How to choose the right foundation can be difficult at the best of times, but the more you know about your skin tone and type, the easier it will be. In follow up to my earlier post about the best mineral foundations, here’s some advice to help choose the right foundation for you.
What is your complexion?
Complexions come is three main categories Fair, Medium and Deep and determine the intensity of the foundation colour. They then get further broken down across these seven shades:
- fair light
- light medium
- medium deep
The shade of foundation you choose, as a general rule, should match or be slightly lighter than your natural skin tone.
The foundation complexion will look different depending on the undertone of the foundation. This is why it is super important that you know your undertone, then it will be easier to find the right foundation for you that looks natural as you have it matched to your undertone and complexion.
Determine your undertone
Your undertone generally will never change, this is the tone under your skins complexion and explains why different ‘medium’ foundations for example look completely different on you, because the undertones are different.
There are 3 main undertone types:
- Cool (pink, red or bluish undertones)
- Warm (yellow or golden undertones)
- Neutral (a mix of warm and cool undertones)
To find your undertone experts say that the best way is to look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If your veins appear blue you have a cool undertone, if they appear greenish you have a warm undertone and if you cannot tell you are neutral.
Another way to tell is by determining what suits you best: silver, gold or both. Silver suits cool undertones, gold suits warm, and if you’re lucky enough to suit both, you’re neutral.
Your complexion is something that changes depending on the time of year, weather, your health etc but your undertone remains the same. In Winter you may need a different shade to what you use in Summer.
Tip: My love affair with fake tan turns my skin tone from cool to warm. So I keep both shades on hand to accommodate. It’s totally ok to buy more than one bottle of foundation.
Generally you’ll need something with blue or pink undertones if you have a cool skin tone.
However occasionally sometimes pink-tinged foundations end up looking unnatural on top of an already rosy face. If this sounds like you, look for foundations with more of a neutral or yellow (warm) base in order to balance out the pink in your skin and successfully match your face to your body. Don’t go too yellow because then the shade won’t match your neck, but think of your foundation shade as a very subtle color corrector.
Yellow-toned foundation works well on a warm skin tone.
Tip: When buying online look for descriptions of undertone, otherwise look for undertones that suit your own.
What type of skin do you have?
Skin types generally fall into four main categories:
Most areas appear dry, flaky, matte or feel tight.
Try this: Zuii Flora Liquid Foundation is great for dry skin. It contains Calendula, Aloe vera and Vitamin E, so it’s a moisturiser and foundation in one!
No signs of oiliness or dryness. Feels vibrant, elastic, and supple.
What to buy: Normal skin is the easiest. You can choose what ever formula you like the best. Because you’re skin isn’t too oily, liquids will work well, and because it’s not dry, powder is also great.
If you would prefer a powder foundation, try one like Eco Minerals Perfection Mineral Foundation which contains only 100% natural and pure minerals, without any mattifiers or fillers. It’s great for all skin types.
Shiny skin is the tell-tale sign of oily skin. Generally 4 hours after cleansing, skin may have excess oil.
What to buy: Powder foundations are brilliant for oily skin. Eco Minerals Flawless Foundation contains a tiny amount of kaolin from clay to assist with oil control and a matte finish.
Some areas are oily & some areas are dry. Most commonly your T-zone areas will be oily and the rest fairly normal.
What to buy: Similar to oily skin, a powder foundation is perfect for you.
Sensitive skin and acne are other common skin conditions, but they’re not as relevant for choosing a foundation. Why not? If you’re sensitive and dry, choose something to suit dry. And vice versa. Same with acne. Because natural foundations tend to be sensitive formulas, by virtue of their natural, nourishing ingredients, most will be suitable for sensitive or acne skins.
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