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    I Got My Foundation Matched At Four Beauty Counters

    Some of them made me look like a corpse.

    by ,

    Hey guys! Nina here. I'm a pretty big fan of makeup. One of the hardest things for me, as a woman of color in particular, is finding the right shade of foundation.

    It can be really disheartening and difficult to find the correct shade, especially if the selection is limited. So I decided to visit four beauty counters to see if they could help me get the best shade!

    View this video on YouTube

    BuzzFeedYellow / Via youtube.com

    I started at Sephora, where I found an excellent match with a Make Up For Ever foundation.

    Nina Mohan / BuzzFeed

    Foundation: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation in 170 = Y435 Caramel, $43.

    My experience at Sephora was wonderful. I went in and the sales associate immediately recommended three brands. I let her choose her favorite. She then tested two different shades on my chin and let me pick which one I liked better. You can barely tell I'm wearing makeup! This foundation and shade really captured the warmth of my skin tone. I felt like it did what all foundation ideally does, which is even out my skin tone without making me look cakey or ghostlike. She knocked it out of the park.

    Rating: 5/5

    Next, I went to a Chanel counter, where I wasn't too happy with the Vitalumière Aqua foundation shades.

    Nina Mohan / BuzzFeed

    Foundation: Chanel Vitalumière Aqua in 52 Beige Rosé, $48.

    Chanel was definitely the biggest disappointment. I look very ashy and washed out. This is what I'd look like if I had pneumonia. The shade the sales associate gave me was THE DARKEST SHADE THEY HAD. She said darker shades would be coming in, but if you look on Chanel's website, it appears it's the darkest shade available. I would hate to imagine a person with darker skin than mine trying to buy foundation from Chanel. It's sad because I really like the consistency of it. I'd recommend it in a heartbeat if they actually carried darker shades.

    Rating: 2/5

    Oh, by the way, all the shades are variations of ~beige~.

    Nina Mohan / BuzzFeed

    I went to Ulta next, where I was hooked up with an excellent Smashbox foundation.

    Nina Mohan / BuzzFeed

    Foundation: Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation in 3.2 Medium Beige, $42.

    The foundation-matching at Ulta took about a minute. That was it. I was seriously impressed. I told the sales associate what I wanted, she picked her favorite brand, she tested three shades on my jaw, and we were done. She did a great job matching the undertones in my skin, and it helped that she did it on my jaw so I could make sure my face wasn't a different color than my neck. I think I like the foundation I got at Sephora a little bit better because it's a bit more similar to my normal coloring, but this was a close second.

    Rating: 4/5

    My last stop was Target, where I was recommended this L'Oréal foundation that I didn't totally love.

    Nina Mohan / BuzzFeed

    Foundation: L'Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup in Sun Beige W6, $9.99.

    I don't know if this is true for all Targets, but the one I go to has sales associates specifically for the beauty aisles. The woman I asked assured me that this would be the right shade, though she didn't test it on me (because Target is busy AF and she had other people to get to). I tested it on myself and it looked OK in the store's light. Putting it on in daylight, though, I felt like a greasy ghost. The color is not as bad as the Chanel foundation, but I don't think it truly matched my undertones. I look like the corpse version of myself. It was disappointing because L'Oréal has a variety of shades, and its products are pretty cheap.

    Rating: 1/5

    Ultimately, I'm glad I got two foundations that worked well for me. For reference, here's what all the foundation shades looked like:

    Nina Mohan / BuzzFeed

    My best experiences were definitely at Ulta and Sephora. I think it helps that these stores carry a wide variety of brands and shades. It makes it so much easier for makeup lovers of all colors to find their exact foundation match.

    It was disappointing that an expensive brand like Chanel didn't carry a lot of shades. If I'm willing to throw down a lot of money on your product, you should stock my colors. I WANT TO GIVE YOU MY MONEY AND YOU WON'T LET ME. At Target, it was frustrating that the store's lighting led me astray. I probably could've gotten a shade that worked for me, had I found proper light to test it in.

    This experience taught me that it's important to go to multiple places to figure out what foundation shade works for you. Different eyes are going to match you differently. If I had gone only to Target or Chanel, I'd be stuck with shitty foundation. It takes more time and effort, but it's worth it to not end up looking like a sickly corpse.

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