If there’s one sound piece of advice we can give you, it’s to always make sure your foundation is on point. There’s no step more important in your makeup routine than laying down your groundwork correctly! Get the shade wrong, and it throws your whole look off! Choose the wrong formula for your skin tone, and you could be greasy in minutes or flaking up a storm. We want you to steer clear of all of these roads, so we’ve enlisted the help of makeup pro Emily Oliver. Check out her tips on how to avoid making the ultimate foundation faux pas, and what you need to lookout for when searching for the formula of your dreams.

foundation skin tone

1. Oliver suggests matching your foundation to your body, not necessarily your face and neck. “Chances are, one's face and body are not the same color — this is due to sunscreen, lifestyle and tone,” says Oliver. “People often think they should match their foundation to their face or neck, which, in my opinion, causes a "floating head“ effect, where body and face look like two different entities. Matching to the left side (or driver's side) of the jawline is a great place to test,” she says. 

2. Another important component to consider is choosing the correct finish for your skin type. For those with dry skin, Oliver suggests steering clear of powder formulas as they can highlight “textured” skin and create a less-than-youthful appearance. And those with oily skin should be weary of foundations with a “dewy finish,” since oily skin will make the foundation appear too shiny. “Unless glowing is the desired look, stick to matte or semi-matte foundations and powders,” she says.

Need help finding the right one? We’ve got your back (er, face)!

3. “Tone — tone is everything,” says Oliver. Finding the right shade of foundation goes beyond your skin tone.  It’s also your undertone that determines which exact shade will match best. “The undertone determines whether one’s complexion is more golden, rose or beige,” says Oliver. “When searching for a foundation, do the three-stripe trick. Take three foundations total that are close to your skin tone — one that looks more pink, one that looks more yellow and one that looks neutral or off-white in color. Apply one stripe of each along the jawline and gently blend. Whichever shade disappears into the skin will give an indication of what the undertone really is,” she says. 

RELATED: How to Choose the Right Makeup for Every Skin Tone

4. When in doubt, ask for help, says Oliver. “There are so many beauty professionals who can do the difficult work for you!” So the next time you’re at the beauty counter, just ask for a little assistance!

5. And the best time to shop? Oliver says to save your foundation picking for when you’re in a good mood! “It will open your mind to more options, which might just introduce you to foundation wardrobing (different foundations for different occasions),” says Oliver. “Remember: It's makeup! Have a little fun!”

Need some more makeup tips and tutorials? We’ve got you covered.


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