A frequently asked question in my DMs. my email, my comment section and just about the internet as a whole is “How do I find a drugstore foundation match?” and I get it. It’s hard when most drugstores don’t provide samples for you to swatch a shade and match. Over the years I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks for finding the perfect match at the drugstore.
FIGURE OUT YOUR UNDERTONES: Knowing your undertone is going to be uber helpful when it comes to looking at foundations, You can get a pretty good idea from there where to look. If you have a cool undertone, staying with a foundation that pulls pink is going to likely work well for you. The quickest and easiest way to figure out your undertones is by looking at the veins in your wrist.
- Purple & Blue veins: Cool Undertone
- Blue / Green, Blue, or Green veins: Neutral
- Green & Brown/Green veins: Warm
Another way is to simply just look at your complexion.
- Pink tones and skin that burns if it even sees a hint of the sun? You’re likely a cool undertone.
- You’re a little bit of cool and warm. Maybe slightly olive. Sometimes you tan but if left out your burn? You’re probably neutral.
- Yellow tones and tanning has never been an issue for you? Your undertone is warm.
USE ANOTHER FOUNDATION: Technology has come a long way and some super smart people have created ways to take your current foundation and put it into a search box and have it spit out what shade you are in almost every other foundation out there. This is especially helpful if you’ve been color matched before and have a foundation you know works.
- The Foundation Matrix: Temptalia, the OG of beauty blogging, created this a while back and I have used it hundreds and hundreds of time. She makes it so easy. You can legit put in one foundation and have it pick out the shade in the foundation you want. This one has never done me wrong!
- Findation: Meg from Meg O on The Go actually told me about this one and it’s come in in a pinch for me at times!
MATCH IT TO YOUR NECK OR CHEST: Treat it in the bottle in the same way you would if it were an actual swatch. Matching it to your hand or wrist likely won’t get you close enough to what’s going to look right on your face. That said, this only works if the drugstore brand wasn’t a jerk and you can actually see it in the bottle. Use your front facing camera as a mirror if one isn’t available. And specifically in Target or Walmart… you want to head out of the beauty aisle. If you’re in a Walmart head to the meat section where it’s super open, that’s where the lighting is best. In Target? Usually where the kids clothing is or electronics sections have the best lighting. So do your thing and head on out to get the best match.
REMEMBER YOU CAN RETURN IT: If you just can’t figure it out, pick 1-3 that you think are good. Head out to the parking lot and swatch in the order of what you think will work. Ideally, you get lucky and don’t even have to open the other two. However don’t be afraid if you need to open them all most every drugstore will take back cosmetics even if they’re open. So if all else fails, you’re good to return it.
GET MATCHED: So one of the best things you can do for yourself, in my opinion, is to go see someone at a counter in a department store or Sephora and just get matched to any whatever foundation. You don’t even have to buy it. It will just allow you to use the tools above, like the Foundation Matrix, and easily find your drugstore match.
I really hope that this post was helpful for you! Drugstore foundations are some of my absolute favorites. See some of the best drugstore foundations below!