Why I’m No Longer Running Out To Get Every Foundation.

…unless ONE thing. That ONE thing is the undertone being either very yellow, golden or olive.


COVER FX, Lancome, Kevyn Aucoin, NARS, Cinema Secrets, Make Up For Ever, BECCA

This is important to me because I’m just about completely over the constant tweaking and “working with” foundations…and I’m almost anal about my foundation matching perfectly. I’ve been wearing foundation for several years, so I can pretty much tell if the color will work or not. My usual issue with foundations is that they end up looking too orange (warm), pink or if it’s the right undertone it’s too light…because apparently having olive undertones stops at the medium shade range, or only occurs within the medium shade range. This brings me to another point I want to make…there is a misconception about olive skin. Olive is actually an undertone and it occurs within different shades of skin. People mistakenly (especially these beauty “experts” in magazines) confuse olive skin as a medium shade and it only being limited to Latina, Mediterranean and some Asian people. This is absolutely not true since I, a Black woman have olive undertones. Having olive undertones has absolutely nothing to do with shade (light to dark), so you can be pale/fair-skinned all the way to dark-skinned and have olive undertones. It simply means you have a green cast. You can also be a cool olive and a warm olive. A post from the blog Of Faces and Fingers explains this very well.

Even though makeup brands are now coming out with foundations that have a more extensive range of shades, the olive undertones seem to get left out. Usually, there’s only ONE olive undertone foundation in the entire range…and where on that range is it? You guessed it…in the middle. Pale/fair-skinned is not limited to having pink undertones and deep to dark skin doesn’t only have red or orange undertones. Why don’t these companies get with the program? To be fair…professional makeup companies such as RCMA, Graftobian, Joe Blasco and Cinema Secrets do have foundations that cater to olive undertones. It’s the consumer brands that need to get with it! Brands such as the ones in the photo I have above seems to be on the mark with that.

Until most makeup companies get it together, I’ll have to “limit” myself by sticking to professional brands and consumer brands that actually have foundations that cater to olive (or golden-olive undertones). I just can’t walk around with a pink or an orange face and a yellow-green neck. Not anymore.


10 thoughts on “Why I’m No Longer Running Out To Get Every Foundation.

  1. Hear hear! I am so with you on this. I have the same issue, luckily a lot of the higher end brands to have undertones in the peachy golden range which work great for me. Only drawbacks being that like you said, they stop at a certain colour. So if you’re darker than an NC 40-42 you’re out of luck, since that’s my winter shade, I have tons of foundations that I only use 3-4 months out of the year.

    I did however just pick up the most beautiful foundation from Le Metier De Beaute which requires no adjusting, I’ll be doing a review on it as soon as I can get out of bed, lol.

    • Glad to see another one that understands the “very yellow/olive” struggle!!! Some peachy shades work for me and that is only when it’s mixed with a strong yellow and when I get a SERIOUS tan!!! When no tan is present, ALL of the warmth seems to fade and then the yellow-green color shows up.

      I’m not even going to touch on how many foundations I have. LOL. I have sooooo many. And you’re right, in terms of the consumer brands it’s the high end ones that tend to have more of a range. (I shamefully forgot to mention Black Up Cosmetics.) The high end brands are the only ones I have success with. The drugstore brands…forget about it. There are some mineral foundations that I found that cater to yellow-olive undertones and I think that’s pretty exciting. LOL.

      I haven’t even heard of Le Metier De Beaute foundation! I look forward to reading your post. 🙂

      • Yeah, I have a bunch of high end reviews coming up cause I got seriously fed up a couple months back and went on a high end splurge. Interestingly enough, I’m the opposite of you. When my colour fades in winter (or what passes for winter here in Atlanta) that’s when I get the most peachy, cause for whatever reason my skin itself gets almost jaundiced yellow to the point that my sister in law jokes that my youngest niece and I blend and disappear into the blonde floors. In the summer I turn very very golden, I suppose that’s just the way I tan, fast and super dark to as much as an NC50 if I go home to Jamaica for say a week.

      • Also if you’re looking for a nice golden peachy shade, you should try Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation. I don’t think the coverage is spectacular, but the finish most certainly is. I wear 9 year round, so you would probably get away with 8 or 7 depending on the undertones. I did a review when the line first debuted so you can check the finish in my post.

