Foundation 101 | Find Your Shade/Undertone/Tips/More!

Hey guys! I am starting a little “Beginner’s series” on my blog where I go over the very basics of different makeup applications, tips and techniques! I was requested to do more makeup tutorials/tricks so I really hope you all enjoy, and let me know what you think 🙂

I created a post with skincare products, recommendations and tips yesterday for the first installment here: Skincare 101!

Today we are taking the next step, and going over the basics of foundation. It is the basis of your makeup, and helps your skin look radiant and fresh, or mattified and healthy. Foundation can be tricky to maneuver, as there are so many, and so many shades. So let’s get started!

1.) The first important thing to be aware of is your skin type. There are several skin types, the general categories are normal, dry, oily and combination (dry and oily). They also get divided into subcategories like dry/combo, oily/combo, and so on. Here is a good chart for reference:


2.) Next, find your undertone. Many foundations have different shades for different undertones to match your skin. For example, Loreal True Match foundation line has shades for Neutral, Cool and Warm shades, which really helps to find the perfect foundation. This chart may help you:


3.) After you have found your skin type as well as your undertone, you will have a good general idea of what to look for. For example, I am oily/combination meaning I have dry patches, but my T-zone gets oily throughout the day. I mainly want to look for a mattifying foundation, and I have a warm undertone. So I look for mattifying foundations or foundations that are labeled “for oily/combo skin types”. That way I know it won’t be oil-based, or make me greasy. Dry skin girls may want more luminosity to their face, so they would look for an illuminating foundation. When picking a foundation, make sure to read the labels and claims so you know what you’re going for.

4.) Once you’ve chosen your line of foundations, you will need to choosing your perfect shade. Pick two or three that match you closest and if you can’t test them out in stores, consider buying all of them and if the store has a good return policy, you can just return the rest. Drugstores like Target or Walgreens are normally really good with their return policies. If you are, however, testing a foundation, make sure to blend it onto your jawline and neck, not the back of your hand. Often times when you exfoliate your face, or perhaps you self-tan, or put sunscreen on your face and your body gets darker, the skin on your face doesn’t quite match the rest of your body, and that’s totally normal, but it means you have to pay attention to the shade you’re going to be selecting. When do you select a shade, make sure you check to see how it looks indoors as well as in natural lighting (outdoors in the sun) because with stores that have bright lightings such as Sephora, it may dilute how the foundation truly looks on your skin outside.

*P.S.: Finding a good foundation primer will keep your foundation stay on longer! My favorites are the Smashbox Photo Ready primer and Benefit’s Porefessional! A great drugstore dupe would be the Maybelline Baby Skin! 🙂

5.) For perfect foundation application, there are only two tools I recommend that have worked flawlessly for me. First and foremost, the Beauty Blender. This pink little guy is $19.95 and I know what you’re thinking- twenty dollars for a sponge? You’ve lost it. But no. I haven’t lost it, I’ve still got it. And maybe it is a crazy price but MakeupGeek often sells 2 for $25 or so, and they last forever! They’re totally worth it in my opinion. You dampen it under water and it doubles in size, and you squeeze out the excess water, dab a few streaks of foundation on your face, and use the rounded end to pounce the beauty blender all over your face, and the pointed tip to get under your eyes and around your nose. It’s foolproof, I swear! Second best is the Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki brush  for $24.00 that is such a life saver. (*P.S. The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is only $8.99 and works pretty much the same!!) The F80 works faster than the beauty blender on rushed mornings, but I just like the sponge better because I run it under cold water and it freshens up my face in the morning and de-puffs any puffiness I have. The brush works great though, I just dab the spots of foundation all over my primed skin and I buff it in using circular motions and the job is done in seconds.

6.) My last tip would be to do research before checking out a foundation. Read reviews online on Makeupalley, research blog posts and reviews, watch first impressions and reviews on Youtube and just be aware of what you will be purchasing, whether it be an inexpensive product, or a high-end one. Ingredients, claims and reviews are often listed online and you can read what you will be putting on your skin. Ingredients like talc and parabens are no good for your body, and many choose to steer clear of that. There are many vegan products and lines out there, so just do your research and find what suits you best.

I really hope this helped some of you! I put together what I know based on experience, and if you have any comments or questions, let them in the comment box below. Happy foundation shopping and keep smiling! 🙂

Follow me on Instagram for more makeup pictures, dupes, swatches and more! @stay.beautifful

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and there are no affiliate links in this post. All products mentioned were tried and tested by me and bought with my own money. I am simply mentioning them because they’ve given me a positive experience. 🙂


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