Choosing the right foundation for your skin type is a struggle many people go through. If you have ever seen someone with the wrong shade of makeup on, you understand how important getting it right is. You could have even been in the same shoes yourself. It is hard to admit right?

The makeup could be a lighter shade than the skin and make her look like a ghost. For others, the makeup could be a darker shade, making her look like she has a bad sunburn. Either way, it is never a good look and you should avoid those mistakes like the plague.

Admittedly, it can be tricky choosing the correct type of makeup for your skin, but it is not impossible. Continue reading if you want to have your makeup always picture perfect. Like most things though, there is a process to go through before you can get to that perfect stage.

What Is Your Skin Tone?

When was the last time you actively thought about your skin type and how it plays a role in the type of makeup you buy? Be honest, you probably don’t give it much thought right? Well, that is the first thing that needs to be corrected.

Choosing the wrong shade of makeup for your skin does not only affect how you look. The makeup you buy spends a lot of time in direct contact with your skin, enough for something to go wrong somewhere.

Your skin should feel good when coming into contact with your makeup. Forcing your skin to interact with makeup that has the wrong formulas or ingredients all day is not helping you look fresh. Which is the ultimate goal, right?

As difficult as it can be for you to find the perfect makeup for your skin tone, it is something you need to figure out. It is usually worth the trouble at the end of the day. You do not want to end up looking like an orange clown or a porcelain doll. Your makeup should blend seamlessly with your natural skin tone.

If you need any extra motivation, picture yourself in that amazing makeup, looking like a million bucks. Is that enough motivation? Good, keep reading to find out how you can make that happen.

The first step in finding the perfect foundation for your skin tone is to first find out what skin tone you have. But to determine that, you need to know what skin tone is.

Skin tone refers to the amount of melanin that is in your epidermis, which is the outermost layer of your skin. Now, when your skin is exposed to sunlight, melanin is produced to absorb the harmful rays of the sun.

Because of this, determining your skin tone could be affected by how much time you spend in the sun. But one thing is constant; you were born with a particular skin tone. It could be one of these:


If you live anywhere with frequent snow and lots of cloud coverage, you are most likely light-skinned. The abundant cloud cover means the skin does not have to produce much melanin. If you have a light skin tone, you are more likely to get sunburned easily. You should be sure to incorporate UV protection into your makeup routine.


People with medium skin tone usually come from Southern Europe and Northern Asia. If you have this skin tone, you have probably heard your skin described as “olive” at some point. This skin tone is well balanced and makes finding the right foundation quite easy.

An added benefit of this skin type is that you probably look beautifully golden after a few hours in the sun. But that does not mean that you are immune to the harmful effects of sunlight.


This skin tone originates from places in the world that get lots of sunlight, like the Middle East, Africa, and India. Like those with medium skin tones, keep your sunscreen handy. You could still damage your skin if you are overexposed to UV rays from sunlight.

It is important to note that these skin tones are grouped in broad terms. There are people that fall into some shades in-between. This is where your skin undertone comes in. It helps you determine your particular skin tone variation.

What Is Your Skin Undertone?

The term skin undertone refers to the muted and subtle colors beneath your skin. Think of it as a shadow under your skin that is always there, lurking in the background. While some external factors, like sunlight, might affect your skin tone, your undertone always remains the same.

Finding the perfect foundation for your skin tone means you need to determine your unique skin undertone and match it. Here are the different types of skin undertones:

Cool: Red, Pink with bluish tints

Warm: Yellow, peachy or golden tints

Neutral: Olive, or a balanced combination of the tints above.

Now that you understand what skin tones and skin undertones are, you need to know how to determine which one you have. There are some simple DIY processes that can help you out. Here they are:

Determining Your Skin Tone/Undertone

You already know what to look for because you know what skin tone and undertone mean. So finding out which category you fall into should be a breeze. Here are a few ways for you to determine your skin tone:

Look At Your Face In Natural Light

If you apply makeup to your face and notice a grey tint, then you did not choose the right foundation for your skin tone. To remedy this, wash off the makeup and wait 15 minutes.

Wear a white shirt, stand in natural light, preferable sunlight. Grab a mirror and observe your jaw so you can get your surface skin color (skin tone).

If your skin appears to be yellow/red, then you have a warm skin tone. But, if it appears more bluish pink, then you are working with a cool skin tone.

The Vein Test

This is a simple test to determine your skin tone. Simply flip your wrists over and examine your veins. If your veins appear to be blue or purple, you probably have a cool skin undertone. Alternatively, if they appear green, you probably have a warm skin undertone. If you can’t tell, either way, you probably have a neutral skin undertone.

The Silver/Gold Test

This is one test that a lot of ladies can get right behind. All you need to do is wear your favorite jewelry. If silver seems to complement your skin better than gold, then you likely have a cool undertone. If it is the other way round, then you are more of a warm skin tone girl.

This test is a bit out of date and more subjective than the others. Most people’s jewelry boxes contain pieces with a fair mixture of both anyways. But you can still try it out for size.

Now that you have been able to figure out your skin tone and skin undertone, you can go into your favorite beauty store with confidence. Now you know what to do and what to pick. You are going to learn how to choose the right makeup for your skin tone shortly.

