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How to find the right foundation shade for your skin tone

How to find the right foundation shade for your skin tone
Holly James
Beauty Writer10 months ago
View Holly James's profile
We all know the sign of a good foundation is when you can’t tell you’re wearing it. Your perfect match should blend seamlessly into your natural skin, bringing out your natural beauty and setting you up with a flawless canvas for the rest of your makeup. However, sometimes it can be difficult finding the right shade; we've put together all of our top match-making tips to help you find your one true match.

Step 1 - Identify your skin tone

To decide your skin tone, you have to identify whether you have warm or cool undertones. Relating to warm and cool colours as on the colour wheel, your skin undertone is the colour that comes though from under the skin.

You are likely to have a warmer skin tone if 

  • You suit gold Jewellery better than silver
  • You have brown eyes
  • You have warmer red tones in your hair
  • You have green veins on your wrist rather than blue

You are likely to have a cooler skin tone if 

  • You suit silver Jewellery better than gold
  • You have blue or green eyes
  • You have blonde, brown or black hair with cooler tones
  • You have blue veins on your wrist rather than green
  • Urban Decay Stay Naked Foundation (Various Shades)

    Urban Decay Stay Naked Foundation (Various Shades)

    4.58 Stars 57 Reviews
    from
    £24.80
  • Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup 30ml

    Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup 30ml

    4.81 Stars 859 Reviews
    from
    £26.80
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation (Various Shades)

    MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation (Various Shades)

    4.63 Stars 167 Reviews
    £21.60

Step 2 - Identify your skin type

Just like choosing your moisturiser, you need to pick the best foundation that works with your skin type, won't cause irritation and will hold. If you have quite dry skin, opt for a hydrating foundation with nourishing ingredients such as the Shiseido Synchro Skin Self Refreshing Foundation. If you have acne-prone or oily skin, chose an oil-free foundation that won't clog the pores like the Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup.

  • Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup 30ml (Various Shades)

    Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup 30ml (Various Shades)

    4.43 Stars 23 Reviews
    from
    £21.60
  • Shiseido Synchro Skin Self Refreshing Foundation 30ml (Various Shades)

    Shiseido Synchro Skin Self Refreshing Foundation 30ml (Various Shades)

    4.67 Stars 24 Reviews
    £31.20

Step 3 - Try a sample

Once you've narrowed it down to a few shades that match your undertones and skin type it's time to swatch. Though it's more convenient to try it out on your hand, this can lead to a less accurate match as our skin can be different on different areas of our body. To get the most precise colour match, try each sample on your jawline to see if it blends in well to both your face and neck. Your winner will be the one that can't be identified from your natural skin.

  • NARS Cosmetics Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation (Various Shades)

    NARS Cosmetics Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation (Various Shades)

    4.44 Stars 240 Reviews
    £28.00
  • Armani Luminous Silk Foundation 30ml (Various Shades)

    Armani Luminous Silk Foundation 30ml (Various Shades)

    4.55 Stars 206 Reviews
    £43.00
  • bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation (Various Shades)

    bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation (Various Shades)

    4.78 Stars 797 Reviews
    from
    £23.20

Step 4 - Adjust your lighting

Like taking a good selfie, you've got to find the right lighting. Make sure that you check your foundation in natural daylight and bright indoor lighting to see whether it still looks like a good match; the last thing you want is to perfect your look to find that your skin tone on your face doesn't blend into your body.

  • Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Make Up SPF 30 (Various Shades)

    Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Make Up SPF 30 (Various Shades)

    4.36 Stars 25 Reviews
    £27.20
  • The Ordinary Coverage Foundation with SPF 15 by The Ordinary Colours 30ml (Various Shades)

    The Ordinary Coverage Foundation with SPF 15 by The Ordinary Colours 30ml (Various Shades)

    4.03 Stars 106 Reviews
    £5.90
  • benefit Hello Happy Flawless Liquid Foundation (Various Shades)

    benefit Hello Happy Flawless Liquid Foundation (Various Shades)

    4.4 Stars 20 Reviews
    £22.00

Shop all foundation on LOOKFANTASTIC here.

Enjoy this? Try our best water based foundation or best dewy foundation guides.

Holly James
Beauty Writer
View Holly James's profile
Working with brands at LOOKFANTASTIC for over two years I have developed my knowledge of all things beauty from key skincare concerns to niche makeup tricks and haircare hacks. I have a major passion for finding effective solutions that are easily accessible to everyone so that we can all achieve our best, glowing complexion.
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