How to correctly match your foundation.
Updated: Jan 21, 2019
I think we've all been there. Whether it be the memory of Dream Matt Mousse in high school that still haunts you or that dreaded tagged photo on Facebook of that time you bought the totally wrong shade but wore it out anyway: foundation matching can be complicated.
There's a lot of makeup artist out there, and they all have their own opinions on the correct way to match foundation. Some artists believe you match to your neck. Other artists believe you match to your face. So understandably this can lead non-professional down a rabbit hole that has a dead end..
In my opinion, matching your foundation correctly has a number of important steps each individual can follow. First: How do you want your foundation to look? By this I mean, do you prefer your skin to look like you've been lying on the beach in the gorgeous Mediterranean sun for a few days (dewy/natural) or do you prefer it to look like you have never had a blemish in your life, you've just arrived fresh out of the box and your skin is for the first time being seen by the people (Full coverage/ flawless). All jokes aside, this is really important because the coverage and finish of your foundation can often change the importance of colour. If your preference is full coverage, matte skin then the undertone needs to be correct. If you're more of a BB Cream/ light foundation wearer then sometimes you can be a little bit more flexible.
Now where on your body do you match the correct shade to? Well this honestly depends on the person but I'll explain. Say Karen has a lot of redness on her cheeks and chest but is very pale elsewhere, you do not want to cancel out all the redness on her face as then the chest will stand out even more so. What Karen will actually need to do is match to her chest as I'm sure she (like many of us) have more important things to do than apply foundation to her chest everyday.
Another example, Jamie has a super tanned body as he/she has been on holiday and was sensible to use Factor 50 all over the face, but now has a problem matching their face to their gorgeously bronzed body. Jamie will also need to match to his/her body, just like Karen.
Now a lot of people make the mistake of matching foundation to their neck and this is a "mistake" because unlike the rest of our body, our poor neck doesn't often see much sun light day to day. Our necks 95% of the time will be the palest area of our body (apart from me as my legs are as pale as self-raising flour). This is where bronzer comes in. If your not in the mood to apply foundation all down your neck, use the same bronzer you used on your face to warm up the neck.
So, the main point I am trying to make is that you need to look at your face, shoulders and body and decide what tone or colour overrules the others. Redness in the face and body means a red/pink undertone. If you can spot gold or yellow undertones in the face or chest, then your foundation needs to have the same, etc etc.
If you're ever in doubt, you can always rely on a Makeup Artist at your desired counter in John Lewis or Debs to lead you in the right direction. Always remember to wear the foundation for the day (or a least an hour) before purchasing it. Natural lighting and indoor lighting are completely different, so having a cheeky peek in the mirror outside will do no harm.