How to (finally) find your foundation shade

A flawless finish is easier to achieve than you might think

In order to put an end to your foundation-sourcing woes, we’ve answered all your most burning coverage questions. From shade selection to matching your skin type, here’s everything you need to shop with confidence…

The good news is that YES, you can still get the perfect color, even if you own some not-quite-there foundation shades. How?

1. Do Your Research

2. Sometimes it’s enough to just mix two different foundation colors, to achieve the perfect shade for your skin. Try a few combinations until you find the winner. Just make sure you pick two foundations with similar texture and coverage, to avoid getting messy or patchy.

You can mix them on the hand, before applying on the skin, but that might make you waste too much product – since some liquid products tend to dry very quickly on the skin. Another option is to buy a stainless steel face make-up palette. They are not exactly cheap, but make-up artists use them all the time. The best thing? You can also use this tool to create new lipstick or eyeshadow colors, just by mixing a few different shades.

3. Buy the Shade Adjusting Drops from The Body Shop, to darken or lighten the foundation color with a few tones. This is a new launch, but the reactions were very positive so far. And I also spotted a similar option on the NYX Cosmetics website, the Pro Foundation Mixer (available in 6 shades) – “designed to adjust the tone, shade and finish of any liquid foundation, resulting in a truly perfect match“.

4. If nothing works, don’t throw them away just yet. You can just use the too-dark foundation shade to contour the face, and the too-light foundation shade as a concealer (if it has enough coverage) or to highlight the high points of the face.

Now, do you want to buy a new foundation, but you’re not sure how to find the perfect color match?

Well, first of all, you have to do a proper research.

5. Before buying anything, try to hunt for mini samples – you can get them at Sephora, in glossy magazines, etc. You can even buy them from certain online stores. For example, on, you can buy packs of mini-samples for several Lioele BB and CC creams.

6. Check tutorials and reviews of women who have (more or less) the same skin color as you do. Search for bloggers, vloggers and make-up artists that use the product you want to buy. And then you can see what shade they picked, how it looks like on their skin, and what do they think about it (does it oxidate, is it a good match or do they need to mix it with another product).

I know it can be tricky to figure it out, since some of them use heavy lights in their videos, or heavy filters on their Instagram pictures, but keep searching until you find an accurate description of the color.

7. Check your shade on This tool will give you suggestions about the perfect shade for any foundation, based on your current match with several products. It’s amazing, I can’t believe I just recently discovered it!


Take a Moment in the Sun

Store lighting is not your best friend when it comes to color accuracy. Unsurprisingly, it’s focused on the products, not your skin, makeup artist Hector Simancas explains. “They have different hues of lights as well, sometimes blue or yellow for example, which change the color of your skin, as well as the products,” he adds. Even at home, you shouldn’t rely on your bathroom mirror lighting. Step into the natural light from a window whenever possible because natural light hits the face most evenly.

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