This week I want to tackle a question that gets asked a lot: how to know your right foundation shade.
Not all brands and foundations are made the same. That’s especially true when it comes to what shade fits your skin tone. It’s a tricky world. Not all bottles with the shade name “Cocoa” or “Almond” are the same.
The easiest way to choose the right shade from whichever brand is to know your undertone.
There are three different skin types according to the undertone: warm, cool, and neutral. To find yours, look at the veins on your wrist.
Veins that have a blue to purple color indicate a cool undertone. If your veins are more on the blue to green color, you’re neutral-toned. If your veins have more green to olive color, you have a warm undertone.
Another way to tell your undertone is by the way your skin reacts to sun exposure. Warm undertones typically get darker in the sun but never burn. Neutral undertones 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.
After you’ve got your undertone, it’s also good to understand your skin type and what kind of foundation is best for it. If you’re on the oily side, go for a mattifying formula or a powder foundation.
If you’re on the dry side, foundations that are moisturizing and have a dewy effect are for you. Look also at the evenness of your skin tone. The more discoloration you have, the more you’d benefit from a full coverage foundation or one that offers a buildable formula that won’t look cakey on the skin.
At the makeup counter, try to find out the base of the foundation. Cool undertones will look great with a foundation with a rose, red, or blue base.
If you have a warm undertone, go for a foundation with a gold or yellow base. Neutral undertones should consider shades like buff, nude, ivory or praline. It’s also possible that the best shade of foundation lies in mixing two different shades from the same line.
When swatching foundations, best to do it on your neck. This will make sure your face and neck don’t have two different shades when you apply makeup. It’s a common mistake. Always try to check the foundation in sunlight as well. This will help you see that the foundation won’t look funny on your face no matter what the lighting situation may be.
You also should swatch three different shades of foundation side by side, as it will help you see via comparison what shade suits you. This way, you also will find the right contour shade and the right highlight shade for you.