top of page

Should Foundation Be Lighter or Darker than Your Skin?

by Anne B.


Photo by George Milton from Pexels


Here we are, the age where many men and women are interested in trying foundation and are perhaps wondering, should foundation be lighter or darker than your skin? The experts have spoken, and the answer is, foundation should be one or two shades lighter than your skin tone. This is because when you use bronzer or contour then the foundation should be able to blend and give the perfect look to your face.

A trip to Sephora might sound like a good idea in hindsight, but in all honesty, it doesn’t seem quite right considering many of the staff there do not have the experience to properly test your skin type and match your shade. So, how can you choose your foundation? Jawline and chin. The foundation shade should be the exact match to your jawline and chin area. If possible, try to go to the store and bring the bottle close to your jawline and chin area so that the exact shade can be seen. While some prefer to buy foundation in stores, buying online is just as much of a safe bet. If the foundation gets completely dissolved then it is the perfect shade. I like to go to the store, find my shade and then make the purchase online. Why?

  • It is cost-effective

  • You can always do a free return

Another way to determine your shade is sunlight. A foundation is best matched when it is tested in a natural daylight position. You can test near a window to get the closest match. Just think, however, how many retailers is something like this plausible? None. With online shopping, you can receive a shade, test it by a window and if it is a match, perfect, or not, return it with no hassle at all.

It is always a best practice to buy two shades of a foundation – our skin tone does tend to change. In the summer we experience a darker shade and, in the winter, a lighter shade. With two shades of foundation, you can always blend them to achieve a great natural look no matter the season.

One thing to naturally keep in mind is that the use of foundation is not to cover up your flaws. We stress the importance of overall skincare and making sure that your skin is healthy and supple underneath all of that foundation and glam. For skin imperfections with makeup it is important to use color correctors and concealer, do not rely on foundation to be the only step in your makeup or skincare routine.

Another note, undertones. I was not educated on undertones until I was wearing my Lancôme and realized it making me very orange. Depending on your skin tone, you must choose the right undertone. For example, darker-skinned women should use products that have a red undertone. Now, how would you describe your skin’s undertone? There are three to choose from: cool, neutral, and warm.

Here are a few tests you can try:

  • The Wrist Test: check the color of your veins. If they are purple or blue then you are cool. If they are green or olive, you are warm and if you are unable to determine the color, you are neutral.

  • The Sun Test: If your skin turns red when you are outdoors, your skin is a cool undertone. If you get tanned in the sun, then you have a warm undertone.

If you’re still struggling to find your shade, we recommend going to makeup professional and getting matched. You can then use that knowledge to order online to save money and time.

bottom of page