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How To Match Makeup To Your Skin Tone As The Seasons Change

Tips to help you find your best color match.
October 29, 2021

Finding your perfect foundation match is difficult to begin with. But trying to find your shade when the seasons are changing and your skin color is too, can be even more challenging. You might have bought foundation at the height of summer when you had a fresh tan, or still have that bronzer that you rely on for a glow in the winter. And now you’re figuring out that this just won’t cut it. Perfecting your makeup during any season comes down to having the proper shades, and that’s where color matching is key. So  we’re sharing five steps to help you find your best foundation match even during the changing seasons when the process can start to feel a little complicated. 


1. Identify Your Skin Tone By Brand

Everyone’s skin tone is different, so it can be tricky to fit your own skin tone into an overarching classification that doesn’t take its nuances into account. But for the sake of color matching, it’s important to understand how brands break this down. There are different undertones and various shade categories that companies bucket their complexion products into. But the first step is to begin with the basics. Start by identifying what general category your skin tone falls under: fair, light, medium, tan or dark (sometimes also called deep). It’s best to do this during a time when you won’t have extreme sun exposure or weather conditions that could affect your skin tone. Keep in mind that different brands will have different names for these categories, but they’ll encompass the same traits.


2. Determine Your Undertone 

When it comes to finding makeup that matches your skin, your undertone (the hue that comes through your skin and affects its overall color) plays a large role. To identify your undertone, start by taking a look at the veins on your wrist. If they appear blue or purple, you’re cool-toned, while green veins indicate warm-toned skin. If you can’t make this color distinction for your veins, you likely have neutral undertones. 


Another method is to consider what color jewelry looks best on you. Do you steer toward silver or gold jewelry? If gold complements your skin tone the best, you’re warm, while looking good in silver indicates cool undertones. If you’re an equal fan of both, you may have neutral undertones.


3. Patch Test Foundation On Your Best Spot

Once you’ve identified your skin tone and undertones, go ahead and browse at foundation ranges. You’ll notice that most brands have a method of breaking down both the shade category and undertone to help you find your best match. For example, warm tones are often represented with a W, neutral with an N and cool with a C. The L’Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup is a perfect example of this. 


For many people, one of the most accurate ways to find your match is to test it out on your jawline. Your jawline tends to lack redness that other areas of the face are prone to, so it can be a great place for determining your shade. However, if you have hyperpigmentation on your jawline, skip foundation matching in that area and opt for another area on your face that can match your overall complexion better. 


When it comes to altering your foundation shade when the seasons change, your best bet is to stick with the same brand of foundation and go up or down one to two shades within the same undertone family. Another option is to stick with your lighter shade that you use during the cooler months, and deepen it up with your powder, bronzer and blush. It’s much easier to warm  a foundation with other products than to blend in a color that’s just too dark. When in doubt, stick with the lighter shade. 


It’s also a great idea to have a tinted serum like the L’Oréal Paris True Match Hyaluronic Tinted Serum in your makeup collection. Because it’s a sheer product, the shades are flexible and can be adapted between seasons. Plus, sheer products won’t show obvious contrast against your skin tone the same way that full coverage foundations will. 


4. Match Your Concealer By Brand

An easy way to match your concealer to your foundation is to buy both products from the same line. For example, if you wear the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up To 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation, Lightweight in Toffee, then the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Waterproof, Full Coverage in Toffee will likely be a spot on concealer match for you. If you’re looking for a concealer to highlight with, opt for a shade one shade lighter than your skin tone, but with the same undertones. If your favorite foundations and concealers are from different brands, try to compare swatches and evaluate how the brands break down shades and undertones to get your best match. 


5. Opt For Translucent Powder Over Pigmented Pressed Powders

If you’re looking for a powder to mattify your skin and set your makeup in place, reach  for a translucent powder. Translucent powders are colorless, so they won’t alter your foundation shade once applied, like colored powders will. Our favorite is the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Sweep & Lock Loose Setting Face Powder because it’s lightweight on the skin and helps to blur visible  pores. 

Next: Your Step-By-Step Guide To Color Correcting

Written by: Alyssa Kaplan, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn

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