The Hands-Down Easiest Trick to Finding Your Perfect Foundation Match

woman putting on makeup in mirror

Finding a foundation formula that works for your skin type is one thing. Add in also having to choose from cool, warm and neutral tones out of a solid 40 shades, and it’s enough to make you want to stick to tinted moisturizer for good. But don’t throw in the towel just yet, because we’ve got a seriously easy trick to finding the perfect shade that’ll leave you looking flawless in no time.

Here’s the deal: You’re going to want to pick two shades that you think most closely match your skin color, then find some natural light. If there’s none in the store, just purchase the products from somewhere that allows returns (ahem, Ulta) and tote them home to test. 

Next, standing in sunlight, apply one of the foundations to your left jawline and the other to your right. Take a step back from the mirror and squint. Whichever color looks the most seamless between your face and neck is the winner.

Since the fluorescent lights in beauty stores distort not only the color of your skin but also the color of the product, it’s nearly impossible to find your ideal match on the spot. Natural light is the most flattering and the most truthful. And because squinting your eyes momentarily erases any distracting details on your face that make it harder to choose, you’re able to see the effects of the foundation a bit more clearly. Sounds backwards, we know, but give it a shot—we bet you’ll be able to give those color-matching sales girls a run for their money.

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Brianna Lapolla formerly held the role of Senior Commerce Editor at PureWow covering all things shopping across beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. Now, she's putting her 12 years of...