When choosing a foundation, you should always try to find a color that ‘disappears’ right into your skin. The last thing you want is to look like a member of the Ringling Brothers circus, so always test out a variety of shades to find one that matches perfectly with your own skin.
Lighting in department stores can sometimes be unflattering to the skin tone, so make sure to test out the colors and then walk around to areas with different lighting, just to make sure it looks all right. The best light of all to test your foundation is natural light, so perhaps take a walk outside to see if it still blends perfectly.
The idea with makeup, especially foundation, is to create a ‘natural’, ageless look. If nothing else, make sure your foundation is a close of a match to your facial and neck skin tones for easy blending.
The first thing to do when you go to a beauty counter or specialty store such as Sephora, is show up with a clean face, free of any makeup. This will help show you what looks best and what colors to stay away from. Pick a shade of foundation that looks similar to what you think is your own color, and pick a few shades up or down from that. Generally, yellow-based foundations look the most natural and warm on most complexions, but if you are fair-colored, look for something that is pinker than yellow, which helps with cooler colored complexions.
The best place to test out a shade of foundation is along the jaw line. Don’t test colors on the hand or wrist, because that’s not where the makeup is going to be applied! Any body part other than the face might be darker or lighter entirely, which in turn leads to choosing the wrong shade for the face. The makeup should blend really well into the jaw line, resulting in a perfect foundation choice.
Since your skin color changes from winter to summer, find shades accordingly for each season.
While you don’t have to spend a lot of money on foundations, they are certainly worth the money you choose to spend. Makeup artists are always willing to show samples of foundation color, as well as mini makeovers to try new products. At Sephora, there are hundreds of foundation choices, so if you feel overwhelmed, just ask a beauty expert for some advice.
There are also plenty of non-expensive foundations out there, like L’Oreal, Cover Girl or countless other brands. The same rule applies to searching for that perfect foundation color at drugstores. You can sometimes find the perfect shade by holding the bottle up to your jaw line, but if that doesn’t make you feel comfortable, some drugstores allow a great return policy on makeup that doesn’t that turns out to be the wrong color or shade.
If you’re worried about your skin and what makeup might do to it, worry no longer. Many brands have now designed foundations to match special skin types. No matter what skin type you have however, try to always find something with an SPF to protect your skin from harmful sunrays.
If you have oily skin, look for bottles that say “oil-control” or “oil-free”. Foundation without oil blends evenly into skin tone, and you may add powder instead of liquid to oily areas of the skin.
Combination skin works best with moisturizing foundation. Using ‘cream to foundation’ bases are excellent because they’re applied as a cream, and then they dry to a powder finish. They provide great coverage while cutting out shine and balancing combination skin.
With dry skin, look for foundation that also has moisture added to the formula. Words to look for are “hydrating” and “moisture-rich”. By using hydrating foundations, the skin looks natural and moisturized, working two ways at once. If you opt to have a matte foundation as opposed to a dewy one, look for foundations containing Vitamin E or other skin softening ingredients.
Shopping for foundation can be daunting and confusing, but once you find the right shade, it can make all the difference. If in doubt, you can always ask a beauty professional what their opinion is!