How To: Find Your Perfect Foundation Shade

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Hey all! Let’s talk foundation! The biggest issue with foundation is not knowing your exact shade! I struggled with this throughout my high school life. When I got into college, I became more educated about my skin tone. I found out that I have medium tan skin with warm golden and yellow undertones. I found that out through trial and error, trying out Sephora’s Color IQ technology, and going to MAC to get color matched. And yes, it is FREE to get color matched but a MAKEOVER is not free. Don’t get it twisted.

The first thing you want to find out is if you’re cool, warm, or neutral toned. The fastest way to find out is looking at your veins. If they’re blue, you’re cool toned. Cool toned people also have a pink, red, or blue tinge to their skin. If they’re green, you’re warm toned. Warm toned people have a yellow, gold, or peach tinge to their skin. However, if you’re neutral toned you’ll have more a difficulty discerning if your veins are blue or green. Neutral toned skin has neither a red/pink/blue tinge nor a peach/golden/yellow tinge. Neutral toned skin is easier to pick a foundation for since they fall somewhere in between.

After you’ve figured that out, you want to go to a professional and find out your specific shade. I wouldn’t suggest going to a drugstore first because you can’t test the foundation. But if you’re confident enough, do you! Remember, your foundation is supposed to match your body NOT your face. Your face is usually lighter than your body. If you match your face color instead of your body, it’ll look off. I was too stubborn to go to a professional so I would just pick what I think fit best in the drugstore. Surprisingly, I got it after 2 tries. I found out that my perfect shade was Revlon Colorstay’s foundation in Toast. That was my holy grail. Then I moved on to L’oreal True Match in W7 (Caramel Beige). I was young and on a budget so I opted for drugstore. If you’re not a fan of drugstore and want something more high-end, go to Sephora or MAC to get color matched.

When you’ve found your perfect match, you can go and venture out to try different foundations. One amazing tool that I recommend is findation.com. In my experience, they’ve color matched me correctly to a foundation 90% of the time. All you have to do is input the foundations you use now. Then, based on what you inputed, it will give you your shade in different foundations. I used Findation to pick out my Kat Von D, NARS, MUFE, Maybelline and Estee Lauder foundations. It was accurate every time! It saves you a lot of time. You won’t have to swatch all the colors because you’ll already know!

Also, just for reference, here are my foundation shades:

MAC Studio Fix Fluid: NC44

Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation: Medium 62

NARS Sheer All Day Luminous Weightless: Tahoe 

Estee Lauder Double Wear: 5W1 Bronze

MUFE: 170 Caramel

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk: Shade 8

CoverGirl Outlast 3-in-1: Golden Tan 857/Classic Tan 860 (alternates during the seasons)

Smashbox Studio Skin: 3.2

Maybelline FIT ME: 315 Soft Honey

Revlon ColorStay: Toast

L’oreal True Match: W7 (Caramel Beige)

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder: Honey

If one of your shades match one of mine, you can use it as a reference. Don’t swear by it cause you skin could be a tinge lighter or darker. The ones highlighted in red, I figured out myself or through consultation.

Hope this helped! xx

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