Finding the perfect foundation shade is a challenging process. Even with a wide variety of shades, some may still not match your skin tone.

Beauty gurus at Cleverly Beauty have different preferences, and some even try to mix two different shades that would fit their skin better. They also consider contours and bronzers when picking a foundation shade.

But should you go for a lighter or a darker shade than your skin tone? Let’s dig more into this topic.

Foundation and Its Uses

First off, why do makeup artists use foundation? Foundation is used as the base make-up to achieve the texture desired for the look – matte, dewy or clean look.

Coverage, formula, skin type, and makeup finish are the main things to consider when choosing the perfect foundation for your makeup style.  

Oily and combination skin types lean more on matte finish foundation to prevent oil build-up. You can also use super-soft foundations for combination skin (skin types that are both oily and dry) as it helps with smoothening the face without it looking oily.

For dry or dull skin types, preferably use a moisturizing foundation. These foundation formulas provide skin hydration without making it shine with excess oil.

Choosing the right foundation type would help flatter your skin tone more and set the makeup into a smoother and more natural look. After selecting the appropriate formula for the foundation, it is time to choose your shade!  

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Foundation: Lighter or Darker Than Your Skin Tone  

According to beauty and makeup experts, foundations should be one to two shades lighter than your skin. Even when mixing foundation shades, the color should be more delicate than the skin tone.

This is due to the addition of contour or bronzer (or both!) after setting the foundation. Blending the light foundation and the darker tone of contour or bronzer will match the skin tone better.

Although experts have emphasized which foundation shade you should pick, you can sometimes incorrectly purchase a foundation that’s too many shades darker or lighter than your skin tone. You can use a color chart to help you determine and pick your shade more accurately.  

If at some point you have mistakenly purchased a darker foundation, you can use a darker bronzer as it would soften the dark foundation. However, be careful when choosing a lighter bronzer since it could project a ghostlike shadow if you go too light.

This would be the same case if you used a foundation that’s too many shades lighter. Concealers paired with this too-light shade could make the skin look paler.  

It is wise to use a blush if your skin tone is more on the pinkish tone and use bronzers if you are more on the brownish tone. Setting the foundation with powder is also advisable, with caution, as too much of it could make you look like a ghost.

Another deciding factor is to pattern your skin tone depending on the season. Typically, hotter climates induce a darker skin tone due to the UV rays, while colder climates mean lighter skin.

Some makeup artists advise having two shades of foundation – one lighter and another darker. A mix of both shades on different ratios could be the perfect shade for your skin in that specific season.

But how do you know if the foundation you’re eyeing is the right shade? You can do these things that might help you find your holy grail – especially if you are a beginner!

1. Seek advice from experienced makeup artists or watch videos from makeup professionals. This could be of great help since there is a chance that none of the people around know how to do makeup. Do your research!

2. When purchasing at a store, try to match the shade along your jawline and chin. If possible, try swapping the foundation around the areas to see if it will blend thoroughly.

Trying out the shade in natural daylight is also effective, like swatching the foundation near a window. Some stores are located inside the mall. Hence, this might not be possible at all times.

3. Lastly, try to match the shade to their undertones through a wrist test. You can do this by looking into the color of your veins.

Cool undertones have blue or purple veins, while green veins equate to warmer undertones. Your undertone is neutral if you can’t determine the color.

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Pick the Right Foundation Shade

No matter what your skin color is or what matches your hair color, the best foundation shade is the shade lighter than your skin tone. Finding the best shade dictates the overall texture and look of your makeup.

Your foundation will be the main factor in blending the concealer, contour, bronzer, and blush well to create a natural-looking makeup. Try these tips and tricks for yourself!

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