Throwing Shade: Find the Best Foundation Shade & Product for You


Face it:

A great foundation is a must have for flawless-looking skin, but it can get quite tricky to get it right.
In this post I’ll shed some light on all you need to know about getting your foundation right… well, a few of the tips I’ve learnt along the way 🙂

1. Look for undertones

Raise your hand if you choose your foundation based on the fact that it looks dark or light on your skin?

When choosing foundation, we often incorrectly think in terms of light and dark, instead of warm and cool. I’ll admit, I do the same. If your skin has a cool undertone, you need a shade that has a red or blue based undertone, while a warm undertone requires a yellow-based shade. I’d advise you consult with a beauty advisor because I also had NO idea what that meant!

#Tip: the veins on your inner wrist show your undertone – cool undertones have blue veins, while warm ones have green veins.
Figured out what tone you are?

2. Skin type counts

I can testify to this because it is true! I switched from liquid foundation to a foundation stick 3 years ago and have not looked back since then! If you have oily skin, you should rather go for oil-free liquid, powder or mineral foundations that can mattify the skin and not aggravate excessive oil production. If you have dry skin, opt for liquid and cream foundations instead, preferably ones that have radiance or hydrating qualities. Combination skins can mix liquid and powder foundations, depending on which areas need to be mattified or hydrated the most.

3. It’s a process of elimination

Buying foundation (for the first time) should not be like buying lipstick. “Hmm that looks pretty, I’ll go for it” – NO! Something I’ve learnt is that you should always go for 3 shades that could be your perfect match. Test each in natural light on your jawline or your chest area (never on your hand! I don’t know how many times I’ve done this – sigh!). The colour that disappears into your skin is your perfect match!
Then again, you can buy all 3 shades and use them to highlight & contour, ‘coz that’s the in thing right?!

Ask for help: Get colour-matched by a trained makeup artist — and score some free samples while you’re at it 😉

Test the right spot: Swipe shades along your jawline to take into account the colour of your neck, which is often different to your face. The right hue should disappear into your skin.

See the (natural) light: We all know that those lights by the makeup department can trick you! Harsh, overhead lighting can also cast unflattering shadows, so stand near a window or head outside to check your colour.

When in doubt, go darker: If you blend the colour well, you’ll look tan. But wearing a shade that is too light will always make you appear chalky and overly made up… or worse, looking like a ghost.

4. Long lasting application

So the trick here is to build up your foundation coverage in layers, rather than doing one heavy application. Layering your foundation allows it to last longer and makes the coverage more even-toned.

#Tip: Try this to give your coverage zero-creasing room: apply foundation and set with translucent powder. Then apply a second layer and set it again. Apply the concealer only on the required areas, such as under the eyes and on blemishes, and then set with powder. I’ve found that applying a primer before your foundation also helps make your foundation last longer without creasing. I use the Yardley Illuminating primer.

5. Apply it like a pro (Yaaaaaas!)

Different formulas require different application strategies. Eliminate guesswork by opting for products with a ‘built-in’ brush or sponge. If not, here’s a quick cheat sheet:

  • Tinted moisturizers and BB creams: Rub them onto skin with your fingers.
  • Liquids, mousses, and creams: Brushes are best (although can be applied using fingers): Choose a flat-topped brush that has synthetic bristles. Unlike natural bristles, synthetics won’t absorb the makeup, so it transfers better onto the skin. Buff in a circular motion from the center of your face, blending outward.
  • Powders: To keep it light, use a fluffy brush to sweep powder up and down the T-zone. For more coverage, I prefer using a cotton pad – makes you stay matte for longer.
  • Foundation Sticks: Swipe foundation straight from the tube onto problem spots and buff with a makeup sponge (or fingers)

I’ll be honest I think I use my fingers for almost everything (except brows) – Check out my foundation routine here – This is my quick, everyday look 🙂

Let me know what you think?

I hope this helped

xo – Pabi