Have you ever been shopping for make up for hours, only to return home and realise the foundation you just bought is not at all in the right shade? Or using it for the first time reveals oil slick and sand paper results?

There are so many different foundations with so many different formulas and finishes, not to mention the huge variety of shades. However, all you need to do is keep these three steps in mind, and make those hours of shopping worth your while.

First off, the formulation of the product is something which plays a big part when picking the right foundation for you. Some are better for oily skin and some are more likely to work on dry or mature skin.

For oily skin, look for long-wearing and oil-free formulas, preferably those which claim to have a matte finish. This will help prevent shiny areas of your face, such as around your T-zone. This kind of foundation also prevents other make up products, such as bronzers or blush, from fading or smudging off.

For dry skin, something that is moisturising with a luminescent formula is normally much more suited. This way, you won’t end up with flaky skin, and you’ll have a more natural-looking finish.

Apart from the formulation, it’s also really important to choose the right shade. The different lighting in stores could make shades look different than they actually are in natural sunlight. The best way to get the right shade for your skin tone is to first determine whether you have cool or warm undertones. Some brands are awesome enough to actually label each shade according to the undertone, such as writing the letter C for shades which have cool undertones or the letter W for those which are warm. Some others don’t make it quite as easy for you, so you’d have to be able to determine it yourself. If you have more cool undertones, you should go for shades which are more pink-toned, whereas those with warm undertones should opt for something with a more yellow or golden tint.



Once this is out of the way, simply go for the shade with the correct undertone which is in the scale of your skin tone according to how fair or tanned you are. However, don’t just go on instinct. Test out the shade before purchasing! What I like to do is take a small amount of the foundation and swatch it onto the very edge of my jaw, next to my ear. This is the perfect place to swatch and test out a foundation as it’s close to your neck. Never buy a foundation which matches the shade of your face’s skin, as it’s normally paler compared to the rest of your body. You never want to look like you’ve got a mask on when you apply your make up, which is why your foundation must always match the shade of your neck. If it doesn’t match, simply go for a shade darker or lighter accordingly while keeping the same undertone.

Now let’s say you’ve found the right shade with the right undertone and which blends perfectly with your neck, but before spending the bucks, you want to test out the amount of coverage it has. Just take another small amount from the tester and swatch it on your inner wrist area right over your veins. Blend it out a little and see just how much of the veins’ blueish or greenish colour the foundation has managed to cover up.

So, next time you go shopping for make up, just use these three easy and fool-proof steps, in order to get professional and flawless looking make up at home!


More from Eve: Determining your skin’s undertone