Finding the right shade of foundation for your skin is anything but easy. There are so many variables, and if you’re looking for a natural look, you don’t want your face to look any darker or lighter than the rest of your body, because even if no one else notices, it always looks really obvious to you when you look in the mirror.
The first thing you need to do when trying to find the correct foundation shade is to focus on undertones. “You can get away with a foundation being slightly too dark or too light as long as the undertone is the right match,” Kosas founder Sheena Yaitanes told Goop. “This is particularly important for olive skin tones: Anything too warm looks muddy and takes away the brightness we’re all after. If your undertones are pink, choose a foundation that’s listed as ‘cool.’ If your undertones are warm, you want a foundation with warm undertones to avoid looking ashy.”
Test a few different shades to find your perfect match
Once you’ve determined your undertones and have your desired coverage and finish in mind (matte, sheer, etc.), the next step is testing. Select a few different shades and dab them on your hand and your face. “The foundation should match the side of your face and your neck to prevent you from looking like you’re wearing a mask,” celebrity makeup artist Frederick Sanders told Glamour. “I swatch on multiple spots: jawline, cheek, forehead, and neck,” celebrity makeup artist Emily Cheng added. “I’ll usually go with one that matches my neck and forehead the most because that’s where I get the most color.” Be sure to test it in natural light and wear it for a couple of hours to ensure it’s durable or doesn’t change color over time.
Ultimately, whatever foundation shade you go for, you want to feel comfortable in your skin. Don’t feel pressured to buy any product immediately — like most beauty products, it’s always a good idea test first and shop around.
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