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How To Find The Right Foundation For Your Skin Tone

When you use the right foundation, it leaves your skin looking beautifully smooth and even, providing the perfect canvas for the rest of your makeup. But when you've got it wrong, you can end up leaving the house looking like something straight out of a horror film. For years, I avoided wearing foundation all together. Simply put, I was sick of buying expensive products that just weren't right. If you've also wasted money on the wrong shade, you've probably wondered exactly how to find the right foundation for your skin tone.

When shopping for the perfect shade of foundation, knowing whether your skin is oily, dry, or combination is just as important as the color of your skin. But don't let the outside of the bottle fool you. It's important to test as many shades as possible to make sure you've got something that won't end up in the makeup product graveyard. (And if you're still in doubt, don't be shy about calling in the professionals at the makeup counter to give you their expert opinion about what looks best on you. It is their job after all.)

Still not sure where to begin? Check out this list of expert tips, so you can start wearing the right foundation and stop leaving the house with clown face.


Test The Right Spot

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Celebrity makeup artist Jen Fleming told Marie Claire that testing the jawline or middle of the face will give you a better idea than the wrist, as is sometimes suggested.


Look To The Light

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Makeup guru Sonja Kashuk advises to test foundation in natural light, whenever possible. The department stores florescent lights can often give you a completely different look.


Practice The Power Of Three


On her website, Kashuk also suggested testing foundation in three areas of your face: along your cheek, jaw, and neck. Make sure the color you choose disappears in all three spots. If not, try a different shade.


Make Your Own

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If you find the shade you bought is too light, there's still hope. As LA-based Target Beauty Concierge Jacqueline Buca wrote on Target's website, you can apply bronzer or blush on top to add color, and get just the right shade.


Less Is More

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In an interview with stylecaster's website, L’Oréal Paris Consulting Makeup Artist Collier Strong said the best way to get a natural look is to apply your foundation with a dense foam sponge or foundation brush to make sure you are using minimal product.


Know Your Skin Type

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According to, you should let your skin type determine the kind of foundation you use. If your skin is dry, liquid, stick, or hydrating powder foundation should be your go-to. For oily skin, go with a powder that will absorb the oil and leave your skin looking smooth.


Seek Professional Help

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images also recommended going to a department store or beauty store and consulting a professional makeup artist, who can advise you on the best shades for your skin. Once you have an idea, you can take it to the drug store to use as a guide.