How To: Match Your Foundation Online

by Sarah

So you want the new “it” foundation but it’s only available to purchase online; or your local store doesn’t stock the range; or you live in a different location and can’t test the product for yourself…and the list goes on.

When foundation shopping is hard enough as is, how do you know what color is the right one for your skin tone when your only option is online shopping? Well, following tips and tricks will help you breeze through this process…


The very first step is to get color matched at a MAC counter. Whether you use MAC products or not, you should know your average MAC foundation color. MAC was the very first professional cosmetic brand to tap into the consumer market. They were pretty much pioneers in color variety and still to this day, they possibly have the most diverse range of foundation colors for all skin types.

Having such a history in the industry, it’s almost become customary to reference MAC colors when comparing foundation brands and shades. This is why most blogs or Youtubers will include a color reference to MAC any time they review a different foundation. And this makes it so much easier to find same or similar color matches in other brands.

MAC Base Products

MAC foundations typically run in NW and NC shades; these are the undertones. And then you have the color spectrum numbers going from light to dark. Even if you don’t like or want to use MAC foundations, knowing your MAC shade will help you a great deal when researching your color in other brands online.


The second most helpful tip in trying to work out your foundation color is a site called There are many foundation matching sites out there but I find Findation to be the most accurate. has a huge database of different brands and lines of foundations on record. If you already have one (or ideally more) foundations that currently match you well, you enter this information into the database and Findation calculates your closest color in many other brands and their lines within.

As an example, I am MAC NC30-35; MAC Face and Body in C4; NARS Sheer Glow in Stromboli, Makeup Forever HD in #127; Loreal True Match in W4 and Maybelline Fit Me in 220 just to name a few.

Lets say I only know my NARS color being Stromboli and I want to check what would be my closest color in other brands. I enter in the information as per the screenshot below. If you have more foundations, you can enter those also; if not, just continue to find your match: to find your foundation matches in different brands

And here’s “a snippet” of the matches it gave me. Keep in mind, there were so many other drugstore and high end foundations it recommended but I’m showing you a collection of the colors that I mentioned above to show you it’s pretty spot on.

My Findation recommendations for NARS Sheer Glow Stromboli

The only disadvantage about this matrix is that some of the newly launched foundations are not on their records. I don’t know how often they update the system but even if you retrieve one or two foundation recommendations, it will again help you broaden your online search.


Beauty blogs (hello there!!), YouTube videos and of course Google Search are key to working out what foundation colors would be the closest match to your skin tone. There’s a huge database of information out there so it’s a matter of taking your time and exploring.

The best starting point is knowing at least one or two foundations that match you well. I’ll use my NARS Sheer Glow in Stromboli as an example again. Lets say I want to find my color match in MAC…

  • In Google search, I would typically type “NARS Sheer Glow Stromboli in MAC”. Automatically this filters the information to check for everything that contains the words I typed and hence narrows things down to blogs, forums or Youtube videos which contain both brands.
  • I recommend checking a minimum of 3-4 sources; because if they all recommend the same color match, the higher my chances are that I’ll purchase the correct shade.
  • As well as the main content of a post or Youtube video, also make sure to browse through the comments as most of the time someone may have already asked/answered the very question you have and that’s a great way to get confirmation.
  • Google images is also quite helpful. Some brands will already have swatches of their whole line, or some blogs would have already done color comparisons. Although the lighting, as well as the color calibration of your monitor can effect the actual results, especially comparison pictures between brands will give you a fair idea of your correct match.

Of course it’s always ideal to see and test the products in person but with online shopping becoming the norm and the companies opting to sell directly to their customers via their websites, it’s important to know how to search for the correct information.

I hope this post was helpful. Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions or if you have any tips you’d like to share when shopping for products online.

Happy color matching!! :)

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Jennifer October 31, 2017 - 3:12 am

I am SO glad I found this site! I love the ABH color “cream” in the contour kit. What color would be similar to that in the stick? I have red undertones so I always want something which will help cancel it out. I LOVED Dior’s Forever Forever Flawless Perfection Fusion (30) and used it for years until they discontinued it about a year and a half ago and I have been searching for a replacement. Right now I am using Chanel Vitalumiere which is good for the summer but I want something with a little more coverage.

Sarah November 1, 2017 - 3:02 am

Hi Jennifer! Welcome to the site! Based on the products you mentioned, you seem to be within a mid-tone range in terms of color. That said, the Cream color in the ABH contour kit is more of a neutral undertone, whereas the Dior Forever Flawless in 30 is slightly warmer. There are many foundations I can recommend, NARS Sheer Glow, MAC Studio Fix, Makeup Forever Ultra HD, Armani Luminous Silk just to name a few, but it’s probably best you get color matching done in a store just to clarify your undertones :) Let me know if you have any other questions xo

Kristen December 8, 2016 - 12:57 pm

Hi Sarah you helped me find my foundation color in the Anastasia stick foundation. It arrived last week and it’s perfect btw.
I still don’t know if I can match my colors perfectly like you did but these tips are super helpful. Thank you for always introducing your followers to useful information. I love your site.

Sarah December 8, 2016 - 1:21 pm

Hi Kristen! I’m happy to hear your foundation worked out. I know it can be overwhelming with so many products and so much info but once you get a list of colors that are your perfect match, the rest will be easier to work out :)

Sam December 8, 2016 - 11:19 am

Another great & helpful post. I’m a bit excited about checking out the website. Thank you!!!

Sarah December 8, 2016 - 1:21 pm

Thanks Sam :)

Bianca Miller December 8, 2016 - 4:00 am

Hi Sarah, another amazing post. I’ll have to look at that site but do they only have foundations?

Sarah December 8, 2016 - 6:14 am

Thanks Bianca! The site also features powder and mineral foundations too :)

Jenna December 8, 2016 - 3:57 am

This is so cool! I had no idea about that site. This is why I love your blog so much. Always something new and interesting. Thanks Sarah~

Sarah December 8, 2016 - 6:13 am

Thank you Jenna! :)

Winnie December 7, 2016 - 7:52 pm

Love this and didn’t know there was such a thing available. Thanks for letting me know this. I will check it out
You always have such useful information

Sarah December 8, 2016 - 6:13 am

Thanks Winnie, glad it was helpful! :)


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