How to Shade Match

How to Shade Match


Find the right foundation shade and your skin will look luminous, even and downright perfect. While most think foundation matching is about finding a spot-on match, it’s really about finding the most flattering shade. From a subtle tint, full-coverage foundation or a light to medium buildable formula, finding the correct match should be easy, no matter what your skin needs are. Foundation that is one shade too light or too dark can leave your complexion looking stale. The wrong texture can leave your skin without enough coverage and conversely too much. With these steps you can shade match your foundation successfully. 

Determine Your Undertone 

This is by far the most crucial step in the foundation matching process. When it comes to shade matching, one must note that there are three categories of undertones: warm, cool and neutral. A warm undertone has a peachy, golden undertone. A cool undertone leans more pink, blue or red. Lastly, a neutral undertone is a combination of both warm and cool tones. 

To find your undertone, simply look at the veins on your wrist. Blue veins mean cool toned, green veins are warm toned and blue-green veins are neutral undertones. 

Shade Selection 

Once you’ve determined your undertone, select foundation shades that coincide. Those with cooler tones will need foundations that are red or pink toned. Warm undertones need a foundation shade with a yellow or golden base. Neutral undertones will have a neutral base. 

Test It Out 

Now you’ve probably heard a bunch of different ways and places on the face to test your foundation, but it actually depends on your skin tone. 

Light Skin Tones: Lighter skin tones should swipe the foundation on the cheek and jawline, down to the neck. The face often gets the most sun exposure, while your neck gets the least, which means your face may be a tad deeper. By choosing the shade that best matches the darkest part of your cheek, you avoid looking washed out by wearing a foundation shade that is too light.

Medium Skin Tones: Those with medium skin tones often are extremely susceptible to a tan. Because of this, it’s best to find a foundation that matches the tannest portion of your face. Try testing your foundation on your forehead area since that is the space that catches the most light. 

Deep Skin Tones: Often composed of many shades, deeper skin tones may require more than just one foundation shade. Swipe three swatches of the same shade on your lower cheek, note that this may be perfect for the outer portion of your face but too deep for the interior or vice versa. If this is what happens, use a deeper foundation on the outer edges of your face with a brighter/lighter shade on the interior.  

Skin Prep: Before testing your foundation match, prep your skin like you would for a full face of makeup. Not properly prepping can affect the way the foundation sits on your skin.

Wear It In: Prior to rocking your perfect match, wear it around the house to see how it makes you feel. Check the foundation shade under different lighting conditions both natural and artificial. Take note of how it sits on your skin or if it causes any irritation. 

If you’re ready to shade-match yourself, try our Skin by Mented Foundation Sample Pack. With the sample pack you have all of our Skin by Mented Foundation shades and you can swatch, and test for any season. Feel free to try our Foundation Quiz to find the match for you! Already know your foundation shade in other brands? Our Comparison Guide can point you in the right direction for our Skin by Mented Foundation

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