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Foundation Shade Finder: How to Find Your Perfect Match

Split Screen Showing Womans Face Before and After

Few things are worse than spending money on a foundation only to realize once you get it home that you've bought the wrong color. Wait, scratch that. It’s technically worse to actually apply the wrong foundation shade and not realize it until after you’ve caught a glimpse of yourself. A neck and face that are two different colors? No thanks!

Our experts are here to give you some game-changing makeup pro-tips for making sure you’ve got a flawless foundation match. We’re also living in a tech-savvy age with easy-to-use digital foundation shade-finders that make the job easier for you. Follow the below advice and you’ll never have to fear walking out of the house with a mismatching neck and face again.

Identify Your Skin’s Undertone 

Everyone’s skin has an undertone, and figuring out yours is step number one in the quest to find the perfect foundation color.

“A skin undertone is the subtle hue underneath the surface of the skin, and there are three,” says Kirsten Peterson, Senior Regional Education Manager for IT Cosmetics. “The first is cool (a pink undertone), the second is warm (yellow undertone), and the third is neutral (a mixture of both).”

Cool Undertones

Peterson says that you have a cool undertone if you burn easily, the veins in your wrist look blue, and if silver jewelry tends to complement your skin best. In general, your skin will lean more pink or even blue. People who have skin with cool undertones should look for foundation shades that lean slightly pink. 

Warm Undertones

You have a warm skin undertone if you tend to tan easily, the veins in your wrist have a greenish color to them, and if you find that gold jewelry looks best on you. Skin with warm undertones tends to lean more golden and yellow. For that reason, people with warm undertones should seek foundation colors that lean slightly yellow.

Neutral Undertones

Skin with neutral undertones is a mixture of all the above. You might tan and sunburn equally, and the veins in your wrist might look blue and/or green (or sometimes appear to blend in perfectly with your skin). Also, both gold and silver jewelry are complementary to your skin. People with neutral undertones often fare best with peach-hued foundation shades.    

Still not quite sure what your skin undertone is? Peterson has a great trick up her sleeve.

“Another easy way [to determine your skin undertone]—especially if you’re shopping in a

‘no-touch’ environment—is to hold a white tissue next to your face or wrist,” she says. “The contrast will help [you better identify] your undertone. Whenever possible, natural lighting is the best environment for any of these experiments.” 

Pro Tip: When you’re shopping for IT Cosmetics foundation, you’ll see either C, W, or N in parenthesis next to the shade. This indicates whether the shade is for cool, warm, or neutral undertones. Using those undertones as a guide, select the perfect foundation match based on how fair or dark complected you are.  

Using a Digital Foundation Shade-Finder or Online Service

If you really want to foolproof the process of finding the best foundation match, then employ a digital tool or service. At IT Cosmetics, we have two options that’ll help you get to the foundation finish line.

Try IT On

Welcome to the future! Try IT On is a virtual foundation shade-finder that’s easy enough for anyone to use. You can access this handy feature on IT Cosmetics product pages simply by clicking the "Try IT On" button. 

Once there, “All you have to do is upload a picture [of yourself] and then [virtually] ‘try on’ various shades to find your perfect match,” says Peterson. There's also a live option, which means you can see how the product looks on your skin in real-time instead of uploading an image. 

This feature is available for select IT Cosmetics foundations, including the award-winning Your Skin But Better™ CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ and Celebration Foundation™ Illumination Full Coverage Powder Foundation

You can also use this digital tool with select IT Cosmetics makeup products, including lipstick, bronzer, and eyeliner. Want to see how well a certain shade of bronzer pairs with your skin tone? Or see if a lipstick shade works with your complexion? Simply “Try IT On!”

IT Cosmetics Live Consultation

If you’d prefer an even more personalized approach, Peterson recommends scheduling time with one of the IT Educators for a virtual one-on-one consultation. The service is free, and scheduling your appointment is a cinch.

Simply click here, select "Free Virtual Beauty Lesson—Try IT Before You Buy IT,” and then choose your preferred day and time. You’ll get a full half-hour with one of our knowledgeable educators; there’s no doubt you’ll know exactly which shade to buy by the time you’re done!

How to Apply Your Foundation Skillfully

Once you’ve selected the perfect foundation color, it's important to know how to apply it correctly in order to get a flawless, even application. You can start by grabbing a quality makeup brush, which will do the work for you.

For liquid foundation, we recommend the Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush #7. Apply one-half to a full pump of the foundation directly onto the brush or back of your hand, then apply it to your face. Start in the center of your face and then work your way out. Really make sure to blend around the edges of your face, including your hairline, jaw, and around your nose and eyes. This important step ensures the foundation blends beautifully into your skin tone.

If you’re using a powder foundation, apply it with the Heavenly Luxe Flat Buffing Foundation Brush #6. The flat top and densely packed bristles easily pick up foundation for speedy, airbrushed perfection. Swirl the makeup brush into your compact, then buff the foundation onto your skin in a gentle, circular motion. Whether using a liquid or powder foundation, you can repeat a second time to build even more coverage.

Simple enough, right? Follow these easy steps and you’ll say goodbye to foundation woes and hello to a flawless complexion!

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