Welcome to Foundation Basics 101
Having trouble finding the perfect match? Do you want your cosmetic cemetery to finally rest in peace? Do you find you can’t escape from your foundation looking cakey or feeling oily? Want to put an end to the madness? You’re in the right place. In this two part series, you’ll learn what the best type of foundation is for your skin type and how to find the perfect color match.
How to Find the Perfect Shade
Ladies, I need to have a heart to heart with you. I’m all for rocking what makes you feel beautiful because in the end that’s most important. However, the general consensus behind everyday makeup wear is to enhance and conceal certain features. The ultimate goal is make it look like you aren’t wearing any. Can we all come to an agreement that it is actually possible to abuse the use of makeup? There is a time and place for the bronzer, self tanner, and foundation. But if you’re looking like an oompa loompa on any day other than October 31st then this is the moment I want to be the one to lovingly point out that you have “a piece of broccoli in your teeth”. If that piece of broccoli makes you feel beautiful and confident then by all means you smile proudly and disregard my advice, but if you didn’t know it was there, please, let me help you. And just so we are all on the same page, by piece of broccoli, I mean if your foundation is making you look like a ghost or a Dorrito. So as we are talking about foundation, this will help you to find a shade that will blend in with the natural pigment of your skin to make it look like you’re not wearing any while covering up imperfections and evening skin tone.
1. Identify Your Skin Pigment
Foundation usually comes in three classifications: Ivory, Beige, and Bronze, which are just fancier words for Light, Medium, and Dark. Of course there’s a bit of overlapping, but for the most part you can just look in the mirror to have a good idea of which classification you fall into. *For example: generally Caucasian and European women tend to fall under ivory, Middle Eastern and Spanish – beige, and Indian and African American – bronze.
2. Determine Your Undertone
Determining your skin’s undertone is the key to finding the right shade to match your skin. Undertones will either be cool, warm, or olive. Any skin pigment can have any undertone.
3. Stripe Test
In part one we talked about the best type of foundation for your skin and I gave you homework to research a brand that fits your particular needs. Every brand is going to label things differently, but now that you’ve narrowed down your skin pigment classification and you know your undertone, you can go back to your chosen brand and look at how their foundation shades are labeled. Pick out the ones that fit the criteria of your pigment and undertone and get in front of them. Use samples found at Sephora, Ulta or contact your beauty consultant. You need to be able to try the shades on your skin by doing a stripe test. Avoid matching it to your hand. Your hand has a different pigment than your face. Instead, stripe the foundation where the jawline and neck meet closest to your ear. You’re going to want to stripe at least three different shades closest in range with one being lighter, one in the middle, and the other being darker so you have a comparison and can see which one blends in with your skin best. If available, take advantage of a foundation shade finder tool to help narrow down the selection as much as possible.
Tips and Tricks
- Wait to decide if it’s the right color because the foundation may need time to adapt to your skin.
- Color can look different when blended.
- Can’t choose between two shades? Mix the two together or go with the darker one.
- Match in natural light.
I hope this series was able to help guide you to understanding your skin better so you can find the perfect foundation type and shade for your skin. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.