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Your Guide to Choosing the Right Foundation Shade and Formula

Your Guide to Choosing the Right Foundation Shade and Formula


Choosing the right foundation is a pivotal step in your makeup routine. It's the canvas on which you build your entire look, and the foundation shade and formula you select can significantly impact your overall appearance. To make the right choice, you need to consider your skin type, undertone, and the specific formula that suits your needs. This guide will take you through the process of choosing the perfect foundation shade and formula to enhance your natural beauty.

Understanding Your Skin Type

Before you embark on the journey of finding your ideal foundation, it's crucial to understand your skin type. Different skin types have unique needs and react differently to various foundation formulas. 

Identifying your skin type is the first step to selecting the right foundation for you. For example, those with oily skin will benefit from oil-free and matte formulas that help control shine, while individuals with dry skin should opt for hydrating foundations to prevent flakiness.

Different Skin Types

Skin Type


Recommended Foundation Formula

Oily Skin

Excessively shiny, prone to breakouts

Oil-free, mattifying

Dry Skin

Flaky, rough texture, may feel tight

Hydrating, liquid or cream

Combination Skin

Oily in the T-zone, dry on cheeks

Liquid, lightweight

Sensitive Skin

Easily irritated, prone to redness

Fragrance-free, hypoallergenic

Exploring Skin Undertones

When it comes to selecting the perfect foundation shade, understanding your skin's undertone is another pivotal step. Undertones, those subtle hues beneath the surface of your skin, are often overlooked but can make a world of difference in your makeup routine.

So what Are Skin Undertones? Skin undertones are essentially the hidden colours that influence the overall tone of your complexion. There are three primary undertones; warm, cool, and neutral.

  • Warm Undertones- If you have warm undertones, your skin is likely to lean towards shades of yellow or gold.

  • Cool Undertones- Cool undertones are characterized by subtle hints of pink or blue beneath the skin's surface.

  • Neutral Undertones- Neutral undertones strike a balance between warm and cool. This means they neither lean too yellow nor too pink, and their skin has an overall neutral appearance.

Identifying Your Undertone

Now that you understand the basic undertone categories, the next step is to determine your undertone. Here are some methods to help you pinpoint it; 

  • Vein Test- Examine the veins on the underside of your wrist. If your veins appear more green, you likely have warm undertones. If they appear bluish, you probably have cool undertones. If they seem to be a mix of both, you might have neutral undertones.
  • Jewelry Test- Take note of how certain jewellery complements your skin. Gold jewellery tends to look more flattering on warm undertones, while silver jewellery may enhance cool undertones.
  • Fabric Test- Try draping different coloured fabrics around your face and observe which shades make your complexion appear more vibrant and healthy. This can be a helpful indicator of your undertone.

Matching Foundation to Your Undertone

Once you've identified your undertone, it's time to select a foundation shade that complements it. Here's how to match foundation according to your undertone-

  • Warm Undertones- If you have warm undertones, look for foundation shades labelled as "warm" or "yellow-based." These shades will have a golden or yellow undertone to match your skin. 
  • Cool Undertones- If you have cool undertones, opt for foundation shades labelled as "cool" or "pink-based." These shades will have a pink or rosy undertone to harmonize with your skin. 
  • Neutral Undertones- If you have neutral undertones, you're in luck, as you can generally wear both warm and cool-toned foundations. 

Choosing the Right Foundation Shade

With knowledge of your skin type and undertone, you're ready to choose the right foundation shade. This step can be a game-changer in your makeup routine, ensuring that your foundation looks like a second skin.

Testing Foundation Shades in Natural Light

  • When testing foundation shades, it's essential to do so in natural light. 
  • This is the most accurate way to assess how a shade complements your skin tone because artificial lighting can distort colors.

Considering You Skin Tone

  • As mentioned above your overall skin tone is another vital aspect of selecting the perfect foundation shade. 

Sampling Shades 

  • You can sample foundation shades in-store by swatching them on your wrist or jawline.
  • Testing foundation in this manner is crucial as it helps you choose a shade that seamlessly blends with your face, and neck, ensuring a natural look. 
  • Avoid applying foundation to the back of your hand, as this area may have a different undertone.
  • If shopping online, you can use shade-matching tools provided by beauty brands.

Foundation Formula Options

Now that you've identified your skin type and undertone and selected the right shade, it's time to choose the foundation formula that best suits your needs.

When choosing the best formula for your skin type, consider factors like coverage level, finish, and your daily activities. For instance, if you have oily skin and need a foundation for a long workday, a matte liquid foundation might be your best choice. 

There are various options to consider-

  • Liquid Foundation
  • Liquid foundation is versatile and suits a wide range of skin types. It offers buildable coverage and a natural finish, making it an excellent choice for daily wear.

  • Powder Foundation
  • Powder foundation is ideal for oily skin types. It provides a matte finish and helps control shine throughout the day.

  • Cream Foundation
  • Cream foundation is excellent for those with dry or mature skin. It offers a hydrating, dewy finish and provides good coverage.

  • Stick foundation
  • Stick foundation is portable and easy to apply. It's suitable for normal to combination skin and provides a medium to full coverage

  • BB Creams and CC Creams
  • BB (Beauty Balm) and CC (Color Correcting) creams are lightweight alternatives to traditional foundation. BB creams offer light coverage and added skincare benefits, while CC creams correct uneven skin tones and redness.

    Application Techniques

    Applying your foundation correctly is also important to achieve a flawless finish.

    Here are some essential tips for application-

    Choosing the Right Tools -Selecting the right tools depends on your personal preference. Brushes provide even coverage, sponges create a natural finish, and fingers can be used for a more sheer application. Check out this guide on selecting the right brush to apply your foundation and other makeup products

    Application steps - Start with clean, moisturized skin, and follow a step-by-step process to apply your foundation evenly. It includes primer, concealer, foundation, and setting products.

    Blending for a Natural Finish - Proper blending is the key to a natural-looking finish. Ensure that there are no visible lines or streaks, and blend foundation seamlessly into your skin.

    Setting Foundation with Powders or Sprays - To enhance the longevity of your foundation, consider setting it with powders or setting sprays. This step helps control shine and ensures your makeup stays in place.


    Finding the right foundation shade and formula can be a transformative experience in your makeup routine. It's the key to achieving a flawless, natural look that enhances your unique beauty.

    At, we offer an extensive range of high-quality foundation brands that cater to a variety of skin tones and types. Our selection includes original and authentic products from the best international brands such as Seren London, L’Oreal, Lakme and Oxyglow. Explore our make up collection here to find your perfect match!

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