How To Shade Match Foundation Like A Pro

Shade matching is the key to nailing a natural face makeup look.



If you have purchased what seemed like a good foundation match at the time when you were in-store, only to realize that your chosen foundation shade did not look well on you at home, you are not alone. Foundation shades can appear vastly different under various lightings and certain formulas may oxidize and change color after prolonged wear. No matter your skin tone, learn how to shade match like a pro using these tips.

 Organic & Vegan Bio Glow Foundation


Determine Your Skin Undertone

Identifying your skin undertone helps to narrow down potential foundation shades. People with a warm undertone have a golden glow to their skin, while people with a cool undertone tend to sport a pinkish radiance. If you have a mix of both, then you have a neutral undertone. Celebrity makeup artist Robert Sesnek explains, “Usually it’s about the veins. Blue veins are cool, blue/green are neutral, and green are warm.”

Test Foundation Shade In Person

Wherever possible, test foundation shades in person instead of relying solely on product photos. Test 2 – 3 shades at once and swipe small streaks on your jawline to find the best color match with your face and neck. Blend them in fully using your fingertips or a disposable makeup wedge to see the actual result they deliver. Celebrity makeup artist Emily Cheng shares her go-to trick, “I swatch on multiple spots: jawline, cheek, forehead, and neck. I’ll usually go with the one that matches my neck and forehead the most because that’s where I get the most color.”

Our bestselling Organic & Vegan Bio Glow Foundation has sample kits available for purchase so you can find your perfect match before committing to a full-sized foundation.

Prepare Your Skin

A poor foundation match may not always be due to an incorrect shade match. Cleanse and moisturize your skin as you normally would before testing a new foundation. Dehydrated skin can result in a dull foundation finish and cause it to adhere to dry patches. In addition, avoid testing foundation on stressed skin, such as when you had just exercised, as flushed skin will have red undertones that affect how foundation looks.

 Refer To Reviews & Photo References

If you are not able to test foundation in person, either in-store or by ordering sample kits online, your next best bet is to refer to reviews and make use of photo references. Read up authentic reviews left by customers who have tried the foundation to find out if the face product is actually as long-lasting as it was claimed and if anyone had any allergic reaction. Utilize shade swatches and model references to see how the foundation will look after being blended onto the skin.

If you are not able to test foundation in person, either in-store or by ordering sample kits online,

Test For A Few Hours

As foundation is a big beauty investment, it is worth taking your time to find the perfect match. Due to the nuanced shade of our unique skin tone, the foundation‘s color when it’s in the bottle may not look exactly the same on your skin and also after a few hours of wear. See how the foundation adjusts to your skin’s pH and chemistry over the course of a day and look out for signs of sensitivity or irritation.

Do A Selfie Test

Certain foundation formulations can photograph lighter than expected. Whether you are someone who has to be in front of the camera for work or just wants to be ready for any spontaneous selfie moments, do a selfie test to see what your foundation looks like in photos.

Keep these 6 tips in mind so you can shade match like a pro when you are in the beauty aisle! For something as personal as a foundation shade match, it is definitely worth taking your time to find the right one. 

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