The search for the perfect foundation shade is a lifelong nightmare filled with hideous words like “undertone” and “matte finish.”
Many of us have no idea whether we’re “neutral” or “warm” and don’t even know what those words refer to! Why can’t there be a simple, easy-to-remember formula to make things simple as they should be?
Here are some recommendations for those who don’t like foundation and want something lighter. It’s the best tinted moisturizer on earth, the colors are forgiving, it’s amazing for mature skin because it contains hyaluronic acid, and honestly, it just looks like skin.
1. Drugstore Foundations are Kind of a Scam
Yes, they come in so many colors. They’re also so affordable. Drugstores do not sell samples of these products, like Sephora or department stores. This leads to buying a lot of them at once, hating all of them, and never using them again.
We repeat this process until we’ve wasted hundreds of dollars on foundations that just don’t work.
Drugstore foundations promise to save you money, but they don’t. It’s best to spend a little more on something that better matches your skin tone, has a formula you truly love and allows you to test the color first. For this reason, we usually avoid drugstore foundations.
2. Use This Trick to Identify your Undertone
It’s a nightmare to say the word “undertone.” This needs to be acknowledged first. In order to know what our “undertone” is, how do we identify it? If we know our undertone, then do we need to find a foundation that matches it? Does it counteract it?
How can I tell if I’m a “warm beige” or a “natural tan,” other than looking in the mirror and guessing?
We’ll start with a few “hacks.” You’ve likely heard of the dreaded wrist vein trick that has to do with examining the veins in your wrist. If they’re green, your undertone is warm, and if they’re blue, cool.
Although this is a good tip for identifying your undertone, it does not always work.
3. Pick a Formula, and Decide Where on your Body You Want to Shade Match
Ilia’s Super Serum Skin Tint Foundation is a perfect example – it’s a lightweight, sheer foundation that can be built up to provide greater coverage.
How should we match the shade to the body part?
In the past, we were taught that our foundation should match our face as closely as possible, effectively disappearing into our skin. Despite this, Stroh and Bromhead agree that the skin tone should really match the rest of the body (i.e. the neck and chest). From their chests down to their necks to their faces, most people have different shades, says Bromhead, and a bit of a lighter complexion is a result of daily exfoliation and washing.
4. Embrace Technology
Thankfully, beauty companies offer more digital solutions than ever to help us find our perfect foundation.
Using data from your existing brand and shade, Sephora’s online shade finder matches you with other brands and shades in its extensive catalog.
Use your device’s camera to find your perfect shade with Make Up For Ever’s interactive Shade Finder.
5. When in Doubt, Use this Hack
Make a bunch of sample containers in varying shades and formulas and try them at home once you feel comfortable entering a Sephora or department store again.
Don’t let a salesperson pressure you right away. Give it a try. Put on natural light to observe yourself. You should feel it, wear it, and see how it oxidizes. How do you feel after you wash your skin? And there you have it. It’s been worth your effort. Otherwise, move on to the next sample.