What is the Best Way To Choose the Right Shade of Foundation?

"Should I be erring on the side of lighter or darker?"
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Sabrina Rinaldi
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"Should I be erring on the side of lighter or darker?"
Rochas - Spring 2013 makeup

Foundations can oxidize on oilier skin types.

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Q: If you can't find a perfect match of foundation and concealer, should you be erring on the side of lighter or darker? Does it always oxidize or only on some skin tones/types? — La La

A: La La, this is a great question! In this day and age, there are so many brands out on the market—at drugstores, specialized stores like Sephora and high-end department stores—that you should be able to find a makeup line that has a foundation to match your skin tone exactly. Whether you are super-pale or super-dark, there should be a product line that is right for you!

MAC and Make Up For Ever are two of the best foundation brands for very wide ranges of colours, tones and shades. They also train their staff to help assist you in finding a colour that is perfect for your skin tone.

However, what some women fail to realize is that a foundation that matches their skin in the winter or spring doesn't necessarily match their skin in summer and fall. I usually suggest buying a winter shade and a summer shade, and then blending them throughout the year to match your skin in between.

Women also tend to match their foundation to their necks. Since our necks generally don't have much exposure to sun, they tend to be paler than the rest of our bodies. I suggest matching your foundation to your chest. Then, when you're applying it, instead of stopping at the jawline, continue blending the makeup down your neck for a much more even and balanced complexion.

Oxidization is when the colour darkens on your face over the course of the day.

This tends to happen with oilier skin types. If this is the case for you, I suggest using a translucent powder that has no pigment of its own. This will set your foundation and hopefully keep the colour from darkening throughout the day.

Here are two of my product suggestions. I recommend Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation:

And Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder:

Sabrina Rinaldi is a Toronto- and Montreal-based hair and makeup artist.