How to choose the best foundation shade for your skin irrespective of the brand

Have you ever tried to get your foundation matched and had it end in disaster? I posted this picture on Instagram of this woman who had the same experience. She went for a professional makeover for a photo shoot but ended up looking like she was wearing a mud mask. The shade of foundation used for her skin was not even in the same universe as her skin colour.

It got me thinking to the numerous times the same thing had happened to me, where I came away from the makeup chair looking like a clown or child did my makeup. Those experiences made me determined to be able to identify my foundation shades myself and I must say I have gotten really good at it. Since I would really like all of us to go out into the world looking our best here some of the methods I use to find the best foundation shade for my skin tone irrespective of the brand.

Step 1: Know your undertone

This is the most important step in the process because it is what prevents you from looking grey or like you have a bad mask on. Undertone is different from complexion; two people at different ends of the colour spectrum can have the same undertones so find out what yours is.

There are three basic undertones yellow, neutral and red which are you? Most brands code their foundations to take care of this using the letters C or W to denote cool or warm. If you want to learn more about how to identify your undertone read this blog post where I discuss how to in detail.

The next step in the process will depend on if you have been matched and have a foundation that works for you. If you do then the process is marginally easier otherwise it will take a bit more time.

If you have a foundation that works

Step 2: Google foundation equivalent for [whatever your foundation is]

If you have at least one or two foundations that work then life has gotten much easier for you. In the days before brands were a bit more helpful, I would have to google

‘’Foundation equivalent for MAC NC50’’ and you will get linked to forums where people who used MAC NC50 would list the other brands and shades of the foundation they use. I would then manually go through to look for the specific brand I was looking for; you don’t have to do that anymore.

Step 3: Use colour matching software

How to choose  the best foundation shade for your skin irrespective of the brand

Instead, of going the laborious process of google you can use a foundation matching software. The website I typically head to this website which helps me choose a new foundation based on a product or products I already use.

How to use

I put in the foundations that I currently use by the brand into the software and the more shades and brand you include the better the shade matching.

How to choose  the best foundation shade for your skin irrespective of the brand

I enter the brand I currently use in this case it is MAC.

How to choose  the best foundation shade for your skin irrespective of the brand

Choose the specific product I use, in this case, the product is the MAC studio fix fluid foundation.

How to choose  the best foundation shade for your skin irrespective of the brand

Then pick the shade in my case it is NC 50.

How to choose  the best foundation shade for your skin irrespective of the brand

This screen comes up, and I can go ahead to be matched using just MAC studio fix fluid NC 50 or include an additional brand.

How to choose  the best foundation shade for your skin irrespective of the brand

Since the best results require at least another brand and shade I included black opal liquid foundation. Let’s go ahead and get matched and see what suggestions it comes up with

How to choose  the best foundation shade for your skin irrespective of the brand

On the next screen, this is what shows up, so you can have this list of all your possible shade matches sent to your email (which I recommend). It also allows you to browse through by brand or by a specific product.

How to choose  the best foundation shade for your skin irrespective of the brand

To see how helpful this is, let me look for the recommendations suggested for a brand I already own and use. I then scrolled down selected Estee Lauder brand and the matches it suggested popped up. The two matches the software it picked out for me are Double wear stay in place Foundation in 6W1 Sandalwood and Perfectionist Youth Infusing Makeup in 5W2 Rich Caramel.

The double wear foundation shade is a perfect match as this is the shade I use! So if this software was the only option I then I would have hit the jackpot.

You can do this as many times as you want with as many products as you have, the only drawback I see is that Nigerian brands are not yet included so you will still have to get matched manually.

Other platforms which offer similar support are

So test them out and see what works best for you.

Find a foundation twin

Foundation twin you say? Basically what I mean here is that you identify and influencer who wears the same shade of foundation as you in most if not all shades. That way you can use her purchases and recommendations as a guide for what will work for you and what won’t. My foundation twin is @fabjennie and most foundations that work for her will work for me.

That’s how you choose the best foundation shade for your skin tone. In my next post, I will tackle how to find your foundation shade if you are starting completely from scratch. Let me know in the comments how these work for you are there are other methods you use to get the right shade which I have missed?

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