The Easiest Way To Find Your Perfect Foundation Shade

Confession time. I have a love/hate relationship with makeup. I love the way I can use it to change up my look, cover blemishes and just have fun. I hate how hard it can be to find the right shades that work with my skin tone. Now that I think about it, that could be the reason I tend to buy the same makeup over and over.

For years I’ve been wearing the Mary Kay Mineral Powder Foundation in Bronze 3. I like the foundation, but it’s a loose powder and isn’t easy to travel with. It can be pretty messy. Especially if you’re trying to apply it in a moving car.

The best way to find your foundation match |

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Now that I’m doing more traveling I decided it was time to change my foundation. I also came to the realization that I’d been wearing the same shade for years and it wasn’t as good a match anymore.

This led me on a hunt for a pressed powder foundation. I decided on a pressed powder because I prefer powder foundations because of the bad skin reactions I’ve had in the past with liquid foundations. I also prefer medium to full coverage with more emphasis on the medium. Most of the time I don’t have a lot on my face that I’m trying to cover up or fix.

As part of my foundation hunt, I did some review reading of various pressed powder foundations carried by Ulta. I ended up purchasing some compacts from the brands that had better reviews. The one thing that tripped me up was finding the right shade.

In the past, I’ve tried all of the tips and tricks for finding my perfect foundation shade. I’ve mixed colors, tested the foundation on my arm, on my hand, on my jaw, and on my cheek. You name it. But none of those things worked. The Mary Kay Mineral Powder shade Bronze 3 I’d been wearing was matched by a Mary Kay consultant.

Based on the shade finders each brand had online it seems I’m not an easy match. I’m not considered medium or dark toned. I’m a little more in between. While I’m a warm tone I skew a little bit neutral. Finding this out led me to buy various different brands and one or two shades from each for a total of six foundations. I tried all of them. Guess what happened. None of the shades worked. Most of them were too light or too neutral so they made my skin look ashy.

Makeup shade matching at Sephora |

In my defense, some of the shades that were too light were actually a step up from what the brand’s shade finders recommended or were the darkest shade they offered. Well, all of the foundations went right back to the store.

I decided to try Sephora and actually go to the store. In the past, I’ve found their sales people to be really helpful. I went to the store knowing which brand I wanted to buy, the Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation, but not having a clue about the shade. The sales lady I talked to used Color iQ their shade match tool to help me find my shade. Let me say, this shade match tool is pretty awesome.

Because I had foundation on that day, she scanned the surface of the skin on my neck with the tool. The tool provides a four-digit number that you can use to find your perfect shade in any brand Sephora carries.

The Color iQ tool determined that my Cover FX shade was G100 but they didn’t carry that shade in the store. I could have ordered it online but didn’t want to wait for it to be delivered so I asked if they had another matte-pressed powder foundation. They did. It was the Sephora Collection Matte Perfection Powder Foundation.

After applying a little of the foundation as a test, we determined that the shade I was matched with was a bit too neutral so we picked 66 Mocha Spice which is a shade with some red undertones.

The next day when I applied the foundation I was so amazed. The color was just right. I’ve gotten a few compliments about how good my skin looked and that they couldn’t believe I was wearing makeup (almost makes me wonder what my skin looked like before.)

Since the Sephora Color iQ tool can help find your makeup shade for more than foundation whenever I’m in the market for a new makeup shade I’ll be checking with Sephora first.

How did you find your current foundation shade? Share your tips in the comments below.


  1. I had no idea Sephora had that sort of tool! I will have to try it out, I always seem to pick out the wrong color.

    1. I was always picking the wrong color too. Even if a sales person would help it would take a while for us to find a shade that works. The Color iQ tool is so great! I wish other stores offered a similar service.