How to Find Your Perfect Foundation for your Skin Tone
With so many shades, finishes, and coverage levels available, choosing the right foundation can be daunting. And that's exactly what makes it one of the toughest makeup products to buy.
The ultimate goal is to find a foundation that looks like your own skin — only better. After all, the best foundation shouldn’t be seen at all. So how do you find the right foundation shade that actually lets your skin look like skin? To help you out, we turned to our Makeup artist insider, Janet Persaud to break down everything you need to consider when shopping for your new go-to foundation.
1. Don't Forget About Your Skin's Undertones: understanding your undertone will help you choose the right foundation color. In general, people fall into one of three undertones:
Cool, which means your skin is more blue, red, or pink.
Warm, which means your skin is more golden, yellow, or peach.
Neutral, which means your skin will have a combination of cool and warm colors
If you have a warm complexion, go with a shade that has yellow undertones, and if your complexion is on the cool side, a foundation with pink undertones is your best bet. Janet says "Typically if you’re able to tan, you likely have a warm undertone. If you burn easily, then you’re likely a cool undertone. If you fall somewhere in between or not too sure where to start, then opt for a neutral tone – it tends to be the most forgiving place to start."
2. Consider Your Skin Type: knowing if you have dry or oily skin won’t help you pick a foundation shade, it will help you choose the right type of foundation and finish. That's the question to ask before testing foundation shades. Matte foundations are usually more suitable for combination to oily skin types while for dry to normal skin types, dewy foundations work best.
3. Know What Coverage Level You Need: Do you love makeup? Or prefer the more minimalist approach. If so, you may opt out of full coverage foundation. For those that want a long-wear foundation that doesn't require mid-day touch ups, or have acne or discoloration, opt for a full-coverage foundation.
Here are a few guidelines Janet recommends based on what clients say “if you find yourself saying things like I don’t wear a lot of makeup, or don’t want it to look too cakey – look for a sheer finish. If you’re not afraid of makeup, but still want to feel like yourself but version 2.0, light to medium will be your best bet. It’s buildable and will give you the flexibility you need to create that flawless finish.
4. Find Your Perfect Shade: A great foundation is a must for flawless-looking skin, but it's tricky to find. This doesn't have to be an exact match, but should be close since the color is going to shift throughout the day. Janet suggests testing two or three shades that look closest to your complexion and wearing it for the full day before making a commitment. "Don’t be afraid to ask the store for a sample or make sure they have a fair return policy. You need to check it out in natural light and after a day of wear to see how it changes compared to you initial application."
5. Take Advantage of Virtual Try-On Tools: several beauty brands offer virtual try-on tools at home. A number of brands and retailers have created their own tools, including L'Oréal Paris, MAC, Sephora, Bare Minerals, to name a few. This is a great way to help narrow down your search.
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