How to Match Your Foundation | Pretty Smart

Welcome to Beauty Bites…and no, we’re not eating our makeup ;) What is Beauty Bites, you ask? Beauty Bites is a series of quick beauty tips designed to help you look your best in a time crunch situation! Each Beauty Bites video highlights a different product or technique that will make getting out the door on time as easy as pie. See what we did there?

Does finding your perfect foundation match have you running for cover? Fear not! This Beauty Bite is teaching you how to become a matchmaker…a makeup matchmaker, that is.


  • Typically, you should aim to either match your face to your neck or keep your face one shade lighter than your neck. Reason being, once you apply bronzer, powder, and blush, your face may appear darker than it does with foundation alone.
  • The best way to find your flawless foundation shade is to test it out! Stores like Sephora and Ulta will provide you with a foundation sample so you can give it a go before buying the full-size product. If you’re buying from the drugstore or are otherwise unable to test the foundation, hold the bottle up to your jawline to identify the closest match. Note: Some drugstores will allow you to return or exchange foundation if you accidentally choose the incorrect shade.
  • If there are testers available to you in the store, simply apply a thin layer of foundation to your jawline (clean/free from foundation) to assess the match. If you are able to seamlessly blend the new foundation into your skin, congrats, you’ve found your shade! If not…
  • Embrace your inner chemist, and custom mix your foundation! Oftentimes, a foundation straight out of the bottle won’t match your skin perfectly. Remedy this dilemma by taking two foundations that are both close to your skin tone and mix them together (a pump or two of each on the back of the hand) to achieve the perfect color combination for YOU. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time—this method is all about trial and error. Practice makes perfect ;)
  • Get familiar with foundation code. In general, Caucasians will fall somewhere in the 10-20 shade range, Latinos in the 30-40 shade range, and African Americans in the 40-50 shade range. If your skin has more pink to it (the veins on your wrist appear blue) you’ll want to choose a “C” (cool) shade. On the other hand, if your skin has more yellow undertones (the veins on your wrist appear green), you’ll want to choose a “W” (warm) shade. If you’re uncertain of your skin tone (the veins on your wrist appear blue/green), an “N” (neutral) shade should do the trick.

For more helpful foundation tips, check our our How to Choose and Apply Your Best Foundation and How To Custom Mix Your Foundation videos! As always, hope you’re staying happy and healthy and enjoying the Beauty Bites series!

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