Analyzing Your Coloring

To ensure foundation looks natural you need to choose a shade that closely resembles your own coloring. Although we all know what color hair we have, we are sometimes surprisingly ignorant about the color of our skin, and choose a foundation just because we like the look of it. Nobody’s skin is exactly the same as anyone else’s, but we do all fit into distinct groups of color tones: yellow – ivory complexions without much redness; orange – a mixture of red and yellow; and red – pinkish skin tones without much yellow. Compare your clean skin with the examples shown below to determine which color group you fall into and whether you are pale, medium or dark-toned. Never choose a foundation shade that is outside your own color group, although you can go for a shade lighter or darker depending on the time of year and the effect you want to achieve.

Matching Foundation
When choosing a foundation, always lest the color by rubbing a small amount onto a patch of clean skin along your jawline (but not on the wrist, neck, or cheeks as the skin here is a different shade and texture from the rest of your face). Testing foundation along the jawline will also ensure that you do not create a “tidemark” effect between the foundation on your face and the bare skin on your neck. If possible, go out of the store into natural daylight and use a hand mirror to examine the color of the sample foundation; artificial store lighting can alter colors quite dramatically. You should also try to give the foundation time to settle (preferably a Tew minutes) as some can noticeably change color, particularly on oily skin. The right shade of foundation will “blend” onto your skin, while smoothing out uneven tones and giving you a near-perfect complexion.

If you want to “lift” your skin lone, wear a foundation that has slightly more pink than your natural shade.

Yellow Tones
A very pale, yellow-based complexion with no hint of redness. An ivory-colored foundation will give a polished, natural-looking finish.
A deeper-toned yellow complexion can be given natural coverage with a soft beige foundation that has more than a hint of yellow.

Orange Tones
A pale, orange-toned coloring with a scattering of golden freckles. An orangey beige foundation with more yellow than red tones works best.
A medium-toned orange coloring with slight redness on the cheeks. The right shade of foundation will have the same balanced mixture of red and yellow.

Orange Tones
A deeper toned golden shade with plenty of free hies. This coloring needs a foundation with more red than yellow.
This type of dark shin has definite golden undertones. For natural coverage, it needs a foundation that reflects both its darkness and its clear hints of orange.

Red Tones
A paletoned pink complexion with redness showing particularly on the checks. A soft pink foundation will give a light, warm finish.
A deeper-toned pink complexion, also with a flush on the cheeks. Pinky beige foundation will suit this darker shade.