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…
KNOW YOUR MAC SHADE
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 Findation.com. There are many foundation matching sites out there but I find Findation to be the most accurate.
Findation.com 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:
Findation.com 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.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
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!! :)