Finding the right foundation shade for you skin is tricky. Whether you are adding bronzer to your too ­light foundation, adding a moisturizer to your too ­dark foundation, or just wearing the wrong shade altogether, issues with foundation seem unavoidable ­­unless you know what you are looking for!
The first step in finding the perfect foundation shade for you is figuring out your skin tone. Determining your skin tone is as easy as looking at your wrist. Usually, the veins in your wrist will appear as blue or green. If they appear blue, this means you have a cool skin tone. If they appear green, you have a warm skin tone. If they appear a mixture of blue and green, you are leaning towards a neutral skin tone.
Also, observe how your skin reacts in the sun. If you are cool­-toned, you normally get pink, or you burn easily in the sun, then you will want to lean towards products with blue, red, or pink base colors. If you are warm-­toned, you normally reach a bronze color, or you tan easily in the sun, then the products you will want to lean towards have golden, yellow, or peach base colors.
The best way to find the perfect shade is in person. Makeup stores and most department stores will have beauty experts who can help you test different shades. But having beauty experts around to help is not a guarantee, so if you can find a store that has testers or at least a great return policy, those are good options as well. Just keep in mind that you will probably have to test out a few before finding the perfect foundation. You will always want to test on your jawline. If you are not able to test out the product, most foundation bottles are see­through glass bottles, so hold them up against your jawline. Always make sure you can test in different lighting. The standard lighting in the store is a lot different from natural light or the light in a flash photo. You will know you have found the best foundation for you once it disappears into your skin.
Once you have found your Holy Grail of foundations, now comes the time to actually apply it. With foundation (and most makeup products), a little goes a long way. A dime­sized amount of foundation is enough to blend into your face and neck. Make sure your hands are freshly sanitized and squeeze or pump a small amount of foundation on the back of your hand. Use your fingers or foundation brush to dab foundation along your face.
Now, blend. Your tool to blend the product to your face is up to you. Using your fingers is surprisingly not frowned upon and is a pretty good option if you are not prone to acne. Using a foundation brush can also create a seamless finish as can high­quality sponges, like the beauty-blender. You want to avoid looking cakey or having sharp foundation lines, so focus heavily on blending.
Aside from moisturizer and primer, foundation is the first makeup product you will want to apply. After all, it is called “foundation” because it creates a foundation for the rest of your makeup. If you add anything else before foundation, you risk removing it in the process of blending the product into your skin. Your foundation might not always provide full coverage - ­­some do, some don’t. Do not be discouraged by this! If you find that your foundation does not cover your problem areas fully, do not keep adding foundation, just wait for concealer time to come.
There is a common mistake people make and that is setting your liquid foundation with a similar colored powder. This will just contribute to the cakey mess you are trying to avoid. If you want to get a great matte finish on your foundation, try a translucent powder! Just make sure to blend. Blending is probably the most important rule in makeup.
But do you need to wear foundation every time you wear makeup? Not at all. If you find that your skin is clear and even at the time, you can definitely get away with a tinted moisturizer or a regular primer.
If you do have skin issues, like acne or oily skin, there are foundations out there for you. Do not settle for a few products that you know or that advertise heavily with catchy commericials; there are tons of products out there for all different skin types. Oil-­free, matte finish, acne-­fighting, and wrinkle-­hiding foundations are just a few of many foundation types.