Foundation 101: How to Find Your Perfect Shade Match

September 28, 2018
Nicolette Pezza
By: Nicolette Pezza | by L'Oréal
Foundation 101: How to Find Your Perfect Shade Match

When it comes to your daily makeup routine, foundation is a makeup product you likely have in your arsenal. But with so many different types of formulas and products out there, it can be difficult to find the best foundation for your skin type, not to mention find the perfect shade to match your skin tone. If you use a foundation shade that’s too dark for your skin tone, the color won’t disguise well up against your neck or chest. If you use a shade that’s too light, you face a similar problem in addition to looking more pale than usual. That’s why finding your perfect foundation shade match is so crucial, but why does the process have to be so complicated? The good news is it doesn’t! We’re breaking down everything you need to know about picking your ideal foundation shade—plus, our picks of the best foundations from the L’Oréal portfolio of brands to complete your next makeup look!

Foundation Shade Finder: How to Find Your Foundation Match

A surefire way to know your foundation isn’t the right match for your skin tone is to take a look at your jawline. Does the color blend seamlessly with your neck or does it look streaky and mismatched? If the answer is the latter, you’ll need some help finding the right foundation for your skin tone. You may be able to tell if you have a fair, medium, olive, or deep skin tone right off the bat, but taking your undertones into consideration also plays a large role in finding the best foundation shade. Not sure what your undertones are? Check the inside of your wrist. If you have green veins, you likely have warm undertones. If you have blue or purple veins, you likely have cool undertones. Many foundations are formulated with skin undertones in mind, so be sure to scan the packaging or product name before making your purchase.  

How to Find the Best Foundation for Your Skin Type

Finding your ideal foundation shade is important, but so too is finding the right foundation for your skin type. If your foundation ends up drying out your skin or leaving behind an oily film, that’s definitely not ideal. Plus, there are so many different types of formulas available—from powder to liquid to cream—that you’ll want to take into account. For our recommendations on how to find the best foundation for your skin type, keep reading!


If you have dry skin…use a cream foundation to give you the coverage you desire while keeping your dry skin hydrated. Try the DermaBlend Professional Cover Creme Full Coverage Foundation. This non-comedogenic cream foundation provides all day full-coverage wear without drying your skin. What’s more, the high-performance pigments provide a flawless finish and can cover the look of blemishes, spots, marks, and more.

Dermablend Professional Cover Creme Full Coverage Foundation, $39 MSRP


If you have normal skin…try stick foundation. Lucky for you, you can wear just about any type of foundation. We recommend a stick foundation since it’s easy to apply and compact enough to travel with you everywhere. One of our favorite stick foundations is Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick. This oil-free, long-wear foundation stick provides buildable coverage with a natural-looking matte finish. The formula contains SPF 21 and suitable for all skin types.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick, $42 MSRP


If you have sensitive skin…use a foundation that has been formulated with sensitive skin in mind. You can have your pick between many different types of foundation—liquid, powder, cream, stick, etc.—but look for words like non-comedogenic, oil-free, fragrance-free, or paraben-free, which may indicate a formula that’s less likely to irritate sensitive skin. Try L’Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup. This foundation contains no oils, fragrances, or pore-clogging fillers, making it ideal for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

L’Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup, $10.95 MSRP


If you have oily skin…try a long-wear, matte foundation. A long-wear formula can help keep your makeup in place while a matte finish can help combat any excess shine. We’re big fans of Urban Decay’s All Nighter Liquid Foundation. This liquid foundation provides full coverage with a matte finish. It also offers long-lasting wear that can take you from day to night. 

Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation, $40 MSRP


If you have combination skin…try a cushion foundation. A liquid formula that won’t stick to the dry areas of your skin is ideal. Try Maybelline’s Dream Cushion Fresh Face Liquid Foundation, which offers complete luminous coverage for fresh-faced perfection. Thanks to its portable and compact size, you can pop this foundation into your purse or makeup bag for easy use while on the go.

Maybelline’s Dream Cushion Fresh Face Liquid Foundation, $15.99 MSRP

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