Tips for Finding a Great Foundation




Your foundation is part of what makes the rest of your makeup so great. If you have a foundation that accurately matches your skin tone and has the right appearance overall, you’ll be set to make the rest of your makeup look really shine; if your foundation is off, you can be sure that the rest of your look will be as well.

1. Finding Your Undertone

Before you can find your foundation shade, you first have to know your skin undertone. Undertones typically come in three types: warm, cool, and neutral, with warm and cool being the most common. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to find your skin undertone:

  • Do you think you look better with gold or silver jewelry? Gold jewelry tends to indicate a warm undertone, while silver tends to indicate cool and both may indicate neutral.
  • What color are your veins? Look at the inside of your wrist to check. If they’re more blue or purple, you likely have cool tones, if they’re greener you probably have warm tones, and if you can’t tell or they look different in different spots, you might have neutral tones.
  • How does your skin look next to white? Hold up a white piece of paper or a white T-shirt to see. Skin that looks slightly yellow will have a warm undertone, skin that looks red will have a cool undertone, and skin that looks either greenish or orange likely has a neutral undertone.

2. Finding the Actual Shade

Next, you should look into finding the actual shade number. This one requires a bit of trial and error, but if you’re willing to spend some time on it, you can find the perfect shade.

Start with three shades that seem accurate. Use your undertone to help you find one; warm, neutral, and cool tones are baked into most foundations nowadays, and the color may be labeled “Warm” or “Cool” to help. Hold them up to your face to find these three shortlisted shades.

Now, dab a bit of each shade on your jaw line and your chest, all three in a line. Choose the one that seems like it blends in the best and spread it across your jawline. Then, soak a cotton swab in makeup remover and run it in a straight line through the middle of the application. If you can’t see a difference, that’s the right foundation color.

Although you should do this test with the foundation that you want to use regularly, once you find your foundation number, you can use it as an easy starting point to find other foundations. Match up the numbers or use an online tool to find your match.

3. Determining a Good Finish

Lastly, it’s a good idea to spare a look for the finish. There are many different foundation finishes out there, and here’s a good primer on them:

  • Sheer: Ultra-lightweight, designed to even out minor imperfections rather than actively cover skin.
  • Dewy: Intended to create radiance and luminosity, best for already-smooth and dry skin.
  • Satin: Between flat and shiny, with good coverage that doesn’t look shiny
  • Matte: No shine, drying flat and full-coverage


A great foundation should be a key component of your overall makeup look. Once you’ve found your perfect shade and finish, you can buy a better foundation for less with an Ulta coupon. That way, you can start your makeup look off right, without having to worry about the foundation slipping or looking off from the rest of your face.