Buying Makeup Online: How To Match Your Foundation Color


From the W3LL PEOPLE Look Book

Foundation can be incredibly tough to match to your skin tone, even when you have the luxury of shopping in person. Shopping online for makeup colors can be easier when you have a few expert tips to go on and you harness the power of social media and the internet to see the colors in action.

Shirley Pinkson, co-founder of W3LL PEOPLE and makeup artist, suggests the best thing you can possibly do to guarantee a foundation color match is to shop on a site that offers a sampling program. “Order at least three options in your color range, focusing on undertone and how the colors are described. Look for photos where people have swatched the colors on skin. Even if the skin tone in the photo doesn’t match yours exactly, you’ll have a truer sense of how the color looks on skin than when the color is shot against a white background. Another thing to remember is that color shows up differently from computer screen to computer screen.”

Once you have your samples in hand Kristine Keheley, co-founder and formulator at Vapour Organics, has strong ideas about how to test. “Always match a foundation to the skin on your face. This sounds obvious but it’s so easy to use the back of your hand and that is not going to create a good match. Our hands are almost always darker than our faces. Try the high planes of the cheekbones and test a prospective shade again from the middle of the face below the cheek closer to the jawline. These two areas will give the most accurate match.” She also recommends checking the color match in natural light.

Both women agree that it’s smart to stick to shades in your undertone. The most common undertones are neutral, yellow and pink. Even if you’re interested in color correction such as toning down redness, it can come across as looking like a bad match if you opt for an undertone that isn’t present in your skin. So if your undertone is pink, stay in that realm of shades.

Once you have read color descriptions and determined a few shades that sound like a potential match, look for swatches of the color on Instagram or by doing a Google image search. You’re bound to find several images that help you see the color in action on skin. Additionally, W3LL PEOPLE offers a cool foundation matching tool on their site, and Vapour Organic Beauty offers free color consultations. Integrity Botanicals also offers samples so you can find your perfect match before investing in a full size.

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About Susannah Compton

Susannah Compton is the founder and formulator behind Florescent, a line of 100% botanical perfumes she blends in small batches from organic and wild crafted aromatics. Plant-based skincare and cosmetics are a way of life for Susannah, who writes about clean beauty and the benefits of botanical ingredients for No More Dirty Looks, Thoughtfully Magazine and Integrity Botanicals. Florescent, however, is Susannah’s personal expression of healthy beauty. Susannah has been working with botanical aromatics for years, blending first for therapeutic purposes before delving into the art of perfumery. Having rarely experienced the depth and complexity of true botanicals in conventional perfume, she learned the art of blending and created what her heart desired — a scent that would move her the way perfume should. In search of those elevating, ethereal bouquets of scent, Susannah honed her skills behind the perfume bench. She launched Florescent in the spring of 2015 to share the lush experience and pleasing ritual of real perfume.