How To Choose Your Perfect Foundation Shade

How To Choose Your Perfect Foundation Shade


Finding the perfect foundation shade can prove to be a challenge, especially if you have no idea how to choose one.

For me, learning what type of makeup works best on my skin has usually been done through the process of trial and error. Unfortunately I’ve also wasted my fair share of money doing it that way too.

You live and you learn, right?

Now, with the abundance of testers in beauty departments and gold mines known as ‘samples’, we no longer have to worry about throwing our money away on products that just won’t work. Finding a cosmetics store with a great return policy is also a huge life saver!

When it comes to choosing the perfect foundation shade, there are several things to consider. Obviously, matching it as closely to your skin tone as possible is the most important, but there’s also more than just that.

Formula and coverage are other big factors. Foundations with not enough coverage can force you to apply multiple layers, which can end up changing the overall color of the foundation, making it much too dark and cakey. On that same token, a foundation’s formula can also determine which shade is perfect for you, based on the way it reacts when you apply it to your skin. Is it a powder foundation that oxidizes over time or is it a liquid foundation that dries much too light?

Because of these factors, testing products in the store (if you can) will prove to be most beneficial.

Tips for Matching Foundation to Your Skin Tone:

Apply or swipe (powder form) a dab of the foundation onto the back of your hand and blend with a clean finger. If you can still see the product on your skin it’s not the right match- you’ll be able to see it if it’s too light or too dark. The point of foundation is to even out one’s skin tone, not contrast.

Apply or swipe (powder form) a dab of the foundation onto the inside of your forearm. *I don’t necessarily prefer this method as that area of skin isn’t exposed to the sun as much as your face is, so the results won’t actually be accurate. However some people do use this method with no problems.

You can also spot test foundation on an area of your face, however I suggest removing any existing makeup so that the foundation will be applied to a clean surface, and you can see its true color.

Take into consideration the time of year. For example, our skin tends to be much darker in the summer and at its palest in the winter. Depending on the season, you’ll want to compensate for that when foundation shopping.


Aside from those personal tips, you can also call on the opinion of other shoppers or ask for assistance from someone who works at the store/department. Since you naturally can not see your face, having someone else’s opinion can greatly help.

How do you choose your perfect foundation shade? What tips can you share with the rest of us?

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