Maybe the transition from summer to fall/winter has your current shade feeling a little too aggressive, or maybe you’re new to wearing foundation and not sure where to start. With more and more brands wising up and offering an extended range of colours (big ups to Rihanna and her Fenty Beauty line for making this the norm), there are more options than ever to make sure you get your perfect match. But with more choices comes more responsibility, so we tapped Josh from Sephora St. Vital Centre to give us all the best tips on truly finding the foundation of our dreams. Watch our video to see what we learned.
Step 1: Find your undertone
Most people have either a golden or a pink undertone. A simple white tissue can help you figure out where you land on this – just hold the tissue under your chin and try to compare and observe what shades come out in your skin tone. If your complexion appears to have a yellow tone in contrast to the white, you have a golden undertone; if it has more of a red leaning, you have a pink undertone.
Another way to figure this out is to look at the veins in your arms. If they appear more green, you have a golden undertone. If your veins look more blue, you have a pink undertone.
In either case, if you are seeing neither or both red or yellow tones, you probably have a neutral undertone.
Step 2: Test Shades
You never really know until you try! Retailers like Sephora and MAC have testers that you can use to find your shade.
Choose a few shades that seem like they may be the right match (if you’re confused about your undertone, grab shades in both golden and pink undertones to try out). With clean skin, stripe the shades along your jawline, and try blending a little. The shade that blends the easiest is your match! If you do not want to try shade matching on your face, use your inner wrist instead, as that skin is nearest to the fair skin on your face. Don’t try matching your foundation on your hand, as the skin here is different than the skin on your face.
You also want to opt out of a colour-matching session if you’ve just been working out, as your skin will be more flushed than normal. Drinking coffee or eating spicy foods dilates the blood vessels in your face and will cause redness as well, so plan to do your testing when you haven’t just been on a coffee date or hitting the hot sauce.
Try to find your colour match in an area with as much natural light as possible. Indoor lights can cause yellowing when you look in the mirror, while natural light is the most accurate.
Lastly, it can be worth asking an expert on how the foundation you’re trying out performs. Some foundations oxidize and will darken once they have been applied to the skin, so with these formulas, you will want to go a shade or two lighter than you might think, as it will darken once exposed to air and the oils on your skin.
Step 3: Blend!
Your best colour match should disappear into your skin, so blend, blend, blend! Using your fingers is just fine, or there are foundation brushes (see Josh’s recommendations here) available as well. Be sure to blend along your jawline and hairline. When you’re wearing the right shade, it shouldn’t be immediately obvious that you have makeup on, while an incorrect shade will seem mask-like or look flat.
Find lots more video tutorials, product roundups and testing, and other beauty advice here. And if your birthday is coming up – or you just love that enigmatic Scorpio vibe – check out the latest installment of our Dress Your Sign series here.
See something you like? Shop the look at these St. Vital Centre retailers:
Pink and white striped long-sleeved t-shirt: American Eagle Outfitters, $34.95
Dark green t-shirt: RW&Co., $25.90