In Between Shades? Go Darker.

Anonymous asks whether to go a shade lighter or darker when matching foundation if you’re an in-between shade.


Well, first of all, solving your problem may be as easy changing where you match your foundation to.  To find out if you’ve been doing it wrong all these years, check out my article on MBB: What’s the Best Place to Match Your Foundation? If you’re lazy and don’t like clicking, here’s the quick synopsis:

  • Match to your chest. Think about it. You want your face to look relatively in tone with the rest of your skin. As long as you don’t live in the 18th century and have to endure having lace tickle your chin every waking moment, I’m assuming that you wear shirts that expose part of your décolletage from time to time. By matching your foundation to your chest, you are matching it to a part of your skin that receives relatively the same amount of sun as your face, has a much more even tone than many other parts of the body, and should age rather similarly to your face.

If you’re still in that unfortunate state where brands just don’t seem to carry an exact shade, I always advise going darker.  Choosing a paler shade can make you look washed out and sickly, which no one wants.  A difference in shade is more discernible when the face is lighter than the body, whereas a darker face may just look as if you got a bit of sun.

If you can take the time and have the patience, it’s always preferable to mix shades to achieve the appropriate tone.  This is the easiest with liquid foundations, slightly difficult with cremes, and potentially impossible with powders.

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