Got one too many containers of "not-quite-right" foundation shoved in the back of your makeup drawer? Jeni Lee, a Cincinnati makeup artist, recommends following these tips when shopping for a suitable shade:
Match your neck. Forget the old wrist test―the skin there doesn't really match your face. Try sampling foundations on your neck or jawline, instead.
Wear a white shirt or another pale color. Primary colors, like red, reflect onto the face and throw off your true complexion.
Step outside. The fluorescent lights in stores don't give a good read. Take a hand mirror to check the color outside or near a window.
Go creamy. Liquid, water-based foundations don't blend as well as cream foundations, and must be applied onto your entire face to look even. If you have dry skin, use a hydrating moisturizer before applying foundation. If your skin is oily, apply foundation only where necessary―use a damp sponge for light coverage, then set with translucent powder. Blot throughout the day with oil-absorbing sheets.
Shop wisely. Most drugstores don't offer testers, and determining the foundation's true color through the bottle can be difficult. "If you can't test it, don't buy it," Lee says. "Foundation is one cosmetic worth buying at the department store."