Being able to perfect your base is a fundamental make-up skill which all starts with finding the right foundation shade to match your skin tone. Once you’ve determined the correct shade, you’re setting yourself up for success! So let us take you through simple steps to help you determine your shade.
Already know your shade?
Before we begin, it’s important to understand your skin tone. Your skin tone is made up of your surface colour and undertone. Your surface colour can change depending on sun exposure and skin condition, however, your undertone never does. The best make-up shades will match both your surface colour and undertone so let’s split this into two steps:
Your surface colour is essentially the colour depth of your skin. Using the below chart as a guide, determine your surface colour by categorising your skin depth into either Light, Medium or Dark.
If you’re an in-between shade such as Light/Medium, consider where you’ll be spending most of your time this season. If you anticipate being outdoors in the sun, we would suggest selecting the darker shade and vice versa.
Once you’ve determined your surface colour on the chart, it’s time to determine your skin tone.
Your skin tone is the underlying colour underneath your skin which come in three basic hues:
- Cool: Red or pink undertone
- Warm: Yellow or olive undertone
Once you’ve found your undertone, using the chart, keep within the same row as your surface colour and navigate to the right of the chart to to match your skin undertone and find your shade.
If you’re still not sure what your undertone is, here are some quick tricks:
If you have very prominent veins, check the inside of your wrist and assess the colour. If your veins are more purple or blue, you’re cool toned. If they’re green, you’re warm toned and if you’re not too sure, you might be neutral.
Although this is more of a loose guide, your eyes and hair colour can also help you determine your skin tone:
Another method is seeing whether gold or silvery jewellery/accessories are most flattering on your skin. Warm tones look better in gold while cool tones look better in silver and those that are neutral can usually wear both with equal grace.
The paper test is quite overly simplified but can sometimes take the guess work out of selecting your tone. Tie your hair back and wrap a white towel around your neck or hold a white piece of paper by your face. What colour does your face look next to the white? Warm tones will see a yellow, orange or gold hue whereas cool tones can see red, blue or pink. If you’re not too sure, you could be neutral.
Generally cool tones tend to tan minimally but burn easily in the sun, whereas warm tones tan easily but do not burn.