Beginners Guide to Foundation : How To Find The Right Shade

how to find the perfect foundation: A beginners guide
different foundations with different shades and undertones.

The current cosmetic market is saturated in so many different products it can be hard to find you feet and know where to begin. Foundation can go one of two ways. Get it right and you have a flawless base that can illuminate your skin and is a great start to building the rest of your make up routine. Get it wrong and you can look streaky, patchy and even turn in to an oil slick. Here are some beginner tips and hints to getting it right.

What is your skin type?

Knowing you skin type is going to give you a good start for choosing a foundation. From this you can learn the ingredients that work best for your skin in order to make your base last.

Oily: Tends to have enlarged pores, suffer from blackheads, blemishes and spots. The texture of the skin can look shiny.

What foundation to choose: Powder foundations work well for oily skin (M.A.C has some lovely options). Liquid foundations need to be Oil free with a matte finish. Oily skin does well with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid as these help care for the skin throughout wear time. Tarte also offers some clay based foundations which can be great for oily skin.

Combination: Have oily areas especially around the T-Zone (Forehead, nose and chin). Other areas can be a little dry. The texture of skin can be shiny yet have dry patches on the cheek area.

What foundation to choose: Combination skin can make a foundation choice difficult. You are technically treating two different skin types with one foundation and expecting it to work. You will be looking for an oil free foundation, with a semi matte finish. Ingredients such as aloe vera will help the foundation balance your skins natural PH levels. Brands to consider are, Charlotte Tilbury, and the budget friendly L’Oreal.

Dry:  Can appear tight and flaky in areas due to a lack of moisture in the layers of skin. Texture will be matte and seem dull in places.

What Foundation to choose: Looking for dewy based foundations that contain the word luminous, glow or serum based. Ultimately you want a hydrating foundation so looking for water based and light foundations are key (when testing you want the product to swim around in your hand). Brands to check out include Maybelline, M.A.C and Clinique.

All skin can be Sensitive so I advise always using a foundation that includes an SPF. It is always important to check the ingredients for anything you are aware of that upsets your skin. If you are unsure always do a trial on another area of skin other then the face.

How To Get My Foundation Shade Right

The biggest mistake made with foundation is the shade chosen. The ranges of shades available is now bigger then ever so understanding your colouring is much more important when wanting to get it right.

Firstly you need to establish which colour section you come under ranging from light, medium or dark. An example: I am extremely fair, my skin burns just looking at the sun and therefore I fit in the light category.

Once you’ve got your colour section you are then spoilt for choice in the range of shades available. To discover which shade is correct for you, you need to understand your skins undertones. These are based around three options cool, warm and neutral.

Skin Undertones Explained

Cool: Skin will have a reddish or pink complexion. I read in cosmopolitan if you have cool undertones your veins will appear blue in colour whilst warm skin tones veins appear green. When buying a foundation the formula itself should have a slight pink hue.

Warm: Skin can appear yellow, olive or chocolate meaning you need to be looking for a foundation where the formula appears a slight yellow in colour and can often be described as golden, warm or honey on the packaging.

Neutral: Having neutral undertones means you are in the middle of both, there are no visible cool or warm overtones in your skin. Picking a foundation you can stay in the middle of both the cool and warm spectrum although a warmer tone can neutralise green area of the skin.

By looking at the two factors mentioned it should now become easier to find a foundation shade that is right for you. If you are in any doubt and worried about buying a shade you can always pop to your local department store where they now have many make up counters which can help you out in getting it right.

I hoped this has helped in gaining understanding and knowledge of skin types and tones, especially when using the information to buy an accurate coloured foundation. As always skincare is essential in helping achieve a flawless base, I have a post on my seven step skincare routine available if you wanted information on skincare.

Have I missed any of your top tips when buying a foundation? Do you have any brands that work well for your skin type? If so please share in the comments section so we can all find new things that may work for us.

My next post will be available on Tuesday. Wishing you all a great weekend.

Kate x