Selecting the Right Foundation Based on Your Skin Tone

Finding the right foundation shade has always been a problem for women. But for women with darker complexion – this seems to become all the more difficult.

In recent years, the range of available cosmetic lines and shades for darker skin tones has considerably improved. However, most of them don’t go beyond the caramel and tend to look orange or pasty on dark skins.

But women standing on the opposite side of the colour scale, face more or less the same difficulties.

A lighter complexion does not necessarily mean finding the right foundation shade will be easy. As a matter of fact, you need to put in extra effort at finding a shade that not only matches your skin colour, but also with the undertone of your skin.


So, how do you decide which shade to buy?

According to a celebrity makeup artist Aliesh Pierce – the undertone actually acts as a guide while selecting a foundation shade.

The unifying hue of your skin tone and skin undertone is most prominent at the inside of the wrists. It is this unifying hue that is significantly helpful in narrowing down your search for the perfect foundation shade.

You should try out a minimum of three different tones for a single undertone.

Most cosmetic manufacturing companies explicitly mention on their products which skin undertone category they belong to, and there are shades of cool, warm, natural or olive undertones. The ranges of undertones available with products from different companies are also different.

In case the undertone is not mentioned on the product, you can also call the company customer care to learn about it.

Comparing different shades is also a good idea for determining the undertone. According to Pierce, lining up a few shades will make the difference in their undertone all the more visible. The florescent lights at the counter often make it difficult to understand the real undertone. Therefore, balanced sunlight is best for a true colour match.

Before you actually try out the foundation on your facial skin, always ensure your skin is properly cleaned and moisturized, and free from any traces of makeup. If you can find a cosmetic store that has testers then it is all the better for you, since you need to check out three different shades. Make one of those shades slightly lighter than your skin tone, one that seems an exact match, and the third shade should be slightly darker than your original skin tone. You should apply each one of them side by side, starting from the cheek and going down the jaw line.

Apart from testing the foundation base under balanced natural light, you should also keep it on your skin for at least a few minutes. If you have time available then waiting for around 10 to 15 minutes is a good idea. This is important, because time will allow the foundation to warm up with the body’s heat and only then it will be able to mix with the facial oils to reveal its true colour.

Among the three lines of foundations that you have applied on your skin, the line that blends perfectly with the skin tone will disappear without showing any demarcation; is the perfect match for your skin.

In case testers are not available at the store or you don’t have ample time, purchasing all the three different shades is also a good idea. Why? It’s because many women can’t find the exact foundation shade that matches their skin tone, and need to mix two different shades to come up with a perfect match for their complexion. Having a lighter and a darker shade in your collection will also prove useful during the winter and mid-summer months. This is because, during the winter months, most skins show a tendency to acquire a lighter tone, while in the summer time, the hue seems to become visibly darker.

If you are thinking of using foundation to darken or lighten your skin tone – don’t! The only thing this will do is make your face look unnatural.

Any shade that is lighter than your original skin tone will make it look pasty or unhealthy. A darker shade, on the other hand, will create the impression of some kind of mask.

But, it is also a fact that many makeup artists prefer a lighter foundation shade to a darker one. When trying out foundation bases always do it in the natural light. Take as much time as you need to find the right foundation bases for your skin.

Have any good tips to share on the subject? We would be glad to hear from you.

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