How to Pick Your Foundation Shade

Since becoming a Beautycounter consultant I have learned a lot about makeup. Two things that stick out the most?

  1. Apply Eyebrow Gel by back combing and then smoothing it down in the correct direction
  2. Apply foundation by pressing it, not rubbing it

And a close third is how to pick the best foundation shade! I was using the wrong shade for a long time but when Beautycounter released new shades they added the perfect one for me.

First I used the Beautycounter app to decide which shade tone family was best for me.

  • Fair
  • Light
  • Medium
  • Tan
  • Dark
  • Deep

I am in the Medium group and could go as far as Tan during the summer.

Next I needed to determine my undertones. A shade tone might change with the seasons and sun exposure but a skin’s undertone won’t. An undertone refers to the hue or tone present within the skin.

There are three types: Warm, cool and neutral. Warm tones will have golden, yellow or peachy hues. Cool tones carry hints of pink, plus red or bluish hues. A neutral undertone usually includes an equal mix of both warm and cool hues or neither hue is distinctly visible.

If you find that the wrong foundation shades look much too yellow or golden on your skin, you probably have a cool undertone. Or if the wrong foundation shades look pink on your skin, you probably have a warm undertone.

Another way to check your undertone is to look at the veins in your wrist. View the underside of your wrist in natural but not direct sunlight. If they appear blue and purple, you have a cool undertone. Green, then you have a warm undertone. Both? Then you’re a neutral.

If you’re not sure you can start with a neutral foundation which will work OK on both warm and cool undertone skin.

I have used Beautycounter Skin Twin Featherweight Foundation for a few years now and I have noticed that it dries a little darker than when it comes out of the package wet. This is called oxidation and it often happens with liquid makeup. If your undertone matches oxidation won’t matter much.

Think of it like painting a wall. The wet paint is a little lighter and shinier but when it dries it matches the swatch you picked out.

Once you pick a shade it is best to test it on your jawline going a bit onto your cheek and down onto your neck. If you test makeup shades on your arm you’re not going to get an accurate check on the color match.

Your arms are usually the most tan parts of your body because they’re exposed to the sun much more than other parts. If you match the foundation there, even on the undersides, you’ll have a foundation that matches your arms not your face!

When you apply foundation, blend it down your neck a little bit to avoid that harsh line of makeup at your jawline. Matching your foundation in that same spot helps you find the perfect match to both your face and your neck.

When you are applying foundation you should press and pat, not rub. This allows the foundation to sit in place on top of the skin instead of being smeared into any creases or wrinkles. I prefer to use a wet makeup sponge.

Other tips include using a primer and exfoliating regularly to help the foundation lay flatly on your skin.


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