Beauty 101: Finding Your Perfect Foundation – Part 1

 Becca

Source – Becca

Skin.

It’s the canvas for all things we apply on it. Without a clean, even canvas to start on, the clarity and quality of our work won’t shine through.

Sometimes searching for the perfect foundation can be a little daunting; there are so many different kinds – powders, liquids, BB’s, CC’s, and now even DD’S!

Have no fear, by the end of this journey you’ll be a foundation-pro.

The “Perfect Foundation” search can be an epic saga in and of itself, so here’s my 2 part guide for finding your proper base so you can create your own ideal canvas every time.

So, let’s start with the basics.

I have three general rules for finding the right foundation, my “3 C’s”, if you will…

Color, Coverage, and Consistency

Today, we’ll be talking about Color.

Color, probably the most important thing to focus on when choosing the right foundation for yourself. Choose the wrong color and you can end up looking sallow, ashy, tired, or even get that dreaded foundation “mask” (you know what I’m talking about). However, with the right color, you’ll look awesome!

On the quest for your right foundation color, you first want to figure out your undertone. You will most likely be either “warm” or “cool”, and sometimes people can fall into the “neutral” category.
If you have a warm undertone, you will likely have yellow or olive hues to your skin. Cool undertones will tend to have more of a pink or bluish hue. If you tend to have blemishes or redness like me, look past those overtones and really see what’s underneath your skin.
You can do a couple different tests to determine your undertone.

There’s the “vein test”; turn your wrist and take a look at your veins, if they tend to have a more greenish tint, you may be warm toned. If your veins look more blue, you may be cool toned. If you can’t tell, you may be a neutral.
Also take a look at your eyes and hair, do you have gold or reddish flecks in your iris (colored part of your eye), does your hair have a reddish undertone? This can indicate you are warm.
If your eyes have more of a grey, black or blue hue and/or if your hair is naturally ashy blonde, jet black or neutral brown without any visible red undertones, you’re probably cool toned.
Another good test is the “silver or gold” test, try on a piece of gold jewelry and then silver. If you decide the gold looks better on you (I am personally a gold jewelry fiend), warm may be your tone. If silver is what you prefer, cool may be your tone.
Here’s a hint for those with darker skin – you may automatically peg yourself into the “warm” category, but try some of those tone tests and you may be surprised!  

I feel like I can’t stress enough that we need to break through the convention that Asian or darker skinned people are always “warm” toned and Caucasians are “cool” toned. It’s not always the case at all!

Let’s take a look at myself and my friend Brooklyn, as an example. Here’s yours truly, and MissSeattle Peach herself, Brooklyn. We’re both lighter skinned gals, but have very different undertones to our skin. It may be subtle, but she is certainly a cool toned gal (look at her eyes and the “blue” undertones in her hair) and I am a warm (hazel/brown eyes with reddish undertones in the hair).
Brooklyn would be able to pull off intense blood red lipstick since it’ll play off well with the cool undertones of her skin, while I on the other hand would look like I were dying, so as a warm-toned girl I stick with coral and peach tones for lips.

coolvswarm

Some celeb examples of “cool” toned ladies are Reese Witherspoon, and Katy Perry.
Warm-toned celebs include Nicole Richie  and Mila Kunis.

Undoubtedly, the best way to test for the right foundation color is under natural light. Unfortuately, many drug stores and department stores have terribly unflattering fluorescent lighting but do what you can to get the best view.
Once you’ve found a foundation you like take the color that you think will closely match you and then get a shade lighter, and a shade darker so you have three total to test. Most drug store foundations label will label their shades under “fair/light”, “medium”, or “dark/deep” to make it easy to differentiate. L’Oreal and their True Match line (a “daily” of mine for a long while) has probably one of the better selections of colors as far as drug store lines go. They still tend to be on the more “yellow” side as I’ve noticed many drug store lines tend to be so if you’re a cool toned be sure to look for the labels that are labelled as such, or have keywords like “beige” or “neutral”.

As far as department store/high end brands go, Make Up For Ever definitely has an amazing selection for practically every shade and undertone; but I will talk more about brands in part 2.

Let’s get back to color matching. Take each shade and swatch a streak along your cheek or jawline. If you’re able to, go outside and look at yourself in a mirror. The color that best meshes in to your skin without a bunch of blending will be the one to get. If you tend to have oily and/or darker skin, it’s a good rule of thumb to get your foundation in a shade just a bit lighter than you think you’ll need. This is because the oils in your skin can tend to oxidize foundation, making it turn darker once it goes on your skin.

Now here we are, you’ve mastered foundation color. Be sure to come back for part 2 on Coverage and Consistency and learn all about the different types of foundation out there.

Until next time!

xoxo

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Comments
2 Responses to “Beauty 101: Finding Your Perfect Foundation – Part 1”
  1. Sammy says:

    Great post! When it comes to picking the right colour, I really find websites that help you choose the right foundation very helpful, the best one I have found so far is http://www.beauty.ps/tool/foundation . I will ask you what are your preferences in terms of the formula and shades of foundations you have used before and you found a good match – based on that they choose what is likely to be a good match. Give it a go, I found it very helpful:)

  2. Lucy says:

    Thank you so much for the amazing tips. Finding the right foundation can be such a hassle. I do feel a lot more confident about it now though!
    Also, another pointer if it can help. I ran into this website the other day http://www.beauty.ps/tool/foundation. It’s pretty great! It helps you find the right foundation for your skin type and the right shade. For us girls who hate spending hours in the beauty department trying out different shades :).

    Hope you like it !

    Xx Lucy

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