Why is finding your perfect foundation match so complicated? Didn’t we all learn how to identify and match colors in preschool? So we should all be experts by now, right? Well, unfortunately not. And now with increased safety protocols and attention to hygiene, long gone are the days of dipping your fingers in the foundation testers at your local Sephora or Ulta store.
If you need a new foundation or want to try out a new formula, I’ve found a fool proof way to find your perfect shade without leaving home.
There are three things you must decide on first, before you begin your search for your foundation shade:
1. Foundation formula
2. Types of coverage
3. Foundation finish
1. Which foundation formula is right for me?
There are 5 types of foundation formulas. How you decide on one is mostly based on personal preference but there are also preferences based on your skin type, weather and even the type of event/occasion for which it is worn.
- Liquid – this formula has a more runny texture which allows it to glide on and blend easily. This is the most popular formula and my personal favorite and it is enjoyed by all skin types.
- Cream – this one is the thickest and creamiest of all the formula types. Those with oily skin should probably avoid it but if you have dry skin you may enjoy this formula. It comes in easy to travel stick form, pan or in a compact.
- Powder – this finish is great for oily skin types as it does a great job absorbing excess oil. This formula can get a little messy when it comes in its loose powder form but it also is found in a compact.
- Serum – this formula is much like the liquid but it also includes skin care ingredients that cater to specific issues like hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3 or even SPF.
- Water based – this formula is the best for acne prone skin and for the summer because it allows the skin to breathe and it does not contain oils that can aggravate the skin. This is another liquid foundation type that also with you guessed it, water as the main ingredient.
2. Types of Coverage
The 3 types of coverage to choose from are light/sheer coverage, medium and full coverage based on how much on how much of your own skin you would like to seen. If you have and even tone and smooth skin a light or sheer coverage may be all you need and if you have hyperpigmentation or any other type of discoloration that you would like to cover than a medium to full coverage would work for you. I also recommend a full coverage foundation for more formal events and if you are creating a more dramatic makeup look. It the kind of finishing touch that makes for a flawless face for pictures and special events.
The 3 main foundation finishes are matte, dewy and luminous
- Matte finish – leaves the skin is typically preferred by oiler skin types because it contains contain any ingredients that cause the skin to look shiny or sparkly.
- Dewy finish – leaves the skin with a soft shine that to me looks the most like normal skin.
- Luminous finish – these formulas sometimes have reflective properties that catch the light and have your skin glistening like a star.
So now that you’ve narrowed down the formula, your coverage and finish, now let’s get into shade matching.
Where should you test out your foundation shade?
No one has one uniform skin color. Typically, your forehead is the darkest place because it receives the most sun. And if you are religious about wearing sunscreen, then your face might be a completely lighter shade than the rest of your body. So what part of your face should you match your shade to? If you are deciding between a few different shades in person, then you should apply the color swatch to your jawline. This test placement helps you match your foundation color to your neck, which is the best place to match for a seamless look. And remember when you’re applying foundation makes sure your blend into the hairline and all the way down your neck. No one should be able to tell where your foundation starts or stops.
Foundation Matching Quiz
Foundation matching quizzes use a series of questions to help you select the best color match.
If you love to take tests then this is a great option for you. And many of your brand faves have a foundation quiz that you can take online and so do the beauty lover’s mecca Sephora and Ulta. What’s great about the Sephora or Ulta foundation quiz is that they will give you a variety of brands to choose from instead of just one.
Some of the questions they ask in these quizzes are:
- What is your undertone?
- Do your veins show as green, blue or purple?
- What color jewelry looks best on you, silver or gold?
- Do you sunburn easily?
But, I must confess to you that I have no idea what I really look like. Ok, you can stop laughing now because I’m willing to bet that for many of you, if you stop and think, you have no idea what you truly look like either.
I came to this realization when I tried to create an emoji of myself for my iPhone. I had no idea what my eyes or nose shape are much less my skin color. So when I take a foundation quiz, I’m left feeling more confused than when I started. So a virtual foundation try on is what I recommend.
Virtual foundation try on
Beauty technology has finally advanced to the point where you can seamlessly and effortlessly try on foundations using your desktop or even your phone.
Some of your favorite beauty brands have created a virtual try on open to guide you to your correct shade and I tested out 4 popular – The Lip Bar, L’Oreal, Nars, Elf.
The Lip Bar
I have a discount code that you can use to purchase this and anything on The Lip Bar website. Use code CASIE10 to get 10% off.
L’oreal Virtual Try On
I found that each one was fast and easy to use. Some of the brands force you to really dig to locate the virtual try on on their websites, but you won’t have that problem since I’ve linked them all above.
Some tips to remember, for best results be sure that you’re in a well lit room – preferably in front of window during the day for natural light. And when you are trying to match your foundation, just as you would in person, make sure you match the shade to your neck. For me, Elf, NARS and The Lip Bar had the best match for my skin tone.
Now here’s the game changer. You can take the brand and foundation shade that you love and use it to see what are your other matches within thousands of other brands using the foundation conversion website www.findation.com
For example, I entered the shade Moorea from NARS and the shade Suede from ELF and it spit out a ton of different options from other brands that match those shades.
You can even save and send your results to your email. I feel like this is the beauty industry’s best kept secret.
Casie’s Foundation Favorites
If you are just getting started and need a place to start, below are some of my favorite foundation that I know that you would love too.
- High End:
- Juvia’s Place I Am Magic Velvety Matte Foundation – Note – Juvia’s Place always has a sale so you should never pay full price on any of their products.
- Covergirl truBlend Matte Made Liquid Foundation
If you need even more help and would like to finally learn how to apply your own makeup, I offer virtual one-on-one makeup lessons. I can give you the skills to create the perfect makeup look that enhances your unique features. Curious on how this can work for you?
Schedule a FREE Discovery Call and let’s chat.