13 November 2019

How Do I Colour Match My Foundation?

99% of my clients come to me with a Foundation, Tinted Moisturiser, or a type of Base in their makeup bag. But only 85% of those bases matched the skin tone of the owners.

Finding the correct foundation shade has been one of the biggest challenges for us all and continues to baffle us. Brands are using more and more technological methods for ‘matching colours’ but the truth Is, nothing beats the eye.

Colour matching shouldn’t be difficult for the consultant or advisor in the store… surely, they have numerous customers asking for this daily. But still customers are going away with an ‘incorrect foundation match’ or just completely the wrong colour. Reasons for this vary between, the individual is inexperienced, or just can’t colour match, but it can also happen because the shade you want isn’t in stock and you are advised to get another one.

I can only apologise if this has happened to you. I once had a client who had (let’s just say) more than 20 foundations…. That’s a lot of foundation considering she has one face and foundation has a shelf life…. It was sad to hear all the ‘sales pitches’ and stories she had around her purchases, don’t get me wrong, she did make some of them choices herself too. It was sadder that more than 80% of them were in fact the wrong shade completely!

So how on earth are you meant to get the ‘right shade’? I have put together a short guide to help.

What shade should foundation be? Your foundation should match your skin tone. This means the skin on the face… many believe it should be darker or lighter it shouldn’t. The correct shade is exact to your skin tone. If you are someone who has many freckles (especially warmer freckles than skin tone) then you will need a shade in between the two colours.

Why should it be this shade? Your skin on your neck area is usually a couple of shades lighter than your face therefore if you go darker it only appears more obvious. Reason two (and this is the bigger reason) your bronzing or concealing will have no colour contrast if you use colours that are all the same! (Hence concealer two shades lighter and bronzer two shades darker).

How to decide what tone you are? This is the tricky one. Skin usually has a pink or yellow undertone, pink tones are also described as ‘cool’, and yellow as ‘warm’. How to tell which you are… take all your makeup off and look at the different areas of your skin, forehead, cheeks, chin, neck what colour do you see more of? Yellow or pink? If you see both then you are likely to be a ‘neutral shade’.

How to decide which shade of foundation you are? Once you have decided on your tone its now time to look at shade…. When you are in the shop with the line up of all the foundations choose a shade like yours. If you have no idea where to start pick any up and pop a touch on your hand, spread with your finger and see if it blends into the skin on the hand. Please note; you could have a much deeper tan, on your hand so you would have to then go lighter for the face. Once you feel you are at a point where you have a similar tone, swatch it in the jawline downwards. This will allow you to see if it matches with your skin and neck. If it matches with your skin as in, you can’t see it its blended in then it is the right shade. If not and you can see it is too dark, then choose the lighter shade and repeat. Keep doing this until your colour blends in. Now its time to remember what ‘tone’ you are and use this information to select foundations you can see that are in the same tone as you.

Other tips for choosing foundation:

  • Don’t try matching foundation over your current foundation, remove makeup from the jaw area before you try.
  • Choose 1 shade that you feel matches you and then work up and down the scale if it needs to be darker or lighter.
  • If your current foundation is similar, to your shade, (and maybe a few shades out) take it with you to swatch against on your hand to find which area of the spectrum you are in. If it is too dark choose lighter shades and vice versa.
  • A bare face when foundation matching, you will get a truer picture of the shade and if it matches, as the other makeup colours on your face won’t confuse the match.
  • Where possible try to look at the foundation in natural light, take a mirror outside if you must!

Need to know more about foundation contact me to book onto a One to One Clinic session to discuss your needs, or get yourself on the waitlist for the Foundation Event next year.

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