Whether we want to admit it or not, we all, most likely, have had an embarrassing encounter with foundation. Whether you weren’t able to get color-matched in person, or just didn’t even know where to begin and ended up with a shade that was completely wrong—it’s happened to all of us. And with such an abundance of formulas and finishes out there, the whole shopping experience can be intimidating. With that in mind, we asked Derek Selby, International Director of Artistry and Education at Cover FX, for advice on how to color-match yourself without a ton of stress. Say hello to your new flawless face.
Before anything else, you should have a clear understanding of your skin type (dry, oily, sensitive, normal, or combination) so that you know which formula suits you best. For example, if you have dry skin, you’re not going to want the same foundation as your friend with oily skin—that would only accentuate your flaws. Similarly, someone with acne-prone skin would most likely be better off with something more pigmented than sheer. Also, being aware of what your undertone is will make the process of picking a foundation a whole lot easier. If you have a rosy or bluish tint to your skin, you’re pink; if you have yellow, gold, or olive in your skin, you’re golden; and if you see neither rosy or yellow tones, you’re neutral. (If you’re still unsure, read more about determining your skin type here, and learn how to find your undertone here.)
The cool thing about Cover FX is that because the foundation formulas are oil-free and made with sensitive skin in mind, all of the products perform well on a variety of skin types. In general, though, if you have oily skin, powder foundation will do the best job absorbing excess oil. For dry skin, stick to a cream foundation, because it’s the most hydrating. And liquid foundations can be used on both oily and dry complexions, but are best suited for normal to dry types. Also keep in mind the type of finish you prefer: for a dewy look, Selby recommends Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation; for a matte finish, he suggests Pressed Mineral Foundation; and for extra radiance, try Total Cover Cream Foundation.
Once you’ve determined your skin type, undertone, and formula preference, you’re ready to choose a foundation. Every brand categorizes foundations in a different way; Cover FX’s are grouped by undertone—P=Pink, N=Neutral, and G=Golden. Selby suggests you test two or even three different shades because, “when you think you have the perfect match, try one more—you might be surprised at just how perfect our colors can be! ” Whatever you do, don’t test any products on your hand or wrist, which will often be a completely different shade than your face. Do a streak test on your jaw—your face and neck won’t necessarily be exactly the same color, but this will help you pick a shade that you can easily blend for the most natural look.