Finding the Right Foundation for Your Skin


Almost every woman (and some men) has made a foundation purchase that doesn’t fit their skin tone. Either it’s too dark, too light, or the undertone differs from their own. Here’s some bittersweet news: you aren’t alone. With the variety of color options for every skin tone, it’s easy to make a mistake. We have written about finding good foundation for your skin type on iSkinCareReviews, but now let’s talk about skin tone. Foundation is a tough makeup product to buy. Let’s make it easy.

Foundation That Looks like Your Skin

We either purchase foundations from “high-end” stores such as Sephora and Ulta, or from drugstores, like CVS and Walgreens. When you go to Sephora and Ulta, you have the option of trying the product before you purchase. Don’t massage a potentially incorrect product all over your face – first, do a test.

High-End Beauty Stores

When you have the option to try the makeup beforehand, seize it and test the product out.

Inner Wrist: Although most people try to match foundations by testing it on their wrists, that’s an incorrect, outdated method. Your inner wrist is lighter than your face and neck. Additionally, in some cases, it may have a different undertone. For example, the undertone of my wrist is yellow. But the undertone of my face is red.

Forearm: Another common place to test your foundation – and yet another incorrect method. The color of your forearm skin is usually darker than the skin on your face and neck. This equates to an incorrect match.

Chest: Personally, I believe very few people do this. But this is the best method. According to an article in InStyle, celebrity makeup artist, Allen Avedaño, says to apply shades on your chest even if it’s not going to be an exact match. If the foundation shows up lighter than your face, Avedaño says to keep in mind that foundations darken as the day goes by.

So if the foundation is a perfect match for your neck when you sample it in the store, it’s likely to be a perfect match for your face.


Most drugstores don’t provide the option to “try before you buy.” In this case, you’ll have to place the jar of foundation to your chest and see if it matches. If you buy it and find that it doesn’t match your face throughout the day, some drug stores will let you return the product. If they don’t, you can save this foundation for winter months.

Foundation for Your Neck

Imagine a world where our skin tone was all one color. Wouldn’t choosing foundation be so much easier? For most of us, our face and neck are not the same color. But you have options to improve the appearance for a cohesive look.

Undertone Matters: When it comes to your neck, determine its undertone and look for a foundation to match. If you can’t find one, there are products such as E.L.F.’s Mix to Match Undertone Adjusters that you can mix with your current foundation.

Darken Your Neck: If it so happens that your neck is lighter than your face, use a bronzer or contour to darken the shade so it evenly matches the foundation on your face.

Foundation Tests: Whether your neck is darker or lighter than your face, skin experts say to test three foundation shades (light, medium and dark). Start at the top of your jawline and move down to your neck. The foundation that matches your neck is the foundation you should wear (for face and neck). Give this a try and see if it creates an even blend. We recommend that you do this at stores such as Ulta and Sephora.

We hope these suggestions help you in finding the right foundation for a smooth and even complexion. Do you have tips of your own? Share them in the comments – we’d love to know your thoughts.

About Ria Rankine

I'm a vegan who enjoys natural skincare products and enjoying a healthy lifestyle.

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