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Foundation is possibly the most crucial part of our base makeup, helping to even out our skin tone and create a solid base for the rest of our makeup look.

The right foundation shade should blend into your natural skin and become almost invisible, as though magically giving your skin the perfect filter!

Still, finding the ideal shade for your skin is easier said than done. So, we’ve rounded up tips on identifying your skin’s undertones and swatching new foundations to bring you one step closer to achieving a flawless base.

Keep reading to get started on your shade-matching journey!

Types Of Skin Undertones

Credits: Healthline

To get your perfect foundation shade, you’ll need to look into your skin’s undertones. Undertones are generally split into neutral, warm, and cool undertones, and they’re the key to finding a shade that blends right into your skin.

Take note – the depth of your skin tone has nothing to do with your undertone! Your skin tone can shift over time due to factors like sun exposure or ageing, but your undertone will never change.

So, it’s important to correctly identify your undertones to prevent your foundation from looking ashy on your skin, even if the shade is the right depth.

Plus, it’s important to remember that not all pale skin tones are cool-toned, and vice versa.

  • Warm skin tones tend to have stronger yellow or orange undertones.
  • Cool-toned skin features blue or pink undertones.
  • Neutral skin tones have a good mix of both, which means that it’s often easier for them to find the right match!

Identifying Your Undertone

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Completely lost when it comes to undertones? We’ve got you covered.

One common method of finding your undertone is to observe the veins of your arms and hands under natural lighting. If your veins appear green, this signifies warm-toned skin, while blue veins are common for cool-toned skin.

If you love accessorising your outfits, your jewellery can also help you identify your shade. If silver jewellery stands out on your skin, you likely have cool-toned skin, while gold jewellery complements warm-toned skin perfectly.

Lastly, try holding up a plain white shirt or a sheet of white paper next to your face and observe how your complexion looks.

If your face looks more yellow, you’re likely to have warm-toned skin, but if your face looks more pink, your skin is more cool-toned.

Shade-Matching Online

One way to start your shade-matching journey is to use online tools to get a sense of the range of shades you should focus on when you next visit a makeup store.

These tools will scan your face when you activate your phone camera or upload a photo of yourself in order to recommend the right shade for your skin tone.

You can easily find shade-matching tools created by makeup brands, such as Maybelline, L’Oréal, and Fenty Beauty, which correspond to the brand’s range of foundation shades.

So, if you already love the formula of a specific brand’s foundation, their tools will make your foundation search a lot easier!

Alternatively, if you’ve already found foundation shades that work in the past, you can try tools that’ll analyse your previous shades and apply that knowledge to foundations from other brands.

You can key in your previous foundation shades on sites like Sephora and Findation to get the closest match to your old foundation.

Still, these online shade-matchers may not always be accurate, so it’s always better to test out the foundation in real life!

Shade-Matching In-Store

In makeup stores, you can often find store assistants or beauty experts who are more than willing to help you find the perfect shade.

However, if you’re shopping alone, here’s how to check that your foundation shade is right for you.

No clue where to start?

  1. Try narrowing down your possible shade matches to three potential shades – your online shade-matching tool should help you gauge which few to look at!
  2. Next, make sure to swatch the foundation on your face and neck for accuracy – swatching the products on your arm or hand just won’t cut it, as your skin tone might be significantly different on your arms and face!
  3. Swatch each shade next to one another on your cheek before blending them individually, and the shade that disappears into your skin will be your best match. Make sure to blend it onto your neck and chest as well so there is no awkward shade difference between your cheek and jawline.

Also, try to get a sample of the foundation you’re testing so that you can observe it in different lighting!

Your foundation might look completely different under fluorescent store lighting and natural sunlight, so make sure to check its appearance both outdoors and indoors.

Observe your face from various angles when applying your foundation swatch to see how lighting affects the look of the foundation. Your go-to foundation should look flawless under any lighting!

Salvaging Wrong Foundation Shades

Credits: @freepik/Freepik

With that being said, shade-matching definitely isn’t easy.

You might have followed all the tips, only to try on your foundation for the first time and realise that it still looks just a little off.

Not to worry – there are ways to salvage this situation so you won’t waste the whole bottle!

If your foundation ends up being too dark for you, try mixing it with your moisturiser or primer. With the right skincare formula, you’ll be able to lighten your foundation shade while adding skincare benefits to your makeup for a natural and lightweight base!

Alternatively, you can get a concealer just a shade lighter than your usual foundation and use it to highlight high points of your face, blending it in smoothly for more dimension to your makeup look.

On the other hand, if your foundation is too light for you, try adding bronzer or contour to warm it up and add colour back to your complexion.

If you’ve had more than one mishap on your shade-matching journey, you can mix a too-light foundation with a too-dark one.

Pump the foundation onto the back of your hand as a convenient palette, and experiment until you find the right ratio to suit your skin!

This method also works if you’ve exhausted all options and still can’t find the right shade – purchasing a formula you love and mixing shades close to your skin tone will also produce the right custom foundation shade.

Plus, remember your undertones? You can take advantage of your new knowledge to pick out a colour corrector or coloured primer that’s a complementary hue for your foundation shade, before blending the two together to balance them out with colour theory!

For example, try a blue colour corrector if your foundation is too orange. Meanwhile, if your foundation makes you look overly rosy or flushed, use a green colour corrector to eliminate excess redness.

Now that you’re armed with these tips, you can get started on your journey to achieving flawless base makeup!