The Right Way To Shop For Foundation

Three easy tips for Asian skin, from makeup guru Larry Yeo


1. What foundation shade should I be using?

“In South-east Asian culture, it’s a set idea that foundation used should be one to two tones lighter than the actual skin tone to make the face look less dull and brighter. That doesn’t make sense as it creates almost an ash-like finish for those with darker skin tones. The formulation of foundations are getting more amazing each year and the base you pick should match your skin tone as closely as possible.”

2. How should I shop for foundation?

“When trying on a foundation shade to see if it suits you, it’s best to apply it on half the face. Trying foundation on your jaw or your hand is just like shopping for a dress by holding it in front of your body without trying it on — you can’t really see how it looks. Go down to the shop bare-faced or get a brand retail artist to remove your makeup for you. You need to see colour across the whole face, not just parts of it because there is always colour inconsistency due to factors such as uneven skin tone or pigmentation.”

3. What foundation should I be using if I have a tan complexion?

“For medium to darker skin tones, it’s best to use a blend of two to three foundation colours. For skin that’s more tan, there shouldn’t just be one colour across the face. We need a general colour that is an in-between shade, a lighter colour that isn’t a shimmer product to draw out the highlights on the skin, and a darker hue to bring depth to the skin.”

For all skin tones, these brands have some of the widest array of shades available. Larry recommends:

1. M.A.C, Make Up For Ever and Urban Decay, which have a wide selection of foundation colours.

2. Asian brands such as Shu Uemura and VDL, which have also started to offer foundation colours for medium skin tones.

3. The Laneige BB Cushion, which comes in South-east Asian-tailored shades such as 31, 33, and 35. The latter is a rich coffee colour that works well on tan skin in need of a warmer hue and can even be used as a bronzer.

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