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Selecting The Right Color Foundation


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          This week’s column will help you in selecting the right color foundation for your skin undertones. There are three categories of undertones that a person can fall into: red, yellow, and olive. To determine what undertone you are, you must first look at the undertones of your selected foundation. Pour out some foundation onto a plate or even your hand, and spread it. You’re not focusing on how light or dark the shade is; you’re focusing to see what the base color of the foundation is.  You’ll most likely see a red or yellow color in the depths of the foundation. Only a couple of companies make foundation with a green undertone in it. Therefore, chances are, if you have an olive undertone, you may have to find and add a green color corrector into a yellow-based foundation, so you don’t end up looking jaundice.

Now for the test: take a drop of the foundation on the plate, dip your finger into it, and rub a small strip onto the inner part of your arm. Again, don’t worry if the color is the deepest shade.  After gently rubbing it in, does it look like the color would “disappear” into the arm had the shade been the right one?  If you notice after testing a color that it is yellow and just sits there, you probably have a red undertone, and vice versa.

Now that you’ve determined what undertone you are, choose the shade or shades closest to the skin on your face as your eyes perceive it. Swipe the shade you feel is closest to your skin on the side of your jawline and neck – if the color completely disappears into your neck, then that’s your color. You want the color to “disappear” into the neck so there is no line of demarcation and no need to apply foundation past your face area.  Another suggestion: while you are in the store doing a swatch test, go outside with a mirror and look at your face in the natural light (not direct sunlight) – this will help you see if the color is a true match or a shade too light or too dark.

Sharona Silva is a makeup artist, specializing in airbrush makeup, who works in the New York City area. Sharona recently launched her own skin care line for all types of skin. Please submit questions to tips@sharonasilva.com. Questions may be used in future columns; all inquiries will remain anonymous. Visit www.sharonasilva.com for more information.

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Dear Sharona,

I am in my late 20′s and have heavy lids and small bags under my eyes. As I am still young and get plenty of rest, doctors have told me that it is genetic. My trouble with concealing the bags is not with the coloring (like people with dark circles) as much as it is with how to make the bags look smaller or less puffy and my eyes bigger. What are your suggestions?

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Dear Sharona,

I have very prominent eyes; I was wondering what color and or style of makeup would suit me? I have dark brown hair and brown eyes, and medium-deep skin tone. I rarely put on makeup and if I do, it’s only on my eyes. I am looking forward to reading your suggestions.

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