How do I choose the correct shade of foundation?


Written by Chloe Anderson  

Choosing the right shade of foundation can be tricky, however there are some easy tips and tricks that can help when choosing the best shade of foundation to suit you. Understanding your undertone is key when buying the right foundation shade and creating the perfect match for your skin.

What is your skin’s undertone?

Skin’s undertones can be classified as either; ‘warm’ (yellow), ‘cool’ (pink), or ‘neutral’ (mixture of both yellow and pink). These undertones are the colours that come through your skin from underneath the surface and affect the overall look of the skin. It isn’t about how light or dark your skin is, as all shades can have any of the three types of undertone. Here’s what each undertone means in a little bit more detail:

  • Warm: Yellow, sallow, peachy or golden complexion.
  • Cool: Hints of pink, bluish, or ruddy complexion.
  • Neutral: The skin’s natural colour is more evident, as there is no obvious overtones of pink or sallow skin.

How to Determine Your Skin’s Undertone?

There are various ways to determine your skin’s undertone. Answering the following simple questions can help when determining your undertone:

  • What colour are your veins on the inside of your arms or wrists?

- Greenish veins: Your undertone is more likely to lean towards the warm-tone.

- Blueish/Purple veins: Your undertone will sit more in the cool-tone.

- Mixture of both (difficult to differentiate): Your undertone will be neutral.

  • How does your skin react in the sun?

- Burn easily: Your undertone will be cooler tones.

- Tan quickly and rarely burn: Your undertone will skew towards more warm and neutral undertone.

  • Do you look better in silver or gold – personal preferences aside?

- Sliver: Cooler undertones are complimented with silver/platinum jewellery. 

- Gold: Warmer undertones are flattered by gold-tone jewellery.

- Both silver and gold: Natural undertones, skin looks great against both silver and gold…lucky you!

  • Does your skin look ashen or greyish?

Olive skin can be classified as a combination of natural neutral, slightly yellow undertone plus the greenish ashen hue which is unique to this type of undertone. Olive skin tone is very specific.

Answering these few questions will help you to move in the right direction when selecting the correct shade of foundation that best suits your skin. 

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