How to Perfectly Match Your Foundation to Your Skin

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Foundation comes in various consistencies, from whipped souffles to sticks. The differences in forms enables one to provide needed coverage that can range from natural and sheer to heavier and photo-ready. All foundations can also either be worn alone or topped with powder and other forms of cosmetics for a finished look that expresses yourself.

However, knowing the correct way to wearing foundation is the key when it comes to appearing naturally flawless, to looking unmatched. Foundation should glide on easily, look and feel good on your skin. It should make you look more lifted, highlighting your natural beauty. There are many factors to consider when matching your foundation. First, your skin type which helps keep your complexion balanced as you wear your makeup, your desired coverage, and your skin tone. It’s simply really so read further for tips on how to find your perfect shade.

Cool or Warm Undertone?

We all have tones and undertones in our skin. While we come in various shades and colors, from ebony to ivory,  our skin color goes even deeper than that, which is what makes up it’s undertone. Skin undertones are the colors that are found underneath the surface of the skin. Did you know that you can be a completely different color from someone and still have the same undertone? Therefore, the same colors will basically look good on you.

Maybe you’re very fair, or perhaps your a bit deeper or brown, so choosing shades to compliment or match these tones is ideal. Next, look at your skin in natural sunlight. Does it seem to have a bluish hue, do the veins in your inside wrist sway more blue? Does it appear more golden with greener veins? These will be your undertones. Those with bluish tones will look best in cool tones, colors such as navy blues, cool violets, cool reds, etc. Those with warm tones will look great in warm colors, such as yellow, warm reds, warm greens, colors that reflect what is found in the skin. Some people are even neutral, neither cool nor warm. Sometimes neutral tones may be olive tones. Once you’ve determined your skin’s tone and undertone, it’s time to find your foundation match. However, as the seasons change, your color may change, but your undertone will always be the same.

What’s Your Skin Type?

Next, you’ll want to determine your skin type to determine the best foundation for your skin. Like the product that you use to clean and wash your face, it’s equally important to obtain a foundation that matches the consistency of your skin type.

If your skin is oily, you won’t want to add more oil to your face, which will ultimately result in melted makeup. Instead, and oil-free formulation is ideal, so that it mattifies some of the extra oil while leaving a soft glow, rather than a greasy feel. Likewise, if your skin is dry, you won’t want oil-free foundation because your skin needs the extra hydration, so choose a base which contains hydrating or moisturizing ingredients so that your skin feels luscious and supple throughout the day. Some foundations that are formulated for dry skin even contain small light reflectors to provide a luminant look.

For combination skin, the choice is yours. If you’d like to be more dewy, a hydrating formula will add radiance. If you prefer to look more matte, then a mattifying foundation will wick away extra oil. 

If you have sensitive skin, stay away from foundation that has perfumes and that are too heavy. Mineral makeup is often recommended for this very reason as it is gentle and lightweight enough to provide buildable coverage without the potential irritation that could occur with a liquid.

What Finish Would You Like?

There are so many foundation finishes to choose from and they all provide various textures and finishes.

The most lightweight finishes are tinted moisturizers or sheer foundations. These offer the lightest coverage and typically will contain an SPF. They are basically tinted lotions, but may too heavy for oily skin types. On the other hand, standard liquid foundations offer a bit more coverage, are usually buildable, and provide a natural finish. Not too matte, not too dewy and are formulated for all skin types.

Powder foundations help to mattify the face, which works great for oily skin types while whipped foundation is smooth and whipped, making it ideal for dry skin. Lastly, stick foundations come in a stick form and are typically very thick, so if you have problematic skin, then it’s best to avoid them and use something more lightweight.

Test and Apply

Once you’ve found your ideal foundation with your skin tone, undertone, type in mind. Now it is time to test it out. If you are at a department store, a beauty expert can help you with this step.

  1. Choose 3 colors that you feel are closest to your skin color.
  2. Apply just one swipe of each foundation shade, side-by-side, from your jawline, down to your neck. You’ll want to draw color to your neck because your neck and face should be equally blended. If you have darker natural pigment on your neck than your face, then choose one you’d like to match and use that as your foundation.
  3. Your foundation match should virtually disappear into your skin. If you can see it, then it is too dark, too light, too cool, or too warm. You’ll want to match as closely to your natural pigment as possible.
  4. Once you’ve found your shade with the right consistency, beginning with a clean, moisturized face. After applying primer to your oily areas if you’re oily and dry areas if you’re dry to help the makeup to last longer, place a pea sized or a light amount of foundation to your hand and dot all over your face, or use a brush. Blend down into your neck, until the foundation melts completely into your skin. If you are using mineral foundation, sprinkle a bit out, stir with your brush, tap the excess, and blend in circular, swirling motions, starting at your jaw, up to your cheeks, over your nose, now to your neck, etc. All methods can be built on for added coverage.
  5. Once you are finished, either use a setting powder, or leave as is.

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