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astronomalous

So many issues matching foundation to my neutral-ish undertone on fair skin

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Hi all, this is my first post here so hope this is in the right place!

 

So after years of just dealing with makeup that didn't match my skin, I decided I should finally find one that looks right. But three stores and like 6 foundation purchases since I've started trying to match it, that's way harder than it sounds, because the undertone always looks "off."

 

Believe me, I've tried all the vein tests, and the jewelry test, clothing colors and white test, they all seen to come up "neutral" or contradictory. I look better in gold, my veins are blue and green, I look okay in anything saturated and terrible in anything pastel, but best in camo green, mustard yellow or terra cotta, I can't tell anything from white paper, lavender blush (I know normally for cool tones) makes my skin pop, and my natural hair color has ranged from almost-black to dark brown with some gold strands over the seasons. On top of that, my partner and I have similar coloring in almost all other ways, but next to him, it's clear that I'm not pink-undertone. Color theory doesn't seem to want to help me out here.

 

Every time I've tried to get matched at a makeup counter (or using the machine at sephora), they almost always put me in cool makeup because I'm so light and it looks decent in the store, and I get home and it's always WAY too pink. Like looks like I mixed peony blush in my foundation pink. So I had someone match me to a warmer shade. To me, that looked a little too yellow but mostly too "dark," even in the lightest shade available.

 

So I went into makeup store today and a lovely man there painted like 8 or 10 samples of all kinds on me and lent me a mirror to go out into the sunlight with, and I finally noticed something: all the makeup, regardless of coverage, seemed far too "colored" for my skin. No matter whether it was too pink or too yellow, my own skin looked like this ashy, greyish (greenish? blueish?) color in comparison. It reminded me of ricepaper. It seemed like there was an undertone there, it just was neither pink nor yellow/gold.

 

What does this strange ghastly color mean for undertones?? How do I find a foundation for it? Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks!

Edited by astronomalous

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Hi!

 

Welcome to MUT! I used to be matched to cool colors as well. I'm fair with red undertones. I've found on my own that foundations with neutral or even yellow undertones work way better for me. I would check out fair neutral tones and see if you can find a match. Bobbi Brown foundations have more yellow/neutral tones. Sounds like the foundations that were tried on you were not the right color. If the color is too light, it will show us as ghostly. Korean skin care has great BB creams that have light but neutral undertone. I like BB creams for quick daily foundation that looks natural and doesn't look like full face makeup. Have you tried BB/CC creams and see how those look? They are usually more neutral in color.

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Hi!

 

I haven't tried Bobbi Brown, but I've tried a few bb/cc creams and they mostly are too orangey/yellowy. But about the ghostly look, what I noticed was that compared to all the tones I tried, my bare skin looked greyish-greenish and so kind of ghastly, and kind of strange next to both pink and yellow undertones.

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Hi!

 

I haven't tried Bobbi Brown, but I've tried a few bb/cc creams and they mostly are too orangey/yellowy. But about the ghostly look, what I noticed was that compared to all the tones I tried, my bare skin looked greyish-greenish and so kind of ghastly, and kind of strange next to both pink and yellow undertones.

Do you exfoliate regularly? Exfoliation helps for the foundation to go on more evenly and regular exfoliation helps with the skin looking greyish. Proper prep with a moisturizer is important too. I noticed when I forget to exfoliate, my makeup doesn't look as good.

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I suspect you are fair with OLIVE tones, very difficult to get a good match. Few foundations offer proper olive tones, virtually none in the lightest shades. Olive is very confusing, it's primarily a green undertone, and no one knows what to do with it. When you apply a foundation over the face that doesn't match well, one tends to look sickly and/or unnatural.

 

NYX makes a series of foundation mixers to correct tones, including an olive one (it's only $10). If you decide to try this, you'd need to start with a neutral tone foundation too light for you (since the mixer will darken it). The technique of applying stripes and checking in natural light is the correct one. You may already have the right "base" to start with.

 

Re: color types, yeah, it can be challenging. My fave site is https://12blueprints.com/; she doesn't limit types by eye color or hair color or whatever. I recently realized that under her system I'm a Bright Winter, which is why the usual advice to older women to soften their makeup (pale pink, brown, boring!) works for me only if I'm auditioning for The Walking Dead. Over the years I'd come to describe my skin tone as "fair neutral leaning cool," which doesn't mean I want/need a foundation that is PINK, ick! But obvious yellow is just as bad. In the 12 Blueprints, the "seasons" are a continuum; to oversimplify, the "neighbor" types share a bit... For example, Bright Winter is "next door" to Spring, and it takes the very cool, very blue colors of True Winter and adds "a drop of sunshine" (yellow), as well as punching up the intensity. I always wondered why I could wear insanely bright colors and look NORMAL. In fact, I look SICK in pastels (muted/greyed; icy, now those can work). Re: skin tone, the overlap means that the skin of a Bright Winter is still primarily cool, but has elements of warmth, to be more "neutral" with a slight coolness. I can't wear orange, but peach is OK (not my best, but OK)... though the right coral lipstick (toward pink not orange) is great.

