The Trick to Finding The Perfect Foundation Match

s04-img01One of the questions I get asked most often is, “Is there really a perfect foundation shade out there for me?” Sadly, many women settle for a not-so-perfect shade, thinking it’s impossible to get it just right.

The good news is, they’re wrong! It is possible to get a perfect match. The problem is, most don’t have a clue how to get there. You too? No worries! We’re going to tackle this problem head on and finally find your perfect shade!

Skin Shade and Skin Tone

This is where many women get lost. They think shade and tone are one and the same. Not so. You must get to know them both.

Finding your skin shade is the easy part. You probably already know what it is. It’s either fair, light, medium, olive, tan or dark. If you ‘re not sure, the following guide isn’t an exact science, but should help:


Fair- your skin burns very easily and may be sensitive. You may or may not have freckles, and your natural hair color is blonde or red. Your eyes are most likely blue.

Light- your skin burns when exposed to the sun too long. You may or may not have sensitive skin. Your natural hair color is blonde, light brown or red. 

Medium- your skin almost never burns. You most likely do not have sensitive skin. Your natural hair color is black, brown or dark blonde. 

Olive- You tan very easily in the sun. Your skin may appear to be slightly yellow or olive green. Your eyes are brown or hazel. You most likely do not have sensitive skin. Your natural hair color is brown or black.

Tan- You tan very easily. Your eyes are most likely light or dark brown. Your skin isn’t necessarily sensitive. 

Dark- Your skin may or may not get darker in the sun. your skin type is oily or combination. Your natural hair color is most likely brown or black. Your eyes may be light or dark brown. 

Finding your skin tone is the next step in finding your foundation shade. Your tone will either be warm with yellow or olive undertones, cool with red/pink undertones or neutral which is either cool nor warm. There are a couple of neat tricks that reveal your skin tone. Again, it’s not exact science, but it works.

The Paper Test

Head to the mirror with a plain sheet of white paper and a fresh no-makeup face. Place the edge of the white paper next to your cheek. Look closely at the white paper, and then at the shade of your cheek next to it. (If your skin has red, patchy areas, set the paper next to skin that is not red.) When comparing the paper to your skin, your cheek will appear slightly yellow or green revealing a warm tone, pink or red revealing a cool tone or indistinguishable for a neutral tone.

The Vein Test

If you seem to have trouble locating your skin tone with the paper test, than t he vein test is for you. In good, natural light, take a good look at the color of your veins on the underside of your arm. If they are blue in color, your undertone is cool. If green or yellow, your undertone is warm and if they appear both blue and green, you’ve got a neutral undertone.

Now that you know your shade and tone, head on over to the shade chart for the foundation you’re looking at. It should specify the undertone of each available shade. You should be able to locate 1-2 shades in your range. Get some samples if you can and try them on for size!

Have you found another way to find the perfect foundation shade? Do tell below, and if you haven’t already subscribed to my Clear Skin Updates, you can do that below too!