How to find your foundation match

IMG_1723Matching your foundation can be tricky, especially if you have an uneven skin tone. I recently snapped a shot of my own makeup only to see that my foundation was too light across my forehead – so frustrating! So I took to the internet to see if there was a better way and came across this foundation course on youtube, created by Makeup Artist Lisa Eldridge. If you have the time, go ahead and watch all 8 videos. If not, read on for tips and tricks I’ve compiled from #foundationcourse, internet makeup gurus, and personal experience.

  • Do not shop for foundation at the drug store or online. Unless you have successfully purchased the product before, it’s near impossible to match your foundation without trying it on.
  • Be prepared to remove your makeup. You won’t be able to match your skin if there is already product on it. Either show up barefaced or remove your foundation at the store. Pay attention to overall color of your skin, as well as lighter and darker areas.
  • Swatch the foundation over several sections of skin. This is how to really nail a good match. Most makeup artists will only match along your jawline. This can be problematic if your jaw is significantly lighter than the rest of your have, or you have hyper pigmentation. Try matching across your forehead, on the nose, and the jawline. Look for a foundation that will blend into all three areas (it may appear slightly light in some areas).
  • Try it on your entire face. Once you think you’ve got a match, smooth it over your whole face. Examine the consistency, how it sits on your skin, and the feel of the product. Do this yourself (rather than a sales person) so you can really get a feel for the product.
  • Back away from the mirror and look at the overall effect. Does it look natural? Is there a seamless color from forehead to upper chest? Hold up your hand to your face – Does it look similar in tone and value? If it looks good, great! If not, remove it and try another color.
  • Ask for a sample. Yep, you’ve just spent 20 minutes or more trying on foundation and you’re not even going to buy it (today). Every cosmetic line worth shopping at will gladly give you a sample (rather than getting a return).
  • Wear the foundation for a few days. Check it out in various light conditions, including natural. Take a mirror over to the window and examine the overall color. Compare your face to your neck and chest. Does it look too pink? Too yellow? Just right? Also, watch for oxidation during the day- this is when your foundation turns orange after reacting with the oils in your skin. Determine if you like the wear. Does it feel drying? Turn into an oil slick after 5 hours? Settle into fine lines? Wears beautifully?
  • If you find a foundation you love– that’s great! Buy it! Go forth and be merry!
  • If not, go back to the top and try it all again. To save on time, you might consider asking for samples of a few different formulas, or a couple shades in a single formula. The sales women at Sephora have been very accommodating when I tell them I’m in the market for a foundation. If they aren’t super busy, don’t be shy asking for 2-3 samples.

Finding the right foundation can be a trial and error process, but it’s worth it! Once you have the formula and shade that works for you, you’re set to shop online when it gets low.

Good luck on your search for the perfect match!

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