do with it, but it wasn’t the main reason… I was trying on foundation shades in all the wrong places…

  • Should You Match Your Foundation To Your Inner wrist
  • Should You Match Your Foundation To Your Jawline?
  • Should You Match Your Foundation To Your Neck?
  • Should You Match Your Foundation To Your Chest?
  • The Bottom Line

Should You Match Your Foundation To Your Inner wrist

For years, I tried foundation shades on my inner wrist. It was what everyone else was doing. Heck, even the SAs I asked for help to would gently grab my wrist and test the foundation there. *shakes head* Must have been the right way, I thought. And yet, when you think about it, it doesn’t make much sense. Look at your inner wrist. Is it the same colour as your face? Nope. Mine is an even paler shade than my face and has stronger yellow undertones. That led me to choose foundations who had strong yellow undertones too, so no wonder they didn’t look good on me! Duh!

Should You Match Your Foundation To Your Jawline?

I next matched my foundation to my jawline. The reasoning behind this is simple. If you pick a shade that only matches your face, you’ll look like you’re wearing a mask that ends at your jawline. Ew! But while this advice has served me well in winter, it failed me in the summer. I still looked like I was wearing a mask because the rest of my body is a different colour than my face. And so, very likely, is yours. It may be darker, it may have sallower or pinker undertones, or you may have a skin condition that causes redness. By focusing on your jawline only, it’s easy to pick up the wrong shade.

Should You Match Your Foundation To Your Neck?

Did you know that your neck contains less melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin, which gives skin its colour)? Add to that that your face casts a shadow upon your neck, and it’s no wonder that this is one of the palest parts of your body. It’s often much paler than your chest. So, if you choose a foundation shade that only matches your neck, you may look ok when wearing a round collar top. But when you don a low cut top, or just slightly unbutton your shirt, you will look like you’re wearing a ghostly mask that ends at your neck! Argh! Why can’t our skin just be one colour all over?!

Should You Match Your Foundation To Your Chest?

If you live somewhere cold where you’re forced to wear turtle necks or round collar tops a lot, matching your foundation to your jawline may make sense. But even then, you’ll sometimes wear a low-cut dress, or even just a V-neck top or a blouse that’s not buttoned all the way up. Unless you want to apply your foundation to your chest, you’ll have to pick a shade that matches it. That way, your face and body will be the same colour.

The Bottom Line

When choosing a new foundation shade, try and match it to your chest. That’s usually the best place to ensure you pick a shade that won’t make you look like you’re wearing a mask. However, don’t forget that we are all different. We have different skintones, different undertones and live in different places, with different climates that affects our skin colours differently. If you find that matching your foundation to your jawline works best for you, keep doing it. But if a shade picked that way has never satisfied you, try matching it to your chest next time. The result may surprise you. 🙂

Where do you match your foundation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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15 Comments on Where Should You Match Your Foundation?

I usually do jaw line

never thought about my chest which probably gets the same sun as my face and therefore, is probably a better match 😉

Monica, I used to do the jaw line too, but when I tried the chest I was surprised at how easier it was to find a good match. Try it too next time you go shopping for a foundation. 🙂

I never even thought of matching it to my chest! What a good idea. I had a similar thing as you. When I was young, I did it on my wrist, then later on my jawline. Nowadays, if I’m at a makeup store where you can swatch, I usually do that on the back of my hand…

Trisha, the jawline is a much better place to test your foundation than the wrist, isn’t it? But I find the chest works even better. 🙁 I tried the back of my hand a couple of times too, but that has never worked out too well for me.

What a cool picture, I really like it! I wouldn’t match my foundation to my wrist either because skin there is thinner and shows some vein colors which will not match my face! I match my foundation to my neck, chest. I don’t match to the jaw because I wouldn’t wear foundation without brining it down to my jaw and neck anyways. I’ll first find the shade that best matches my face, then go from there. The chest is often very cool, the neck warmer (like the face) due to blood flow. For someone with very fair skin and wants to minimize the appearance of tons of freckles, I’d match his or her foundation to a shade in-between the freckles and skin. I feel like matching it to the freckles won’t match the rest of the body like the underarm or chest where there may be less sun exposure, thus less freckles. :]

If I am testing a foundation in-stores, I’ll apply it to my jawline though, not my face and then let it sit for at least fifteen minutes before judging it under sun light.

When I bronze up my face and do heavy contouring for another one of my all-out makeup looks, I always darken the neck and chest too, and make sure I get behind the ears as well. If I am doing a dramatic, yet more natural contour or bronzed look, I make sure to get my neck and chest as well, but with a lighter dusting.

Janessa, finding a good match is quite complicated, isn’t it? I find that matching foundation to the chest works better for me because that way, when I wear a low cut top or a vest, my skin is the same colour all over. But in some cases, matching it to a different body part can give better results. Oh, why can’t our skin be always the same colour all over? That would make things so much easier! lol