Trying to choose the perfect makeup shades can be overwhelming (especially if you’re shopping online). But there’s a secret to picking the right colors: Learning about skin undertones—and how to identify yours—can help you easily find your match.
According to celebrity makeup artist Yolonda Frederick, the color of the skin’s outer surface can vary, like darkening a shade or two as a result of sun exposure, or reddening due to irritation or chronic conditions like rosacea. But your undertone, the shade just underneath the surface of your skin, never changes.
You will find best foundation for warm undertone skin, what foundation for warm skin tone, and how to choose foundation shade for warm skin tone in this article keep reading.
How to find the right foundation shades for warm undertone
When shopping for foundation, look for shades that match your skin undertones. Brenner says many brands offer their shades on a spectrum of light to deep colors with undertone indicators like C (cool), W (warm), and N (neutral). Frederick recommends trying on foundation in daylight vs. under a store’s fluorescent lighting, to avoid distortion that makes it harder to assess the color match.
Newman tells SELF a foundation’s name often hints at its undertones. “Words like golden, honey, caramel, and cinnamon often indicate warm undertones,” he explains. “Ivory, vanilla, mahogany, and pearl are some keywords to look for when searching for cool-undertone shades, while neutral and olive makeup descriptions often contain words such as natural, beige, or nude,” he says.
Still overwhelmed by the options? Brenner recommends starting with a neutral undertone foundation in the shade closest to your skin. “Test it on the lower part of your cheek, and if it appears too yellow, choose the cool tone; if it’s too pink, try the warm undertone. The right shade will disappear into the skin.”
Keep in mind that not every brand will have the right option for your exact skin shade and undertone.
“Finding your ideal foundation is like finding the perfect pair of jeans,” says Brenner. “It takes time, and it’s totally normal to try a few before you love what you’re wearing.”
Below, the experts share the best beauty tips for each skin undertone.
Leon Bennett via Getty Images1If you’ve got cool undertones…Foundation: Again, look for a shade that’s labeled as cool, C, or has a name that indicates coolness, like ivory, vanilla, mahogany, or pearl, Newman says. While skin with any undertone can have surface redness, “people with cooler undertones tend to display a tad more red due to the undertone being a pinkish or lavender hue,” Newman says. Using a yellow or green color corrector before applying foundation can help counteract any extra surface redness, he adds. Follow up with a layer of the foundation that matches your undertone.Blush: When it comes to other makeup in your kit, a rose-gold blush works wonders on fair skin, and a vibrant plum is a winner for those with dark skin and cool undertones. Basically, any shade with a red or blue tone—think fuchsia, berry, and light pinks, says Brenner.Lipstick: “In regards to a lipstick for a cool undertone, similar rules apply as with blush,” Newman says. “Shades that fall in this range are usually also blue-based and can include plums, mauves, lavenders (if you want to make a statement), and cool red shades such as crimson or cherry.”
Gareth Cattermole via Getty Images2If you’ve got warm undertones…Foundation: Look for a foundation labeled “warm” or W, or a shade with a warm name like golden, honey, caramel, and cinnamon, Newman says. These tend to have peachy, yellow, or golden hues that will complement your skin’s natural color. People with warm undertones can also experience surface redness (though it may not be as obvious since the skin’s undertones can help counteract instead of amplify the red), and a yellow or green color corrector can do the trick here too. Just make sure to use this on any red splotches before applying foundation.Blush: If you have fair skin with warm undertones, peach, bronze, copper, or rust-toned makeup creates a natural-looking flush on cheeks, Brenner says. For dark, warm skin, Newman recommends a hue like tangerine. “The slight addition of orange helps the color stand out against dark skin,” he says.Lipstick: Newman recommends warm, neutral shades like brick hues for a red lip, or dusty rose shades for a pink look. Orange-based lipsticks, like coral or a red-orange shade, also compliment warm undertones, and can provide a beautiful pop of color against dark skin.
Arturo Holmes via Getty Images3If you’ve got neutral or olive undertones…Foundation: Newman suggests looking for foundations with names such as natural, beige, or nude, or shades labeled as N or neutral. Though, as Frederick notes, you may find that you can wear more than one shade, and that some slightly warm or cool makeup complements your skin too. Just avoid anything that’s drastically red or yellow, she cautions, so that the shade looks as natural as possible. People with olive skin tones should avoid cool foundations, as they can make the skin look ashy, Frederick adds.Blush: Peach, apricot, and rose blushes give olive and neutral complexions a natural flush.Lipstick: When it comes to lipsticks, the options are endless—so don’t be afraid to experiment. Your neutral tones allow you to easily flow between blue- or orange-based tubes, but it’s still important to test out shades to find your favorite color.