Shopping for Foundation
When you’re testing foundation shades, it is critical to identify your underlying skin tone and find a foundation that matches it. This can be tricky because your underlying skin color may not be what you see on the surface. For example, you may have a ruddy (red) or ashen (gray) skin tone on the surface but your underlying skin tone is actually slightly yellow to beige. You want to neutralize whatever overtones are present with a neutral- to slightly yellow-toned foundation, thus matching the skin’s natural undertone.
Why a slightly yellow undertone? Because skin color, more often than not, always has a yellow undertone: that’s just what the natural color the predominant form of melanin (skin pigment) tends to be. For the most part, regardless of your race, nationality, or age, your foundation should be some shade of neutral ivory, sand, neutral beige, tan, dark brown, bronze brown, or ebony, with a slight undertone of yellow but without any obviousorange, pink, rose, green, ash, or blue. Adding those colors to a foundation is never flattering and can look obvious and contrived.
There are a few exceptions to this guideline: Native North American or South American women, a tiny percentage of African-American women, and some Polynesian women do indeed have a red cast to their skin. In those instances the information about neutral foundations should be ignored. Because their skin has a slightly reddish cast, they need to look for foundations that have a slightly reddish cast to them—but that’s only a hint of brownish red, and not copper, orange, or peach.
Regardless of which of these categories you fall into, trying foundation on and making sure it matches your skin exactly (especially in daylight) is the best way to get a color that looks natural, not like you’re wearing foundation or, even worse, a mask.
Choosing Makeup Colors
Flipping through the pages of a fashion magazine is great way to determine which colors work best with your skin tone.
- Redheads with fair to medium skin tones like Susan Sarandon, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore tend to wear corals, salmon, browns, ambers, bronze, and other earth tones.
- Blondes with fair skin to medium skin tones like Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Stone, and Kirsten Dunst favor a range of pink shades.
- Brunettes with fair to medium skin tones like Julia Roberts and Jennifer Garner are often seen in light rose and soft red shades.
- Women with dark brown hair and fair to medium skin tones like Demi Moore, Sandra Bullock, and Penelope Cruz wear more vivid shades of rose and cherry.
- Black hair and deeper skin tones such as Halle Berry and Zoe Saldana or Oprah Winfrey wear soft natural tones such as nude pinks, soft browns, and corals.
It is also easy to see that there are exceptions to the rule and as a change of pace all kinds of color combinations (not to mention changes in hair color) are typical. In other words, choosing color can be as diverse and versatile as changing your clothes. To be safe, stay with the basics listed above, but in truth, anything goes as long as it is worn in balance and the colors work together.
NOTE: This is an excerpt of an article by Paula Begoun, the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup.
Posted on Tue, March 24, 2015
by Druann Bauer filed under