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Picking the Best Foundation for Your Skin Tone

In this A Bullseye View series, we’ll ask the experts from Target’s Beauty Concierge program to offer beauty tips and tricks. First up: Finding the right foundation for your skin tone.

Like Goldilocks in search of the perfect porridge, picking the best foundation for your skin tone can be a tricky game of chance. Too light, too dark, too warm—it’s not quite right. But you need a solid, ahem, foundation for the rest of your makeup to look naturally flawless.

LA-based Target Beauty Concierge and a MAC Cosmetics alum, Jacqueline Buca, has a few tips for finding the right shade and how it apply it like a pro.

How to Select the Best Foundation

1. Color Theory—Find Your Undertone
The first thing you want to do is determine if your complexion has warm (yellow), cool (pink) or neutral undertones. One trick is to look at the veins in your wrist—if they appear blue or purple, you’re cool; green or olive, you’re warm and if they’re a mix of both, you’re neutral.

2. Select Your Coverage
Do you want full, medium, partial or sheer coverage? How much of your natural skin do you want to show through your foundation? You’ll find foundation colors in all different types of coverage, so decide what finish you like best.

3. Test—Does it Disappear?
Once you’ve determined your tone, pick out a few colors to try. Make sure you test the foundations along your jawline in several lighting environments The right color of foundation will essentially disappear onto your skin. That’s your match! For people with richer skin tones, match to the center of your T-zone—the area around your forehead, nose and mouth.

4. Create Custom Color
If you’re having trouble deciding between two similar shades, I recommend you go with the lighter option because you can always add a little custom color with bronzer or blush.

Now, Apply What You Learned. Literally.
3 steps to applying your foundation

1. Using a brush to apply your foundation will help you use less and make the application smoother. I prefer Sonia Kashuk’s multi-purpose brush. Achieve an airbrushed look by using circular motions.

2. Dot three dabs of foundation across your forehead, two on each cheek and two on your chin. Blend the product down from the forehead across the bridge of your nose. To build coverage, you can layer on just a touch of full-coverage foundation. Be sure to clean your brush after each use to avoid the cake-y look.

Tip: Depending on your desired coverage, BB creams are great because they’re a primer, light moisturizer and tinted foundation all in one. I like Revlon PhotoReady BB Cream because it isn’t too watery and Maybelline Dream Fresh because it comes in many shades, giving you a truer match.

3. Dip a fluffy brush, like Sonia Kashuk’s large powder brush, into powder with a packing motion, not a swirl. Set your T-zone with powder using the same packing motion. For oily skin, be sure to set the foundation with a translucent powder like Neutrogena Shine Control.

Have your own tips and tricks for choosing the right foundation? Tell us in the comment section below!

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