Tips on Tuesday – How to Find the Perfect Foundation

Selecting Foundation has to be one of the most confusing things my clients come to me about.  So, I’m going to try and make this as simple as possible.

First let’s start by pointing out your complexion and your skin tone are not the same thing.

Your complexion is the shade of your skin – light, medium, dark.  Mine is light in the winter and medium in the summer.  Your complexion changes with sun exposure, diet, medication etc.

Your skin tone or undertone is the amount of Melanin or pigment in your skin, which doesn’t change with exposure to the sun.

There are two types of Melanin – Eumelanin which is black and brown pigments and pheomelanin which is Red or Yellow.    Each of us has a specific level of each, with the level of pheomelanin being the driving force behind the type of foundation we choose.

So how do you find out if you have Red (cool), Yellow (warm) or a neutral undertone in your skin?

There are a couple quick tricks you can use to find out.

Do you look better wearing Gold or Silver Jewelry?  If gold looks better on your skin, you’re most likely a warm skin tone, if silver looks better on your skin, you’re a cool skin tone – if you great in both, you most likely a neutral skin tone.

In natural day light, look at the inside of your wrist.  Do you see blue/purple veins?  Then you’re a cool skin tone.  Do you see green veins?  You’re warm skin tone.  Maybe you can really distinguish either, than you’re a neutral skin tone.

Now you know you skin tone – let’s find a color!

Most manufactures have a labeling system.

Make Up For Ever uses Y for yellow or Warm and R for red or Cool.  The Artist at Make Up For Ever will also help you select the perfect shade.  The artist at Sephora, Ulta, MAC or any other cosmetic counter will happily do the same, but remember these are businesses and they are there to sell cosmetics.

If you’re not ready for the cosmetic counter yet and will be making your selection at the drug store, which carries some wonderful cosmetics, personally I like Revlon and Neutrogena.   Hold the foundation up to your wrist; does it look like a match? Try a couple different shades and you’ll find the right match.

So you found two, one lighter and one just a little darker, because summer is coming.   I say go for the lighter shade – it’s easy to take a bronzing powder and darken a light foundation, but there is nothing that can be done for foundation that’s too dark.

How do you select your foundation?

Do you have a question, ask away.