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Here Are 5 Foolproof Ways To Find Your Ideal Foundation Shade

Foundation can be daunting, but we have the secrets.

If you're like me, you probably find the number of makeup foundation options extremely daunting. Help! Where do you even begin? Here are tips on finding your right foundation shade:

Hannah Wong / As/Is

1. First things first, learn your undertones.

Your undertones and your skin tone are two different things, but your undertones will predicate the warmth of your foundation. The three undertone categories are cool, neutral, and warm. People with cool undertones look good in silver jewelry, and their skin has a pink, red, or blue hue.Neutral undertones can be a bit trickier because your skin is neither warm nor cool. A quick way to see if you possibly have neutral undertones is to see if both gold and silver jewelry look good on you.And finally, people with warm undertones look good in gold, and their skin has a yellow, gold, or peach tone to it.
Ninell_art / Getty Images

Your undertones and your skin tone are two different things, but your undertones will predicate the warmth of your foundation. The three undertone categories are cool, neutral, and warm. People with cool undertones look good in silver jewelry, and their skin has a pink, red, or blue hue.

Neutral undertones can be a bit trickier because your skin is neither warm nor cool. A quick way to see if you possibly have neutral undertones is to see if both gold and silver jewelry look good on you.

And finally, people with warm undertones look good in gold, and their skin has a yellow, gold, or peach tone to it.

2. After you find your undertone, you need to figure out your skin type.

instagram.com / Via instagram.com

Knowing which of the four main skin types you have will help you decide what type of foundation you'll want to try. For instance, someone with dry skin wouldn't necessarily want to use a powder foundation because the powder can increase the dryness/mattness of your face.

An easy way to see what kind of skin you have is by washing your face, moisturizing, and not applying any product. See where you get oily (or if you get oily at all). If you have a bit of oil but it's not excessive, you may have normal skin. If you don't produce any oil at all, and in fact dry out, you may have dry skin.

If you seem to get excessively oily all over, you may have oily skin, and if some places get oily while others don't, you may have combination skin.

3. When you get into the store (like Sephora or Ulta), try sample shades on the back of your hand to find one that will most likely match your face.

If you have absolutely no idea what you're doing, you can always ask an employee for help!So as you can see, the top shade is wrong for two main reasons: First, it's WAAAY too light. Secondly, my skin (which pulls more yellow/gold) doesn't match with this shade that has more of a pink undertone in it.The middle shade is waaay too dark for me. Even in the summer, this red shade on top of my yellow-toned skin wouldn't look cute.#3 is just right: It's a yellow tone, just barely lighter than my face, and will warm it up once it goes on and sets.
Jamé Jackson / As/Is

If you have absolutely no idea what you're doing, you can always ask an employee for help!

So as you can see, the top shade is wrong for two main reasons: First, it's WAAAY too light. Secondly, my skin (which pulls more yellow/gold) doesn't match with this shade that has more of a pink undertone in it.

The middle shade is waaay too dark for me. Even in the summer, this red shade on top of my yellow-toned skin wouldn't look cute.

#3 is just right: It's a yellow tone, just barely lighter than my face, and will warm it up once it goes on and sets.

4. Once you test out the foundation, give yourself around 30 minutes to see if your foundation oxidizes.

Oxidation is real, and it can make you feel like you are trippin', when really, you just haven't given your foundation enough time to sit. To break it down for you, oxidation happens when the foundation adjusts on your skin over the course of the day. Your foundation can turn shades darker (or even more orange), as it reacts with your skin's natural oils (and their acidity levels) and with the air.Rule of thumb: Before taking the plunge on a new foundation, get a sample size and wear it out for the day. If you like how it holds up and the color it is after a few hours, then you can buy it, assured you're getting the exact shade that you want!
O76 / Getty Images

Oxidation is real, and it can make you feel like you are trippin', when really, you just haven't given your foundation enough time to sit. To break it down for you, oxidation happens when the foundation adjusts on your skin over the course of the day. Your foundation can turn shades darker (or even more orange), as it reacts with your skin's natural oils (and their acidity levels) and with the air.

Rule of thumb: Before taking the plunge on a new foundation, get a sample size and wear it out for the day. If you like how it holds up and the color it is after a few hours, then you can buy it, assured you're getting the exact shade that you want!

5. Always try to step out into natural light if you can to see how the foundation ~really~ looks.

@theblondemisfit / Via instagram.com

Store lights can be deceiving. VERY deceiving. If you have time (which you may if you get a sample and wait before purchasing,) definitely consider stepping outside and taking a selfie. See if the finish is just how you like it, especially since natural light will show more of what you can really expect.

Most stores have iridescent lighting (that's what gives everything that WOW factor), so seeing what you'll look like when that sun hits will help you out!

For more tips, check out some As/Is videos, like this one about foundations for covering uneven skin:

View this video on YouTube

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