Maybe the most difficult makeup feat to pull off is finding your perfect foundation match. Not only are all skin tones slightly different, but (unless you live where the climate stays the same year-round) the color of your complexion changes with the seasons.
If you search tips on choosing foundation, you’ll find plenty of recommendations to get a professional color match. But how many times have you walked out of a department store and hated the color of the foundation you just bought once you get a good, long look in the lighted car mirror?
Department store lighting is not set up to color match (whoever invents indoor lighting that looks like outdoor lighting for department stores will be a gajillionaire!) and only you know what your skin likes. I’m sure some people have found their absolute favorite foundation with the help of a makeup salesperson, but most of the time this is not going to make you happy.
There are several factors that come into play here other than color. Do you want a hydrating foundation or a lighter consistency? Do you want a matte or radiant finish? Are you looking for medium or light coverage? These are all important things to note before embarking on your foundation match journey.
Much time and many dollars later, let’s see how you can DIY the heck out of this whole foundation match business.
6 Steps to Choosing Your Perfect Foundation Match
Step #1 :: Know your skin tone. The foundation you loved last summer, or even at the beginning of winter, may be all wrong right now. Take a long look in a well lit mirror and determine where your skin is at right now, today. Most of us fall in the fair, medium, or dark zone.
Step #2 :: Now, to get your ideal match, you must determine your undertone. This stays the same through changes of season, for the most part, though fair skinned gals may appear more pinkish as winter wears on. There are three undertones … pink, yellow, and neutral. Pink is cool, yellow is warm, and neutral is somewhere in between. A cool foundation on yellow toned skin will look grey. A warm foundation on pink toned skin will look yellow. This step is not difficult, but is super important.
Step# 3 :: What type of coverage are you looking for? A lightweight foundation evens out skin tone and conceals minor discoloration. Medium to full coverage helps with deeper discoloration and in covering acne spots.
Step #4 :: Take your skin type into account. Oily skin types will want to steer clear of overly creamy or hydrating foundations as they may cause skin to breakout or become too shiny. Hydrating foundations make dry skin type more comfortable and prevent the cakey look. Some people prefer a matte finish, while others love a bit of radiance that comes with a slightly luminizing foundation.
Step# 5 :: If you are shopping in store, apply a touch of foundation to an area of your face that a) you always wear makeup on, and b) you can see well. Since you are likely never putting makeup on the back of your hand, this is not suitable for color matching. If you only wear foundation on your T-zone, don’t color match to your cheeks. And it is often advised to swipe a bit of sample product on your jawline. But, unless your eyes are set up differently than mine, it can be dang hard to get a good look at your own jawline. It may not be your dream come true to go shopping with a bare face, so leave an area of your face clean and makeup free for testing shades. This is when bangs come in handy.
Step #6 :: If you are shopping online, track down those juicy product recommendations. These are chock full of great information that a product description often doesn’t deliver. People who’ve used the product can tell if the shade is true to color, if it left their skin greasy or caused zits, if it looks natural or better suited to covering sleeve tats. You get the picture. And order samples wherever possible.
That six-stepper ought to get you on your way. In the meantime, peruse this handy pic of high quality foundations with a little something for everyone.
Clockwise from top left :: Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation, Vapour Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation, Alima Pure Liquid Silk Foundation, Sappho Essential Foundation, W3LL People Narcissist Stick Foundation, ILIA Vivid Foundation Tularosa.