How to Find Your Perfect Foundation Shade


We’ve all been there. You’re standing in Ulta, staring blankly at the rows upon rows of foundation feeling completely overwhelmed by the countless options. Well, today I’m here to help you figure out how to choose the right shade and finish for you so it’s a little less daunting. Keep reading for some of my tips for picking the perfect foundation for you. 

Before you pick out your shade, it helps to know what kind of finish is best for your skin type. This won’t help you find your shade, obviously, but the right shade isn’t going to be effective if the finish doesn’t fit the type of skin you have.

  • Choose a matte finish or oil-free liquid or powder foundation if you have oily/combo oily skin.
  • Choose a moisturizing or hydrating cream or stick foundation if you have dry skin.
  • Choose a hypoallergenic and scent-free foundation if you have sensitive skin.
  • Choose a foundation that offers full or medium coverage if you have an uneven complexion and want to cover most of your skin. Otherwise, look for a foundation that offers partial or sheer coverage if you have a fairly even complexion and want a more natural look.

Now that you know what kind of foundation is going to be the best for your skin type, let’s get into choosing the right shade. Knowing your undertone is super helpful. Sometimes, you can find a foundation that is a great color match, but if the undertone is wrong, it’s going to have you out here looking real crazy.


Once you have your undertone figured out, it’s time to find a color match. If you’re on the extreme pale or deep ends of the spectrum, this can be a super difficult task, because a lot of brands just don’t make the shades to suit you. It sucks, but hopefully brands are getting the hint that ALL of us want to wear foundation, not just the medium-toned girls and guys.

To find your perfect shade, ask for help from a store employee whenever possible. It’s their job to help you, so don’t be shy about it. If you’re testing a foundation shade yourself, apply a small amount on your jawline. This will match the foundation color to your neck, which is typically the most pale part of your body. When you do the swatch, step out of the store for a minute and look at it in natural light. The lighting in the store will have you picking the wrong things because the lights are super harsh, and tend to wash color out. If you’re purchasing online, which I don’t necessarily recommend until you’re fairly comfortable choosing your shade by sight only, most websites have color matching options. You just upload your picture, answer a couple of questions, and the site will suggest a foundation match for you.

I hope this helps those of you that, like me, struggle to find your perfect foundation shade. Leave a comment below with your foundation finding tips, so we can help each other out.



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