If you don't have your sample shades in front of you, step 1 will help.
So, let's work it out, shall we. Just how do you determine the correct shade for your skin?
In 3 Easy Steps
Here's what you do:
1. Choose your test shades
Choose three different foundations that you think look close to your skin tone. How? By looking at the value (depth) and hue (undertone) of your skin.
Match The Depth (value) of Your Skin
This is the easy part.
Are you fair, medium, or deeper in complexion?
Set aside the foundations that are in your skin tone range.
For example, if you are fair, pull several fair foundations (light in color) aside.
Match Your Skin's Surface-tone (Hue)
Now, you narrow it down a bit more.
Find the foundation samples that match your skin's surface-tone.
Is your skin warm, cool or neutral?
If you are a warm, pull from warm/golden/yellow shades.
If you are cool, pull from cooler/pinker/bluer tones
If you are a neutral, or pretty much in the middle, pull from the middle of the road shades.
Pull these samples out of the above selection. (Remove the others, they are not needed anymore).
Let's say you have a cool surface-tone.
You should now have (in our example) 3 samples that are both fair in depth of color and cool in tone.
If you end up with more than three test colors, narrow it down to three to start with, so you don't experience overwhelm. Do a second swipe test if you need to.
If you have your sample packets or pots of foundations - you are ready to find your perfect match.
2. Stripe your test shades
You should have 3 samples to work with.
Take a swipe of each color and make thick stripe, a heavier layer than you would normally use, of each shade next to each other on your cheek/jaw line.
3. Let it cook
Now that you have your three stripes next to each other, take a minute to do something else.
The stripes need to 'cook'.
Call your mom.
Sort your underwear drawer.
After a few minutes, take a look in the mirror, in natural light.
The stripes will have changed; two of them will most likely stand out in an unflattering way.
One of the stripes should have disappeared.
That is the one you want.
You want your foundation to match your skin, avoiding the line that separates your face from you neck.
The goal is one continuous matching skin tone.
Instead of striving to add color to your face with your foundation, which leads to the two-shade demarcation on the jaw line, match your skin tone with your foundation & use your bronzer and cheek color for a rosy glow.
It will look so much more natural.
Seasons of Time
Your skin tone will change over time, It is important to re-test your foundation every few years to be sure you still have a good match.
Just as the seasons of the year bring more (think summer) or less color to our skin, the seasons of life play a role here as well.
As we age, our skin tone softens in depth, and you want to be sure you are making the necessary adjustments.
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