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May 19, 2020 4 min read

When it comes to makeup essentials, foundation is almost always at the top of our list. It’s called 'foundation' for a reason: The right one can help you build a solid base and the perfect canvas for everything from a low key natural makeup look to a more statement style. Still, finding the right foundation colour is sometimes a little easier said than done.

To help take the confusion out of finding the right foundation shade for your skin, we’ve put together a simple 3-step guide to choosing a foundation shade below. Whether you prefer liquid, powder, or cream, read on to learn how to choose the right colour foundation now.

Step 1: Decide how much coverage you want

The first step in choosing a foundation shade is deciding how much coverage you want. There’s a whole spectrum of options, ranging from full coverage foundations to lightweight BB creams that give a glowy finish. At INIKA, we offer something for every desired coverage level.

  • For sheer, veil-like coverage: Our Baked Mineral Foundation gives your skin a subtle wash of colour while disguising redness and blemishes.
  • For light coverage: The Certified Organic BB Cream is our best light coverage foundation, and covers imperfections while letting your skin shine through.
  • For medium coverage: Our Liquid Mineral Foundation offers flawless and buildable coverage, while Our Loose Mineral Foundation can be worn alone or over liquid foundation for an even and long-lasting finish.

Top Tip: Build up coverage gradually by applying a light layer of foundation, then using our Full Coverage Concealer to cover any blemishes, redness, or other skin concerns.

Step 2: Choose a finish

Once you’ve decided on the level of coverage you want, it’s time to think about the kind of makeup look you’re trying to achieve.

Do you love a dewy, radiant finish and want your foundation to look like a second skin? Start by smoothing on the Pure Perfection Primer to hydrate thirsty skin. Then, apply a light layer of liquid foundation or BB cream, building up until you reach your desired coverage level. Finish with a few touches of cream blush, bronze, or highlighter on the high points of your face.

Alternatively, if you want to dial down the shine, start your makeup routine with the Matte Perfection Primer, which controls oil production and can help your foundation stay put for longer. Once that’s absorbed into your skin, reach for a loose or powder foundation - the best foundations for oily skin - and apply using long, sweeping strokes for a satin or matte look. To finish, set your foundation with a light dusting of Mineral Mattifying Powder.

Step 3: Pick a shade that suits your skin tone

Once you’ve made the choice between matte vs glowy foundation, you’re not quite done yet. The next step is to make sure you’re choosing a shade that matches your skin tone. This is where your undertones come into play. Undertones are the colours beneath your skin’s surface, and they affect how foundation appears when it’s applied to your skin.

To figure out which types of undertones you have (and find the right foundation shade), check the inside of your wrist.

  • If your veins are purple-ish, you have cool undertones. This means your skin has a slight pink tint, which is why silver jewellery looks great on you.
  • If your veins are green, you have warm undertones. Your skin has a golden tone, and you probably love gold jewellery.
  • If your veins are blue, you have neutral undertones. Good news: You can wear both cool and warm foundations, and they’ll suit you equally. The same goes with jewellery.


For fair skin with cool undertones.


For light skin with neutral undertones.


For light to medium skin with warm undertones.


For medium skin with neutral undertones.


For medium to dark skin with warm undertones.


For medium to dark skin with warm undertones.


For dark skin with warm undertones.


For very dark skin with cool undertones.


For fair skin with cool undertones.


For light skin with neutral undertones.


For light skin with neutral undertones.


For light to medium skin with warm undertones.


For light to medium skin with warm undertones.


For medium skin with warm undertones.


For medium skin with neutral undertones.


For medium to dark skin with warm undertones.


For medium to dark skin with warm undertones.


For dark skin with cool undertones.


For dark skin with neutral undertones.


For very dark skin with neutral undertones.

Still don’t know which shade to choose? You can test-run a few with our Foundation Trial Kit that has a week’s worth of essential goodies. All you have to do is choose your basic skin tone — Light, Light/Medium, Medium/Dark, or Dark — and you’ll get to trial a range of powder and liquid foundation shades.

Top Tip: Just like you switch up your moisturisers between seasons, one foundation shade may not work for you all year-round. To make sure your foundation matches your skin, you may need to use a lighter shade during winter.

Find your foundation match

When it comes to choosing a foundation shade, a one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t cut it. Taking the time to choose the right foundation can take your makeup skills to the next level and improve even the most basic everyday makeup look.

Still not sure which foundation is right for you? Compare foundation types with our Face in a Box Starter Kit or explore our all-natural foundations now.

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