  2. Thank you so much for this post!! I’ve been trying and buying so many different foundations and having little luck. For years, I didn’t bother but I’m trying again. Nearly everything is far too red/orange or like you said, or if the undertone is good then it’s too chalky light for me. The closest things I’ve found so far are mixing MAC Face & Body c5 and c6 but it’s too sheer (I also have melasma from my last pregnancy) …and c6 is still a bit pink(am I imagining this?!) I like the feel & texture of Nars Sheer Glow but Tahoe is too orange and oxides dark, and Syracuse in the Sheer Glow is too light and peachy?(if i’m remembering correctly). L’oreal’s True Match W7 is not bad but greyish, the W8 is too dark and reddish on me.

    Back to Nars… in the Tinted Moisturizer Cuba is good(I got Malaga first, omg pumpkin face city…arrgh!) but still pink to my eyes like the MAC F&B c6. Cuba’s better when I add something yellow. So far I’ve used food coloring and turmeric.. LOL (I know I need to find an actual foundation adjuster but I’m not sure with brand to buy. which formula: oil or silicone? do I buy yellow and brown..thinking of the MUFE ones. I’m so out of my element.)

    I used to like the discontinued L’oreal HIP in 806 Honey(I still have bottles of it) but it’s best when I have no tan at all. It’s got a beigey thing going that is tricky….I also have Black Opal’s Truly Topaz in the Pore Perfecting (maybe when I have a tan it’ll be okay, not sure) and the Black Opal Stick in TT(a bit dark), Rich Caramel (red/pink), Heavenly Honey(peachy). Iman Clay 1(pink-beigey) and Clay 2(dark and orange).

    Some days, I’m sooo tempted to give up. OTOH I’ve come a long way from my NC44-45 seriously orange mask days. I’ve thought about the Estee Lauder Double wear in ‘Toasty Toffee’ but I haven’t seen it IRL to try it yet. I can’t take another full bottle let down. My skin is dry too so Double Wear might be a bad thing. I tried going to Sephora for help but was given a very orange & dark Smashbox foundation. :<

    This week I've been wearing a mix of the MAC F&B C5, C6, my old Loreal Hip in 806 Honey annnnd yellow food coloring! SMH.

    I found your blog while Googling different foundation colors and it's helped me not feel so bad! Thanks again!<3

    • Hi, elfeldelaforet! Thank you for stopping by! I’m glad this post helped you to feel better. 🙂

      First…no, you are NOT imagining things regarding C6 being too pink. I noticed it after applying that shade in the Studio Fix Powder to my face. I thought it was supposed to be for yellow/olive undertones, which confused me. I returned it. The undertones of the C5 shade does work for me, though. When I’m not tan, I have the same issue with NARS foundations in the shade Tahoe. It looks too warm/orange on my complexion. The All Day Luminous Weightless formula in Tahoe is a bit less warm than the Sheer Glow, though. I also have the same issue with Cuba shade in their tinted moisturizers.

      LOL @ you using turmeric! I’ve heard of people using that, but I’m too scared regarding it staining my skin. You can try Temptu color adjuster in Yellow 031. (https://temptu.com/pro/s-b-adjusters.html) It is great for mixing with foundations that need more yellow. I believe it’s silicone-based since it is an airbrush foundation formula.

      Thank you for listing the undertones of those Black Opal shades. *sigh* Looks like I will have to pass on those. I have been having my eye on “Toasty Toffee” shade for that Estee Lauder foundation. In a YouTube tutorial I was watching, the woman said that shade goes on really olive and I thought “That’s what I should be getting!” LOL

      If you like mineral foundations, I’ve found a couple of brands that cater to our undertones. One is Sterling Minerals (http://www.sterlingminerals.com/medium-to-tan-mineral-makeup-foundation/). Try the shade Xantha. Another company is Buff’d Cosmetics. They also have very golden and olive undertones. (http://www.buffd.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1)

  3. Very well said. I empathize as i have neutral undertones and once I found Coverfx the search was over. No more experimenting and playing with other foundations for me. Lancome was my go to when i was in Florida however being in NY that cast is gone and it looks way off. I wouldn’t mind getting shade matched as a “back up”..but no rush. Thanks for the post!

  4. Pingback: What I’m Lovin’ Lately. | A Makeup Fiend

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