 

Hope this helps, good luck!

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Whoa, I didn't even know being fair with olive was a thing? I always thought olive was specific to medium to tan shades. Maybe that's why the best way I could describe it is ghastly-translucent blueish greenish "glow in the dark toy that's not glowing."

 

I'll have to go pick up some of that NYX, but I have trouble finding a light enough shade as is! But it sounds like a good idea.

 

But yeah, I'll check out the seasons thing. I never could find out where I fit in that. By virtue of having really dark hair and really pale skin, and by virtue of not "tanning instead of burning," I always figured I was a cool winter, but under some red acne scarring I was never really pink!

 

But yes, like you, I look terrible and SICK in pastels and certain browns, but I always thought I was just a fair-skin thing! I look best in saturated colors, but best in things that are high saturation low value, like forest green or rich yellow ochre or deep raspberry.

 

Would anyone know of any good examples of photo databases or celebrities with fair-green skin so I can compare?

 

Thanks so much for the help!

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Hi!

 

Welcome to MUT! I used to be matched to cool colors as well. I'm fair with red undertones. I've found on my own that foundations with neutral or even yellow undertones work way better for me. I would check out fair neutral tones and see if you can find a match. Bobbi Brown foundations have more yellow/neutral tones. Sounds like the foundations that were tried on you were not the right color. If the color is too light, it will show us as ghostly. Korean skin care has great BB creams that have light but neutral undertone. I like BB creams for quick daily foundation that looks natural and doesn't look like full face makeup. Have you tried BB/CC creams and see how those look? They are usually more neutral in color.

In addition to this, I would recommend a radiance primer - you might want to try a sample of the Make Up For Ever blue primer. This is still a study in color theory but could offset some of the yellow undertone.

As a fellow fair gal, I highly recommend the Bobbi Brown shade of Alabaster.

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As an extremely fair neutral (there aren't many brands that go light enough for me) I feel your pain!  I am inclined to agree with the poster above though - it sounds to me as though you're fair olive.  Have you tried mixing foundations? If you're willing to make the investment in two products, you could get the lightest olive-undertone foundation you can find and a white mixer (Ilamasqua, Cover Fx, and a few others make them - I want to say NYX does as well but I'm not certain) and customize.

Good luck!

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So on some advice I found, I got some samples of supposedly "green undertone" fair foundations recommended from various places on the internet, and tested them. I'll post some pictures I took in sunlight and shadow here. From bottom (elbow) to top they are: (1) MUFE water blend Y225, (2) MUFE HD foundation Y225 (the predecessor to this color was widely recommended as green undertone, but I couldn't see the green in it at all), (3) MUFE HD foundation Y205, (4) Bobbi Brown skin foundation in 0, (5) Bobbi Brown skin foundation in 1, (6) MAC mineralize foundation in NW13, (7) MAC water weight foundation in NW15.

 

(I did test them on my face as well, but I couldn't get a very good picture of it so I tested them on my arm, which is a bit pinker than my face.) Now obviously, most of these foundations are just way too dark for me personally. But also, most of them are just way too orange or too pink, rather than being yellowy, or greenish-blueish like my skin is.

 

Does anyone have any advice on where to go from here?

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Looks like the third from the bottom looks like a closest match. Did you try it on the whole face and see what it looks like?

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I'm incredibly pale, and so is my sister who is more warm toned than me, and we've had a lot of luck with Catrice foundations in their palest shades! If you can find that brand where you live :) They're also cheap which is great! I struggled for so long to find shades light enough.

Edited by TriTri
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@@astronomalous you're on the right path... Just a couple of things though...

 

Clearly you have a neutral undertone. I suggest getting a neutral foundation palette from either RCMA, Cinema Secrets, Kryolan, Joe Blasco, and Graftobian.  Yes you'll have between 6 to 24 neutral shades for Caucasian skintones, which will be great for seasonal changes etc. 

 

If you find these at a make-up supply store, they can give you a consultation, if not and you buy online, you'll have to swatch at home like you are doing now, on your face in daylight corrected light, (not in direct sunlight) For example, if sunlight is coming through a window into a room with white walls, swatch where there is no direct sunlight on a wall. But sounds like you're doing it correctly anyway.

 

Yes these foundations are creme based, but they all have a silky smooth texture which is very easy to work. and they all have a similar price point which is comparable to counter brands like Bobbi Brown, Eve Pearl, Guerlain, Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani, Face Atelier etc. So it won't break your wallet.

 

Unfortunately counter brands don't offer a huge range or selection of neutral shades in their foundation franchises.

 

Another option is to use adjusters to your current foundation. They have words like pigment, shade, colour, foundation, chromatic before the word adjuster. Using these are a bit time consuming as mixing is trial-and-error, the results are not that consistent if you're new to these, plus there is product wastage in trying to find the exact match, but if you find the right adjuster mix to foundation ratio you're good to go, just make sure you write down the recipe for next time, or if you're comfortable with using them, using visual cues / memory will work just as well. 

 

 

Just some options. hope this helps.

Edited by makeupbyomar
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