Picking Your Perfect Shades – Your Guide to Success at the Makeup Counter

By on September 2, 2014, in Beauty Knowledge Center, Soft Surroundings

We have the foolproof tips to test, buy & love your makeup before you leave the store!




Makeup 101
Before browsing the cosmetics counter, it’s important to keep a couple of tips in mind. Makeup is meant to enhance, not distract from your own natural beauty. You want people to see you, not your makeup. Testing products in natural light is the best way to ensure your makeup looks luminous and gorgeous, not heavy-handed or garishly hued. Simply ask the associate if you can take the mirror outside for a daylight test. And always use disposable wands, applicators and sponges for the most germ-free testing.


Foundation Situation
Foundation is not meant to be seen. It should be invisible, finessing imperfections and creating flawless, glowing, natural-looking skin. To avoid that harsh, telltale line of demarcation, you must match your foundation to your neck. The best way to do that is to test foundation along your jawline or on your neck to make sure it’s completely seamless. Your clavicle is another great spot to test your shade.

shades of beauty

Shades of Beauty
As a starting point, avoid pinkish-hued foundations which don’t blend with most complexions. Fairer skins do best with ecru, buff or beige. Mid-toned skins like light olive, tan and Asian have warm undertones, so medium or golden foundations are best. African American women want to avoid products with high levels of titanium dioxide, which can make darker skins look ashy. Look for shades of tan, sand or sable. Remember to recheck your foundation as the seasons change. You may need a slightly darker foundation in the summer months.


The Deal with Concealer
Concealer is typically best tested where you need it… under eyes, on blemishes or dark spots. But you can cheat a little with dark circles and test your under-eye concealer on the blue veins of your wrist. Remember, different-colored concealers cover different concerns. Warm, peachy tones cancel out the blues of dark circles. Green-hued formulas neutralize redness and blemishes. Dark spots are best covered with a tone that’s one shade lighter than your foundation.


I’m Blushing
With blush, the goal is to find that shade that mimics your natural flush, so it looks natural, not painted on. One tip is to pick a shade that matches your natural lipcolor. Tonally, a blush that’s in the same color family as your lipstick will give you a fresh, harmonious look. Be sure to wear your foundation for blush testing since the product will look differently on clean skin. At the store, smile and test blush on the apples of your cheeks for the most natural, rosy glow.


Lipstick Shtick
Instead of swiping lipstick after lipstick on the back of your hand, try testing on your fingertips which are more pink and closer in hue to your natural lipcolor. First find your best nude shade, great for daytime. The ideal hue will be a just-bitten shade just a touch darker than your natural color. Your a.m. lipcolor will give you a clue as to whether warm or cool tones suit you best, making it easier to pick a stronger p.m. lipcolor based on the undertones. Keep in mind that lighter colors tend to make lips look fuller. Of course, you can also go with a color-shifting lipstick that self-adjusts to your pH to guarantee the perfect shade!


The Eyes Have It
Eyeshadow is one product you can test on the back of your hand. Even better, try the inside of your wrist which is lighter, like your eyelids. A simple bend of the wrist will tell if the shadow can pass the no-crease test. Eyeliner can also be tested on the back of your hand. After a moment, drag your finger across the line to see if it smears. A little smudging is good for a smoky eye, but if it completely wipes away, it won’t have much staying power on your eyes.