Foundation help for weird-coloured skin

MaloryMalory Registered Users Posts: 379 Curl Neophyte
I have good skin so I don't normally wear foundation; just concealer under my eyes where I have very dark circles, but the rest of my skin is good.

However, I want to be able to wear foundation for dressy occasions but I have never been able to find one that doesn't look better than I do without foundation.

Here is my problem. My face is much lighter than my neck and chest. My neck and chest are light olive. My face is very fair with freckles (I like my freckles and don't want to hide them) my nose and cheeks get red when I'm cold and my face burns in the sun (I wear sunscreen on my face every day which helps to explain why my body is so much darker), but my face has a greenish undertone. (I find that most makeup for skin that is as light as mine is very peachy or pinky).

If I match my foundation to the skin on my jawline, it hides my freckles somewhat so I look very pale, plus because it is lighter than my neck and my chest, I look like I'm wearing a ghost-like mask. But if I wear anything darker, I look like I've got mud on my face.

I need a fragrance-free foundation that is OK for skin that breaks out from any oil. I tried Clinique but the woman at the makeup counter matched the colour to my jawline, so it was too pale, plus it was too pink for me and took all the warmth out of my skin so I looked ghost-like.

Also, I am in the UK so it's possible that not all the makeup brands in the US are available here.

Any advice? Thanks

ETA: To give an example of how pale my face is at the jawline, the Clinique shade that matched the lightness of my jawline was Superbalanced Makeup in Alabaster.


  • internetchickinternetchick Registered Users Posts: 6,191
    Have you tried using a foundation that matches your face, and then using a bronzer to add a hint of color? Are your neck and chest naturally darker, or have you not protected them from the sun as much? If you have that much trouble finding the right foundation, then I think Prescriptives will custom mix for you.
  • rouquinnerouquinne Registered Users Posts: 13,737 Curl Connoisseur
    since you have good skin, don't feel you have to wear foundation at all - even for dressy occasions.

    it is NOT necessary - really!

    i agree with IC about having Prescriptives match you, if you feel it is absolutely required. and one thing that many top makeup artists suggest is that if you are in between 2 shades, select the darker one. perhaps a tinted moisturizer (Laura Mercier is the one that i see lauded over and over again), in a slightly darker shade would be a better choice than a foundation.

    i would also follow IC's suggestion about using the foundation that matches and then using bronzer. you could add liquid bronzer to your foundation, or lightly brush powder bronzer all over.
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  • MaloryMalory Registered Users Posts: 379 Curl Neophyte

    My neck and chest must be naturally darker because, even with sunscreen on my face, I still walk outside with my face exposed much more than I walk around with my chest exposed :). I don't expose my chest at all, so it wouldn't have a tan.

    I can use tinted moisturiser because I can't use any moisturiser because it makes me break out, even moisturisers that say they are oil free. I don't normally use bronzer because i think it looks unnatural on me; I prefer to use a rosy blusher. I use the same blusher, applied the same way, when I wear foundation as when I go without foundation, so the blusher doesn't help.

    According to their website, the nearest stores that sell Prescriptives or Laura Mercier are in a city that would take an hour for me to travel to (and I would have to pay bus and train fare), so I don't know if I want to travel there - in case I want to go back it's too much trouble.

    I will try adding bronzer if I can find a color that looks normal on my skin.
  • MichelleBFTMichelleBFT Registered Users Posts: 4,812
    Have you tried mineral makeup? It can be a pain to find a formula that you like, but most of the smaller brands will do a custom blend for you and all do inexpensive samples.
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  • MaloryMalory Registered Users Posts: 379 Curl Neophyte
    Now that |I have looked into it further, it seems to have to do with the way the makeup dries on my skin. If I put on makeup that is even darker than the skin on my upper chest - so looks much too dark on my face when I put a streak on my face - and then spread it all over my face, when I look at myself later in normal lighting I still look like I am wearing a ghostly white mask - even with blusher.

    Does it have anything to do with having a greenish/olive-ish skin tone?

    Getting my colour "professionally matched" hasn't helped, because the assistants at the cosmetics counter match the colour to the skin on my face, and it looks good when I am looking at my face in the little mirror in the cosmetics counter but the colour still looks too pale later on when it has dried on my skin and I am looking at my whole body, not jut my face.

    A colour that would look two shades too dark on me at the cosmetics counter would probably look too light on me when I went outside.

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