The best foundation for pale skin according to Marie Claire’s beauty team (and how to find your undertone)


Struggling to find a shade light enough for your skin tone? We’ve got you covered

Trying to find the best foundation for pale skin hasn’t always been the easiest of tasks. As a teenager, you probably remember all too well not being able to find a high street buy that didn’t leave you with an orange jawline. Ah, the streaks.

Thankfully, these days foundation shade ranges are so much broader and better that we have no doubt your perfect match of the best foundation is out there.

How to find the perfect undertone for your complexion

‘Firstly, it’s good to have an idea about your undertone, whether your skin has warm yellow tones or pinky cool tones under the skin,’ explains Bobbi Brown Pro Artist Aimee Morrison. ‘There are several ways to find out. For example, if you feel you look better in gold jewellery you probably have a warm undertone, and if you look better wearing silver jewellery you may well have a cool undertone.

‘Or, if you look and feel better wearing rose gold jewellery, there’s a good chance you have a neutral undertone – meaning you have a balance of both pink and yellow tones in your skin.’

London-based MUA Buster Knight, who has worked with the likes of Millie Bobby Brown and Vogue Williams, let us in on his makeup bag’s secret weapon. ‘Felt tips’.

Yes, you read that right. To find your perfect undertone, Buster says: ‘Take an olive green felt tip marker a blue felt tip marker and an orange felt tip marker. Draw a line in each on the back of your wrist, and the colour that “blends” the most dictates what your undertone is.’

What to look for to find the best foundation for pale skin

On top of perfecting your undertone, it’s useful to know whether you’ll be tanning anytime soon. Aimee says: ‘Know if you want your foundation to be the identical colour of your skin or if you want it a little warmer – this can depend on the time of year you’re buying foundation and if your surface tone will be changing. For example, if you have a holiday booked and know that you will have a tan, or if your surface tone stays fair all year round.’

Finally, the golden rule in finding your perfect match is to be shade matched. ‘At Bobbi Brown cosmetics we will always sit you down and shade match you to help you find your perfect foundation. You will also receive a complimentary seven day sample to take home and make sure that your 100% confident in the shade and formula.

Pro tip: ‘Avoid trying to find your perfect match by trying product on the back of your hand, the skin here is actually a different colour to that on your face.’

We’ve tested out shade after shade to give you head start in your search.

Before you start testing though, here’s another pro tip. Elaine Lynskey, who’s glammed none other than Phoebe Waller Bridge, says: ‘Testing a foundation starts with your skin. For any foundation to feel good, your skin needs to be hydrated and exfoliated.’ Basically, you need to check out our guides to the best moisturisers and best toners before delving into the world of foundations.

Keep reading for the Marie Claire edit of the best foundations for pale skin…





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