Beauty Q&A: I Bought The Wrong Foundation Shade — What Should I Do?

Finding the correct shade of foundation can sometimes be a challenge, especially when you fall in between shades or are unsure of how to match foundation. What’s worse is heading home after a spree at Sephora only to realize that you chose the wrong foundation shade. Do you immediately turn around and return it, or should you add it to your makeup stash anyway? And even the Ulta Beauty and Sephora employees don’t always get it right.

If You’re Unsure of Your Shade, Go Lighter

If the shade is a little lighter than what you usually wear, you might be ok. It’s harder to lighten a foundation as there’s only really few tricks to do so, so it’s best to ask for a sample of the shades you think you are so you can take home and see. The samples are free. If you did buy a foundation that is a little dark, try mixing it with a lighter color concealer or use a foundation powder that is 1 or 2 shades lighter to lighten up the foundation.

Mix and Match the Same Formula

The best and easiest way to rectify purchasing a wrong foundation is to mix a lighter or darker concealer, in the same formulation, with the foundation to make it match your skin tone. If the foundation is extremely light, I suggest to strategically use bronzer to help deepen the shade. You can even try to mix the lighter foundation with a darker shade.

Contour to Your Advantage

The last tip is an important one: If you buy the wrong foundation shade, use your face structure to your advantage. “Since the face has natural contours to it, you can use that to your advantage when your foundation is slightly off from your skin tone. Highlighting and contouring in the right places will help conceal the foundation not matching your skin tone. So next time, before you run back to repurchase, play with some mixing and give it a whirl.

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