How To Find Your BEST Foundation Match + Undertone | Anastasia Foundation Sticks | Melissa Alatorre
How to Find the Best Foundation Color Shade for You
Foundation is the cosmetic base you use to cover blemishes and even out your complexion so that you have a uniform surface on which to apply the rest of your makeup. It’s important to use the right shade, because the wrong foundation can look obvious and unnatural, and it won’t create the proper canvas for the rest of your cosmetics.There are a few factors to consider when selecting a foundation shade, including skin type, skin tone, and complexion.
Learning About Your Skin
Understand your undertone.Before trying to choose a foundation, it’s best to determine a few things about your skin, such as your undertone. While the surface of your skin can change color because of many things, such as exposure to the elements or acne, your undertone will always stay the same.Therefore, determining your undertone will help you choose the right foundation color. In general, people fall into one of three undertones:
- Cool, which means your skin is more blue, red, or pink.
- Warm, which means your skin is more golden, yellow, or peach.
- Neutral, which means your skin will have a combination of cool and warm colors.
Determine your undertone.There are a few tests you can use to determine if your undertone is warm, cool, or neutral. The tests involve assessing your hair and eye color, what colors you look best in, how you react to the sun, and the color of your veins.
- Naturally black, brown, or blonde hair combined with green, grey, or blue eyes is an indication of a cool undertone. Hazel, brown, or amber eyes combined with naturally black, auburn, or strawberry blonde hair indicates a warm undertone.
- Silver jewelry will look best on you if your undertone is cool; gold jewelry will look best on you if your undertone is warm; someone with a neutral undertone will look equally good in both silver and gold.
- People who are cool will tend to turn pink or burn easily in the sun, while people who are warm will bronze or tan in the sun.
- Blue veins on the inner wrist indicate cool; green veins indicate warm; bluish-green indicates neutral.
Know the best foundation for your skin type.While knowing if you have dry or oily skin won’t help you pick a foundation shade, it will help you choose the right type of foundation. Skin can be oily, dry, or combination, and you can have normal or sensitive skin.
- Choose a matte finish or oil-free liquid or powder foundation if you have oily skin.
- Choose a moisturizing or hydrating cream or stick foundation if you have dry skin.
- Choose a hypoallergenic and scent-free foundation if you have sensitive skin.
- Choose a powder foundation if you have combination skin.
- Choose a foundation that offers full or medium coverage if you have an uneven complexion and want to cover most of your skin. Otherwise, look for a foundation that offers partial or sheer coverage if you have a fairly even complexion and want a more natural look.
- It’s always a good idea to buy foundation that has an SPF, because this will provide a small measure of protection against damaging UVA and UVB rays.
Part 1 Quiz
If you look best in silver jewelry, that indicates:
Finding the Perfect Foundation Shade
Use your skin to narrow down your choices.You already know what to look for in a foundation based on your skin type, and now it’s time to use the knowledge you’ve gained about your undertone to select some possible shade choices. Before heading to the pharmacy or makeup store, consider what foundation bases and shades will look best based on your undertone.
- For cool undertones: choose a foundation with a rose, red, or blue base, and consider shades like cocoa, rose, sable, and porcelain.
- For warm undertones: choose a foundation with a gold or yellow base, and consider shades like caramel, golden, tan, chestnut, and beige.
- For neutral undertones: consider shades like buff, nude, ivory, or praline.
Choose a makeup store, pharmacy, or department store.When buying your foundation, look for a store that offers support from beauty experts who can help you choose the right shade and foundation. If that’s not available, look for a shop that has in-store testers so that you can determine the right shade for yourself before you buy. As a last resort, choose a store that has a return policy on cosmetics in case you buy the wrong one.
Test a few shades.Use the information about the best shades for your undertone and select some foundations to try out. Going by eye, choose a few shades that look closest to your skin tone. Then, test them by dabbing some swatches of foundation on your jawline. The skin at your jawline will be truer to your natural undertone and give you an idea of how the foundation will look against your neck.
- If the store doesn’t offer testers, hold the bottles of foundation up to your neck and jawline.
