By Michelby Whitehead

I get it. Sometimes you’re in a rush and you just don’t have the time to apply your foundation, flawlessly, like a pro. Or maybe you can’t seem to find your glasses and you have to do the best you can until you locate them. The latter is my plight on any given day.

But it isn’t always the application that’s the issue; it could be that you don’t know how to pick the shade that’s best for your skin and complexion!

Here are 4 reasons why your foundation may look uneven or just “off” (aka shaky) and what you can do to smooth it out:

You’re making purchase decisions under horrible lights
Department store lighting is hardly any girl’s best friend. It will deceive you and make you believe that certain shades of cosmetics look bomb on you when they really don’t. This is especially true when it comes to foundations. Don’t depend on fluorescent lighting to help you find the perfect match. Instead, use your cell phone’s camera to help you determine if a base is right for you.

You’re matching it to your hand and not your face
By now, even the most amatuer makeup user should know that foundation is to be matched with the face and neck. You will not be wearing the makeup on your hand, so why would you test the shade there? Ethnic women’s skin gets exposed to the sun in unique ways, so their skin tones vary from face to other body parts.

You’re not choosing what’s right for your skin type
Foundation isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Just like there’s hair products for different hair textures and cleansers for dry and oily skin, there are foundations made just for you and your particular needs! If your face is shiny and acne-prone, you’ll want an oil-free base with a matte finish. Stick to creamy foundation if your skin is naturally dry.

You’re neglecting the undertones in your skin
Warm, cool, neutral, olive, red, and yellow are all used to describe the variations of shades we come in. To determine yours, refer to Birchbox’s test methods in this video:

There’s a foundation out there that is perfect for you, so keep looking. If you purchase a shade that doesn’t work and you can’t return it to the store, maybe you can use it as a highlighter (if it’s too light) or for contouring (if it’s too dark). Good luck on your hunt!

Photo by Eduardo Dutra on Unsplash

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