How To Choose Foundation Color

Even having a color analysis can’t help you buy foundation makeup that’s just right for you because people who wear the same color palette will still vary somewhat in their skin tone. Especially if you have a palette from a color system with limited choices.  Some consultants offer custom chosen swatches to match your skin tone. These can be helpful in choosing foundations (and blemish concealers and powders) but buying skin toned makeup without actually trying them on is always going to be a gamble.

Many foundations are blister packed so you can’t even get at the product and even if you are able to sample foundation colors in a store, you are usually doing it in a space lit with flourescent lighting that is not color balanced.

The biggest problem with getting a great match is that most makeup lines produce a very small range of colors when you consider the very large range of human skin color variations. I just visited an online website that does huge makeup sales and discovered they offered 4 foundation colors. Four!!! I was stunned.

The more colors a manufacturer makes, the more costly it is for them. It’s the same in the fashion business. We are lucky if a top comes in 4 different colors. It’s more cost effective to keep it simple. Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large. Light, Medium Light, Medium, and Dark, etc.

I’m not suggesting that all foundation companies offer so limited a choice but even 8 colors is a small range when you consider there are olive skins, pinky skins, peachy skins, golden skins, almond skins, porcelain skins, brown skins, etc. and all of these come in a range of values from light to dark.

Here are my suggestions for getting a good match (the desireability of such doesn’t need explanation) when choosing a liquid or creme foundation makeup.

Dip a cotton swab or makeup brush in the product and make a swatch of the color on the side of your face under your cheek cheek area. Not too sheer a swatch. Then take a hand fan, a magazine or a hair dryer on low heat and use it to dry the swatch. Most products will look change color when dry. Then……and here’s the test……ask yourself
“If I had to wear a bandage on my face out in public would a bandage this color be really obvious or would it almost disappear”

It’s surprising how this question puts things into perspective and will clear up any mystery as to whether this color is a good match for your skin.

This should be done in the best and brightest light available. Have you got a drawer full of foundations you’ve bought right now? Go do this test placing the colors side by side in stripes and you’ll see immediately which ones flunk the test and which ones come closest to passing the test.

You cannot depend on color names. You cannot assume that one brand with a color called Cameo will be the same as the Cameo in another brand. You have to do the sluething yourself. You may find a good color in a line with only 8 colors but your chances for an optimal color will increase if you shop lines that carry 12 or more shades.

One final tip, if the color is a good match but it’s just a tiny bit darker than your skin. That’s acceptable, even desireable if you have freckles you’d like to blend in. But if it’s just a tiny bit lighter than your skin….don’t buy it. It will make you look paste-y.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.