Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making When Purchasing Foundation

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Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making When Purchasing Foundation
Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making When Purchasing Foundation

Have you ever been to a shop to buy new foundation, only to get home and discover it’s so not your shade? I know I have. Now, with almost 20 years of experience behind me and boxes of unused make-up, I’d like to think that I’ve learnt a thing or two on how to choose wisely. So here are a few tips on how to pick the perfect foundation:

Mistake Number 1 – Testing foundation on your wrist

This one is the classic one. Your wrist’s skin colour tone and texture isn’t the same as the skin on your face. The face tends to be lighter than the body. Therefore, the best place to test foundation is on your jaw line or cheekbones.

Mistake Number 2 – Applying foundation on top of your make up

Even if your current foundation is a perfect match for you, its pigments may not match the one you are trying. And as a result of mixing the two, you won’t be able to see the true colour of the foundation you are buying.

Mistake Number 3 – Picking out foundation in the wrong lighting

The best way to pick the right shade is in natural light. Don’t trust shop lighting. Most make-up stores tend to have flattering lighting that conceals customers’ imperfections. Try a few shades (three) on your jaw line and go out into the daylight to take a look before buying.

Mistake Number 4 – Going for a darker shade

When you are between lighter and darker shades, pick the lighter one or take them both. You can always blend the two shades together to create a custom shade that is just right for you. Also, your skin tone changes with the season; it will be lighter in the winter and darker in the summer. So it’s a good idea to have two shades on hand. Foundation, just like powders, have a tendency to go darker with skin contact. And please do me a favour and don’t get a darker shade to look more tanned. Leave that job to bronzers!

Mistake Number 5 – Not knowing your skin undertone

Undertone is not the same as skin colour; undertone never changes. Undertones can be cool, warm, or neutral. Foundations have a cool, warm, or neutral tone as well. If you have a rosy or pinkish complexion, or a yellow or golden tint, your undertone is warm. Blue or purple tints, as well as olive or greenish hues, mean you have a cool undertone. If you don’t see a definite tint in one direction or the other, then you probably have a neutral undertone. Check your vein colour for clues. Veins that look purple/bluish are a sign of cool undertones. Veins with a faint green colouring indicate a warm undertone.

Mistake Number 6 – Not blending

You have to blend in your foundation well to be able to see the colour and texture properly.

Mistake Number 7 – Purchasing foundation in the evening

At the end of the day your skin is tired, oilier, and your pores are clogged due to environmental factors and make-up. What you think is the right shade then might be very different from the one that you actually need. Try to shop for foundation in the morning when your skin is fresh and clean.

Mistake Number 8 – Not having your skin primed before testing

Make sure that you test foundation on clean, moisturised and primed skin. Just as you would before applying your make-up at home.

Mistake Number 9 – Avoid thick textures

Foundation shouldn’t ever look too ‘cakey’ on your face. The point is not to look like you have tones of make-up layers but rather to help your skin look its best. Basically, you should be able to see a better more radiant version of your skin through the foundation. Then, you can use concealer to hide any imperfections. Moreover, thick foundations can settle into lines on your face and make you actually look older.

Mistake Number 10 – Not matching foundation to your skin type

If you have oily or combination skin, it’s best to go for oil free foundations. Nowadays, some foundations or face primers such as Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint and Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Primer contain Hyaluronic Acid in them. These are great for oily skin, keeping it oil free yet moisturised through the day. Charlotte Tilbury created an EASY TO USE Foundation Finder to make it EASY TO CHOOSE your perfect foundation, tailored to your skin needs.


Charlotte Tilbury

Written by

I'm a London based beauty researcher who is continuously on the hunt for the preventative and corrective skincare products and treatments and award-winning spas around the globe.

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My Beauty Insider a one-stop-shop for information on the best preventative and corrective skincare products and treatments, and award-winning spas around the globe. Our mission is to inform you of the latest innovations in the beauty industry and provide an honest opinion based on personal experience. Finally, our readers' input is invaluable to us - so please leave comments and let us know if there is any particular product or treatment you would like to know about! Maria x

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