Finding the Right Foundation Shade

Hi Everyone!

I am on the hunt for a new foundation and it’s taking me a while to find a shade that matches me (most of the ones I’ve been colour matched with are too light). I researched a few foundations beforehand to see which ones suit my skin type and which are highly recommended and rated. I usually walk around the store and swatch the foundations on my hand to see if I like the consistency and scent before I ask an associate to colour match me and get a sample. I’ve learned my lesson from previous times where I got colour matched on the spot and purchased that shade right away. The shades looked fine in the store, but once I went in natural lighting or dimmer lighting, it looked too pale.

I decided to put Sephora and Mac associates to the test- I wanted to see if the different associates would colour match me with the same shades. I went to multiple MACs and Sephoras. The lighting in Sephora is so bright that even a shade that’s actually too light looks like it matches you. In store, it looks like you’ve found a perfect match, but then you go somewhere with dimmer lighting and you look like a ghost. I know I can always warm up my foundation with some bronzer or a darker powder, but if I’m going to spend about $50-70 on a foundation, I want it to be a good match where I don’t have to darken it with powder.

Here are my findings:

MAC- I went to 3 MAC stores

  • Studio Waterweight SPF 30 Foundation
    • Colour Match: NC20
    • All 3 ladies matched me with NC20. At 2 of the stores, they matched the foundation on my hand and at the 3rd store, the lady matched the foundation on my jawline and neck.

Sephora- I went to several Sephoras (one store I went twice, but on a different day)

Listed below are products that I like and plan to purchase in the future, so I got multiple samples of each:

  • Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream
    • Colour Matches: Vanilla 02 (for light skin with neutral tones) and Bamboo 5.5 (light to medium skin golden tone)
    • 2 ladies matched me with Vanilla and 1 matched me with the Bamboo. Since this is a tinted cream, the shades weren’t completely off even though there are 4 shades between Vanilla and Bamboo. I think Vanilla matches better though because the Bamboo made my skin look a bit more yellow.
  • Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
    • Colour Matches: Fair Neutral (fair skin with yellow and pink undertones) and  Fair-Light Neutral (fair to light skin with yellow and pink undertones)
    • I got 2 samples of this foundation and one lady matched me with Fair Neutral and the other with Fair-Light Neutral. I think Fair-Light Neutral looks slightly better, the Fair neutral is a bit light.

The following foundations are colour matches by associates from Sephora, Nordstrom and Hudson’s Bay:

The following shades are ones I tried at the store and looked like a pretty close match:

I just bought a foundation and BB cream from Shoppers and The Body Shop:

Foundations I currently own:

Thoughts: Before you spend $50-70 on a foundation, get 3 samples from Sephora from different people to see if different people match you with the same shade. Even one shade lighter or darker can make a huge difference.

Tip: For those of you looking for higher end makeup or skincare products. Go to Nordstrom!! They have sample containers and you can pump out or spoon out your own samples without asking an associate to help you! Make sure you close the lid tightly and properly. I recommend bringing a ziploc sandwich bag to put the samples in your purse. Mine exploded and by bringing a sandwich bag, I saved my Longchamp tote and all my things in my purse from getting ruined! You can even get your own samples of fragrances too!

See my other foundation matches and concealer shades.

What are your foundation recommendations? I have normal/dry skin (dry nose area), I’d love to hear any suggestions if you have the same skin type!