My Foundation Shades

November 30, 2009

Hi ladies, I apologize for neglecting my blog! I’ve been swamped with projects, case studies and exams. I will resume posting later this week.

Many have asked what my skintone is, so I thought I’d swatch all the foundations I currently use. Just be warned that my skin is odd – all the foundations you will see are slightly different in undertone/shade so you may wonder “which is her true match? how can all those shades work for her?” The answer is that my skin is just weird. Most blend out for natural coverage so the shades are more forgiving than a full coverage foundation.

I’m Asian and my skintone is medium with golden/olive tones, usually the 3rd-4th shade from the lightest color, but I usually find it a challenge to find an exact match and typically fall in between shades. Many times I will have two shades to mix and blend depending on how pale or tanned I am.

These are my foundations, left to right:

  • Chanel Hydramax+ Active Teint 10 Sable-Sand (blends out very sheer)
  • Chanel Lift Lumiere 30 Cendre 2.5
  • Chanel Teint Innocence 30 Shell 1.5 (my holy grail foundation)
  • Chanel Teint Innocence 40 Beige 2.0 (my holy grail for summer time)
  • Chanel Teint Innocence Compact 40 Beige 2.0
  • Armani Lasting Silk 5.5
  • Armani Lasting Silk 6.5 (currently mix 5.5 with 6.5)
  • Armani Luminous Silk 5.5 (use in summertime)
  • Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 Natural Radiance
  • Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 Warm Radiance (use in summertime)
  • Paul & Joe Moisturizing Compact Foundation 30 (a bit light for my skin)
  • Paul & Joe Light Cream S Foundation 40 (a bit dark, but I mix this with a pale luminizer, doesn’t apply as dark as the swatch looks for me)
  • Nars Sheer Glow in Punjab

No flash, natural light:

Right now I’m loving Chanel Teint Innocence in Shell and also Paul & Joe’s Light Cream 40 mixed with Laura Mercier’s Natural Radiance Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer.

I always set with a powder. My favorites are Laura Mercier Translucent Loose, Laura Mercier Beige Loose, Chanel DPF Tender Beige, Armani Microfil Loose 02.

My skin is sensitive but normal.

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  • Interesting, thanks for sharing! This definitely helps as far as for judging your swatches. =)

  • Anonymous

    I've missed you, Lina! But I hear you on being busy. Hope all is well πŸ™‚

    Wow, that's a lot of options. I really like the Chanel TM, although I use Sunlit. I really wish they would make more colors on this TM. It gives a nice healthy glow and NO oilies on the nose. I always appreciate it when companies take this into consideration.

    While I am glad to let the holidays happen, Chanel and BB spring 2010 definitely has my attention. Can't wait for those collections!


  • Hi Leslieal – I'm so excited for Chanel Spring!!! Did you order anything for Bobbi Brown FF? Or did you decide on something from Chanel holiday?

    Glad this helps Catherine!

  • Sabrina, I've tagged you on my latest blogpost.

  • All my base colour products seem to look slightly different too! I think it depends on the texture and coverage of the product πŸ™‚

  • Oh wow, it's so interesting to how all these foundation shades that look different can match the same skintone! This is super helpful for your readers, thanks! xo

  • it's so great you have so many foundations which you've tried…I, on the other hand can't even wear foundation right now (acne meds). But I'll keep track of what everyone is using for future reference. I loved using Laura Mercier Translucent loose powder too back when I did hahahahaah…
    do you know how long foundations can keep for?

  • this is such a great post to me, as i'm an Armani 5.5, and that's usually the starting point for any foundations i'm interested in…thank you πŸ™‚

  • hey babe i have a qn.
    what if my face is just naturally whiter than the rest of body..
    i keep choosing foundations that are the lightest (which i consider to be the most fitting for my face color) but i feel like one of those girls with mismatched foundations.
    :(:( What do u suggest I do?
    it feels so ood to deliberately "darken" my face with a darker foundation.


  • Hi ladies, sorry I've been so busy! Serene – that is a tough one. In winter months sometimes my face is paler too, I like to match my foundation to my neck even if my face is lighter. It just looks/feels more natural.

    But really, it's more of a personal preference thing!

    Anyone else have input to add?

  • This is awesome! The shades do look different, kind of funny, but I'm sure the darker tones are for summer or they aren't full coverage? Sometimes, I use products that people initially tell me I shouldn't use because they are too dark for my fair skin. But I tried them out anyway, and turns out I have no problem with them. It all depends on how much you put on and how well you blend. So I never listen to anyone who tells me I "can't" or "shouldn't" wear something because they "think" they know what's good for me =P You have such great taste πŸ˜‰ xx

  • Thank you so much for posting this. I'm practically the exact same coloring as you, and therefore this post is a godsend. I'm keeping the list forever πŸ˜›

  • Anonymous

    This is so informative! I think we're pretty much the same skin tone! We use a lot of the same shades in foundations. I landed on your page whilst searching for reviews and swatches on Dior foundations. Have you tried any of their foundations? Have you been swatched in Dior? Any insight would help! I'm looking for a new foundation.