Shop for Foundation Online and Get the Perfect Match Every Time

Sadly, you won’t be able to find all the products you want in your nearest department store. Furthermore, not all of us have the time to go out shopping to purchase makeup in-store either. However, with online shopping, you can now buy all the necessary makeup products you want without even having to get out of bed.

woman with three different shades of foundation on her cheek.

This way you can browse and purchase from exclusive and international brands. Additionally, it means that you won’t have to struggle to find your shade at the beauty counter. However, frustratingly there can be a downside when it comes to shopping for makeup online. Choosing the perfect foundation can be a complete guessing game.

Flawless looking skin requires the perfect foundation match but finding the right colour match can be hard enough in a physical store. With so many options from liquid foundations to loose powders, there are countless formulas and textures of foundations to choose from.

To make the process much easier, we’ve created the ultimate guide to finding the perfect foundation when shopping online. No swatching required!

Suggested Article: Find the Perfect Foundation for your Skin Undertone.

Knowing What Type of Foundation is Best for You

Think About What You Want from Your Foundation

You may see plenty of foundation options online, but don’t just rush ahead and pick the first one you see. It is important to know some details regarding what you need from your foundation before you go ahead and choose one randomly. Importantly, it’s all down to preference and your particular needs.

woman applying foundation with a sponge.

So, to help narrow down the countless options available, ask yourself how exactly you want your foundation to look. For example, you need to decide how much coverage you want from your foundation. Do you just want a lightweight coverage to just even out your skin, or do you want a full-coverage formula that will hide your dark circles and blemishes? Or, do you want a foundation that doubles up with sun protection, meaning that you’ll need to choose one with SPF?

Consider Your Skin Type

It’s extremely important to choose a foundation that balances the needs of your particular skin type. Essentially, selecting the right foundation formula can make all the difference to your overall finish.

If your skin is super oily, then avoid oil-based foundations and stick to more mattifying formulas. Additionally, it’s also best to avoid applying powder foundation all over for oily skin, as it may slide into your pores and appear clumpy.

If you have more dry and flaky skin, hydration is key, so opt for a more hydrating and luminous liquid formula. In addition, we recommend avoiding powder formulas that can enhance the dry areas on the face even more.

If you have combination skin, choose a slightly matte liquid foundation, as this will help reduce any oiliness and won’t be too harsh on any dry areas.

woman applying powder foundation to her face.

Suggested Article: Here’s How to Determine Your Specific Skin Type Once and for All.

Know Your Undertone

Knowing your undertone is the key to finding your perfect colour match when it comes to foundation. Once you know your undertone, shopping for foundation online will be much simpler. Many foundations on the market will be labelled “cool, neutral or warm” so that it’s easier for you to pick the right colour online.

To identify what type of undertone you have, examine the inside of your wrist to see the colour of your veins.

  • If they are blue, then you have neutral undertones, however, if they are green then you have warm undertones.

Take an Online Quiz

Many brands will allow you to take a short quiz before recommending a foundation from their brand from the answers you gave. Just answer a few easy questions about your skin and undertone to discover the perfect foundation shade and formula for your complexion.

Brands who offer this include FeelUnique, NYX Cosmetics, Fenty Beauty, Estee Lauder and Maybelline.

Do Your Research

Read Online Reviews

Reading online reviews of products before purchasing can be extremely helpful when it comes to online shopping.

Some foundations may look one colour in the bottle but can oxidize once it has dried and set once applied on your face So, by reading online reviews you will get an idea of how the product sets once applied to the skin.

You’ll also be able to see what other people are saying about the foundation including its longevity and if its value for money. Although they won’t necessarily help you find your perfect shade, it can give you an insight into what the product is like. This is especially great for women with darker skin tones as it can often give an ashy or muddy finish.

You can find reviews simply by looking on beauty blogs, like ours, or direct reviews on websites like

woman using both her laptop and mobile to access online shopping.

Suggested Article: How to Shop for Drugstore Foundation for Darker Skin.

Watch YouTube Videos

YouTube is the best place to find foundation swatches and reviews.

Thanks to the beauty community, the internet is full of videos of women swatching foundation on their skin and revealing what their first impressions of the product are. Doing so will allow you to reference and compare the colour with others to help you see which shade might suit you best. Furthermore, it can even give you in-depth information about each product, including the texture of it and how long it can last on the skin along with recommendations on how to apply it.

