Depending on who you ask, you’ll probably learn a brand-new way to find your perfect foundation match. Chances are their methods will be about as complex as swatching it on the middle knuckle of your index finger under a blacklight at exactly 12:03 p.m. while singing the alphabet backward in French. Add determining your undertone in there, and you have an all-day foundation-matching affair. Luckily, Nam Vo, a New York City-based makeup artist who’s taken Instagram by storm this year, has an easy way to find your shade. The reasoning behind it makes so much sense that you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it first.
Instead of matching the shade of your foundation to the usual spots people list off — like your jaw, neck, or the back of your hand — Vo suggests swatching it on the highest point of your cheekbone, the same place where you sweep on highlighter. She considers this area as the “median” skin tone of your complexion.
Think of your face like a burnt piece of toast. The perimeter of your face, including your forehead and chin, are the darkest due to sun exposure. So matching your foundation to your jaw might look too dark when blended all over your face. The center of your face, on the other hand, is lighter — the high points of your cheekbones being the part of your face with the least amount of discoloration and truest to your skin tone.
This same thought process applies to Katie Jane Hughes’s concealer-matching trick. She finds her perfect shade by swatching under-eye concealer on the area between your nose and the apple of your cheek because it’s the part of the face with the least amount of redness. In other words, “it’s the most neutral-toned part of your face,” she told Allure.
With all this in mind, whatever foundation shade matches the high point of your cheek will look the most flattering on you. It won’t be too light, too dark, too pink, or too yellow. “It’s that middle-of-the-road place,” Vo adds.
Read more about finding your perfect base makeup shades:
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