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How do I get my makeup matched?

Getting your makeup color matched can seem daunting, but it’s an important step to achieving a natural, flawless look. With so many different shades and undertones out there, finding the right foundation, concealer, blush, and more for your unique skin can make all the difference. Here’s a guide to demystify the process of color matching your makeup.

Determine Your Undertones

The first step is identifying your skin’s undertones. This refers to the subtle coloring underneath the surface of your skin. There are three main categories of undertones:

  • Warm – yellow, peach, golden undertones
  • Cool – pink, red, blue undertones
  • Neutral – a mix of warm and cool tones

Here are some ways to determine which one you have:

  • Look at the veins on your wrist – greenish = warm, blueish = cool
  • Do silver or gold jewelry look better on you? Gold = warm, silver = cool
  • Are your eyes brown/hazel (warm) or blue/green (cool)?
  • Does your skin turn pink or orangey when tanned or sunburnt?

Those with neutral skin tones may not clearly lean warm or cool. If you’re still not sure, try draping fabric swatches in different colors against your face and seeing which are most flattering.

Find Your Skin Tone Depth

After determining your undertones, the next step is identifying your skin tone depth. This refers to how light or dark your complexion is. Common skin tone depths are:

  • Fair
  • Light
  • Light-Medium
  • Medium
  • Medium-Dark
  • Dark

Fair complexions are very pale, while dark complexions are deep brown. Light, medium, and medium-dark fall along the spectrum in between. Look at your overall skin color in natural lighting compared to others to determine where you fall.

Makeup Matching Based on Skin Type

Once you know your undertones and skin tone depth, you can find makeup that complements your coloring. Here’s how to match different makeup products:


Look for a foundation that matches both your skin’s undertones and depth. Warm undertoned skin needs a foundation with yellow/peach pigments. Cool undertoned skin needs a pinker foundation. The depth should match your skin’s lightness/darkness level.


Choose a concealer 1-2 shades lighter than your foundation to brighten and conceal. Make sure the undertone still matches – a lighter version of the same shade family. For example, light warm foundation + fair warm concealer.


Those with warm undertones look best in peach, coral, bronzy blushes. Cool undertones pair well with soft pink, rose, mauve blush shades. Neutral undertones can do both. Pick a shade that complements but doesn’t clash with your skin’s undertone.


Finding your perfect lipstick shade can be trial and error. Warm complexions suit orangey reds and peaches. Cool complexions are flattered by blue-toned reds and plums. Sheer neutral and rosy pinks work on most. Test out a variety of shades to see what you like best.


Warm eyes suit golden browns, coppers, warm purples and greens. Cool eyes look great in plums, navy blues, cool greys and taupes. You can wear any color that complements your eye color, but stay within your undertone family. Adding definition with bronze and brown liners keep things cohesive.

Getting Professionally Matched

For the most accurate results, get matched for makeup at a department store counter or specialty makeup store. Their trained professionals will be able to:

  • Determine your precise undertone and skin tone depth
  • Try a range of shades on your skin to find the perfect match
  • Recommend complementary products and colors for a harmonious look
  • Provide samples and suggestions for finding your best makeup colors

Sephora, MAC, Bobbi Brown, and department store beauty counters offer this service. Describe your goals and preferences to get personalized product recommendations.

Tips for Matching Makeup

Follow these tips when shopping for new makeup to find shades that complement your unique coloring:

  • Test colors in natural lighting for accuracy
  • Don’t go just by the product color in the tube/pan – try it on your skin
  • Start light/sheer – you can build up opaque colors for more drama
  • Test colors on your jawline, not the back of your hand
  • Don’t be afraid to mix and customize shades
  • Re-evaluate your colors seasonally as your skin tone changes

With the right techniques and some trial and error, you’ll be able to build a personalized makeup wardrobe with shades that enhance your natural beauty.

Common Makeup Undertones

Here is a table summarizing the most common makeup shades and undertones:

Undertone Foundation Shades Blush Shades Lipstick Shades
Warm Yellow, golden, peach Peach, bronze, terra cotta Orange, coral, brick red
Cool Pink, red undertones Soft pink, mauve, plum Berry, wine, pinky red
Neutral Beige, olive, sand Mauve, soft rose, nude MLBB, rose, brown


Finding makeup that flatters your unique skin tone and undertones can make a huge difference in your beauty routine. Follow these tips on determining your coloring, getting matched by experts, and trying shades to build your perfect makeup wardrobe. With the right colors tailored to your complexion, your natural beauty will shine through.