With the season change, we’ve got you covered on how to find your perfect foundation hue.
“Summer is all about lots of hydration, SPF and less ‘cake.’ When it comes to transitioning to the fall/winter months, I suggest swapping your sheer summer foundations for formulas that are more rich and creamy,” says professional makeup artist Kierra Lanice (kierralanice.com), who has worked with top brands such as Louis Vuitton and Vogue. “Your skin will need a little extra moisture and coverage due to climate change and cooler temperatures.”
But for many of us, a trip down the beauty aisle can be a bit overwhelming. With so many shades, formulas and brands to choose from, it’s hard to figure out where to start. Luckily, Lanice has these tips for us. –Tamara Crockett
To get an accurate color match, Lanice says it’s best to simply ask a professional. Go to your favorite beauty counter or nearest cosmetic store and let them help you. Typically, they will select two or three shades that look most similar to your complexion and apply swatches vertically on the jawline. The process of elimination will be quite apparent. From there, Lanice recommends applying the foundation starting in the center of the face and radiating outward. This will help you determine if the match is flawless. You should not be able to tell where the product starts and stops because it will seamlessly melt into the skin.
Tone It Up
Skin tone is basically the surface color and, despite varying hues, is typically categorized in three sections: light/fair, medium/tan and dark/deep.
• Light/Fair skin tones are often of European descent and are very sensitive to sun exposure. They can turn rosy/pink often and burn fairly easily.
• Medium/Tan skin tones are often from South European or Northern Asian descent and tan fairly well and can withstand sun exposure longer than
lighter skin tones.
• Dark/Deep skin tones are often of Middle Eastern, Indian or African descent. Darker skin reacts to sun exposure a bit differently. It is more prone to hyperpigmentation than to extreme sensitivities like burning. Once you discover your skin tone, you can determine your undertone. This is essentially the color seen underneath the surface.
• If you look best wearing various hues of blue, purple and emerald green and look best in silver jewelry and silver-toned highlighters, your undertone is cool.
• If earth tones such as reds, oranges, yellows and olive greens look great on you and you’re more suited to wearing gold jewelry and gold highlighters, your undertone is warm.
• If you’re lucky enough to look fabulous in any color and can switch your jewelry and highlighter tones interchangeably, you have a neutral undertone.
• If your skin looks somewhat green or gray and you look best in pinks, purples and greens, you most likely have an olive undertone. You can also get away with jewelry and highlighters that are golden rather than flat-out gold.
For dry skin, Lanice says to consider a product like NARS Sheer Glow, which hydrates, brightens and provides a more natural finish.
For oily skin, she suggests a product like Becca Ultimate Coverage, which is both breathable and water resistant. And for normal/combination skin, she likes products like MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof. The real foundation for great skin “Your makeup will only look as good as the skin underneath it,” says the Houston-based makeup artist. “I always tell my clients to invest in skincare and create a solid (and consistent) routine. This will treat and nourish the skin so that your foundation will be a complement rather than a crutch. You only have one face, so invest in it!”
Kierra Lanice’s foundation favorites
For an affordable beauty haul, these popular brands offer a great selection of hues.
• CoverGirl True Blend
• Maybelline Fit Me
• APDG Longwear Liquid Pigments
• NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
When you’re ready to splurge on your go-to foundation, Lanice says these brands are the best bets for women of color.
• Flesh’s Firm Flesh Thickstick
• Pat McGrath Lab’s Skin Fetish
• Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte
• Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra