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Tips – Picking Foundation Color for Your Skin



Understand your undertone. Before trying to choose a foundation, it’s best to determine a few things about your skin, such as your undertone. While the surface of your skin can change color because of many things, such as exposure to the elements or acne, your undertone will always stay the same.[1] Therefore, determining your undertone will help you choose the right foundation color. In general, people fall into one of three undertones:[2]

  • Cool, which means your skin is more blue, red, or pink.
  • Warm, which means your skin is more golden, yellow, or peach.
  • Neutral, which means your skin will have a combination of cool and warm colors


    Determine your undertone. There are a few tests you can use to determine if your undertone is warm, cool, or neutral. The tests involve assessing your hair and eye color, what colors you look best in, how you react to the sun, and the color of your veins.
    • Naturally black, brown, or blonde hair combined with green, grey, or blue eyes is an indication of a cool undertone. Hazel, brown, or amber eyes combined with naturally black, auburn, or strawberry blonde hair indicates a warm undertone.[3]
    • Silver jewelry will look best on you if your undertone is cool; gold jewelry will look best on you if your undertone is warm; someone with a neutral undertone will look equally good in both silver and gold.[4]
    • People who are cool will tend to turn pink or burn easily in the sun, while people who are warm will bronze or tan in the sun.
    • Blue veins on the inner wrist indicate cool; green veins indicate warm; bluish-green indicates neutral.[5]



    Know the best foundation for your skin type. While knowing if you have dry or oily skin won’t help you pick a foundation shade, it will help you choose the right type of foundation. Skin can be oily, dry, or combination, and you can have normal or sensitive skin.
    • Choose a matte finish or oil-free liquid or powder foundation if you have oily skin.
    • Choose a moisturizing or hydrating cream or stick foundation if you have dry skin.
    • Choose a hypoallergenic and scent-free foundation if you have sensitive skin.
    • Choose a powder foundation if you have combination skin.[6]
    • Choose a foundation that offers full or medium coverage if you have an uneven complexion and want to cover most of your skin. Otherwise, look for a foundation that offers partial or sheer coverage if you have a fairly even complexion and want a more natural look.
    • It’s always a good idea to buy foundation that has an SPF, because this will provide a small measure of protection against damaging UVA and UVB rays.