Choosing the right foundation shade is such a difficult and daunting task. There’s so many options nowadays which is great but sometimes too many choices causes more confusion! Now in Part 1 on How To Choose the Right Foundation Shade, we talked about how important it is to first know what your undertone is. Why is this important? Because it’s the key answer to what you’re looking for.
In Part 2, we are going to talk about what to do with that information. If you haven’t taken the quiz I suggest you take it now so this will make much more sense going forward.
I have my undertone, now what?
Awesome! So now you can eliminate most of the choices at the foundation aisle and get to the right foundation. Let’s practice:
First, I want you to either actually be physically looking at foundation in person while reading this, or if you’re not, let’s practice with this picture.
Now say we have all these choices.
Comparing to the underside of your wrist, I want you to eliminate the darkest and lightest shades until you get to at least 5. If you have a deep skin tone, eliminate all the lighter ones. If you’re very fair, eliminate all the darker ones. Let’s try to have at least 3-5 that are in your general skin tone range.
Now look at the ones you have left. They should have names on them and an indicator of what tone they are. Most foundations will say if they are warm, neutral, cool, or olive. If it doesn’t have names like the picture, I just want you to determine whether it is warm (more red and orange) cool (more pink) or neutral (greyish, not really warm or cool) and match that up with your undertone.
Now if there’s a clear indicator of the tone by the name, you can pretty much match up your tone with that one. If it doesn’t look right, you may need to either retake the quiz or try another tone. For example, if the one you are left with looks too orange maybe you need something cooler or neutral. This is the last step if you’re shopping online or practicing with the picture.
Hopefully now you only have 1 or 2 left do decide on. At this point the best way to really pick the right shade is to test it on your face. Apply a little bit on each side of your face in the chin area. Look in the mirror and see which one visibly looks best.
Very important! Go to the nearest window or outside light source and look in the mirror. Now check which one looks best. This is where you can really tailor it to your skin. The reason we need outside lighting is because that is the ideal lighting. If you get it right outside it’ll look perfect inside. TIP: Sometimes what I do is I apply the foundation all over my face and test it out all day to see how it feels and looks throughout the day. If I like it I go back and purchase it or try on a new one.
And that’s it! Hopefully you’ve chosen the right one or now have a general direction on how to decide. If you have anymore questions check out the FAQ below.
I’m not able to try on the foundation in store because it’s sealed! What do I do?
So chances are you are at a drugstore or you’re shopping online. The tricky part about buying foundation like that is that you can’t try it on first. And that’s what you really need to do in order to see if it really fits. It’s like buying jeans without trying them on. You’re really guessing and taking a chance. But it can still be done if you know your exact tone. And if all else fails, get a lighter foundation shade rather than a darker one because you can always add bronzer to deepen it if needed.
I did the quiz and all the steps and it still doesn’t match! What did I do wrong?
It’s going to take practice and trial and error to get it right. If the quiz said you are warm toned, but the foundation is too orange, then tailor it to you! Get one that is not too orange but not too cool. This guide was intended on giving you a general direction and hopefully making it easier to go from there.
The foundations I’m trying to decide on do not have any indicators of warm, cool, neutral, or olive. They just have names like tawny, sand, beige, etc.
Now these are a little tricky because you need to determine the tone yourself. I would say just really analyze them and compare them to each other to get to the base color. If it’s more orange it’s warm, more pink it’s cool, and more grey it’s neutral.
I know what shade I am now, but I don’t know what type of foundation I should buy.
That’s a whole other post for another time! If you’d like for me to write this one, comment below!
That’s it! Hopefully you know now how to choose correctly. Remember, as with anything, it takes practice and getting used to. Makeup is a lot like art and color theory but that’s what makes it fun! And also remember you can always ask someone to color match you. However, I would advise you still step outside before you purchase just to make sure!