Knowing your foundation undertone makes a HUGE difference in the way your skin looks.
BUT! It’s not a precise science, because even if you broadly know your skin undertone, makeup brands aren’t always accurate with their labelling.
*TRIGGER WARNING* – picture with veins from my wrist down below, if you’re uncomfortable with this, please click away now.
Right now we are in what is known as “Foundation Season” – so many hyped foundations are coming to market in the last month, including but not limited to: Pat McGrath, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Fenty Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury, Kevyn Aucoin, Revolution, Dose Of Colours…
And, because these drops tend to have HUGE shade ranges with at least 30 shades, often over 40 these days!
So now is a good time to check in and ask – do you (broadly) know your foundation undertone?
What do your dark circles and veins look like?
If they have a BLUE/PURPLE tone, you likely have a more PINK/RED/COOL undertone – so look for foundations that are labelled as PINK/RED/COOL.
If your dark circles and veins look more GREEN/BROWN under your skin, you likely have a more YELLOW/WARM undertone – so look for foundations that are labelled as YELLOW/WARM.
If you generally have a more YELLOW/WARM undertone BUT your overall impression of your skin is that there is a hint of a greenish hue, you likely have an OLIVE undertone – so look first for YELLOW/WARM foundations, but also look for foundations that are OLIVE-TONE FRIENDLY. (This is the most under-represented shade range these days, BTW.)
If you literally have ALL THE COLOURS – BLUE/PURPLE and GREEN/BROWN, you likely will need to look for more NEUTRAL toned foundations.
So using me as an example – not sure if you can see it well, I turned up the contrast on my pictures – if you look at my eye circles, they’ve got more of a blue twinge to them. Whenever veins appear on my face, they tend to be more blue as well. If you look at my wrist – I have both blue and green veins in equal measure.
Therefore, I tend to pick foundations for myself that are labelled either PINK/RED/COOL or NEUTRAL, depending on the brand and foundation line I’m buying.
So you’ve (broadly) identified your skin undertone – what next?
Now: once you’re identified (broadly) your undertone – you then need to get to know the foundation range that you’re looking to buy into, because sometimes they’re labelled NEUTRAL when actually leaning more yellow or more pink – for example: the new Dose Of Colours foundation line, according to beauty influencers, seems to lean more yellow, even in the ones labelled neutral; Kevyn Aucoin face products tend to lean more yellow/golden because he liked to warm up complexions (RIP Kevyn); L’Oreal foundations labelled pink are very pink!
(Psst: this is why it actually is worth watching YouTube beauty influencers, whether you like them or not, because they will give you an indication against their own skin how the undertones are leaning. Watch a variety of them with similar tones to you and also the same skin type as you for a good broad opinion.)
And also – nothing beats a swatch or asking for a sample of the foundation you’re wanting, especially high-end foundations, the sales assistants are very keen these days to give you samples if you ask, and the samples are generally quite generous!
So! I hope this helps you if you’re on the market for a new foundation! As I say, it’s Foundation Season right now and there’s lots of new products on the market, have fun in the jungle! I personally ordered the new Charlotte Tilbury Air-Brush Flawless Filter Foundation this morning and am waiting on it to arrive in the next 5 days or so. Ordered shade 2 – Cool. Can’t wait! If it’s too pale or pink, it’s going to be my winter foundation 😂
Let me know if you got any questions below! Do you know your skin undertone? Are the re any foundations you’re looking forward to buying/trying?