A Beauty Chat: How to: Choose the right foundation: Part One


The feedback I've got from these "how to" posts have been really positive so I thought I would make them a more regular occurrence and upload them once a week to continue my "beginners guide/tips/starter makeup-ers" type thing so I hope you like it. Okay so let's get on with this post.

This is going to be a two part post where I share with you some tips and advice on how to choose the right foundation for you. This post, part one, is going to be going through choosing your perfect shade, by your skin tone and then how to find your colour match. Part two will be the coverage and the finishes so be sure to check back next week for that. Enjoy.

Most important thing to remember: your face, neck, chest and the rest of your body should all match, so your foundation should just even everything out and never be too light or too dark compared with the rest of your body. 

What undertone do you have?
Before I go through finding your shade, I want to touch base on your skin tone and how knowing this, will make your choice a lot easier.
Some people have a more pinky undertone to their skin therefore they have a cool skin tone. Others have a more yellow or golden undertone meaning they have a warm skin tone. This can be found simply by looking in the mirror and looking at not just your face, but your neck, chest and even your shoulders, or ask someone else to help you and describe what they see. If you just cannot figure it out, or you have a bit of both, then go for neutral. This is the skin tone that a lot of people tend to go for if it is available and it's normally the safer option if you don't know what skin tone you are as it has equal parts of cool and warm tones. 
A select few brands have a shade range which caters to cool and warm skin tones but not necessarily to neutral, (which you would think would be the one they all had as it's right in the middle), so often you may find mixing a yellow undertone and a pink undertone together gets your perfect shade. But who has money to spend on two foundations? There are however a select few brands that have a neutral option and to name one I use and love is the L'Oreal True Match Foundation and I have the shade N1. This brand has a really good shade range too as this is one of the three foundations at the drugstore I have found which goes pale enough for my skin. But have a good look at the shade range, as they often have the two lightest shades the same but with different undertones, like the Rimmel ones you see in the picture above - 010 Light Porcelain (lightest shade) has a pink undertone and 100 Ivory (next shade up) has a yellow undertone. 

What is your skin tone?
Onto choosing your foundation. For me it's pretty easy as I just go for the palest shade and normally they're very close, I haven't found one paler than my skin yet but there's plenty I haven't tried.
When choosing a foundation, especially at the drugstore, it can be difficult and frustrating. Ever had it where you pick up a shade, apply it on the back of your hand, put it up to your face and think it's a pretty good match, but when you get home and apply it, it's a pretty soul destroying moment? Drugstore lighting is not very good, as it is not natural light, so I suggest applying it on a part of your face and going outside and looking in a mirror whilst in natural light to see if it's a good match or not.
Also, go with the majority. If you have a few areas that have redness or pigmentation but the rest of your face and body doesn't, then go with the majority that doesn't. If you choose something which matches certain parts of your face but not the rest then it will be very noticeable that you are wearing the wrong shade foundation.
Foundation is there to even out the skin, and to cover any imperfections that you want covering. Not to change the shade of your skin completely. If your face is much paler than your body then go with the majority. You will look a tad strange walking down the street with a super pale face but tanned body and vice versa.

What shade are you?
When buying higher end foundations, they normally shade match you and can give you a sample of the foundation to take home and try on in your own light and make sure you're happy with it. Drugstores aren't that helpful unfortunately. So you have to do a little more work.
Take a few shades of foundation that you think are close matches, and from the back of your jaw line on your cheek, just in front of your ear, to just under your jaw and on to your neck (not too far down) as this is generally the most neutral area (generally) and apply the foundation and blend in. If it isn't a good match, try another one next to it, and another, until you are happy that you have the right shade, which matches your face to your neck and the rest of your body. If you have to, go outside again and look in a mirror to see what the colour match is like in natural light. You will know if it's a good match as it will blend your face and neck seamlessly so there's no streaks or drastic shade mismatch, it just flows and trust me, you will know when it's the right shade and undertone.

... Match face with neck and rest of body,
... Mix shades if you have to.
... Ask for a sample if you're not too sure and want to try it at home.
... Check the undertones. The L'Oreal one has C, N or W before the shade number which makes it really easy to choose.

... Hold the bottle up to your face to see if it's the right shade, the shade on the bottle may not be the shade inside.
... Apply on your hand and match it to that, this is not where you will be wearing foundation.
... Hope for the best. Makeup is a personal thing, and if you like to look like you've been tango-ed or lost a fight with a bottle of self tanner or white paint then by all means, but you will find the right shade eventually,nyou just have to keep trying. 
... Be afraid to ask the shop assistants, that's what they're there for.

I hope you have found this helpful, and please, please, please be sure to check back next week when I go through all the different finishes and coverages of foundations and what skin type works best for each. Thanks for reading :) 

Do you have any tips for finding the right foundation for you?

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