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,
It’s 2020 and it’s unacceptable to still get your foundation shade wrong, especially when there are many brands out there offering a huge variety of colours for your choosing.
Here are some tips and tricks on how to save time, money, and energy while effectively shopping for your foundations!
1. Don’t buy it before you’ve swatched it
Generally, foundation colours shown on official packshots aren’t true to life, and it doesn’t take into account the way the foundation oxidises on your skin either.
Guessing your shade based on online swatches done by other people may not be accurate either – a single foundation shade may look vastly different when taken by two different people, based on lighting and camera quality.
If you want to get the perfect foundation match, take the guesswork out of your decision and swatch it for yourself in stores
Once you’ve swatched it and are perfectly happy with the shade you’ve picked, you can then go ahead and buy it online!
2. Swatch it on your jawline
Swatching on your jawline to find your best foundation match is a common enough tip, but we think it’s important enough to reiterate in this list.
For convenience, most people’s first instincts would be to swatch foundations on the back of their hands or on their arms.
However, if you look in the mirror and put the back of your hand or arm next to your face, you’d realise that there is a difference in skin colour there.
Since you’d be wearing foundation on your face and not on your arms, you’ll be getting a much better foundation match if you swatch it on your jawline.
All you have to do is pump a bit of foundation out from the tester bottle, swipe it along your jawline, and blend it out as much as possible. The right colour would be the one that blends right into your skin (such that it looks like you’re wearing no makeup at all.)
Swatching foundation on your jawline also helps you determine if a particular shade will provide the most natural transition of colour from your face to your neck.
3. Don’t buy immediately after swatching
It’s not just to prevent you from impulse buys! Even makeup artists have given us this same foundation matching tip: don’t immediately purchase a product just because the shade seems like a good foundation match even on your jawline.
The reason is simple: many foundations are prone to oxidation. This means that while it may seem like the perfect foundation match for you at first swatch, as minutes go by, the foundation may become a shade or two darker.
Of course, this is not an issue with all foundations, but we still recommend erring on the side of caution, especially if you’re eyeing a pricey foundation – you don’t want to waste all that money on something that you wouldn’t wear out!
4. Be creative with lighting
Local makeup artists said lighting is key to shopping for the right foundation.
The lighting found in many makeup stores and drugstores may not actually be the best for you to spot differences in shade that would be otherwise obvious in fluorescent lighting.
If you really want to get the best foundation match, make sure you check out your foundation swatch in fluorescent lights, warm lights, and importantly, sunlight.
The best way to swatch? Head to your favourite beauty store first thing, swatch the shades you’re considering, and then continue with the rest of your shopping.
Remember to regularly check on your swatch with a pocket mirror when you find yourself in different types of lighting in and around the mall!
If it passes all the tests, then you know you’ve found the foundation match worth investing in.
5. Swatch bare-faced
It may seem weird to go around with a patch of foundation on your jawline when the rest of your face is bare, but remind yourself that you’re doing it to make sure you’re spending your hard-earned money wisely.
It actually makes sense since you’re trying to match your foundation to your natural skin tone, and not to another foundation.
If your skin is sensitive or allergic to an ingredient in the foundation, swatching bare-faced will also help you spot that problem before you spend the money rather than after.
6. Ask for samples
Many makeup stores and counters are happy to give you small tubs or packets of the foundation in your desired shade if you ask for them.
Of course, in order not to waste time and resources, Daily Vanity recommends that you still do the above-mentioned steps to properly find out your foundation match, so you’ll know exactly which shade to ask samples for.
This is the most ideal way of testing out a foundation, as you can get the best idea of how a foundation shade will look when properly applied all over your face and also how it wears throughout an average day.
7. Understand what undertones mean
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.
Just because we are Asians doesn’t mean that we all have warm undertones, as beauty blogger Musicalhouses describes in her post about the topic.
Finding out your undertone is especially important because it makes a huge difference in how your foundation shade will look on your skin.
If you are warm-toned and attempt to wear a pinker, cooler-toned foundation, you will find that it clashes horribly with the rest of your body.
Similarly, if you are a cool-toned Asian (yes, you could be one), picking warm-toned foundations may not be erring on the side of caution and cause your face to look more sallow.
If you’re 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.
8. Use a foundation finder
Sometimes, we find ourselves craving for foundations that aren’t sold in physical stores here (so no testers, no swatching, and no samples).
You can get these online or asking someone to buy it for you overseas – but how do you find your foundation match?
There are many foundation finder websites on the Internet (just Google it!) 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.
DV recommends that you keep this as a last resort, and only use it when there is absolutely no way you can swatch the foundation in question. There’s always a possibility that the foundation finder website may not be 100% accurate!
Featured image from The True Care.
Lancôme Ultra Wear Foundation
Sweat-proof and long-lasting, this full-coverage foundation promises a 24-hour comfortable wear – a bold and confident promise. Its colour stays true throughout the day while it also contains oil-absorbing ingredients to make sure that you look flawlessly matte, but never flat, all day, every day. Best part? The collection includes 16 shades so you’ll be sure you can find a perfect match effortlessly.
Lancôme Ultra Wear Cushion
Looking for high coverage, longwear, and portability in one product? Then the Ultra Wear Cushion is the ideal choice. The oil-free product gives a natural matte finish and buildable full coverage that still feels lightweight on skin. We love that these benefits are all encased within a spill-free sponge that makes it a great on-the- go product to have.
Lancôme Teint Miracle Hydrating Foundation
If you enjoy dewy finish, then this bestseller will be your favourite. Harnessing the Universal Light Technology that resembles how healthy skin glows under day light, this foundation gives radiance to skin for up to 12 hours. Formulated with 40% water, it also keeps skin hydrated, creating a natural- and healthy-looking finish all day long.