Wednesday, 27 July 2011

How To Match My Foundation? ( Indepth Research )

I have been asked so many times by so many people about which foundation would suit them better that I finally decided to do some research and make things easier for everyone. As it is not possible for me to tell you guys about which foundation is best for you, because when buying a foundation there are many things to consider and to keep in mind.

  Firstly you have to know your complexion, then find out your skin undertones and you should know your skin type aswell. You should also know if you are applying the right type of moisturizer before foundation and whether you need any (and how much) SPF (Sun Protection Factor) in your foundation.

To determine your skin complexion intensity and your skin undertones always check in day light or light intensity close to natural sunlight. Remove any makeup you have on your skin and keep skin charts with you which you can get form the internet and print them out. Compare your skin with the charts and see which category you fall in.

So we will start with skin complexions:

Skin Complexion and skin Undertones are two DIFFERENT factors. The Skin complexions are generally categorized in to 4 different intensities that are :

1. Fair Skins
2. Medium skins
3. Tanned Skins
4. Dark Skins

Some times the categorization starts from Very Fair and may range to Very Dark but most of the time they are considered to be under 4 intensities.

As you can see in the chart above people with any skin complexion intensity can have any type of skin undertones. Knowing your correct skin intensity and skin undertones is very important for buying your foundation because if they are not in harmony you foundation might look too ashy or cakey and your skin imperfection will be accentuated.

The next step is to find out your skin undertones.

There are mainly three different types of skin undertones and they are categorized as warm, neutral and cool.

The Warm undertones are usually the skin tones which are: golden, olive, yellow, woody toned complexions.
If your skin better interacts and is in harmony with gold,yellow, orange, reds tones, WARM shades and golden jewelry makes your skin look luminous and better enhance your complexion then that means you have warm undertones.

 The Cool undertones are usually pink, rosy, beige, or brown complexions. If you skin better interacts and is in harmony with blue, rosy brown or a light rosy color, COOL shades and silver jewelry makes your skin look luminous and better enhance your complexion, then you have Cool undertones.

You have Neutral undertones if you have a balance between warm and cool undertones. Most women have neutral undertones.

Some of the makeup brands cater for Olive skin undertones separately which is very good because in this way you can get exact match to your skin and wont have to mix up foundations for the right shade.

The next step is to find out what skin type you are. The skin are generally categorized into 4 types:
1. Dry
2. Normal/Dry
3. Normal/Oily
4. Oily

It will be easier for you to determine your skin type from the picture below.

Always remember to keep you skin type (e.g Oily, Dry, Normal ) in your mind when purchasing your moisturizer which you will apply few minutes before you foundation as that matters a lot. If you have oily skin always go for an oil free moisturizer as this will prevent oily breakouts during the day and help your foundation to stay put longer. Same with dry skin, the moisturizer will help prevent dry patches through your foundation.

When you have determined your skin complexion intensity, skin undertones and your skin type, you are now ready to match your foundation. The makeup brands usually have named/numbered their foundations according to complexion, undertones and types (e.g oily, dry, normal) to make it easy for people like us. Always ask for a sales assistant/beauty adviser to help you to select the best possible matches for your skin.

Apply a tiny amount of each foundation in stripes from cheek down to your jawline. The foundation which is closest to your natural skin tone and blends in and you cant separate it form your natural color is the one for you.
Remember a foundation is not meant to make your complexion fair, its purpose is to make your own skin complexion flawless and  hide any discoloration.

People who have very fair, fair, light medium skin complexion can burn, or tan very easily from the sun so it is always advised that they put on some SPF (Sun Protection Factor). The lighter your skin colour the more SPF you need. You can use the moisturizer with SPF but it is better that you buy a foundation with a SPF fr more protection.

                                              Click on the pic to see it bigger.

Hope I solved your problems regarding how to match your foundation and it would be easier for you to get a perfect match from now on. :)


  1. Hi, thanks for the helpful info! just curious though, is neutral undertone same or different from olive undertone? I believe I have olive, which makes it really hard to find foundations, can you recommend me brands that carry olive undertones? Thank you :)

    1. Try Nars Stromboli and Santa Fe. They also have done funny names, so better to do your research first. Alima is another brand which makes olive stand out. It's easier to choose, but I never tried it

    2. It depends what shade you are- i.e., fair, light, medium, etc. Fair (MAC reference NC15) -olive- like me is probably the hardest to find. The only foundation I've ever found to be an exact match for my pale olive skin is NARS Gobi. I recently discovered Bare Minerals BarePro in champagne- this is olive-y. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in 3.0 isn't a bad match but it leans more golden than olive but it seems to work. GA has a darker colour that is olive, I forget which number. Urban Decay All Nighter foundation in 4.0 is olive and fair-light. Another option is to purchase colour mixers from MUA suppliers. You can simply add. Few drops of green to a foundation to make it more olive or if the foundation is too peach, add- bizarrely I know- a bit of blue. Failing that, simply buy warm/yellow-toned foundations to the nearest match. Just be aware that yellow or warm toned foundations can sometimes be golden, which can look orange. This is certainly an issue with Dior and Lancome foundations. Clinique (well the shade range available in the U.K.) is simply awful for people like us. However, Clinique sold in Asia and possibly North America, have more extensive share ranges. Additonally, things are changing all the times bad foundations are increasing their shade range.

  2. this is really helpful! thank you!

  3. Omg, You wrote everything a girl should know about picking up a foundation and u did it in such an easy way! Thx

  4. thanks. very helpful information

  5. This is the most comprehensive article I've ever read. It's awesome. Thank you!!

  6. Thanks for sharing your beautiful description about beauty shopping.Thanks for sharing with us and keep sharing.

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  7. nice article..
    so what brand do u recommend for yellow oily skin tone?
    i have totally yellow skin tone

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