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How do you tell if a foundation is too dark/too light?

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I went to Macy's yesterday, to the Clinique counter to get a new foundation because I absolutely love Clinique for everything skin, and I like dept. store makeup much better than drugstore, and Clinique is the cheapest.

 

Anyway, I said what I was looking for in a foundation, and the woman suggested the dual foundation and concealer for me since I like moderate to full coverage and a matte finish. She then matched me and did up my entire face, and said the color she was using...but when I came home and opened the box, I saw a very dark foundation, and looking online, it's the darkest they offer in this line. It's called Clove, and I swear she said my match was Amber. There are 2 shades between the two, so I know I can't be good with both.

 

After washing my face to remove what had been on it, I decided to do my face up half and half -- half with the new Clinique in Clove, and half in my old foundation, Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H in 460W Suede. The Lancome looked like it might be a little light since it gave me an ashier look, and the Clinique was hard for me to tell.

 

So, how do I know? Should I go back and get re-matched by someone else to be sure I get the right color? Or what? 

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I don't actually have an answer to your questions, but this is interesting because I recently had the same experience. I was at Macy's on Saturday looking at Estee Lauder Doublewear foundation and the women gave me a sample of it in Ivory Beige. I had been looking at paler colors. I'm a redhead and always head toward the lightest shade in the line. The foundation looks to dark when I first put it on my face, but once I buff it out I like it. I've actually been wearing it all week. 

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I don't actually have an answer to your questions, but this is interesting because I recently had the same experience. I was at Macy's on Saturday looking at Estee Lauder Doublewear foundation and the women gave me a sample of it in Ivory Beige. I had been looking at paler colors. I'm a redhead and always head toward the lightest shade in the line. The foundation looks to dark when I first put it on my face, but once I buff it out I like it. I've actually been wearing it all week. 

 

Interesting.

 

It just shocks me that I'd be the darkest shade in the line...yes I'm black, but my skin really isn't that dark! Maybe it's just that Clinique is one of those brands that isn't really catered to darker skin tones...I know that definitely used to the case which is why I went towards higher end brands like Estee Lauder and Lancome.

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Interesting.

 

It just shocks me that I'd be the darkest shade in the line...yes I'm black, but my skin really isn't that dark! Maybe it's just that Clinique is one of those brands that isn't really catered to darker skin tones...I know that definitely used to the case which is why I went towards higher end brands like Estee Lauder and Lancome.

 

Good point. I'm not that familiar with Clinique, but it does seem like it's taken a really long time for some older more established brands to realize women's skin comes in a wide range of colors. I looked up the Clove color in Google images and if that's their darkest color I think they have a way to go. It looks like a warm brown to me. 

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I like doing the neck test along with snapping a picture of me-- if it looks a little off, you know it is not the right color. (I was told this from a former MAC Artist that now does make-up for a reality TV show). 

 

Hope that helps

XOXO

Edited by Reija
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Good point. I'm not that familiar with Clinique, but it does seem like it's taken a really long time for some older more established brands to realize women's skin comes in a wide range of colors. I looked up the Clove color in Google images and if that's their darkest color I think they have a way to go. It looks like a warm brown to me. 

 

Yeah, Clove isn't dark at all! It's too dark for me, but I'm not very dark in the world of black people!

 

But anyway, I went back -- this time to the counter in the Bonton and got color matched -- again, to Amber. And the lady did half my face in Amber and half in Clove so I could see the whole picture better, and the difference was quite obvious...and it made me sure that I was given the wrong one (Clove) yesterday at Macy's. So then I went back to Macy's and said that I was just there yesterday and was matched to Amber but was actually given Clove, and they apologized and exchanged it for the right one. And it is definitely the right one! I have skin that's pretty hard to match, but this one is on the money. The only way you can really tell I'm wearing makeup is that my face looks too perfect to be bare.

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Yeah, Clove isn't dark at all! It's too dark for me, but I'm not very dark in the world of black people!

 

But anyway, I went back -- this time to the counter in the Bonton and got color matched -- again, to Amber. And the lady did half my face in Amber and half in Clove so I could see the whole picture better, and the difference was quite obvious...and it made me sure that I was given the wrong one (Clove) yesterday at Macy's. So then I went back to Macy's and said that I was just there yesterday and was matched to Amber but was actually given Clove, and they apologized and exchanged it for the right one. And it is definitely the right one! I have skin that's pretty hard to match, but this one is on the money. The only way you can really tell I'm wearing makeup is that my face looks too perfect to be bare.

 

Well that was probably more work then it should have been, but I'm glad you got it sorted out and have the right foundation now. :)

 

I think my issue is that I think I'm paler than I actually am. I'm a redhead, but I'm one of those redheads that tans and doesn't have freckles. I would have never picked this foundation shade on my own, but I'm really happy with it. She did give me about a two week supply, which is awesome. Pretty sure I'll be picking up a bottle during the Sephora VIB 20% off sale next week.

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Well that was probably more work then it should have been, but I'm glad you got it sorted out and have the right foundation now. :)

 

I think my issue is that I think I'm paler than I actually am. I'm a redhead, but I'm one of those redheads that tans and doesn't have freckles. I would have never picked this foundation shade on my own, but I'm really happy with it. She did give me about a two week supply, which is awesome. Pretty sure I'll be picking up a bottle during the Sephora VIB 20% off sale next week.

 

I do have the right color, but I don't actually like the foundation :( It's not matte enough for me...I like a super matte finish. So I'll be returning it for sure.

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I do have the right color, but I don't actually like the foundation :( It's not matte enough for me...I like a super matte finish. So I'll be returning it for sure.

 

This is why I prefer buying eye shadow. So much easier. 

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I never trust anyone at the store (any store) to help me with color matching anymore, because they always urge me to get a shade that is too dark (dear store employees... pro tip: I am always the lightest shade, trust me)

 

Anyways! The best ways I have found to color match is to test the color on your neck or inner wrist, check your reflection in the car visor mirror (sounds silly, but it works!), or take a selfie in natural lighting... or all of the above! ^_^ Also, keep in mind that certain foundations can oxidize darker than their initial application. Hope that helps!

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