How to Find a Foundation That Truly Matches Your Skin Tone (and Undertones)

How often have you found yourself in the makeup aisle, trying to find a foundation, thinking “they all just look the same!! Which one should I get?!”… You buy one, and as soon as you get home and try it, you are disappointed AGAIN because it doesn’t match your skin. You decide that it’s impossible to find a foundation shade that’s right for you and/or you swear that you’ll never wear makeup again,

Time to break the cycle ladies!! Here are a few useful tips to help you find the PERFECT foundation for you, and help you improve your love/hate relationship with makeup!

1. If you already know your skin type, choose a foundation accordingly. Dry skin: choose a liquid or cream foundation, ideally one that is hydrating. Oily skin: choose a powder, mineral or oil-free foundation.

2. When choosing a foundation, it is very important to know your undertones. This is the subtle tint of colour underneath your skin, and it can be either warm (yellow according to most makeup brands, but pink according to MAC), neutral or cold (pink according to most makeup brands, but yellow/gold according to MAC).

In order to determine what your undertone is, hold a piece of white paper next to your skin. Does it look more pink (cold undertone) or more yellow (warm undertone)? If you are not sure, you can look at the inside of your wrists: if your veins look blue, you probably have a cool undertone, if they look green, you probably have a warm undertone. You can also compare your skin with something that is pink and something that is yellow/golden and see which object looks more like your skin. You can also determine your undertone according to what colour of clothes or accessories look good on you: people with cold undertones look better in silver accessories and people with warm undertones look better in gold accessories. Dark skin mostly has yellow or red undertones.

3. Determine how much coverage you need/want. Foundations go from very light to full coverage, no matter the texture of the product. If you have very good skin (read: no or few pimples, small pores, uniform complexion), you don’t need a very high coverage. Don’t go for more coverage than you actually need! Another myth: acne-prone skin doesn’t require a full coverage foundation! In fact, too much coverage will make the imperfections even more visible… Go for a lighter coverage and use concealer to hide the imperfections.

4. Test the product!! The perfect place to test a foundation is on your jawline, or your cheek, if you skin tone is very uniform (which is usually not the case for most people). Don’t forget: you want to match your face to your body, so if you only test on your cheek, you might have a surprise… If you hesitate between two shades, buy them both! Most people find that their skin tone changes with the seasons, so a foundation that fits you know won’t necessarily fit you in the winter or in the summer…

5. While you are at the store, make sure you have the right tools to apply your foundation (brush, sponge, etc). It is useless to buy an expensive product if you don’t apply it properly, and it just won’t look good. The beauty of foundation is that no one should be able to tell that you are wearing it.




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