4 Steps to finding the perfect foundation!

For the longest time I didn't have a clue about how to find the right foundation for my skin tone. I'd pick up any brown formula that looked close enough to my naturally tan complexion. It wasn't until I looked through pictures of myself sporting oddly tanner or paler-looking skin, that I realized I was definitely doing something wrong! Remember, the point of foundation is to get your skin looking natural, flawless and even-toned. The key to getting your foundation right is appearing as if you don't have any on at all! Check out some of these tips from me and professional makeup artist Ericka Tapia on how to find the right foundation for you!

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Find your Formula:  Picking the perfect foundation can be daunting. Luckily, we have options! Finding the best one for you requires understanding your skin "type." Some of us have dry skin, others have really oily, while most of us have combination skin," says Tapia. If you have oily or combination skin, opt for a cream-to powder foundation like Urban Decay Surreal Skin Cream-to-Powder Foundation ($35). "This formula goes on like a liquid and dries to a powder finish that minimizes oil and lasts all day," says Tapia. Normal or drier skin types can go for a mousse or liquid formula foundation. If you have sensitive skin you may want to switch to a mineral powder foundation. "The key selling point is that the foundation has very few ingredients, and those being inert minerals, tend to be perfect for people with allergies or sensitive skin," says Tapia. I love bareMinerals Matte SPF 15 Mineral Foundation ($27). This formula comes in a ton of different shades, and if you can't find your color you can mix some together to create your perfect match!

Find your Undertones: The first step to finding your shade, is recognizing your undertones. Olive, tan and deeper complexions tend to have warmer undertones like yellow or golden. While fair and lighter complexions many times have cooler undertones like red or pink. Once you figure this out, it will become a lot easier to find your match. Look at the bottom of the foundation bottle (where usually pure pigment has fallen) to see if it's more yellow or red.

Look for brands that carry a lot of shades: I think the biggest problem Latinas and other women of color come across is not even finding brands that really offer their shades. That's why I normally opt for department store foundations, like Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation SPF 15 ($47), a light-weight gel base foundation that comes in 20 different shades! Laura Mercier, Make Up For Ever and MAC are a few other brands that offer a wide range of colorful options. But if you're looking to keep your costs low, Tapia suggests trying Revlon Color Stay Wipped Foundation ($12). 

Test it Out: "Never test foundation on your hand. Your hand and face are two different shades. The best way to test foundation is to apply the color from your chin to your neck. You want to make sure that when you apply foundation all over your face, it matches and blends evenly—it should disappear into your skin," says Tapia. I usually take three foundation colors that appear closest to my skin color and apply them right on my jawline. The problem with drugstore foundations is that you usually can't sample the colors. But did you know that certain drugstores like CVS have a 100 percent money-back guarantee policy of beauty products (opened or unopened)? Make sure to ask the store manager what their return policy on cosmetics is before making your purchase. "If that doesn't work, and you can afford it, buy two foundations. One you think is closest to your skin tone and one a shade darker. If you choose a shade lighter, more than likely it will be too light," says Tapia.

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Topics: beauty  beauty tips  cosmetics  makeup  skin tone