I think one of the biggest struggles for most women when it comes to makeup, is foundation. It is, after all, exactly as it's named: The Foundation of your Makeup.
If your foundation is off, the whole look is off. Whenever I see women with mismatched foundation, that seems to be all I can notice! It distracts from whatever eye makeup or lipstick you're wearing-- And that is NOT good!
I was inspired to write about this because I've been noticing more and more of my clients struggling with finding a foundation that matches perfectly.
I was recently giving a makeup lesson to a beautiful client of mine, when I really noticed this issue. We worked on the eye makeup together and then moved onto the foundation... I could tell by the bottle that it was probably a little light, but let her put it on anyway to see.
As she started applying, I asked if she thought it was a little too light... She immediately exclaimed, "YES! I asked the sales people if they thought it was too light and they said it was a little light but the next shade is going to be too yellow."
I was so frustrated at the thought of this salesperson having their customer (my client) purchase a foundation that didn't work for them just so they could make the sale!
If you are looking at a specific brand, and they don't have something that matches perfectly, then try another brand! Some brands have a wider range of colors than others.
So here are some tips to keep in mind....
1. Go with your gut!
If you have a salesperson trying to sell you something and you feel like it doesn't work- don't buy it! Try another brand, ask another artist for help, or come back another day.
2. Match foundation on your jawline.
Don't use your hand! You want to make sure the foundation matches the face and blends seamlessly into the neck. Sometimes I'll also check the foundation on the chest, because you really want to make sure your face and neck blend into the chest. No one wants that two toned look :)
When testing, you shouldn't be able to see where you put the foundation-- it should be a seamless match.
Think about your undertones. This is tough for a lot of people. I definitely struggled with it when I first started, but now that I've done it so many times, I can spot it immediately.
Finding your undertones will help to choose the right foundation because you generally want a foundation that will work with your tones, not against them. If you choose a cooler foundation and you're more olive, this could look muddy.
One quick trick is to look at the veins in your forearm. Are they more blue or green? Blue usually indicates that you are cooler toned (pink) and Green indicates warmer (yellow).
Sometimes this trick is tough to see, so think about what looks better on you, gold (warm) or silver (cool) jewelry. Also think about the clothing you wear. Are there colors that look great on you? Maybe it's blues and purples (cool). If it's reds, oranges, corals you may be more warm.
4. Can't find a match?
I will admit, sometimes it really is difficult to find a perfect match. I urge you to keep searching! Worse comes to worse, if you really can't find something you can always mix shades or tint something that 's slightly too light with a bronzer. Just make sure this shade is the closest possible, and not 3 shades too light!
In the end, I actually had a foundation in my kit that worked perfectly for her (without any mixing or tweeking), so I urged her to return the foundation (always remember you can return/exchange just about any beauty product!), and buy a new one.
Beauty products can be expensive and sometimes tough to find the right shade. Foundation especially is very delicate, but most cosmetic companies allow returns/exchanges. Foundation can be pricey, so don't just settle! Always search for the perfect match!
Even if you are on a budget and buy a foundation in the drugstore (which you sadly can't try on in store), if you take one home and it doesn't look right, be sure to examine what's missing. Is it too light? Too orange? take it back to the drugstore with your receipt and ask to exchange it.
Compare that shade to the others and try again.
This can get a bit tough or exhausting--that's usually why I urge clients to splurge for the real deal. Even though it can be up to 3X's the cost of drugstore brands, it's much easier to find the shade if you can try it on in store! And, it'll last longer :)
I hope this helps! With Summer coming to an end, I know some of you are on the market for a new foundation :)