Foundation - Building from the Bottom Up

What is Foundation?

Foundation is designed to help create a uniform surface on which to apply the rest of your makeup. It’s used to cover blemishes and even out your complexion. The right shade of foundation is key to create an even skin tone and there are a few factors to consider when selecting a foundation shade, including skin tone, skin type, and complexion.

Matching the right color can be tricky.

Set the Right Tone

Your skin’s undertone is not about how light or dark your skin is, but rather it is the color that comes through from underneath the skin’s surface to create the overall tone. Whether you have light, medium or dark skin, your skin can have warm, cool, or neutral undertones.

While the surface of your skin can change color because of many things, such as exposure to the elements or acne, your undertone will always stay the same. Therefore, determining your undertone will help you choose the right foundation color. In general, people fall into one of three categories of undertones:

COOL UNDERTONES

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Cool Undertones – the skin is more blue, red, or pink.

WARM UNDERTONES

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Warm Undertones – the skin is more golden, yellow, or peach.

Neutral Undertones – the skin will have a combination of cool and warm colors

There are a few ways to determine your undertone if you’re not sure. By assessing your hair and eye color, what colors you look best in, how you react to the sun, and the color of your veins, you can determine if you’re more of a cool, warm, or neutral undertone.

For example, naturally black, brown, or blonde hair combined with green, grey, or blue eyes is an indication of a cool undertone. Hazel, brown, or amber eyes combined with naturally black, auburn, or strawberry blonde hair indicates a warm undertone.

Also, another way is to look at the color of your veins. Blue veins on the inner wrist indicate cool; green veins indicate warm; bluish-green indicates neutral.

Foundation Chemistry

You may also want to consider choosing the right chemistry of your foundation for your skin type. Here are a few simple rules for oily, dry, sensitive, and combination skin types.

  • For oily skin, use a matte finish or oil-free liquid or powder.
  • For dry skin, use a moisturizing or hydrating cream or stick.
  • For sensitive skin, use one that is hypoallergenic and scent-free.
  • For combination skin, use a powder foundation.

You can select a few shades of foundation by seeing which ones look closest to your skin tone. However, it’s best to test them by dabbing some on your jawline. The skin at your jawline will be truer to your natural undertone and give you an idea of how the foundation will look against your neck. It’s also a good idea to see what it will look like in natural light rather than just artificial lighting.

Adjusting the Color

If you find that your foundation is too dark, you can make it lighter by mixing it with, moisturizer, primer, a lighter foundation, concealer or finishing powder. If you find that it’s too light, you can make it darker by adding blush or concealer, mixing it with bronzer, combining it with a darker foundation or tinted moisturizer. You can also change the color  if you find that it doesn’t match your undertone. To make your foundation match a yellow undertone, add a bit of turmeric. For pink or blue undertone, add a pinkish-brown blush to match. To make it more warm or brown, try adding a bit of cocoa powder.

 

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