How do I pick the right foundation shade?

With hundreds of make-up shades on the market, do you know how to pick which one is for you? We approached the masters of beautiful faces, Laura Mercier, for the best foundation tips and tricks.

What do I need to consider when picking my foundation shade?

When picking a foundation shade it’€™s important to consider your actual skin tone and the season you are buying for, e.g. in summer you may need a deeper shade. Is your skin dry or oily?  Do you usually wear foundation? Will you be indoors or outdoors (SPF)? Is it for every day, or a special occasion?

How do I know what my natural undertones are?

Sometimes for an undertone, it’€™s easy to see in a mirror, when standing in direct daylight. However I like to do the thumb trick. This is where I press my thumb into the skin of the decollete of my customer.  The colour left by your thumbprint is the undertone!

My skin is not a uniform colour – which shade do I match it to?

The best way to match foundation to an uneven skin colour is to get an even colour throughout. I always step back a little and check where the deeper shade is, and match to that.

Do you recommend having two foundations; one for summer and one for winter?

It may seem a little excessive, but I definitely recommend a summer and winter shade of foundation. It’€™s OK to warm up with bronzer in summer, but it won’€™t always be necessary when you have the right shade to start.

Eek! I’ve picked the wrong shade! How can I adjust it to make it suitable?

Whether it’s a deeper shade or a shade too light, no colour is unfixable!  I love mixing darker shades with my SPF, or daily moisturiser!  If the shade is too dark I put a bit in with my body lotion, and massage it into my legs! Special.  If a colour is too light, then add it to a shimmer liquid and use as a highlighter.  Lighter shades can be €œwarmed up with a bronzer too!

Make-up artist secrets

  1. When applying or matching your foundation, it’s best to try three colours before you decide on the right one and stay in natural light when checking the shade.
  2. If you have to work really hard to blend the product all the way out to your ears, forehead or neck, then you are pretty certain of having the wrong shade.
  3. Foundation should blend effortlessly into the skin on your face and neck, with no seams. Your goal should be a FLAWLESS look.

Find your perfect foundation shade and shop Laura Mercier right here.