Think outside the beauty box



September 21, 2022

How to find your perfect foundation (even online)

Foundation in a variety of colors arranged in a lattice-work pattern

Credit photo: Teri Lyn Fisher


Buying makeup is fun. Figuring out which shade of foundation will work for you is… less fun. Long gone are the days when we would just go with whichever shade of Dream Matt Mousse felt like a close-ish match to our skin tone. We’ve become more demanding (and rightly so!) With hundreds of shades of foundation available today, it’s not always easy to keep track of your undertones, your shade, how much your skin changes shade throughout the year, and figuring out which shade you are from one brand to another. It’s a whole thing. To try and help you demystify the art of color matching foundation, we asked Beautyblender founder Rea Ann Silva about her top tips for shopping for complexion products, even when you’re buying online. And, of course, we’re rounding up some of our favorite products for you to explore.


Interview with Rea Ann Silva

Daily Polished: What are your go-to tips for color matching foundation?

Rea Ann: Every woman should know it’s okay to not find the perfect fit the very first time. We have so many wonderful brands right now with so many different options. 

When testing shades in person, keep in mind that the inner circle of your face is lighter and brighter, so you’ll have to try it in a few different areas. The inside of your wrist and on the neck close to the jawline are two traditional testing spots.

Color matching is purely visual, so [when buying online] try to find someone that looks similar to you and see what they’re using, and look at the brand’s color descriptions. Color matching in general is a huge challenge to makeup companies. When we launched our BOUNCE foundation in 2018 we came up with a color chart, which is a unique way of deducing which color will be right for you. 

Daily Polished: Have things changed with online color matching since you launched BOUNCE?

Rea Ann: Now a lot of brands and retailers use shade finders. We use “Findation” at Beauty Blender.

Daily Polished: When we talk about searching for the best foundation shade, undertones often come up. How do you advise people find their undertone?

Rea Ann: It's important to know your undertones and to test different colors. Try to find a shade model that has a similar skin tone and undertone to your own. When creating my complexion products,  I made it a priority to focus on Latina skin tones and undertones and stay true to that when developing all of my products.

Daily Polished: We know people’s skin tone changes fairly regularly, particularly from one season to another. How do you advise people adapt their foundation choice for summer months?

Rea Ann: For a summer foundation, I recommend switching to a lighter formula. Our BOUNCE Always on Radiant Skin Tint can be worn by anyone, no matter their skin type. The BOUNCE Always on Radiant Skin Tint hydrates and plumps with hyaluronic acid and offers a naturally radiant finish with light-medium coverage. It comes in 20 flexible tone-adapting shades, created to stretch across different skin tones. This is for the no makeup makeup look that everyone is aiming for in the hot summer months. 

Daily Polished: Do you have a key takeaway when it comes to foundation?

Rea Ann: I think that less is more: you can always add more foundation but it's more difficult to take away, so build coverage slowly.


The Daily Polished Foundation Edit


Best ‘no makeup’ foundation:

Dior Backstage Face Body Foundation

Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation

This easy-to-apply foundation comes in 40 shades. It can be used both on your face and body, to enhance your natural beauty and add a dewy glow to your skin. The formula blends seamlessly with your skin to make for a comfortable, lightweight, and long-lasting application. Trusted by pro artists around the world, we just know this foundation will become your summertime BFF.

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Best full coverage foundation:

Fenty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

Fenty’s buildable foundation is one of the most popular base products on the market at the moment. Its range of 50 shades make it a versatile product to suit most skin tones, and its formulation is suitable for any skin type. This one is perfect if you struggle with uneven texture or frequent breakouts, you can easily play around with coverage to find a style that works for you. Fenty’s website also allows you to virtually test shades, to give you a better chance of finding the best match first time.

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Best foundation / skincare crossover:

It Cosmetics Your Skin but Better Foundation Skincare

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare 

A skincare-infused foundation that will make your morning routine an absolute breeze? Yep, it’s really happening. IT Cosmetics’ Your Skin But Better is infused with hyaluronic acid to aid in hydrating skin, and is also packed with nutrients skin needs to look its best including vitamins E and B5. 

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Best cream foundation:

Kevyn Aucoin Beauty the Sensual Skin Enhancer

Kevyn Aucoin Beauty The Sensual Skin Enhancer 

This super versatile cream foundation will become your makeup go-to. It can be used as a foundation (that can be blended with primer to adjust coverage), concealer, highlighter, and contour. So once you find the right shades of the product to fulfill each role, your base makeup is basically sorted. It’s fragrance-free, and contains moisturizing jojoba oil to keep your skin feeling great underneath, too.

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Best makeup applicator:

Beautyblender Bio Pure Makeup Sponge

Beautyblender Bio Pure Makeup Sponge 

Picking your foundation applicator is such a personal choice, but this one is universally loved. Wet the sponge until it becomes super bouncy, and squeeze out any excess water before using it to effortlessly blend your foundation. This plant-based version of the cult-classic will make your makeup bag more planet-friendly, too.

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