6 Complexion Shade Matching Tips and Tricks - MAKE Beauty
complexion shade matching

6 Shade Matching Tips and Tricks

On part 1 of Episode 5 of ‘Makeup With Friends’, renowned celebrity makeup artist and friend of the brand Nikki La Rose joins MAKE Owner and Creative Director, Carrie Barber, to answer your most common makeup questions, starting with finding your perfect foundation or skin tint shade.

Shade matching can feel like a daunting task. Just as skin tones and individual preferences differ, what works for one may not work for another. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of Carrie and Nikki’s discussion about all things shade matching, which might just save you time, money and a few makeup mishaps.

1. Personal Preferences Matter

When it comes to makeup preferences, there’s a lot more to consider than just shades. Each of us has a unique approach to makeup, including the formulas, finishes, and application methods we choose. While some prefer complexion products a shade lighter than their actual skin tone to achieve a brightening effect, others turn to concealer for all-over coverage and lifting. It’s important to recognize and honor these preferences when choosing a new foundation or concealer.

2. Accentuate Your Features

Using the right concealer shade can lift and define your features, creating the illusion of sculpted cheekbones and a well-rested glow.

When considering which shade to choose, it’s important to identify your goals. To brighten dark circles and illuminate the high points of your face, consider a concealer shade up to two shades lighter than your natural skin tone. For covering dark spots, blemishes and redness, a shade that most closely matches your natural skin tone is best.

We love MAKE’s Skin Mimetic Concealer for its versatility – it conceals dark spots, under eye circles and redness flawlessly, and also serves as the perfect natural highlighter thanks to its ultra hydrating formula. Neither too dewy nor too matte, it blends into skin with ease.

3. Understanding Your Skin's Undertone to Find The Right Foundation

Our unique skin undertones impact more than our foundation shade. In fact, they can affect the way certain colors appear on our skin. Your skin’s reaction to the sun, the appearance of your veins, and the way you wear gold and silver can all point you in the direction of your true undertone.

When trying to determine your the undertone of your skin, consider these two methods:

Jewelry Test: Observe which metal looks best against your skin. If gold complements your skin more, you likely have a warm undertone. If silver does, then you're probably cool-toned.

Vein Test: The color of your veins can provide a clue. If your veins appear greenish, you likely have a warm undertone. If they appear blue or purple, you probably have a cool undertone. A mix of both might indicate a neutral undertone.

4. Process of Elimination of Mis-Matching Shades

While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the countless complexion shades available, we suggest categorizing them. First, consider if you are looking at light, medium, dark, or deep ranges? Once you narrow that down, the choices become easier.

Within each section, it's all about narrowing down the choices. Swatch a few options on your neck or cheek and consider which best blends with your skin.

5. Swatch Correctly

While it’s common practice to test shades on the back of your hand, our hands don't always accurately represent our face’s shade. For instance, our hands often get more sun, making them a shade or two different from our face or more prone to sun spots and unevenness.

Considering this, always swatch on your jawline, not the back of your hand. Look for the shade that seems to "disappear" into your skin.

6. Remember Your Undertone

When shopping for foundations, look for indicators in the product's name or description. For instance, an "N" usually signifies neutral undertones. Differentiating complexion products designed for neutral, warm, or cool undertones can help streamline your search.

  • complexion shade matching


    Get The Look: MAKE Holiday Makeup

    For many of us, office parties, family gatherings and the year’s end give reason to be more playful and overt in our presentation than we are throughout the year. Needless to say, our favorite way to channel the festive spirit is with a holiday makeup look. For those seeking holiday party makeup inspiration, look no further than founder and creative director of MAKE Beauty, Carrie Barber, for a lip and cheek look sure to stand out at your next soirée (or Home Alone screening).

    read more

    MAKE's Guide To Pulling Off A Dark Lip

    While attempting a dark lip can be intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. From plummy purples to rich burgundies and black, the look is less vampy and more festive. Whether you go grunge or editorial, selecting the right shade, perfecting your application, and pairing back the rest of your look will ensure you achieve a dark lip you’re comfortable in.
    read more

    MAKE’s Complexion Makeup Brush Guide

    Dense or fluffy? Flat or round? We know how confusing it can be to build an arsenal of makeup tools, and that’s why we’ve eliminated the guesswork with three essential brushes designed for targeted application and blending of all your complexion products.

    read more