We’ve gone through a weird 2020 but thankfully by 2021, most of us are familiar with the “new normal”. One of these includes buying makeup without using a tester.

Any beauty junkie worth her salt would know that foundation matching is one of the trickiest skills to pick up. There are so many things to look out for, and we know that that can be extremely daunting for makeup beginners too.

If you’ve no idea how to find your perfect foundation match, or have tried to but failed before in the past,

Here are some tips and tricks on how to save time, money, and energy while effectively shopping for your foundations – even without a tester!

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Take reference from your old foundation

foundation match - reference from old foundation

If your previous foundation shade still works for you, use it as a reference. Look for bloggers or online reviewers who share the same shade as you and find out what other shades they wear from other brands’ foundations. This should give you a good reference as to what your new foundation shade match will be, if you’re intending to try a new formula.

Understand what undertones mean

foundation match tips

Skintones can be broadly categorised under three classes: warm, neutral, and cool. What undertone your skin is would affect the kind of makeup products that would look the best on you, and it’s especially important in foundation matching.

Now that we don’t have access to foundation testers, knowing your own undertone will help you to shortlist the shades available.

Just because we are Asians doesn’t mean that we all have warm undertones.

Here are a few tried-and-true methods to decide what undertone you are:

  • Check your inner wrist and observe your veins. If they look green, you are likely to have a warm undertone, if they look blue or purple, you probably have a cool undertone.
  • What type of jewellery do you look better in? If gold jewellery looks flattering on you, you’re likely to have a warm undertone. If silver jewellery looks good, then you probably have a cool undertone. F

If you’re still in doubt, you can always consult a beauty professional or makeup artists at beauty stores. They are well-trained to help you find the perfect foundation match to your skin, and can also tell you whether you are warm, neutral, or cool-toned.

Visit stores that let you do contactless swatching

Try Foundation Without Using Testers

Regulations at retail stores may be stricter now but many of them have managed to find a way to let you test foundations safely.

At several beauty boutiques and retailers like Sephora, selected number of foundations are picked out by the beauty advisor based on what he/she thinks you may be suited for, and then applied on a clear sheet. You can then hold up the clear sheet with the swatches next to your face to see which one looks the closest to your skin tone.

While this is, of course, different from trying out the foundation on your skin directly, it is still a good way to get a rough gauge of what may work, especially during these times.

Ask for samples

Beauty Counter 1 1

Some beauty stores and boutiques may be able to let you bring home samples so you can try out selected colours safely. These sometimes come in prepackaged sample kits or bottles and in some cases, the beauty advisor dispenses foundations into clean containers that you can bring home with.

Most beauty stores and counters may not promote this service, but it doesn’t hurt to ask – you may just be able to do so.

DV Tip: If you manage to get your hands on a sample to try at home, here are some tips to test it:

Always swatch it on bare face

The best thing about bringing a sample home is that you can easily try it on bare face – something you may not be able to do in the past at retail stores if you visited with a full face of makeup.

It gives you a more accurate gauge to how the foundation look and feel on your skin, as well as how it will transit from your face to neck. Compared to applying it on top of the foundation you’re already wearing, which may give you an inaccurate foundation match since you’re actually matching it to your foundation instead.

Apply it along your jawline

Assuming there isn’t enough to go around your entire face, apply the little foundation you have on your jawline. This will give you a more accurate match than on, say, the back of your hand.

It also helps you decide if you are able to get a natural transition from your face to your neck when you swatch the foundation along your jawline.

Applying just a little of the product along your jawline first also serves as a kind of patch test to check if there’s any adverse reaction to the product.

Allow the foundation to sit on your skin for a few hours

The reason is because some foundations may oxidise overtime, giving you a different tone after a while.

It also gives you a good idea on whether you enjoy the texture of the foundation, its finish after a while, its longevity; in other words, whether you enjoy the foundation if you were to wear it on a regular day.

Try it under different lighting

Local makeup artists said lighting is key to shopping for the right foundation. If you really want to get the best foundation match, make sure you check out your foundation swatch in different common lightings, including fluorescent lights, warm lights, and importantly, sunlight.

Use a foundation finder

foundation shade finder websites

There are many foundation finder websites and apps that can do pretty decent jobs at guessing and matching you to the shade closest to being perfect.

If you’re trying to find your foundation match for a particular product, you’ll have to enter in your best shade matches for at least one other foundation from another brand.

The more shade matches you enter, the better the website will be able to match you to your perfect shade in the foundation range you want to purchase.

A few of these websites include:

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