Photo: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
Knowing what brand of foundation to use can be hard enough. But to know what shade you need, you must figure out your skin's undertone -- another puzzle. It's enough to make you walk out the door with no makeup at all -- just your own fresh face. But don't fret, divas. There are ways to figure out your best foundation, and you won't need to spend a fortune to look ultra pretty and polished.
Before you even get to looking for a foundation, you must first determine whether or not your skin is a cool tone. There is a golden rule that can be applied here. First, you must look at the veins on your wrist. If they're blue, you have cool undertones; if they are green, you have warm undertones. If you’re not sure whether the foundation you've been using is a cool tone, start by visually examining products before you buy, says Constance Dunn, author of "Practical Glamour" and a beauty researcher in Los Angeles. Examine the shade in the bottle, along with the shade strips that accompany the product display, Dunn says. If your foundation has a hint of red or pink in it, it's a cool shade. Try to detect the difference between yellow-based formulas and cool formulas. Train your eye to look for the obvious nongolden- or nonyellow- based foundations, says Emmy award-winning makeup artist Melanie Mills.
In case you think your skin may be a warm tone, look for visible yellow undertones, Dunn says. Cool tones have bluish undertones. Foundations created for warmer undertones may have names such as ivory, warm, golden, bisque, tan or sunset. Not everyone has skin tones that are pure cool or warm; many women are in between. If you're one of these, choose a neutral foundation or a mixed one.
Finding a drugstore foundation that has tons of colors to choose from can be quite the blessing. Makeup by Anna artist Anna Petrosian in Glendale, California, loves L’Oreal True Match. It’s one of the best foundations for cool-toned skin because it has so many shades to choose from -- you're more likely to get your true match, says Petrosian. She also loves it because it contains no oils, fragrances or pore clogging fillers, so all you get is smooth, flawless skin. It also contains vitamin B and E to nourish your skin while it covers your imperfections.
A drugstore foundation that stays on all day is just what the makeup artist ordered. Makeup by Heather A artist Heather Adessa of New York City says Revlon ColorStay Makeup with Softplex is her favorite drugstore foundation for cool skin tones. It has amazing staying power and looks flawless on skin, assures Adessa. She says it comes in both cool and warm tones and has tons of colors to choose from, matching your fabulous skin perfectly.
Now that you know how to find the perfect foundation for your sexy, cool skin, it’s time to learn how to apply it. No need for expensive makeup brushes. You can use your clean fingers for a natural effect, or a sponge -- better for blending thicker liquid foundations. Remember, don’t rub in the makeup; simply tap it onto your skin. Finally, for that flawless look a much heavier foundation can provide, use a foundation brush for a velvety finish and a polished look.