How to find the perfect foundation shade

How to find the perfect foundation shade

Are you wearing the most natural-looking shade of foundation? The goal isn’t to mask your skin entirely; it’s to find a shade that you only have to apply where needed and truly looks like you have nothing on.  A great foundation is a must for flawless-looking skin, from tinted moisturizers to loose powders, there are countless formulas and finishes and different techniques for applying them. Follow these tips to finding your perfect match and putting it on like a pro.

Step 1:

Find a product that is right for your skin type. It is true, a tinted moisturizer doesn’t offer as much coverage as a foundation, but only choose a heavier foundation if your skin truly needs it. Lots of women actually have combination skin, which means they are oily in the T-zone and dry everywhere else.

  • If your skin is oily, look for words like “oil-free” or “oil-control” on the bottle.
  • If you have dry skin should look for moisturizing foundations with “hydrating” or “moisture-rich” wording on the bottle.
  • For combination skin, determine if you’re more oily or dry and go from there. Cream-to-powder bases work great for combination skin. Mineral foundations work well on all skin types, especially sensitive skin.

Step 2:

Choose your shade. Being able to try before you buy at a department or specialty store is a huge bonus. Test it on your face, not your hand, test three swatches of the foundation you think the best suit you for comparison on your jawline, and go with the closest match that appears to disappear into the skin. Remember, a foundation shouldn’t show on your skin, you want your complexion to appear amazing, not your foundation.

Step 3:

Get shade matched seasonally. Even if you wear sunscreen every day, it’s inevitable that your skin tone will be slightly darker in the summer months and paler during the winter. That’s why one foundation shade won’t work all year round. Once you have established the shades that work for best for you during the summer and winter months, you can even blend the two together to customize the right shade as you transition through fall and spring.

Step 4:

Apply It Like a Pro. Different formulas require different application strategies. For example:

  • Tinted moisturizers and BB creams: rub them onto skin with your fingers.
  • Liquids, mousses, and creams: brushes or beauty blenders are best.
  • Powders: to keep it light, use a fluffy brush to sweep powder up and down the T-zone.
  • Sticks: swipe foundation straight from the tube onto problem spots and buff with a makeup sponge.

Many foundations these days come with SPF, but the amount (usually about 15 SPF) is not enough to properly protect you. We recommend supplementing with an SPF of at least 40 worn under the foundation.

Reminder: The average shelf life of a foundation after it’s been opened is about 2 years.

Meet some of the foundation brands that offer up a wide range of shades so you can find your exact fit.

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