5 Tips to Find the Best Foundation Shade for your Skin Tone

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Finding a foundation shade that matches your skin tone takes some trial and error but I'm sharing some of the best tips that will help you with finding your foundation match. I personally use each of the five tips I mention in this post to help me find the perfect match when it comes to foundations.

Rare Beauty Foundation
photography by Space Place and Southern Grace

These shade matching tips are ones you can use to find the perfect foundation match when shopping in store as well as ways to find the best shade for you online through foundation shade finders.

What is your Undertone?

Do you have a cool, neutral, or warm undertone? One way to easily figure out what undertone you have is by looking at the veins on your wrist. If your veins look more blue, you likely have a cool undertone. If your veins look on the greener side, you most likely have a warm undertone. If you think your veins look in between green and blue, you likely have a neutral undertone.

Knowing your undertone will help you decide which foundation shades to look at. Many foundations nowadays are labeled with the undertone type so when I am in search of a new foundation, I’ll start by looking for foundations with a medium-tan shade with a warm undertone.

Swatch and Test Foundations Near your Jaw for an Accurate Foundation Match

Swatching makeup on your hand is helpful to see the color but for a more accurate way to figure out whether a foundation shade matches your skin tone, you’ll want to test it out near your jawline. This will help get a more accurate foundation match that matches your face and blends well with the skin tone of your neck.

If you’re foundation matching in store, I recommend walking around for a few minutes and seeing the foundation in different lighting. I remember when I once tried on a foundation at Sephora and it looked like it matched me in store but once I stepped outside into brighter lighting as well as outside in the natural light, it was apparent that the foundation was off by a couple shades.

Another reason I say to wait a few minutes after trying a foundation shade in store is because some foundations tend to dry down a shade or two darker or they will oxidize. So while the foundation might look like it matched as soon as you applied it, there is a chance it may look different after a few minutes. This doesn’t happen with all foundations though!

Which Foundation Shades Do Beauty Content Creators with a Similar Skin Tone To You Use?

This foundation match tip is not something I was always able to use in the past but there are so many more diverse beauty content creators these days that I can make my foundation shade finder search much easier by looking at what beauty bloggers and beauty youtubers with similar skin tones to me wear.

Rare Beauty Foundation Shade Match

If there’s a certain foundation I’m looking to find a shade for, I’ll see if any beauty creators I follow have posted a review of it. If they didn’t, I’ll do a quick search on Youtube, Google, or Pinterest to see if there’s a creator with a similar skin tone to mine who’s posted about the foundation I’m looking for.

Do you have a similar medium-tan complexion with warm undertones like me? You can check out foundation reviews I’ve done on Feel Pretty with Pri here to help with foundation matching!

Use Foundation Match Tools Online

Sephora, ULTA, and many beauty brands offer a feature on their website to help with foundation matching. For example - when you go to the page of a foundation on Sephora’s website, there will be a button that says “” to help you get a more accurate match than looking alone. ULTA has a similar concept - you can click here to see what their shade matching tool looks like. It has a foundation shade comparison that can be really helpful when shopping for foundation online, especially since it’s a foundation shade finder with photos. 

Another online tool I find helpful to foundation match is findation.com. This is a website that will give you a list of foundations with shade names that match your skin based on the shades of foundation you currently use or have used. Simply choose the foundation you’ve used and choose the shade name.

The more foundations and shades you input, the more accurate your results. Findation.com has a ton of drugstore, high end, and luxury foundations listed to help you find a more accurate match to your skin tone.

Rare Beauty Foundation 310W

Note: This foundation finder tool doesn’t always give an exact foundation match but I like using findation to give me a general idea of where to begin looking for foundation matches.

I do prefer purchasing my foundations in person rather than online but these foundation shade finders are helpful for both. Findation especially allows me to save time. I can screenshot or note a couple of foundations + shade names I’d like to try ahead of time so I know exactly which shade to look for when I go in store.

Ask for Samples When Shopping In Store

Sephora or department stores like Macy’s will give you makeup samples. The samples they give usually will be enough to use 2-3 times and allow you to familiarize yourself with the shade and formula. ULTA does not give samples.

I used to struggle with finding the perfect foundation shade for my skin tone but using these tips helps me with foundation matching more accurately when shopping in store and online. These tips not only help with accurately finding the perfect foundation shade, they also help me foundation match much faster and save time.


Have you used any of these tips to help find the right foundation shade for you? Do you have any additional tips to help make foundation matching easy? Share in the comments!

Priyanka Patel of Feel Pretty with Pri blog

meet priyanka

Hey friend! I'm a beauty and lifestyle digital creator celebrating inclusivity and empowering you to prioritize your well-being through acts of self care.
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