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How to find your perfect foundation shade

Some on counter staff are better than others, but if you can, it’s better to try and match your self. You know better than anyone what colour your skin is and what you look for in a foundation. Now you may have heard many tips and tricks over the years, however this is the perfect guide to getting your perfect match!

You know how you can often look better in the warm glow of candles or the yellow-y lights in a restaurant bathroom? That is yellow light blessing you with warm golden tones that will complement your skin tone. There are probably only 5 in every 100 women who are so pale they need a pink toned foundation. Everyone else if you see any foundation with the name ‘rose’ or ‘blush’ in the colour name- avoid it like the plague unless you want to look embalmed. Keep pink to cheeks, lips and nails where it belongs. 

Sometimes your forehead is a different colour to the rest of your face, as that’s where the sun hits your face first. This is especially true for women of colour. Either buy and wear two foundations, or if the contrast isn’t too severe, try to find a shade that’s in the middle

Don’t be tempted to go up and down shades to ‘correct’ what you perceive to be faults. Foundation is there to be the same colour as your skin. It is not there to ‘warm it up’ that is what bronzer is for; and it is not there to ‘cool it down’ that is what highlight is for. It is simply there to match perfectly.

Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can occur in foundation. Just like apples and other fruit will turn brown when exposed to the oxygen in the air, foundation can turn a shade or two darker (or more orange) on your skin over the course of the day. Oxidation is a weird, commonly despised, yet not fully understood problem in the beauty world, because it seems to wholly depend on a person’s skin type, the foundation they’re using, and their skincare routine. Some cosmetic chemists say that it’s caused by solvents in the foundation evaporating on your skin, causing the pigments to look a darker color on your face, while others disagree, citing your skin oils or skincare oil to be the real culprit: “The oils on your face and the oxygen in the air…mix with the oils in your foundation and cause the oxidative process” It seems to be a combination of the two is most likely true. Oxidation definitely does happen, but I find that it’s almost always because of an SPF or a primer that doesn’t mix well with your skin or your foundation. If you fall victim of oxidation, then you need to trial and error some different SPF’s, skincare and foundation till you find what works well for you. Take full advantage of samples during this time!!

Lastly, You may need to adjust your colour depending on the time of year. Most women have darker skin in the summer. You can also get liquid bronzers you can mix with your foundation to help when you have a tan. See an earlier blog for more detail.

So here is what you do:

  • Look at the spectrum of colours and pick 4 similar shades, (avoiding the pinks unless you are alabaster-white), that in your opinion are most likely to match.
  • Using a cotton bud, (most counter staff will give you these), create 4 stripes on your lower cheek and don’t blend. Repeat this on your forehead. Top tip: As you put each pot down, leave them in the same order as you applied them so you can remember which colour is which!
  • Now as painfully embarrassing as you may find this go outside and look in a mirror. A hand mirror or a mirror borrowed from counter staff will do. Don’t use your phone or look in it’s camera as it won’t be an accurate representation of colour. Then tah-dah- The one that is the hardest to see is your foundation colour.
  • Don’t be tempted to go up and down shades to ‘correct’ what you perceive to be faults. Sometimes oxidation is just a result of wearing a foundation too dark for your skin. Go with your true colour and the rest of your makeup will always look better!! Trust me! 
  • My last tip is that if you have never used that foundation before, always ask for a sample and try it out first. You’ll never truly know if its a good match in colour and formula till you’ve worn it for a whole day.

Let us know in the comments any colour matching dilemmas you have and we will help!! 


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