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How to Find a Foundation Match

How to Find a Foundation Match

How To Find Your Foundation Match

There are so many foundation formulas, textures and shades out there—finding the right one can be totally daunting (and sometimes seemingly impossible). We’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to help guide you through the process of discovering your perfect match.

Step 1: Discover your undertone

While your skin tone and texture may change depending on the elements and environment, your undertone will always remain the same. Once you find yours—either by using the guide below or testing shades with different tones—find a foundation in that same tone. Some products will call it out, but you may have to make your best guess.
cool undertones

Cool undertones

Pink, red or blue. These are your undertones if the veins on your wrist look blue.

warm undertones

Warm undertones

Yellow, gold or peachy. These are your undertones if the veins on your wrist look green.

neutral undertones

Neutral undertones

Olive hues. These are your undertones if your veins are difficult to distinguish.

Step 2: Choose your coverage

Next, you’ll want to decide on your ideal coverage—or, the opacity of the foundation. This depends on your personal preference and the look you’re trying to achieve. Extra credit: Use primer and setting spray so your foundation goes on evenly, lays flat and stays put.
light foundation

Light

Evens tone but allows your skin to shine through—for when you don’t want to lose those freckles.

medium

Medium

Evens and conceals for a more polished, airbrushed look.

full

Full

Covers everything. But hey, “full” doesn’t have to mean “heavy!”

Step 3: Find your foundation type

Okay, this is the big one. Finding your formula depends on your skin needs and coverage preference (although, you can layer just about anything to build).

Cream

Full or spot coverage.

Liquid

Medium to full coverage.

Mousse

Absorb oil & cover blemishes.

Stick

Spot coverage & color correct.

BB cream

Sheer to full coverage.

Loose powder

Light coverage & shine-control.

Pressed powder

On-the-go or finishing touches.

Tinted moisturizer

Sheer coverage.

Step 4: Determine your shade

Time to test. Swabbing a bit of foundation on your jawline totally works. But if you want to find your truest color match, blend out a bit on your nose and forehead, too. The winner will disappear. Tip: There probably isn’t a single-foundation solution. You can mix different shades and formulas to perfect your complexion cocktail.

Step 5: Select a finish

Foundation finishes (like matte, dewy, illuminating or sheer) are best selected by your skin type. For example, matte finishes are ideal for oily skin as they have oil-absorbing ingredients. Read the product description for hints. Glow on: Mix your foundation with a bit of highlighter for a radiant complexion.

More beauty tips

When was the last time you cleaned your brushes & other beauty tools? If it’s been a while, don’t worry. Here’s a technique to get them back to (basically) brand new.

Maintaining clear skin is all about finding the right routine. Check out this guide to glowing skin. It’s totally customizable—choose which steps work for you.


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