Choosing The Right Foundation For Your Skin Tone

As you well know, your foundation is probably the most important part of your makeup routine. It is the base, where everything else goes and it has to be perfect if you want flawless looking skin. You have to choose the correct shade, the right product for your skin type, and know the look you are trying to create.

It does seem like a lot of pressure for choosing one product right? Well, it could be, but the right knowledge can make it so much easier. Because it is not just about the color or choosing the right shade. It is also about choosing loose powders, or tinted moisturizers. Maybe you want a matte look instead of a dewy one. The makeup formula matters too.

Even the way you apply it is important, there are many factors involved. Don’t get confused though, you will be taken through the entire process step by step. Keep reading to find out how to get your foundation just right.

Factors You Should Consider When Choosing Your Foundation

So, we are down to brass tacks. You need to answer a list of questions about yourself and your skin before you can get the right foundation. First of all, how would you describe your skin? Oily? Dry? Normal? Sensitive?

Once you’ve answered that, try to figure out the biggest issue you are currently having with your foundation. Does it disappear too early, or look flaky and dull? Maybe it feels heavy or it irritates your skin.

You should also figure out the things about your face, if any, that you are trying to hide with makeup. Maybe you have large pores, acne, redness or brown spots that you are trying to hide. Maybe you are not hiding anything and just want a general covering that will smooth your face. Whichever one it is, keep that at the back of your mind when choosing your foundation.

Finally, what look are you hoping to achieve? Do you want the best dewy look or a more understated matte look? Maybe you just want to look natural or even? All these factors will ultimately influence the type of foundation you should get.

Buying Your Foundation

Do you have oily skin, a few acne spots to cover, and your makeup doesn’t stay? Then you should stay away from oily makeup.

When you put oily makeup on an already oily face everything turns into a slippery slide. Your foundation can literally break down and slide off. Try to choose an oil-free makeup with lightweight silicon. This will help the makeup stay but won’t clog up your spores.

Do you have dry skin and are going for a dewy look? Does your makeup always look flaky and dull? Then you should switch to a creamy liquid foundation. You can boost the hydration of your skin with a foundation that contains moisturizing ingredients like glycerin. Remember to go for one that also provides protection from the sun if you have light or medium-toned skin.

The next category of ladies have it all figured out already. You have normal skin, you want a natural look and you don’t really have any issues with your makeup. You can just put up your feet and rest. You have low maintenance skin and can wear any foundation you want. Although, it is recommended that you go for a sheer foundation with light-reflecting particles.

Finally, if you have sensitive skin, there is a perfect solution for you: mineral makeup. Most of these mineral foundation liquids have loose minerals like Zinc that can help soothe your skin. They are also free of potential irritants like parabens and fragrance.

You are now ready to go shopping for your new foundation makeup. But first, here are some important tips to consider.

Tips For Shopping For Your Foundation

This is where you can shop for the perfect foundation that fits your skin tone. Keep these tips at the back of your mind when you are in a drugstore or beauty shop:

Ask For Help

If you are lucky enough to shop in a store that allows you to try out the product before buying, then perfect. If not, ask for help and get a trained makeup artist to color match you.

Make Sure To Test The Right Spot

Also, make sure that you test the right spot on your face. The best place to test makeup on your face is your jawline. This helps you compare with your neck which is usually paler than your face. If you have the right shade, it should disappear into your skin.

Always Go To Natural Light

The harsh fluorescents inside most stores can be deceptive when you are trying on makeup. Those harsh lights don’t do anybody any good. Try to find the nearest window or skylight where you can try the makeup on.

Do Your Homework

Even before entering the store, you can do most of the legwork yourself. There are some brands, like L’Oreal and CoverGirl, that have complexion matching apps on their website. You could try those out before going to the store.

When In Doubt, Go Darker

This is a pretty important tip. If for some reason you can’t seem to get your shade down, go darker. It is better to go darker and look tan than to go too light and look chalky.

The last bus stop on this journey to find the correct type of makeup for your skin is the application. Yes, it might not seem important, but it is easy to do it wrong.

Applying Your Makeup

This is also important in getting that perfect final look. You do not want to go through all that trouble to find the perfect shade and then drop the ball at the finish line. Different makeup formulas require different forms of application. Here are some tips that can help you with applying your makeup:

Tinted Moisturizers and BB Creams– You can rub these into your skin with your fingers.

Liquids (foundation), Mousse and Creams- For these products, you want to get a brush. Flat-topped brushes with synthetic bristles are especially good. This is because synthetic bristles will not absorb the makeup as natural bristles would. Blend outward, and buff in a circular motion, starting from the center of your face.

Powders– You can use a fluffy brush to sweep powder up and down the T-zone. A good tip is to leave the cheeks bare to give you that glow. Also, use a brush with dense bristles for more coverage.


You are now officially a makeup queen. Finding the right makeup for your skin doesn’t get easier than this. You should be able to blend your foundation perfectly with your skin now. Make sure to keep it light and be patient. If you do not get it the first time, try again until you get the best foundation for your skin type.

Table Of Contents

clickable navigation

Chapter 1 – Finding The Right Foundation For Your Skin Tone: Simple Steps To Follow

Chapter 2 – What Is Your Skin Tone?

Chapter 3 – What Is Your Skin Undertone?

Chapter 4 – Choosing The Right Foundation For Your Skin Tone

Chapter 5 – Applying Your Makeup

Chapter 6 – Conclusion

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