I Advice

How To Find The Best Foundation Color Shade For Your Skin

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How To Find The Best Foundation Color Shade For Your Skin

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
Jewelry Test
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.

  • 1alwaysnyc1

    I’ve tried the first few tips but found that my skin tone changes over the seasons. I really like the final tip about matching the color you see the most! Often, sales associates try to match my forehead which is darker than the rest of my face, resulting in the “mask” effect.

  • Brenda King

    I like the chart that was provided for determining one’s skin undertone. I found it to be very helpful!

  • Calvin F.

    Really helpful, thanks.

  • Susan West

    This is packed with powerful tips. The chart for undertones is something I have over looked and is very helpful. I now know my undertone colors.

  • Stephanie Mitchell

    I think my skintone may be medium. Ivory looks too white on me. Thanks for the helpful tips.

  • thepittsmn

    I have never found a liquid foundation that doesn’t turn orange on my skin and now use mineral make up which doesn’t turn orange, but have a rough time finding the best shade.

  • Tanya

    Some very good tips here, I never really thought about the undertone colour before.

  • Cathy Jarolin

    Great helpful Tips. Never Knew my Vein color would help determine my undertone> That is something new I learned. Thank You for Sharing1

  • Susan West

    Never considered undertones before. Great information and tips.

  • chava zewicky

    This is a great article I hate picking out foundation and powder I can never find the right shade.

  • E Camille

    It took me forever to find the right shade for me

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