How To Choose The Perfect Foundation To Suit Your Skin Tone?

Choosing the right foundation to suit your skin tone can be tricky - but it doesn’t have to be. Finding the best foundation for your skin tone starts with understanding skin undertones in the first place - once you’ve got the right undertone for your skin, picking a foundation shade that’s got the right finish, opacity, and shade depth is a piece of cake! Whether you're a fan of matte foundations or cream foundation, our guide has something for you. 

What Are Undertones? A Guide to Choosing the Right Foundation

Women of different skin tones and undertones

Skin undertones are the natural colours that impact your overall skin tone - if you’ve ever noticed foundation shades use names such as “Warm Sand” and “Cool Beige”, ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ refer to two different types of undertones. 

Undertones impact how your overall skin tone appears - so it’s crucial to get your undertone and shade depth right to choose the best foundation for you!

La Mer the Soft Fluid Longwear FoundationLa Mer The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation
This ultra-lightweight foundation from La Mer veils skin with a flawless, skin-like finish.

The key to understanding your perfect match starts with undertones. The three traditional undertone groups are cool, neutral, and warm. Cool undertones appear slightly pinker in paler skin, while those with deeper skin tones and cool undertones have an almost red, rich undertone to their skin. 

Those with neutral undertones don’t fit squarely into the cool or warm categories - if cool-toned foundation appears too pink on you, while warm-toned foundation leans orange, it’s possible you could have a neutral undertone!

Warm undertones lean from peach to gold tones in skin, as well as a visibly more yellow or golden undertone on both lighter skin and deeper skin tones. 

La Prairie Essence in Foundation creme pecheLa Prairie Skin Caviar Essence in Foundation
Who said makeup doesn't have any beneficial ingredients? This foundation from La Prairie infuses skin with the benefits of Caviar Essence for a radiant glow.

How to Tell Your Undertone for the Best Foundation Match - Ever

Not sure of your undertone? Here’s how to find out your undertone so you can make choosing the right foundation super easy and find the perfect match for you. Foundation shades can be picky to choose, but are easy enough to do with these tips!

What Colour Your Veins Are

A pretty easy test is to take a look at the veins on your wrist - they’ll give you a pretty good starting point! If your veins appear blue-leaning purple, it’s likely that you’ve got a cooler skin tone. 

If the veins on your wrist look blue-leaning green or teal, it’s more likely that you’ve got a warm undertone. 

If your veins seem very in-between or you can see purple and green-leaning veins in your skin, you probably have a neutral undertone!

Dior Diorskin Nude Air Serum FoundationDior Diorskin Nude Air Serum Foundation
A luxurious lightweight foundation from Dior that blends seamlessly into skin.

Which Colours Flatter You Best

Another hint for your undertone is checking out which colours - clothing and jewellery - flatter your skin color best!

In terms of jewellery, which flatters you more: gold tones or silver tones? If gold suits you better, then it’s likely you have a warm undertone. If silver is more flattering, then you probably have cool undertones. If both complement your skin equally well, you might have a neutral undertone. 

How Do You Appear in Photos Compared to Others

Another way to tell your undertone to find your perfect match is comparing skin tones in pictures where you’re not wearing makeup. Sometimes, directly contrasting your skin to someone with a different skin undertone makes your own skin tone incredibly clear - just make sure they’re daytime photos in natural lighting for best results!

La Mer the Sheer Pressed Powder texture imageLa Mer The Sheer Pressed Powder Foundation
Powder foundation is perfect for on-the-go touch ups - like this finely-milled powder foundation from La Mer. 

Where Do I Shade Match To?

Blending foundation with the skin tone of your face, neck, or hands - which is right? Well, for starters, it’s best not to match your foundation to your hands or arms. These parts of the body naturally get more sun than our faces and necks and can result in a too-dark foundation match. Oops!

The chest, neck or jawline tend to be best - especially if low-cut tops are part of your closet. Blending foundation with the skin tone in all or one of these three areas, then letting it oxidise is crucial to making sure you’ve found your best foundation match! Most foundations settle and darken slightly compared to your actual skin color - so while a shade might seem too light in the bottle, it could actually be your perfect shade once fully blended in!

The perfect skincare routine is a crucial foundation to perfect makeup - have you created your ideal beauty routine yet? If not, try our skin analysis quiz to determine your skin type and find the perfect skincare routine for you. 

Beauty Affairs Skin Analysis

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Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne is a passionate beauty writer with over 10 years of experience. She’s incredibly keen on all things skincare, makeup and cosmetics, with a fingertip on the pulse of the latest global beauty trends at all times.

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