Friday, 9 May 2014

Colour Matching for Pale Skin

Having pale skin need not be a nightmare when it comes to choosing makeup. I've struggled for years to find a foundation which matches my skin tone. The truth is, I've only just been made aware that I'm actually the most awkward skin tone of all - neutral. For years I thought I had pink undertones and I always bought NW from Mac. When a makeup artist told me I had more yellow tones to my fair skin I couldn't believe it - but she used a NC15 foundation on me and it looked so much better! After lots of test trials I've probably settled on the fact that I'm a mixture of pink and yellow tones, slightly leaning towards yellow, but making me a neutral.

The best way to find a foundation/concealer/powder that matches you well is to discover your skin's undertones. And don't just look at your face! I have naturally pink cheeks and sometimes redness around my nose but the skin on my arms, chest and neck is very different. Think about wearing a sleeveless dress, you want your foundation to compliment all of your body not just the (usually more pigmented) skin on your face. It took me a while to realise this is why I wasn't always 100% happy with my foundation.

Many brands don't offer enough choice in their paler skin shades, it's so difficult to find a pale foundation with yellow (or neutral) tones so I've been using my regular favourite, Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions in Fresh Alabaster (which yes is too pink for me) and mixing it with Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation in White. The white foundation is such a pigmented colour you only need a small amount to alter the shade of your regular foundation but it can prevent you from wasting expensive bottles of makeup just because you chose the wrong shade.

The above pictures show how much I use on a daily basis for my entire face. It's not very much but it's all I need. I mix the two foundations together on my hand using a finger. I did used to mix them with a brush but I was wasting so much product. With any foundation left on my finger I just pop it straight on to my skin. I used the Real Techniques buffing brush to work it in and that's it!

I can use as much or as little of the white foundation as suits, and create a custom colour that actually works for me. The Illamasqua Skin Base does change the formula of my Clinique Anti Blemish slightly - as it's such a pigmented white colour it can be a little drying but starting off with a moisturiser base and it's no issue.

I'd really like to hear about where you find your perfect colour match and if anyone has recommendations for a very fair foundation with yellow or neutral undertones please let me know - I can't personally use Mac because it breaks me out, so if you know of something that is water based and non-comedogenic that's even better!...



  1. I hate being colour matched too dark, it's ended up putting me off certain foundations and brands! Didn't realise there was a white foundation, I love the skin base too :) Fab idea for adjusting the shades!

    Zandra // AZTEC DOLL Fashion & Beauty Blog

  2. I'm really pale too so I completely understand what a pain it is to find the right colour, as well as the right formula foundation. It's a really good idea to add the white Illamasqua foundation to another to lighten it :) xxx Thou Shalt Not Covet

  3. Ooh girl I know this struggle all too well! Whenever I go for a foundation match they do it to my chin & then my super pale neck looks like a completely different colour! If you like Clinique foundations you should try their CC Cream in Very Light. It's got great coverage for such a light base, is very pale & neutral toned. I also really like the Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation in Soft Ivory. It's quite yellow toned so good for balancing out any redness xx

  4. Such a helpful post, thank you! I really struggle to find a foundation for my pale skin. Love the idea of mixing with the white! x

  5. Bobbi Brown do a lot of yellow toned foundations, check them out! :) x

  6. I've got similar tones to you - a mix of pink & yellow, and the more yellow foundations are my favourites!

  7. i always have problems finding foundation but I love the lightest shade of the Revlon Colourstay:)

  8. I always have to mix my foundations which is really annoying!
    I found a lightish shade by Rimmel and it was quite good!

    Laura- DemandBeauty xo

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  10. never have been able to find the perfect shade foundation, may have to try this! x
    That Fashion Victim Blog
    That Beauty Victim Blog

  11. I've heard of so many people mixing their own foundation recently but I have to admit I find that the Avons Colour Trend foundation in the lightest shade works perfectly for me! Blends really well into my skin and sits most of the day after applying powder.
    Lauren | OhHay Blogs!


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