Sunday Sharing: How Do You Choose Your Foundation Shade?

This is definitely your foundation shade. People usually wear this shade, so it should be good for you too. Ah, one look and I know you’re this foundation shade. No, this shade is too dark / light for you. These are generally what beauty consultants say when it comes to picking a foundation shade.

Choosing the right foundation shade is the trickiest. We are all individuals and there is no such thing as one shade for all (looking at you BB creams). I told you about my mismatch before, and the effects being sallow skin. Let me just tell you a little about the condition of my face, colour wise. I have warm undertones, but my face gets red very easily…I wish I get rosy red cheeks but imagine having beetroot for a face 🙁  Sans makeup, my face is markedly darker than my neck and the rest of my body. So, naturally, my face is the odd one out. Solution? Foundation that matches my neck.


Now, my problem is, every time I go to the counter, the beauty consultants will tell me to match the foundation to my face. Usually at least 1 shade darker than the right shade. When I argue, they’d have that look on their face, saying they know better. The only person who matched me correctly is the senior makeup artist from Dior. Zaidi did a remarkable transformation on me and you can read all about it here. So, it’s safe to say that beauty consultants are not trained makeup artists, hence we should take their advice with a pinch of salt.

So how do I choose my foundation shade and decide if it’s right for me?

First of all, mute the beauty consultant. Hahahaha! I mean, just swatch it yourself without their help.



I look for a foundation with yellowish undertone. This will tone down the redness of my face. If your face is generally dull and sallow, I’d suggest one with pinkish undertones. I like to take a swatch (blended) on my neck. Reason explained above. If the shade is close, I will then approach the beauty consultants to try it on my face. I do not purchase the foundation immediately. After applying the potential foundation onto my face, I will take a walk around the mall. After about half an hour, I’d take a look at myself again (in good lighting, natural sunlight preferable). Did it oxidize well? Did it settle into pores / lines? Did it blend into my skin or is it still sitting on the surface? Most importantly for me, does my face match my neck colour now?



Let’s say everything is great. I still like to ask for a sample. That is to test if it passes my 5 hour mark. If the foundation slides off or melts before that, I’d skip it. For those of you with sensitive skin, samples are great to see if your skin has any adverse reaction to it. Bring a little container along, in case they don’t have samples in your shade. Do not be shy to ask for samples, or squeeze a few squirts of the tester foundation into your container. They are meant to be given out anyway. Some beauty consultants might give you the evil eye when you ask for samples. I’ve encountered that a few times before. I usually walk away and approach another beauty consultant.

Anyway, when everything goes well, I will go back to the same counter and purchase from the beauty consultant who served me previously. I assume they get paid on commission and tracked on sales performance too, so it’s only fair to approach the same person. AND… I’ve written more than I should again. Sure it might seem tedious and I can be perceived as being fussy, but at least I know my money is not spent on something that’s not right for me.

How do you choose your right foundation shade? Is there a shorter process for getting the right shade?


xoxo Lily