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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.

1Test The Right Spot

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 27: Rosie Jane Johnston, cosmetic business woman applies a beauty treatment to model Bessie Bardot at the launch of her first cosmetic range 'Cheek Gloss' on July 27, 2004 at the Lion Gate Lodge, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images)

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.

2Look 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.

3Practice The Power Of Three

A make-up artist prepares a model during the Lagos Fashion and Design Week, on October 31, 2015 in Lagos. The yearly Lagos Fashion and Design Week (LFDW) is designed to promote the Nigerian and ultimately, the African fashion industry by bringing together buyers, consumers and the media to view the current collections of African designers in Lagos. AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

3Make Your Own

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SANTA MONICA, CA - APRIL 30: Actress Lindsay Lohan arrives at the launch of Sevin Nyne By Lindsay Lohan held at Sephora on April 30, 2009 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

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.

4Less Is More

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 01: A model wearing an outfit by designer Zambesi prepare backstage on day two of Rosemount Australian Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2007/08 in the Cargo Hall at the Overseas Passenger Terminal on May 1, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)

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.

5Know Your Skin Type

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Sofia Vergara attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

According to Oprah.com, 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.

7Seek Professional Help

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MARCH 15: A model is being styled by a make-up artist backstage ahead of the Cihan Nacar show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul Autumn/Winter 2016 at Zorlu Center on March 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for IMG)

Oprah.com 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.