1. Understand your undertone
Your undertone is important to understand, as it will not change over time, as opposed to your skin tone, which can vary according to exposure to the elements or acne. Therefore, it is very important to know your undertone in order to choose the right foundation color.
Cool – blue, red, or pink skin tones
Warm – golden, yellow, or peach skin
Neutral – a combination of cool and warm colors
Knowing which undertone your skin is will help you identify the right make-up products and allow you to correct skin issues while creating a natural look. If your foundation is not a proper match for your skin’s undertone, the color will look orange, copper, pink, rose, or ashen.
2. Determine your undertone
Use the following chart to determine if your undertone is warm, cool, or neutral.
Vein Color On Your Wrist
Under Sun Exposure
Suggested Foundation Colors
Blue or Purple
Skin appears blueish
Silver jewelry flatters more
Cocoa, Rose, Sable, Porcelain
Green or Olive
Skin appears yellowish
Gold jewelry flatters more
Beige, Caramel, Golden, Tan or Chestnut
Skin appears greenish
Both gold and silver jewelry flatter your skin
Nude, Ivory, Buff or Praline
3. More tips for finding the right foundation color
Tip 1. Prepare your skin
You should always start by making sure your skin is as perfect a base for your make-up as possible. Exfoliate and moisturize your skin, in order to ensure a clean, well-prepared base for your make-up and the best support for the colors you will be applying.
Tip 2. Test in good lighting
Use daylight or the closest possible lighting to test your foundation. You can also use two locations and make sure the foundation looks consistent in two types of lighting. If possible, wear white around your neck and shoulders (a white scarf, for example), as other colors might alter your tone.
Tip 3. Match the color you see most
Always consider the face, the neck, and the décolletage, when applying foundation, in order to avoid the ‘mask’ effect (where only the face is made-up and its color does not match that of the neck or the décolletage). Usually they are three different shades, so you will need to even things out and use the color you see the most as a starting point.
Read more of MBS’s Advice column, over here.