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How to Choose and Buy Foundation Online

by Sandy Taylor


While I adore online shopping, when it comes to makeup, I’m always struggling with my purchases. While in-store shopping is great, I can’t just hit Sephora every time I need foundation or any other makeup piece. For some reason, buying a good foundation online is the hardest task for me (and my friends came across the same problem). But, there are some steps you can take in order to pick your perfect foundation without wasting your entire Saturday on shopping downtown and battling crowds!

What’s your skin type?

First things first, you must read your skin and understand your skin tone in order to pick the best shade of foundation. A good place to start is seeing whether your skin tone (or undertone) is more cool or warm. Don’t look at your skin and freak out because you’re neither cool nor warm—your skin just looks like skin! Well, think about what neutral shades look best with your complexion. If you look best in pure whites and blacks, you’re cool toned. But, if shades like ivory, cream and brown/tan look better, you have a warm skin undertone.

Your eye and hair color can also help. Girls who are ‘cool’ often have green, gray and blue eyes and blonde, brown or black hair while ‘warm’ girls often have brown, hazel or amber eyes with strawberry, red, brown or black hair. Also, do you tan easily or just burn in the sun? Does your skin get that nice golden hue or do you turn pink before you see any color? If you can, you’re probably warm-toned and if you burn, you’re probably cool-toned. Since many foundations online have labels that state whether they are ‘warm’, ‘cool’ or ‘neutral’, so you’ll have a much easier time picking out your perfect shade. Whether your skin is oily or dry also matters in your choice.

What effect are you trying to achieve?

Before you dive into the world of makeup on the Internet, it’s important to figure out what you want from your foundation. Do you want a formula that provides full coverage or do you want something that will give your skin some color? Also, are you aiming for a rock-a-billy meets pin-up look or do you usually go for that dewy chic boho look? Your coverage and your finish preference will definitely help you with choosing the right foundation and give you the best results. This is something that’s completely unique for you and depends solely on your preference. And, you will still look like what you’re used to seeing instead of getting a heart attack every time you see a stranger in the mirror.

During this strep, I personally turn to YouTube and knowledgeable beauty bloggers. This way, you can see exactly the look and the coverage certain products achieve and you can figure out what kind of look you’re aiming for. You can also check out Reddit and it r/MakeupAddiction thread where you can find recommendations from regular girls just trying to help and share their precious advice. Some might even make an effort to shade match you (even though it’s really tough through a computer screen).

Did you do your research?

While every person perceives things differently and has different expectations and standards, you still might want to look at the reviews online. However, don’t pay attention to those angry reviews that have nothing useful to offer and concentrate on constructive ones. You can also check out some professional makeup artists and see their reviews. Influencers are heavily controlled by companies who sponsor them, but someone how’s a career artist will give you an honest and objective opinion.

Did you check out some foundation matching tools?

Did you ever discover a new makeup foundation online just to realize you can’t match it with the shades you’re currently using? You probably did, but that’s okay. Once again, the Internet is here to help with its variety of foundation matching tools.  For instance, MatchMyMakeup will allow you to match shades from various different brands of makeup. If you’re using Fenty Beauty, you just type it into their foundation matching tool and it will instantly provide you with dozens of color matches from other brands.

Did you check whether they take returns?

This is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received. If it seems like you’re somewhere between the two shades, just get them both. Some stores like Nordstrom and Sephora accept returns and allow you to shop more comfortably without the fear of being stuck with products you don’t like. This will certainly help you, especially until you find your one-and-only foundation and are still in the phase of searching for your match.

No matter what you do, getting foundation without testing it is always a bit of a gamble. However, these tips will definitely help you find your match faster and without wasting too much money on wrong products.


About the Author: Fiona Wood is a lifestyle blogger based in Melbourne, Australia. She is a fan of beauty, fashion, and healthy lifestyle. In spare time, she plays tennis and travels around the world.

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