Know Your Shade in Different Brands

Don’t go by shade names alone. Shade names differ depending on each brand, so never assume that the name for one foundation will be the same match for another. Instead, make sure you do your research on the shade before purchasing. Examples of this may include the use of titles like ‘porcelain‘ and ‘ivory‘.

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What to Do When in Doubt About a Product

Choose the Lighter Shade

If you are stuck between two shades and can’t decide which one to pick, always go for the lighter option. This is because it is much easier to darken a lighter foundation with bronzer to make the colour appear deeper to match your skin than it is to lighten a darker foundation.

Buy Both Shades

If you are still in-between shades and would rather not mix foundations and, therefore, you just get one colour, why not get both? Just be sure to check that the store you purchase from has a good return policy. It’s essential that in doing so that they allow you to return it even after you have opened the seal.

This way, once the products arrive, you can try them out to see which matches best. Then, you can return the one that you aren’t quite satisfied with.

close up picture of a woman applying foundation with a brush, on her cheek.

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What to Do if You Pick the Wrong Shade

Mix Two or More Shades

The harsh reality of buying makeup whether it’s online or in-store is that you don’t always have to get the results you need from a single product. So, don’t rule out mixing it up with more than one shade. It’s important to remember that you aren’t restricted to one option.

Your skin colour changes throughout the year as your tan, so the same foundation won’t suit you all year round. Therefore, mixing together foundations will allow you to customize it to suit your skin colour.

Interestingly, this doesn’t have to stop at foundations.  If you want a little extra hydration, why not mix in a little moisturiser into your foundation? Or for a dewier and more luminous look, add in a liquid highlight to really let your skin glow.

Make Sure the Store Allows You to Return It

The reality of shopping for makeup online is that sometimes the foundation you bought just won’t work for you. If you are worried that the product may not be right for you, make sure you inquire about the store’s return policy before you purchase it.

Some stores won’t allow you to return the product if the seal has been opened. But many online makeup stores offer free returns if you return the product with a receipt. So, if you aren’t completely satisfied with the product, you can just return it.

Mobile App for Perfect Shade

Your perfect foundation is now just a snap away on your smartphone.

In a matter of seconds, these incredible apps can analyse your photo and extract the shades from your characteristics to recommend the perfect makeup matches for your colouring. Keep reading to choose from the best apps, so you can scan and swipe for the perfect shade.

woman smiling whilst playing online on her mobile phone.


If you have darker skin tones, then some make-ups may not really work for you. It can be hard to find products that don’t give you an ashy or orange tinge. However, one of the best things about this app is that it only matches you to brands that cater to all skin tones.

Simply upload a selfie or take a picture on the spot. Next, upload it to the app and tap on different areas of your face to find your accurate shade. Next, filter the product to your beauty needs. It should then give you plenty of options for products that will work with your skin tone. You will be able to choose from a wide range of brands, products and prices from the comfort of your own home.

woman sat on her bed typing online via her laptop.

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Online Foundation-Match Sites

If you already own one foundation in your perfect shade, then you can use foundation match websites to find other brands that can offer you similar shades.

Buying makeup online doesn’t have to be a trial and error process with these websites.

Frustratingly some local stores don’t always have to testers available. But, resorting to guessing can be risky, so why not use the internet to help you find your shade?

Findation is a comprehensive comparison website which allows you to compare shades of foundations you’ve used before to help you find the best shade for the new foundation you want to purchase.

You can refine your match by adding more shades of foundation to get the best match possible. All you have to do is enter the shades of two foundations that you already own. Then it will show you other foundations in similar shades across different brands.

MatchMyMakeup is an online colour matching tool similar to that takes the guessing game out of shopping for foundation online.

Each and every foundation shade/colour match is put through a rigorous testing process at their dedicated lab in Los Angeles. Guaranteeing a precise match every time.

You start off with entering the foundations you know suits your skin tone perfectly. Next, you then choose the brand of foundation you want to find your shade in. From here, the site then uses colour analysis technology to find the perfect shade for you. This then allows you to go ahead and buy the foundation with confidence.

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