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Ultimate foundation shade finder guide | How to make your foundation match your skin all year

Ultimate foundation shade finder guide | How to make your foundation match your skin all year

how get perfect foundation color match

Last Updated on October 30, 2023 by Eve Dawes

Save money and space with these foundation matching beauty tips

Foundation shade finders are making getting your perfect foundation match online easier than ever! I used to have a drawer full of so many different foundation shades in an attempt to match my skin tone throughout the year but it gets super expensive! Plus your drawers get cluttered and they end up going off before you finish them. I’m sharing how to match foundation as my favorite just got discontinued! Thankfully online shopping’s got a lot better with virtual foundation shade finder, color match services and there’s definitely stores that are better than others for this.

I have a few beauty hacks for only needing 1 or 2 foundations throughout the entire year. I tend to use a lot of fake tanner in the summer because I like to have a golden glow but I don’t like to sunbathe. Then in the Winter I’ll let myself go more pale but still make my foundation match my skin tone.

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I love going out in the sun and used to love sunbathing but I’m really trying not to age my skin prematurely. Unfortunately, I already have sun spots I don’t want to make worse and want to minimize my chances of skin cancer. I live in Vegas and it’s shocking how bright and how hot it is here.

Best cruelty-free foundations | full, medium and light coverage

There are so many different shades of foundation it can be really hard to get a good foundation color match online. However, lots of companies are now doing online foundation shade finders for you. Where you either upload a photo or allow video access and they give their best suggestion. It’s not 100% accurate but it’s better than no help at all.

I’d also suggest if you’re shopping online to shop from a store that offers free returns like Sephora, Revolve or Charlotte Tilbury. My favorite foundation just got discontinued so I’m having to start from scratch. Which meant ordering a couple of different brands and a few different shades to see which will work out the best and give me the best foundation color match.

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The foundations I really like right now are:

Full coverage: Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation

This was their best long wearing and super heavy full coverage foundation but it’s being discontinued. So try the KVD Good Apple Full-Coverage Transfer-Proof Serum Foundation instead. It’s a highly pigmented foundation that’s great for the evening or photo shoots.

I’ve added some tips below on how to use it and thin it out when needed for more of a day look. It can crease though, so be sure to prime well. They do offer a Kat Von D lock it foundation shade finder on their site as well so you can play around and find your perfect color.

Medium coverage foundation: Urban Decay Stay Naked Weightless Foundation

This gives matte, medium, buildable coverage. The foundation shade I use is 30NN but they have a foundation shade finder on Sephora.

I tend to use this with Urban Decay’s De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray to hold everything in place. I like using these 2 products from the same brand as beauty products like this seem to work best together.

Light coverage foundation: Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Formula

Smashbox Foundation is a lot lighter and gives sheerer coverage. So it’s good for more natural day wear or for thinning out the Kat Von D Foundation, which can be a little thick as it’s their tattoo foundation. Use the Smashbox foundation shade finder to figure out what the best shade for you is.

Buildable coverage: Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin

Has a few different foundations and also offers a virtual foundation match finder. My favorite is her Beautiful Skin Medium Coverage Liquid Foundation with Hyaluronic Acid. It lasts all day but can settle into creases so definitely prime and set well. It’s pretty full coverage and works for both the day and night. I have both shade 6 and 1 to lighten up the 6 when I’m less tanned.

There are a few different ways you can thin out your foundation to make it sheerer (tips below). As well as to change the color as your skin changes color throughout the year.

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Beauty hacks for making foundation more sheer for the day, summer, or because thats the look you prefer

The first tip for creating a more sheer foundation yourself is to mix with your foundation with a primer. Personally, I like mixing it with an SPF primer like Supergoop! Glowscreen which gives a golden glow but there’s loads you can choose from. I used to like By Terry but they went from being cruelty-free to non cruelty-free since their decision to sell in mainland China.

This way, you mix it with your foundation, rather than putting it on as a primer first, which helps to thin it out. If you want to keep your foundations consistency and coverage, apply the primer first like normal and then apply your foundation after.

Foundation match: how to match foundation when your tanned.

Makeup tips to make your foundation darker:

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If I want a darker look for when I’m more tan and depending on how tanned I am, I’ll use Cover | FX Custom Cover Drops which are vegan & cruelty-free. These are pure liquid pigments that weightlessly blend with your favorite products to adjust your shade, tint a moisturizer or create your perfect foundation.

It’s up to you whether you mix them with your moisturizer, primer, concealer or foundation, to create a custom foundation and lighten or deepen a shade. The more you use of a darker shade, the more you can darken your foundation for when you’re more tanned.

Can I mix oil with my foundation?

If I want my foundation consistency even thinner and sheerer for extra hydration, lighter coverage for the day or in the Summer I’ll mix foundation, primer, and a brightening serum together. And sometimes even a couple of drops of oil for extra hydration.

If I’m using oil, I make sure I have SPF in my moisturizer, primer, foundation or setting spray (or all of them).

You can play around with the different amounts of each to get the consistency you want. I just find that it gives that really nice luminous look but you can still do full coverage by using less primer, less serum, and then darker to lighter depending how many Cover | FX drops you use to get the perfect foundation color match.

Foundation match Blogger Eve tanned pink romper doorway

Foundation match tips

So that’s my tips for using your getting your foundation to match and the right consistency year-round and only needing a couple of colors (beauty brands are going to hate me!).

You can also darken your foundation with your bronzer and contour powder/cream. You really don’t need to go too much darker with your actual foundation in the summer just because your skins darker as you can play around with it using the hacks above. 

The same in the winter, if your skins lighter/fairer then. I tend to use my winter color year round as it’s easier to make it darker than lighter. This way you can play around with different textures, different shades and save yourself a ton of money!

What are your tips for making your foundation match your skin year round?

If you have any tips for how to match foundation to make it last year or your favorite foundation match finders let me know. I love hearing and learning from you. Shoot me a message or comment on my Instagram. As well as if you have any ideas for blog posts and podcasts. I’m always looking for new content to answer your questions to make it as interesting and valuable to you as possible.

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