How Do You Pick the Right Shade of Foundation?

Why does my face look gray and ghostly? How do I avoid getting an awkward-looking tideline below my jaw? [...]

Why does my face look gray and ghostly? How do I avoid getting an awkward-looking tideline below my jaw? Everyone who has ever used the wrong shade of foundation has asked these or similar questions. What they should be focusing on is how to pick the right base for their makeup.

We’ve got you (and your face) covered with this easy-to-follow guide. If you find this helpful, check out other beauty tips on Foundation Advice.

Picking the Right Foundation Shade

Choosing the shade that matches your skin perfectly is as important as knowing how to apply foundation. However, things could get tricky with the number of options available in the market. Here are tips to help you pick the right shade.

1. Find Out What Your Skin Tone Is

The first step towards picking the right foundation shade is identifying your skin tone. There are three main categories: light, medium, and deep. However, there is a good chance that you would fall somewhere in between. You can have a very light, light-medium, medium-deep, or very deep skin tone.

To complicate things even more, you might hear about many other sub-categories. There’s alabaster and porcelain for light, warm beige and honey for medium, and almond and chestnut for deep. The list goes on.

If you’re not sure what category you belong to exactly, try going online and finding out how other people describe their skin tones. A good strategy is comparing your skin to celebrities, models, or famous makeup artists.

2. Don’t Forget About Your Undertone

Aside from identifying your skin tone, you need to know what your undertone is. It is the color that comes through from under the surface of your skin and affects your overall hue. If it has a golden, olive, or yellowish quality, then you have a warm undertone. You would also notice that your skin tans easily.

If it has a pink, red, or bluish characteristic, you have a cool undertone, and you burn easily under the sun. If you are somewhere in between, then your skin has a neutral undertone.  

3. Test It on Your Face

Knowing your skin tone and undertone would narrow down your options significantly. You still have to test them, but at least you’d only have a handful of foundation shades to go through.  

Try three swatches by applying small amounts of different products to your jawline. Whichever seems to disappear into your skin would be a good choice. You might see some apply the swatches on the back of their hands, but this is not a good idea. For most people, the skin on their faces is a different tone from that of other parts of the body.

4. Check It in Daylight

Most shops have ample lighting, but it still would not compare to daylight no matter how good it is. So, once you have applied the foundation, try to look at it outside with a hand mirror. It is a more realistic condition in which to assess your foundation.

When trying a shade, pick the one that blends seamlessly with your skin. Ideally, it should be practically invisible. Remember that you want to achieve a great-looking complexion and not be a walking advertisement for the foundation.

5. Ask the Experts

Talking to a professional when shopping for a foundation would save you a lot of grief. Consultants working for shops have the skills and experience to help you make the right choice. They can recommend products based on your preferred coverage and finish or your skin type.

Aside from having the skills, beauty consultants have access to advanced tools. Some shops even have a digital machine that can identify the right shade and even formula for you. It takes out all the guesswork from the selection process, ensuring that you are making the right purchasing decision.

6. Take It for a Spin

Sometimes, despite all your efforts, you could still fall victim to buyer’s remorse. To prevent this from happening, ask for a sample as much as possible. There are those that offer enough supply to last 10 days.

Once you have it, you can try it out in different lighting conditions. You can even see how good (or bad) it looks in photographs. The problem is, this is not an option for some brands. If you find yourself in such a shop, do not be rushed into a decision. Ask the counter staff to put the product on you, then go out in the daylight before choosing a foundation.

7. Use Virtual Try-on Tools

If you feel uncomfortable about going outside to shop for foundation, don’t worry. A number of brands and online retailers have virtual tools that can help you try various makeup products at home. Don’t be afraid to try them as they can be surprisingly accurate and effective.  

Make the Right Choice

When shopping for foundation, finding the one out of countless options can seem overwhelming at first. Fortunately, you can whittle your list down to a manageable size and make the right choice with these simple tips.

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Laura.Bartlett

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