Finding the Perfect Match
Step 1 : Determine Your Color Tone
First, we need to find out if you have a cool or warm skin tone. Here are a few tricks:
- Look at the veins on your arm. If they're blue, you're cool. If they're green, you're warm
- Put on a true white top and then an off-white top. If you look better in true white, you're cool and vice versa
- Do you look better in silver jewelery or gold? Silver is cool, gold is warm.
Next, we'll determine if your skin tone is pink, yellow, olive or brown. Those with very fair complexion that burns before it tans, tend to have a pink tone. Yellow is the most general tone that applies to those with fair to medium complexions. Asians tend to have a yellow tone as well. If you're tanned, you can probably accept an olive tone. If you have a dark complexion, you'd have a brown tone.
Step 2 : Neutralizing Color
After you have confirmed your skin tone, take a look at the foundation that you're keen on. Does it look too pink or too yellow? Some foundations tend to have that which may overpower the natural color of your skin tone. Using overly pink foundation on pink skin would make you look like a lobster while yellow on yellow equals banana. Some foundations may convince you that they are color correctors but you'd still have to be careful. You wouldn't want to have a yellow arm with a pink face.
The best option is to go for a foundation that is overall, neutral in color but has a hint of yellow or pink to match your skin tone perfectly.
Step 3 : Matching Foundation to Your Skin
Always -- I can't say this enough -- ALWAYS, try a foundation on your face rather than the back of your hand. The color and skin on the back of your hand is not the same as the skin on your face. A foundation color should never be 'settled' on. It is important to find the correct shade so that you do not look like you have a mask on. Blend the foundation along your jawline. If you don't see anything, you've found your match.
It is not advisable to use a foundation that is lighter or darker than your natural skin tone to avoid an artificial look. The color on your face should match the color on your neck.
Some skin tones may accept several shades of foundation. In a case like this, try each shade on a larger area on the jawline and see which shade one you like best. If you are torn between a lighter and darker shade, I would suggest to opt for a lighter shade as blushers and bronzers can be added to darken the shade.
The perfect skin tone should make your skin look brightened and fresh but without any obvious color difference.
If you follow the steps above, you should be able to find your foundation shade.
Foundation Buying Tips
- Apply foundation on a clean face that is free from any facial make-up
- I would suggest to try the foundation on yourself rather than asking a beauty assistant to do it for you. This is because many make-up artists are magicians that can make the wrong shade look perfect on you and you'd go home not being able to duplicate the same effect. Also, sadly, there are some beauty assistants that may try to talk you out of buying your perfect shade and convince you to take a different shade because they're out of stock.
- Avoid using foundation brushes at the cosmetic counter when you're trying out the foundation. The brushes may not be cleaned properly from its previous usage and this may compromise the actual color of foundation that goes on your skin.
- Dust some translucent loose powder over the foundation to see the actual effect in a complete make-up. It is also a way to determine if your foundation is truly moisturizing or mattifying. After a layer of powder, a moisturizing foundation should still look glowing and dewy while a mattifying foundation should look matte and shine-free.
- Ask for a hand mirror so that you can see the effect of the foundation in several lights. Daylight would be the best light to confirm your shade in.
- Do not rush when buying a foundation. After trying, walk around for half an hour to an hour. This gives time for the foundation to oxidize and settle in. Put the foundation to the test so that you would know if it really feels comfortable and looks good after having it on for awhile.
A foundation should feel like a second skin and never a mask. Although it may be tedious, finding the correct foundation shade makes a rather huge difference in your overall look. Good luck!