Our Guide to the Best Yellow Undertone Foundations of 2021

This guide contains Global Shades products! These are available in a wide range of inclusive shades and undertones. Look out for the Global Shades icon or visit globalshades.org to find out more.

There are three main things to consider when choosing a foundation: your skin type, your skin tone, and your undertone.

The first two can be pretty easy to suss out. But if you’re having a blank over your undertone, don’t worry. You’re not alone! Ignoring your skin’s undertone can lead to mismatched makeup though.

So if your foundation is looking a little on the orange side or patchy, then determining your undertone just might be the answer to your woes.

Bobbi Brown Skin Weightless Long-Wear FoundationBobbi Brown Skin Weightless Long-Wear Foundation

So, What Are Undertones?

‘Undertone’ refers to the hue underneath the surface of your skin, which affects how your skin colour looks overall.

People typically have pink undertones, which are cool-toned; yellow undertones, which are warm-toned; or neutral undertones, which are somewhere in between.

Once you know your undertone, it can tell you which makeup to choose, which clothes to wear, and even how to pick jewellery and hair colour. Knowledge is power!

Pink Undertones vs Yellow Undertones

You can take some easy tests to see if you’re cool- or warm-toned.

  • If you have warm tones, or a yellow-based skin tone, you’ll suit gold jewellery best, have green veins, and tan in the sun.

  • If you have cool tones, or a pink-based skin tone, you’ll suit silver jewellery best, have blue veins, and burn in the sun.

  • If you have a neutral skin tone, your answers may overlap. You may see a combination of blue and green veins, tanning and burning, and suiting all jewellery well.

If you’re looking at your skin and seeing all warm tones, then you’ll need to start choosing makeup for yellow undertones to truly suit your complexion.

What are the Best Yellow Undertone Foundations?

Choosing the right shade of any makeup to flatter your skin is important. But it’s particularly important with your foundation, as this literally forms the base for all your makeup.

A shade too light or dark will be noticeable, as will the wrong undertone.

If you want to know the best yellow-based foundations and the best foundation shades for your yellow undertones, then you’re in luck, as we’ve compiled all our favourites.

This foundation has an extensive shade range, but it’s easy to find the yellow-based shades. Just look for the ‘Y’ at the beginning of the names.

‘Y’ Shades MAKE UP FOR EVER Matte Velvet Skin Liquid Foundation is one of the best yellow undertone foundations for oily skin, available in a wide range of shades from fair to dark. Providing full coverage with long-lasting wear, this makeup is the perfect way to control oil levels and cover imperfections without ever looking cakey or heavy on the skin. The matte finish keeps shine at bay. Flexi-Fit Technology ensures the foundation doesn’t settle into fine lines or pores throughout the day.

For yellow undertones, choose the shades that start with either ‘Golden’ and ‘Warm’. Avoid the ‘Cool’ and ‘Neutral’ shades.

‘Golden’ and ‘Warm’ Shades

For that second-skin feel, we recommend Bobbi Brown Skin Weightless Long-Wear Foundation SPF15. This makeup offers a seamless, full-coverage finish while remaining weightless on the skin. Perfect for normal, combination, and oily skin, this foundation is infused with skin-true pigments and natural mineral powders to deliver multidimensional matte coverage that blends effortlessly for a skin-like finish.

Estée Lauder yellow-based foundation shades contain a ‘W’ to signify warmth. Avoid the C’s and N’s—cools and neutrals—if you have a golden skin tone.

‘W’ Shades

It’s rare for anyone at Adore Beauty to talk about favourite foundations without mentioning the legendary Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup. Loved worldwide by people of all ages with all skin types and skin tones, this iconic foundation is known for its long-lasting formula that takes you from day to night. The buildable, medium-coverage foundation won’t change colour throughout the day and stays comfortable and lightweight on the skin.

For a yellow-based foundation shade, choose a WN shade as opposed to a CN shade.

‘WN’ Shades

Double up with a foundation and concealer in one: the innovative Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation and Concealer. Perfecting the natural look, this moisturising makeup base covers imperfections while allowing the skin to breathe. A little goes a long way with this lightweight foundation. Once it’s on, it’ll last all day, even through sweat and humidity.

Now, this is where things become a little confusing: unlike other brands, which typically give their yellow-based foundations warm-sounding names, the ‘C’ shades from M.A.C are actually the yellow shades, as they’re meant to neutralise cool undertones. So this time around, avoid the W’s!

‘C’ Shades

M.A.C Cosmetics was one of the first beauty brands to offer extensive shade ranges to suit all skin tones and undertones. Therefore, you won’t be surprised to see a couple of the brand’s foundations on our favourites list. M.A.C Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid SPF15 Foundation is a great all-rounder, offering medium-to-full buildable coverage that imparts a long-lasting, natural matte finish. This makeup is also infused with broad-spectrum SPF 15 to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Want to know more about M.A.C foundation? Check out our guides Find Your Perfect M.A.C Foundation and Concealer Match and How to Apply M.A.C Foundation.

When choosing this foundation for your yellow-based skin, look for shades that have ‘Golden’ in the title. Avoid ‘Rosy’ and ‘Neutral’ shades.

‘Golden’ Shades

Expertly combining full coverage with a weightless feel, Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation blends intense pigments in a concentration of oils to melt seamlessly into the skin. This creates a gorgeous matte veil over the skin, with supreme hold to last from day to night. Blurring and covering imperfections, Power Fabric leaves your skin looking flawless and feeling makeup-free.

This foundation has an extensive shade range. Simply look for the ‘Y’ at the beginning of the names to find the yellow-based shades.

‘Y’ Shades

You can find more than just liquid foundations to match your yellow undertones. MAKE UP FOR EVER Matte Velvet Skin Blurring Powder Foundation, which comes in a handy compact, is available in a wide range of shades for both warm and cool undertones. This full-coverage pressed powder leaves a matte finish to minimise excess shine and blur imperfections. It’s a perfect fit for oily and combination skin. The innovative Flexi-Fix Puzzle Complex in this powder allows the product to stay in place throughout the day without ever settling into lines and pores.

For a yellow-based foundation shade, choose a WN shade as opposed to a CN shade.

‘WN’ Shades

Clinique Even Better Refresh & Hydrating Makeup is more than just a makeup base. This foundation tackles dryness and dehydration with a deeply replenishing and nourishing formula. Containing Hyaluronic Acid and a blend of Peptides, this long-wearing foundation delivers an instant moisture boost to the skin to smooth away dehydration-induced fine lines and rough skin texture. Even Better Refresh & Hydrate Makeup also contains Salicylic Acid, which helps exfoliate and decongest the skin.

With M.A.C Cosmetics, you want to look for the ‘C’ shades as opposed to the normal ‘W’ shades. The brand’s foundations are designed to neutralise your undertone for a balanced look.

‘C’ Shades

Another favourite from M.A.C Cosmetics is M.A.C Cosmetics Studio Sculpt SPF15 Foundation, designed for dry skin. This gel-like foundation is a hydrating makeup base that imparts a gorgeous satin finish with plenty of luminosity. Transforming lacklustre skin, this M.A.C foundation delivers medium-to-full buildable coverage and has a long-lasting formula to take you through the day. For additional protection, Studio Sculpt is also infused with broad-spectrum SPF 15.

Watch us give the sweat test to a few full coverage foundations in the video below...

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