- Whether you are using testers or just holding bottles up to your skin, find a door or window to see what the foundation shades will look like in natural light.This will also give the foundation some time to dry so that you know what it will look like all the time.
Choose your foundation.The best foundation is the one that disappears into your skin. Foundation isn’t supposed to be seen: it’s supposed to provide an even canvas on which to work. Use the swatches on your jawline to determine which foundation blends in best with your skin. This is the foundation shade that will best cover blemishes and redness while still looking natural.
- Consider purchasing a few shades at once so that you can try them out at home and compare them, especially if your shop doesn’t have testers available.
Part 2 Quiz
Where on your body is the best representation of your natural undertone?
Customizing a Foundation
Lighten foundation that’s too dark.Whether you bought the wrong one and can’t return it or you’re still finishing an older bottle, you can customize the color of your foundation to create a better match for your skin. One way to make foundation lighter is by applying it with a wet sponge instead of your fingers. You can also make foundation lighter by mixing it with:
- A lighter foundation
- Concealer or finishing powder
Darken foundation that’s too light.Just as you can lighten foundation that’s too dark, so too can you make a foundation darker if it’s too light for your skin. To make foundation darker, try:
- Adding blush or concealer
- Mixing it with bronzer
- Combining it with a darker foundation or tinted moisturizer
Change the color of your foundation.Foundation that isn’t right for your undertone can be customized as well. To make your foundation match a yellow undertone, add turmeric. Add a pinkish-brown blush to match a more pink or blue undertone.To make a foundation more brown, add cocoa powder.
Part 3 Quiz
Applying foundation with a wet sponge instead of your fingers will:
QuestionHow should I choose a highlighter shade?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse a highlighter two shades lighter than your natural skin tone.Thanks!
QuestionCan you test foundation colors on other body parts than your jawline?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can also try testing it on your neck. Don't test it on your arm, however, because it will not give the best results.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I have oily skin and makeup doesn't stay on well?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt might be worth getting a good mattifying primer. That will help keep your skin smooth and dry to prevent the makeup from coming off too quickly.Thanks!
QuestionWhat brand do you recommend to buy that looks natural and not caked on?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI personally use True Match foundation. If you want to spend a little more, go for Bare Minerals or Naked foundation but the True Match is fine. You could also go to a local cosmetics store and ask their opinion, they're usually very knowledgeable.Thanks!
QuestionI found my perfect color in my concealer, can I just use my concealer as foundation?Top AnswererI wouldn't apply it to your whole face, because concealer is meant for a light coverage look. I would suggest looking for a shade of foundation made by the same brand.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the best way to hide wrinkles?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIn terms of makeup, use a good primer and try some full coverage foundation. Make sure you also use a good moisturizer, ideally with hyaluronic acid, which can plump the skin a bit. You can also add a little argan oil on top of the moisturizer if you want. See How to Hide Wrinkles with Makeup for more tips.Thanks!
QuestionWithout going to the store, how do I find out what skin color I have?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere are different websites that will compare a shade of foundation you already own to other shades in different brands. If you don't have any foundation at all, it's usually best to try out the foundation in a store to make sure the shade and the undertone are right for you.Thanks!
QuestionWhat foundation can I use when I have uneven skin and large pores?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFind the most common skin tone you have, and buy that color foundation - or you could just buy a foundation you like. For the large pores, buy a concealer that matches the foundation you get.Thanks!
QuestionWhat type of brush should I use to apply foundation?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can use a rounded foundation brush or stipling brush.Thanks!
QuestionWhen I put makeup on, about an hour later my face is so shiny. What do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to put a little more on a little more powder, and not too much highlighter or makeup that is too shiny for your skin tone.Thanks!
They stopped making Posner what's a replacement?
- Change makeup sponges regularly if you use them to apply foundation, because they can harbor germs and bacteria.
- Always remove makeup and apply moisturizer before bed.
- Consider tinted moisturizer instead of foundation if you have clear skin and an even complexion.
- You may want a lighter foundation for winter and a darker one for summer if you spend lots of time outside in summer and tend to tan.
Sources and Citations
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