How to *really* find your perfect foundation match

Makeup brands (finally!) have huge ranges of foundation shades. But now with so many to choose from, picking the perfect product can feel daunting. Allow us to introduce your new base bestie...

Discover your undertone

"Your undertone is literally the color that shows beneath your skin," says makeup artist Shannon Bauer. You can have warm (yellow, peach or golden), cool (pink or blue) or neutral (a mixture of both) undertones. Can't tell? Here's a hack: Look at the veins on your wrist. If they are more green, you're warm-toned. Blue or purple? You're cool. And a mix of both? You're neutral. If you can't see your veins, take a photo in front of a white wall. Your warm or cool color undertone will become easy to gauge. 

Find the right formulation

Choosing the right shade is half the battle—you also want to make sure the product works for your specific skin type. "If you have oily skin, look for a water-or powder-based formula with a matte finish," says Bauer. "Dry skin needs extra hydration, so go for one with natural oils for a dewier finish." Prone to breakouts? An oil-free foundation is your best bet. 

Consider your coverage 

Think about how much of your natural complexion you'd like to shine through. Just covering redness and evening out your skin tone? Go for BB and CC creams and tinted moisturizers, says Bauer. Want fuller coverage? Reach for powder or liquid foundations. Pro tip: Try a BB cream on school days and save the liquid or cream foundation for parties.

Test the right way

You've seen YouTubers swatch products on their wrists or arms, but when it comes to selecting a shade, that's a no-go. "It's best to try out foundation at the bottom of your neck, right by your collarbone," says makeup aritst Robert Sesnek. That way, you can guarantee that the color matches your face *and* your body.

Let it chill

Even if a shade looks like a pefect match right away, give it a little bit of time. "Wait a few minutes to see how it melts into the skin," Sesnek recommends. Does everything still look seamless after 15 minutes? We have a winner!

Pick your foundation sidekick

Concealer and foundation work together to even out your complexion. But one product doesn't work for every sitch. Covering a pimple? Pick the same shade of concealer as your foundation. Brightening under eyes? Go two shades lighter, then blend. 

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our December/January 2022 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE

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by Erin Reimel | 1/8/2022