How to: Find the right foundation shade

Finding the right shade of foundation is important. Do I need to explain this?! There are so many things wrong with having a foundation that’s too light or too dark on you. I know it can be tricky, but patience and vigilance are key steps.

I personally don’t find it hard to find my shade because I’m either beige, natural beige, nude, or beige (LOL!) I have yellow undertones to my skin so I guess it’s a pretty common skin tone. But if you’re the type who finds it hard to get the perfect shade, then don’t be afraid to mix foundations. I know it can be a hassle, but most drug store products come in limited color selections.

Another option is to go for higher end products that have more than 15 color selections. I’m pretty sure between 1 and 15, you’ll be able to pick out your color.

Now it’s time to pick your shade. If you are a fan of MAC then you probably already know your color from their line. You can use that as basis and Google your way to your perfect shade. But the standard way of doing it is swatching.

  • Pick 2-3 shades that are close to your skin tone and swatch them on your jawline. Some may say cheek or neck. It’s your choice, but do not swatch it on your hand.
  • Check which foundation disappears or blends in with your neck because most of the time, our face is lighter than our body.
  • Wait for 30 minutes to an hour if you have acidic skin. This will give the foundation time to oxidize and darken to become the perfect match to your skin tone.

Those are the easy steps in finding your foundation shade. In time, you’ll get used to your color and you’ll be able to skip swatching and just eye which color suits you. This isn’t the most accurate way of doing it, but there are stores and counters that don’t display products for swatching, and obviously, you won’t be able to swatch if you buy it online.

I hope this will help you in finding the right shade. If you want to know more about foundations, watch my All about foundations video. I share the different types of foundation available in the market.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I will see you in my next post.


  1. anne (Reply) on Tuesday 1, 2012

    what foundation are you using ? 

  2. Erik (Reply) on Tuesday 1, 2012

    Please do men’s makeup tutorial. 🙂