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Expert Tips - Foundation Guide

understanding skin tones...

The most important thing to selecting the proper foundation shade is to first match the skin undertone and then its surface tone.

The skin's undertone is the natural tone that will never change. If you are olive skinned, you will always remain olive skinned even if the shade of your skin appears lighter or darker over time due to sun exposure or age.

The surface tone is the varying color on the surface of the skin due to factors such as redness, hyperpigmentation or acne.

Below are some hints to help you determine your skin's undertone:

  • There are two primary undertones: warm and cool
  • 97% of global population is a warm undertone
    • Think sunshine: yellow, peach, olive and gold
  • 3% of global population is a cool undertone
    • Think coming inside from a cool day: mauve, blue, pink and white.

identify your undertone...

Using the chart to the right, choose the correct undertone group, then select the appropriate surface tone from within the group you chose.


  • yellow or olive undertone - warm
    (fair to medium complexions)


  • yellow or olive undertone - warm
    (medium to deep complexions)


  • peach or yellow undertone - neutral
    (fair to medium complexions)


  • pink or peach undertone - cool
    (medium to deep complexions)


  • deep peach undertone - cool
    (deep complexions)


  • deep yellow or olive undertone - warm
    (deep complexions)


  • deep olive, red or blue undertone - warm
    (very deep complexions)