How to Find the Right Foundation – Part I

How to Guide

Find the Right Foundation

With Match My Makeup 

Foundation Dictionary 

1. Colour

Cooler: This means it has a pink base or undertone. Common words to look out for when describing a cool based foundation are Blue, Rose, or Pink.

Warmer: This means the foundation has yellow undertones. Common words that are used to describe a warm undertone are Golden, Yellow or Olive.

Neutral: This means the foundation is neither pink nor yellow based.

The photo below shows the same colour with different undertones. It will be hard to tell at first glance but look closer and you’ll be able to see the slight difference.

2. Finish

Matte: No shine or light reflecting particles in the foundation. Colour stay formulas are usually quite matte. Common words used to describe a matte formula include Stay-In-Place, Transfer resistant or Colour Stay. For a matte finish opt for clean foundations such as Au Naturale Zero Cream to Powder Foundation or the Au Naturale Semi-Matte Powder Foundation.

Dewy: Foundations with a dewy formulation will have more moisturising properties and leaves skin looking hydrated. Common words used to describe dewy include Luminous or Glow. Think foundation textures such as the SAINT Flawless Radiance Foundation or most Tinted Moisturisers like that of MÁDARA City Anti- Pollution CC Cream.

Velvety: These formulations usually contain ingredients to smooth out the skin, similar to a primer. The finish is in the middle of matte and dewy. Gives your skin a very slight glow. Words used to describe velvety finishes include satin, silky, illuminating, or radiant. Opt for foundations like MÁDARA Skin Equal Soft Glow Foundation SPF15 or the SAINT Hydrating Wet/Dry Powder Foundation.

3. Coverage

Sheer: Evens out the skin tone but will not cover pigmentation or blemishes. Words used to describe sheer include Tint. Mix AU Naturale Semi-Matte Powder Foundation with your favourite balm, cream or botanical oil for a dewy sheer finish. 

Medium: Evens out skin tone and will cover slight imperfections on the skin. Will cover the redness from rosacea but will not conceal dark pigmentation caused by blemishes or sun damage like the MÁDARA Skin Equal Soft Glow Foundation SPF15.

Full: Will cover and conceal most skin imperfections. Significantly conceals pigmentation and acne scars like the SAINT Flawless Radiance Skincare Foundation.

Where to match your foundation?

Contrary to what many people advise (to match on your jawline), the BEST place to match foundation is actually on your chest. The reason being your neck/jawline are usually lighter than your chest because it gets exposed to less sunlight, and you’ve remembered to put on the SPF on your face but not all the way down to your chest. Also, when you take a photo, a face that is matched to the chest will look a lot more natural than if you were to have 2 different colours.

The photo’s below show what happens when foundation is matched to the face and chest. The difference is very subtle but noticeable.

  • The first photo is of my natural face and chest – my face is slightly lighter than my chest.
  • The second photo demonstrates a shade that is matched to my jawline so it appears a little whiter than my chest and makes me look like I’m wearing more makeup than what I’m wearing – this was a tinted moisturizer so you can imagine what it would look like if it were a full coverage foundation.
  • In the third photo, you see that the first 2 shades and blend better with my chest than the latter 2 which matched my face perfectly.
  • The final photo shows a full coverage foundation that is matched to my chest.

The harsh reality is that you might not always get the perfect foundation colour match from a single product. In this case, it’s time to mix and match!

Go for two shades of the same foundation and use them together to create the perfect foundation colour. Also, this idea also works when your skin becomes either lighter or darker, depending on the season. Another important trick that you can do when you don’t find your exact foundation colour match is to go for the lighter one. You can always darken it with a bit of bronzer, and it will look good. A darker shade always looks fake and unpleasant. This is how to choose foundation colour (online).

Be careful with your swatches and foundation colour match!

Makeup recommendations tell us that the inner wrist or the hand are not the best places to swatch foundations on. These swatches might look amazing on Instagram, but the reality is different. In fact, to perfectly match your foundation colour with that of your skin, you should always try it on either your jawline or your neck. These places always offer a very precise match. If you’re still uninitiated in the art of makeup and are on the lookout for makeup ideas, you should search for tutorials on how to put on makeup or watch similar YouTube videos. They are truly a blessing of the modern age.


All in all, it seems that figuring out what shade of foundation you need can be a real struggle, especially when you’re doing it online. Thankfully, there are tools that make your life easier and help you buy the perfect products for you without having to waste so much time in physical makeup shops. However, it’s important to remember those tips each time you’re buying something online so that you end up with the perfect foundation for your skin type and colour.

Watch out for Match My Makeup Foundation Basics Part 2 – Find your undertones!

About Match My Makeup

Integrating art, Science and Technology into a Seamless Tool

Match My Makeup is the world’s leading scientific based shade finder and matching tool. MMM is a STEM based solution that was created over years of research and development combining Science (colour physics and chemical compositions), Technology, Engineering and Math.
They have a whole lab dedicated to colour matching and a team of makeup artists who test each of the matches on their own skin because we know that sometimes, even science and math is not good enough!
The award-winning Matching tool has helped over 5 million people find their matches in over 150 foundation brands without them having to leave their seats!

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