How To Find Your Foundation Shade The Easy Way

Woman putting on makeup

Selecting the right foundation shade can feel like trying to find the perfect pair of jeans. You try on countless ones, and some are totally wrong, while others look ok, but aren't the perfect fit. 

Unlike jeans, it can be very noticeable if you're wearing a foundation shade that isn't quite right. Finding the right shade for your skin doesn't have to be a tireless process. With a few simple tips and tricks, you'll know exactly what you're looking for, and you can quickly narrow down the options. 

HIDE makes it easy with our shade finder, but you will need to know your shade in another foundation product. So let's go over everything you need to know to find that perfect foundation shade for your skin. 

Understanding Your Skin's Undertone

One of the most helpful things you can learn is how to find your skin's undertone. Once you know your undertone, you'll almost always be able to find the perfect shade quickly and effortlessly. 

Your undertone is not the shade of your skin. Your shade will change when you tan or when you don't see the sun in months. However, your undertone will never change. It comes from a deeper layer of your skin. While there are countless shades, there are only three types of undertones: 

  • Warm
  • Cool
  • Neutral

Warm undertones are a range from peachy, to golden, to yellow. Cool undertones aren't necessarily always blue. Although it includes blueish hues, it's also pink or reddish undertones. Neutral undertones are a mixture of the two, warm and cool. 

Cosmetic companies make finding your shade helpful by providing them in the three undertones. However, if you don't know which of the three your skin is, then this doesn't do you a lot of good. 

Here are some ways to tell which of the three undertones fits you. 

Examine Your Veins

The best place to check out your veins when trying to discover your undertones is to look at the ones around your face and neck. If you see blue veins, then you have cool undertones. You have warm undertones if your veins have a greenish hue. You have neutral undertones if you see a mixture of the two. 

Sun Exposure

When you're outside soaking up the sun, how does your skin react? If you tan easily, you may have warm undertones. However, if you prefer the shade because you burn quickly, you may have cool undertones. You most likely have neutral undertones if you don't tan or burn easily. Remember, though, no matter what your undertone is, apply sunscreen to protect your skin!

White Test

 Compare your skin to a white piece of clothing or a piece of white paper. You have warm undertones if your skin looks yellow compared to white. You have cool undertones if you notice your skin looks rosy against the white. 

Eye Color

Your eye color can be a window into more than just the soul. Generally, darker eye colors have warmer undertones, while lighter eye colors like green or blue tend to have either cool or neutral undertones. 

Try a few of these tests to determine your undertone before you start trying to find the right shade. 

Selecting The Right Shade

Once you have found your undertone, you can focus on what shade will match your skin.

Cosmetic companies will label their foundations with a "C," "N," or "W." As you can probably guess, it correlates to the undertones, cool, neutral, and warm. Under each undertone is a variety of shades. At HIDE, we take it a step further and tell you what undertone applies to each shade with more than just a letter. 

If you have found a good match in a different product and want to try HIDE Premium Foundation, our shade finder is for you. You simply find your exact foundation brand and shade and leave the rest to us. We will tell you which shade in our range will work best for you. 

Once you have your foundation, you can go a step further and swatch the shade on your face before doing your makeup with it. 

Testing Your Face

Apply a small patch of the foundation to your jawline, cheek, and forehead. Thoroughly blend it in and see how it looks. The foundation should seamlessly blend into your skin and neck without looking like you're wearing a mask. 

Oxidation Test

Some foundations will oxidize after you apply them, which means it changes color as it dries. Your skin's pH and chemistry can also affect the color. That’s why waiting for your foundation to dry is crucial when deciding if the foundation shade works for you. 

Check the Lightning

After applying the foundation, see how it looks under different lighting. Go into the natural sunlight and see how it looks. Check it out under indoor lighting. You can also see how it looks when you take a picture with a flash. If it still looks like it matches under all these different settings, you've found the shade for you. 

Importance Of Prepping Your Skin

You may think you have the wrong shade if your foundation isn't sitting on your skin correctly. 

When you have unexfoliated skin with dry patches, your skin can look lackluster, leaving your foundation looking less than ideal. Foundation will cling onto dry skin, which can result in an uneven appearance. 

So prepping your skin correctly for makeup is crucial. Always consult a dermatologist before making drastic changes to your skincare routine, but you may need to exfoliate regularly. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells and can keep your pores from clogging. You also need a daily moisturizer to keep your skin fresh and hydrated. 

You may also want to apply a primer before going in with your foundation.  There are primers for specific skin types, so if you have oily, combination, or dry skin, there's a primer for you. Primer helps foundation go on smoothly and last longer. 

If you are using HIDE foundation, you may not need a primer, but you should still moisturize your skin. HIDE foundation's formula allows it to last all day and gives you an even complexion with or without primer.

How To Apply Your Foundation Seamlessly

Once you've done all the steps and found your perfect shade, you're finally ready to apply!

After you've prepped and primed your skin pick up your favorite foundation brush or a damp makeup sponge. Dab some of the foundation onto the sponge or the brush and begin blending it into your skin. Start from the center of your face and work outwards. Don't forget to blend it down onto your neck to avoid the dreaded foundation line around your jaw. 

Buff and dab the foundation without dragging it around. Otherwise, you may be left with streaking. Once you feel like your skin has an even complexion, it's time for concealer. Use concealer to cover your under-eye area or any blemishes or discoloration you see still peeking through your foundation. When you achieve a desired level of coverage, set your face if you feel like you need to with a setting spray or a translucent powder.  

Get the Perfect Shade in No Time

By discovering your undertone, you will be able to find that perfect foundation shade. Our shade finder will help you find the right shade in HIDE products. HIDE premium products are flawless coverage with a weightless feel that will work for any skin type. 



Skin Undertones Chart: Warm, Cool, Neutral, Pink, Yellow, and More | Healthline 

How to Stop Your Foundation From Oxidizing | Byrdie 

How to Exfoliate Safely by Skin Type | Healthline