Choosing the right foundation is difficult, and something I’ve never really succeeded at. I remember being a little kid and looking at a friend’s older sister thinking, “Why is her neck a different color than her face?” Please ladies, don’t do this!! It’s a terrible hole to fall into. Here’s a few tips on choosing the right color.
1. Before you pick the formula, you need to find out the right formulation of your skin. If you’re oily, look for words like “oil-free,” “oil-control” or “mattifying” on the bottle. Got dry skin? Go for moisturizing foundations with “hydrating” or “moisture-rich” wording on the bottle. Foundations containing glycerin glide on easily. For combination skin, determine if you’re more oily or dry and go from there. Cream-to-powder bases work great for combination skin. Mineral foundations work well on all skin types, especially sensitive skin.
2. Consider if you want light or medium-coverage. If you have good skin, but want to even out a few ruddy areas, consider light coverage. For women with uneven skin tone or blemishes, consider medium-coverage foundation. Some women swear by mineral foundations, so you might want to try these out as well.
3. Show up to the makeup counter with a clean, fresh face. It’s OK to wear eye makeup or lipstick, even moisturizer on your face, but you don’t want to show up already wearing foundation.
4. Select a few colors that seem close to your natural skin tone. Go for the yellow-based foundations, which look most natural on all skin tones. However, if you’re very fair, try a pink, cooler shade.
5. Apply a stroke of up to three colors on a cheek (the inner wrist or hand aren’t the best spots, contrary to popular belief). The one that disappears is the right shade.
6. Take a good, long look -- near a window. Ask to borrow a hand mirror and stand near a doorway, or step outside, to see which foundation looks best in the natural light. The right shade is one that you can’t see because it blends in so well.
If you are purchasing from a drugstore, take a couple of bottles to a doorway, hold them up to your neck and see which one matches the best or if you have a favorite shade you want to match, match the colors of the bottles, never the swatch on the display.