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17 Foundation Tips Every Beginner Needs To Know

This is your opportunity to SHINE. The products in this post were updated in March 2018.

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1. Lighting is key when it comes to foundation. If you don't have great lighting in your room, try using a mirror with a light.

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Your makeup will look drastically different in yellow lighting compared to fluorescent lighting. Yellow lighting will make you look washed out, whereas fluorescent lighting is harsh on your skin, so you'll look pretty pale. Natural lighting is the best, but since we can't have that all the time, choose a warm, white LED light.

Get a lighted makeup mirror from Amazon for $29.99.

2. If you're not sure what your shade is, ask for samples at the store.

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This way, you can try the shades in natural lighting to determine which one looks best on your face.

3. Find your match by testing it on your chest or your jawline, not your arm or neck.

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Your neck is the palest part of your body, so if you match your shade with your neck, you'll look much paler than the rest of your body. On the other hand, your inner wrist usually doesn't carry the same undertones as your face. Your best bet is to test it on your jawline or your chest.

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4. Before you pick a shade, get to know your skin's undertone.

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Once you've determined your undertone, you'll be able to narrow down the number of foundations that work with your skin. Most companies label their shades with "C" for cool, "W" for warm, and "N" for neutral undertones. If there's no label, shades for cool undertones will have a pinkish hue and shades for warm undertones will have a yellowish hue.

5. As well as undertones, figure out your skin type.

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For dry skin, opt for a light coverage, moisturizing foundation.

Try CoverGirl's Tone Rehab from Amazon for $11.55.

For oily skin, opt for a more medium to full coverage, matte foundation.

Try L'Oreal's Infallible Pro-Matte from Amazon for $9.61.

If you have combination skin, then you'll have to test out a few more samples to figure out which one's best for you. Read here for more tips on selecting foundations based on your skin type.

6. Once you know your skin type, you'll be able to perfect your skin care routine, which gives you FLAWLESS coverage.

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Obviously, these charts suggest a large number of products, which is daunting for anyone, not to mention someone who's just starting out.

While these won't work for every skin type, make sure you have a facial cleanser from Amazon for $10.43, an exfoliator or scrub for $4.87, and a moisturizer for $18.95. Once you're comfortable with this routine, add in serums $13.95, and eye gels $15.95.

7. OK, so this is a lot of information, but before you take the plunge, you need to decide on a finish.

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Matte, dewy, or just a normal ~lewk~? Choose your poison wisely.

Get a matte foundation from Amazon for $5.64, or dewy one for $5.60.

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9. If you prefer a brush over a sponge, choose a kabuki or a buffing brush over a paddle brush for easier blending.

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It's harder to blend with a paddle brush if you don't have that much experience. Choose a flat-top kabuki brush or a buffing brush instead.

Get a kabuki brush from Amazon for $9.90 and the buffing brush for $6.69.

11. While concealer works on many different areas, start out by adding some under your eyes to eliminate shadows.

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If you have dark circles under your eyes, a peach concealer usually does the trick. For red blemishes, use a green concealer to neutralize the color. And if you have darker or purplish tones, apply a yellow concealer to even it out.

Get this set of orange, green, and yellow concealers from Amazon for $9.15.

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15. If you can't afford the holy grail versions of foundation makeup, give these top-rated dupes a chance.

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Instead of Hourglass's Immaculate from Sephora for $56, try Rimmel's Stay Matte from Amazon for $4.97. Instead of Make Up For Ever's Invisible Foundation from Sephora for $43, try NYX's Studio Photogenic from Amazon for $18.

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