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How to Match Foundation: What’s My Shade?


Trust us—learning how to choose a foundation color online has its own set of challenges. With so many foundation colors, it’s easy to end up with one that’s too light or too dark—or worse, having someone tell you your foundation looks orange. But luckily, those days are over.

Order Foundation Online with Ease

At bareMinerals, we’re all about natural-looking makeup, so we’ve made finding a full-coverage foundation (in your exact shade) a breeze. The The Foundation Shade Finder is an (actually) easy online tool for finding your perfect color-match foundation. Whether you’re concerned about signs of aging, acne, or just want to even out your skin tone—we've got you covered. With foundation for oily skin, foundation for dry skin, and foundation for a-little-bit-of-everything skin—there's something for everyone. You’ll know exactly which shade to choose from our selection of loose powders, tinted moisturizers, liquid foundations and more once you've taken the quiz. You'll never have to wonder how to color match foundation again.

Choosing the Right Foundation for Your Skin Type

To get the best foundation shade match, it helps to know both your skin type and tone (don’t worry, both are fairly simple to figure out). When it comes to skin type, you can decide whether you are dry, oily, combination or balanced by thinking about the natural state of your face, without any outside factors (AKA not after applying your favorite thick moisturizer, or coming inside from skiing on a windy day…). One trick here is to look at your skin right about 20 minutes after you wash it. If your skin feels tight with dry patches, that’s an indicator of dry skin. Oilier complexions usually have a bit of shine to them. Those with “combination skin” might have an oily T-zone area, with some dry patches as well. If you experience none of the above, your skin is most likely balanced or “normal” in its natural state. When determining your skin type, it also helps to take a moment to think about any skin concerns you may have. If you break out a lot, or tend to react poorly to new skincare products, mention that within The Foundation Shade Finder or to a beauty advisor if you visit a boutique to find your perfect foundation color match.

Knowing Your Skin Tone - Deep, Fair or Tan

So the next challenge is how to choose a foundation color, which comes down to finding two things: your skin’s tone and its undertone. When it comes to skin tone, the first step is determining what “intensity” your skin is, whether that’s very deep, very fair or somewhere in between. You can take a look at the product swatches to determine your shade intensity, and we provide photos of people with each of the skin intensities, since it’s usually easier to identify your own skin from, well, other skin. You don’t need to pick a single shade yet — just identify which group of faces looks most like yours.

Understanding Your Skin’s Undertone: Cool, Neutral or Warm?

The next step is one that can trip people up (but that’s why we’re here). After determining your skin’s intensity, you’ll benefit from knowing your skin’s undertone as well. Not sure how to find your undertone? Regardless of how dark or fair your skin is, your skin tone will fall into one of three categories: cool, neutral or warm. If you tan easily, chances are you have a warm skin tone. If you quickly turn red in the sun and burn, you most likely have a cool skin tone. And if you burn first, then get tan over time, you likely have a neutral skin tone. Now, if you’re so good at SPF that you’re not really sure, use the wrist test. If the veins in your wrist appear green or olive, you have a warm skin tone. If they look bluish, your skin tone is cool. If you can’t tell or have both, then you most likely have a neutral skin tone. One last tip: if ivory clothes look a lot better on you than stark white, you’re warm-toned. On the flip side, if true white is most flattering, that’s a sign of a cool undertone. Get compliments wearing both colors? You’re likely neutral.

Now, go ahead and play with our shade finder to meet your mineral foundation match. We’ll even ship your choice free (and take it back for free if you mess up!) because buying foundation online should be easy — and maybe even a little fun.

Get your foundation shade match online now or if you prefer to talk it out, find a bareMinerals boutique where we always offer free shade matching.