Updated: Apr 28
Finding the right foundation shade can truly be a face-changing experience. The wrong foundation can make you look washed out, flat, too yellow, pink or ashy, or give you a mask-like foundation line on your neck. The right shade enhances your skin and sets the tone for the rest of your makeup. This makeup product is the star player behind the scenes. After all, the best foundation shouldn't be seen at all.
You're not alone! Finding the perfect foundation can be tricky, especially with the current number of shades, finishes, texture and coverage levels available in the market, which makes it one of the toughest makeup products to buy.
Shopping online for a foundation can be full of uncertainty. It's often hard to know the exact product you are purchasing until it arrives in the mail. When it comes to one of our makeup staples, how do you find a foundation online that is perfect for you without testing it first? To help you out, we are giving you all the tips you need!
1. Figure Out Your Skin's Undertone.
Step one to picking the right foundation is to determine your skin tone. This will help you pick a shade of foundation that is best suited for you. Here are a few techniques you can use to determine if you are cool or warm-toned.
Check Your Veins: Push your sleeves up and look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. Are they blue or green? If they look bluer, you likely have cool undertones. If the veins look greenish, you have warm undertones.
Jewelry Trick: Think about whether you look better in silver or gold jewelry. Typically, girls with cool undertones look better in silver and platinum metals, and warm-toned women look better in gold.
Eye and Hair Colour: Your natural eye and hair colours can help figure out your colouring. Customarily, cool people have eyes that are blue, grey, or green and have blond, brown, or black hair with blue, silver, violet and ash undertones. Conversely, warm-toned women usually have brown, amber, or hazel eyes with strawberry blond, red, brown, or black hair. Their hair tends to have gold, red, orange, or yellow undertones.
The Sun's Effects: When you're out in the sun, does your skin turn a golden-brown, or does it burn and turn pink first? If you fit into the former category, you're warm-toned, while cool tones tend to burn more easily.
If you have a warm complexion, go with a shade that has yellow undertones, and if your complexion is on the cool side, a foundation with pink undertones is your best bet.
2. Determine the Coverage Level You Want
If you don't like wearing makeup as much, you're going to think a full-coverage foundation feels heavy. Understanding the look of every coverage level is the key to picking the right one for your needs.
With sheer to medium coverage you'll still see your skin through foundations. This is perfect if you want to show off your freckles. When you want a long-wear foundation that doesn't require mid-day touch-ups, or have acne or discolouration, opt for a full-coverage foundation.
3- Know the Type of Finished Look You're Going For
Matte or dewy? Your skin type is an essential factor when it comes to choosing finishes. If you tend to have oily skin, using a powder foundation or pressed powder will help you with shine control.
If you have combination skin, cream foundation can be a great option. "Cream is nice because you can build coverage or dilute the cream with a moisturizer to thin it out and make a tinted moisturizer for those drier days. My skin tends to be dry on my cheeks and a bit oily on the nose and cheekbones. This allows me to be flexible. I can have coverage on my face where I need it without drying out my skin." - Melissa, BeautyDel's Makeup Artist.
If you have dry skin, it's all about hydration. We recommend a tinted moisturizer, cream or liquid foundation. If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, reach for the mineral foundation options. While full coverage works great in the winter, mineral foundations are ideal for summer!
4- Match Your Skin Tone
Now that you've got all the other components down, let's tackle the skin tone. While your undertone is always the same, your skin tone will be different. In the summer, we tend to be tanner, so a foundation shade darker than the ones we usually go for in the winter would be best. If you find a formula you love, you can mix two shades of foundations and get the perfect colour all year long. Side note: if you wear SPF every day, your face might be lighter than your body, so make sure to colour match by looking at your chest and not your face.
Your current foundation collection can be your shade guide when shopping online. As you can compare these colours to the description of the foundation you want to buy, and if they're similar or the same, you've got a match!
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Sources: Dermstore, InStyle, StyleCaster, Preview.