How to Choose the Best Foundation Match | Skin Tone | Skin Type

foundation choice main image

Choosing the best foundation match can be an overwhelming task with so many products on the market today. I mean there are tons of products on shelves and there is no end in sight with the constant creation of new products daily. Where does someone new to makeup even start?! Even if you are not new to makeup but want to find a new foundation for the season I’m here to help give you tips to help make your foundation decision a bit easier.

*Affiliate links are used, which means I receive a commission if you use that link and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you). My content is never influenced by brands, products received, usage of affiliate links, or brand partnerships. XO

Foundation Match: Undertone

Your undertone plays a huge role in finding your perfect foundation color. You can have a color that looks great initially, but when it sets if the undertone doesn’t match it can make your skin look ashy or too orange. To fix this make sure you know your undertone. The most common undertones to know is warm, cool, and neutral.



Warm undertones look golden, yellow, or peachy. (foundation looks golden in the bottle) A classic test to find out if you have a warm undertone is when gold jewelry looks more flattering on your skin. When in the sun you tan but not burn easily and when looking at your veins they appear green. These are both signs that you have a warm undertone. Warm foundations tend to be labeled with a “W” or simply by “WARM” on the package.

I have a strong yellow undertone, in the summer my skin starts to have more of an orange-yellow undertone.



Cool undertones look pink, red, or blue. (foundation looks pink in the bottle) A classic test to see if you have a cool undertone is if silver jewelry looks more flattering on your skin. If you burn easily in the sun and when looking at your veins they appear blue/purple. Foundations with warm undertones tend to be labeled with a “C” or simply by stating “COOL”.



Neutral undertones are a mix between both warm and cool. People with neutral undertones tend to look great in both silver and gold jewelry. When looking at veins they tend to have a mix of blue and green. If you have a more neutral undertone you can get away with color matching a bit easier. Foundations are generally labeled with “N” or “NEUTRAL”.

Depending on the brand of foundation you choose the undertone should be stated on the package. If it is not listed check the brand’s site for details or contact the brand’s customer service. Each brand will know best about their product formulation.

At times it can be difficult to find the perfect undertone in a foundation. If you have this issue you can always purchase a pigment additive that compliments the formula. I always have a water base yellow pigment on hand. (To mix with water-based foundation) I like Chromatic Mix by Make Up For Ever. They have both water and oil-based formulas.

Foundation Color Match

The most common places to color match your foundation are the neck, décolletage, or jawline. The neck and décolletage are favorite places because there is little to no line of demarcation when you match to these areas. When matching to the jawline alone you run the possibility of your foundation not matching your neck or the rest of your body.

Example: For spray tanners, the face is often not included. You should match your foundation to your neck or décolletage. If not the face would be much lighter than the rest of the body.

In some cases, the face, neck, and décolletage may not have a uniform color. If that is the case match the décolletage and blend the foundation starting on the face down your neck.



The best places to start when looking for a foundation are Sephora or a department store. You can ask for samples to see how the foundation wears plus they offer assistance with color matching. It is important to note when color matching you should see what the foundation looks like in different lighting conditions. You can also purchase a few foundations from a drugstore and keep the receipt. Most stores offer return or exchange policies so you can return the foundation that doesn’t work for you. Of the two options, I would recommend the first because you can try different foundations and find the one you love without spending the money upfront.

When choosing your foundation shade first locate your undertone then try a few colors that are close to your skin tone. Try grabbing colors that look a bit darker and lighter if you are in Sephora or a department store. Test the foundation on your skin. Allow it to dry and set so you can see the true color.

If a color is to warm or too dark,  it can appear to have an orange or deep cast. When a color is too cool or light it can give off a muddy or ashy look.



foundation type chart

*For sensitive skin (red/ blotchy in areas) similar to combination, apply a primer in areas needed and opt for a foundation formulated for sensitive skin. Check for ingredients that may irritate. 

Have oily skin? Check out my favorite drugstore foundations here.

Do I always need a primer to make my foundation look good?

To prime or not to prime…that is the question lol. The short answer is no. You don’t need a primer before applying foundation. Foundation is formulated with enough priming ingredients as is. Primers are another layer of product to assist in achieving certain results. It may be a necessity for some but you can achieve great results without them especially if you don’t plan on wearing your foundation for extended periods of time.

While primers are not necessary they can come in handy if you are trying to make a particular foundation work better on your skin type. Like applying a hydrating primer to your skin prior to applying a matte foundation on your dry skin. In this case, the better choice would be to purchase a foundation that better suits your skin type. But hey! We like, what we like! Also when the season changes our skin can change as well.  Using a primer can help to assist a foundation formula that may not be best in a particular climate.

I don’t use a primer all the time. It honestly depends on the situation. If you are interested in a post on primers let me know.

I hope this post was helpful. At the end of the day, it is just makeup. Wear what makes you feel amazing and wear it confidently.

Thanks for hanging out today.

XO Terreana

One thought on “How to Choose the Best Foundation Match | Skin Tone | Skin Type

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.