If I asked you what your essential makeup product is, what is the first thing that comes to mind? It’s probably foundation. It sets the stage for everything else that goes on the face, providing a smooth, even surface to allow you to work your artistry magic.
And what better products to go with foundation then concealer and corrector? These nifty little miracles can perfect anything that foundation misses, neutralizing redness, brightening the skin, and hiding those pesky dark circles and annoying pimples that decided to pop up for date night.
Foundation has been an essential in my makeup collection for years, and over time, I’ve realized the magic that concealer and corrector can work on my face.
However, you may have noticed that your foundations don’t always measure up. There’s the dreaded Oompa Loompa orange or the ashy gray streaks. Remember that awful line that makes it look like your wearing a mask because your face and your neck don’t match.
Concealer sometimes highlights blemishes rather than hiding them. The cover up that works great for under the eyes doesn’t work so well on the rest of the face.
And then there’s all those funny shades of corrector. Why in the world would you want to put purple or green on your face?
Well, where you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Here are some things to consider when choosing your essential face products.
Before even starting to think about picking out a foundation color, consider your skin’s undertones. Nope, I don’t mean the color of your skin. I’m talking about the underlying pigment beneath the surface that determines the overall hue of your skin. There are three categories – warm, cool, and neutral.
You and your bestie might have the same medium skin tone, but she could be warm and you could be cool, which unfortunately means you can’t share foundation. You have to find a foundation that compliments your skin’s undertones, not just the actual color of your skin.
Let’s delve into undertones.
If you have a warm undertone, your skin has more yellow beneath the surface. Those people you see with more golden skin are going to fall into this category. It’s often thought that people with lighter skin can’t have warm undertones. Not so! It’s sometimes harder to spot, but it’s completely possible.
Gold jewelry is usually your jam if you’re rocking the warmer undertones. Take a look at your veins on your inner arm. Do they have a greenish tint? This indicates a warm undertone as well. If you tan easily then your probably in the warm category. You also look great in warm reds, orange, yellow, and earthy tones.
Now, how do you know if a foundation is warm? A lot of brands put it right on the packaging for you! A “W” usually indicates warm. I love when they have all the testers lined up. I can see if something has more yellow in it in comparison to more neutral or cooler colors.
With cool undertones, you’ll have more red or blue tones beneath the surface of your skin. Fair skin will appear pink whereas deeper skin will have bluish undertones.
In your case, the veins on your inner arm are going to look blue. Adorn yourself with silver jewelry, because it compliments your cooler undertones. And make sure your protecting yourself from the sun because you are going to burn baby burn! Fuschia, pink, blues, and greens suit you perfectly.
Cooler foundations often have a “C” on the box. If you compare a cool foundation to a warm or neutral foundation, you’ll for sure see the pink or blue come through.
If you have neutral undertones, you’re right in the middle. You’re skin will often be described as beige or olive. You don’t really have yellow or pink under the surface. It’s, well, neutral.
The color of your arm veins won’t be very apparent, falling somewhere in the middle of green and blue. You don’t have to choose whether you should wear gold or silver; they both look fabulous. You may tan, you may burn… can’t truly say with that one. And like the jewelry, your color choices for clothing are endless. You are golden, girl! And I don’t mean skin tone wise 🙂
And you probably guessed it, the foundation is usually going to have a “N” on the outside. Most neutral foundations are going to appear beige in comparison to other colors.
Things to Consider
This has happened to all of us. You find an amazingly perfect shade of foundation, slap it on the morning after purchasing, and then two hours later look in the mirror and stare in horror. It’s dark. Like way darker than it was when you tested it. The magic fades.
Oxidation can happen for a variety of reasons, usually because of the way the foundation mixes with your skin’s natural face oils. Using a primer and setting your face with powder can help prevent this.
Matching in Good Lighting
Most makeup stores, unfortunately, use fluorescent lighting. This type of light can be deceiving when it comes to choosing the perfect shade. Try and check your foundation in natural light before purchasing. I usually apply the color that I’m pretty sure about to a large area of my face, and then check it in a mirror outside. I haven’t had to return a foundation due to choosing the wrong color since then.
How to match yourself
I always suggest that you try more than one shade. Pick three that you think are going to be in the right spectrum and put three stripes on your jawline next to each other. You always want to match the jawline, because you can see how the foundation color blends into your face and neck. That’s how you avoid the infamous “ line”.
Pick the one you like best and blend it on a larger part of your face to get a feel for how it looks and feels. A second opinion never hurts either, so bring a friend or ask the beauty advisors.
When choosing a concealer shade, it’s very much the same idea as picking out a foundation. Look for one that suits your undertones. Concealers aren’t always marked with a “W”, “C”, or “N” so if you’re not sure, definitely get a beauty advisor’s opinion. Picking the wrong undertone can make the areas on your face that you’re trying to conceal really stand out and not in a good way.
I personally like to choose a different concealer shade for under my eyes than the one I use on rest of my face. I tend to go one shade lighter in the same undertone to help wake my eyes up and provide brightness. For my face, I always choose a concealer that’s the same shade as my foundation. Yeah, it’s two different products for what seems like the same purpose, but it makes a world of difference. And you use less so they both will last a long time.
Corrector often throws people for a loop. There are some funky colors that you would never think to put on your face. But these little guys have magical powers, no joke.
I have several of these in my collection for different purposes. Check out what they can do!
This goes under my eyes first thing before putting on my foundation. Why you may ask? Because I’ve got sleepy eyes. Yep, those blue circles are pretty apparent, and I’m not a fan. All three of these colors neutralize blue and dark circles, spots, and discoloration. I have fair skin so I typically reach for yellow. Peach is perfect for medium to tan skin tones, and salmon is great for deeper tones. When I pop that stuff on, my dark circles are hidden from the world. I love this stuff! If you struggle with the same issue, it is so worth it to invest in one of these correctors.
This one may get an eyebrow raise or two. Green? On my face? Well, believe it or not, green can make a huge difference on the look of your skin. Green neutralizes red, so if you have a big ol’ red zit or broken blood vessels, put a green corrector over the area before applying your foundation. If you have redness all over, you can mix green corrector in with your primer to help calm everything down. They even make green primers!
Sometimes, areas of the skin can look yellow and sallow. Lavender corrector does the trick to neutralize and bring the skin back to life. They also make lavender primers if your entire face has lost its natural complexion.
An Ever Changing Challenge
While your skin undertones will remain the same for the rest of your life, you actual skin tone is constantly changing. I definitely recommend re-matching yourself whenever you go replenish your foundation. Something that looked great three months ago may not be quite right now. I definitely have a “winter” color and a “summer” color.
Some foundation lines have over 45 shades now! Don’t let it overwhelm you. Finding your skin undertone will help narrow it down and make it much easier to pick out. And don’t forget to try out a corrector. They are serious lifesavers.
What are some of your tips and tricks for figuring out your skin undertone? Let us know in the comments!