How to Find the Best Foundation Color for You

Written by Stylist Barby


Foundation is a cosmetic base that covers all your blemishes and provides an even, clean surface area for applying the rest of your makeup. It is very important that you use the right shade of foundation to avoid a very obvious and unnatural look. Foundation can be very hard to match—so how do you know which one will be right for you? Here are a few things to consider when selecting your shade, including skin type, skin tone, and complexion!

Photo: Hello Beautiful Photography

1 | Determine Your Tone


Before choosing the right foundation, you need to determine a couple of things about your skin, including your undertone. While the surface of your skin can change color due to acne or exposure to the elements, your undertone will always stay the same. Knowing your undertone will help you choose the right foundation color for you. People typically fall into one of these three undertones:


  • Cool: Your skin is more blue, red, or pink

  • Warm: Your skin is more golden, yellow, or peachy

  • Neutral: Your skin is a combination of cool and warm colors


There are a couple of tests you can use to determine if you are cool, warm, or neutral. This involves assessing your hair and eye color, what colors you look best in, how you react to the sun, and the color of your veins.


  • Naturally black, brown, and blonde hair combined with green, grey, or blue eyes is an indication of cool undertones. Brown or hazel eyes combined with naturally black, auburn, or strawberry blonde hair indicates warm undertones.

  • Blue veins on the inner wrist indicate that you're a cool tone, while green veins indicates warm. Bluish-green indicates neutral. People who have pink undertones are cool and tend to burn easily in the sun, unlike people with warm undertones who tan easily.


Photo: Laylee Emadi Photography

2 | Consider Your Skin Type


Knowing if your skin is oily or dry won’t help you pick your shade, but it's still important information when it comes to choosing the foundation that works best for you. It is always a good idea to buy a foundation that has SPF, as this will provide a small measure of protection against sunlight. To disguise an uneven complexion, choose a foundation that is medium to full coverage. If you want a more natural foundation, go for a partial or sheer coverage.


3 | Do a Color Test


The best foundation disappears into the skin. Foundation isn’t meant to be seen; rather, it should create a clean canvas for your makeup look. You can use your jawline as a testing zone to determine which foundation matches best.

  • For cool undertones, choose a foundation with a pink, red, or blue base. You can also consider shades like cocoa, rose, sable, and porcelain.

  • For warm undertones, pick a foundation with a gold or yellow base and consider shades like caramel, beige, and tan.

  • For neutral undertones, consider shades like buff, nude, ivory, or praline.


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