As a woman with fair skin -- pale yellow tone -- I have searched vigorously for a perfect matching foundation over the years. The most popular color choice in make-up on the market is in the medium range which means those of us who are several shades lighter have to scurry about looking for a true match. I put together a useful guide showcasing my own collection of tested shades that I find work best for lighter skin tones. Some of them have already been reviewed and can be found on the blog's sidebar foundation link. I'm hoping this guide will be of some use to anyone facing the same issue. What light foundations do you use? Feel free to share in the comment section below. Stay Beautiful! XOXO

What to avoid: To save you some time and money from buying the wrong shade that you'll either end up returning or throwing away, I'm sharing a few tips on what to avoid when shopping for fair skin foundations. First check the label or web site description for the shade your interested in. If it's listed as suitable for pink tones -- unless you're on the pink tone end of the spectrum -- try to avoid those colors or at the very least obtain samples or visit the dept. store to test it out. Pink generally means the foundation has beige pigments that can make your skin appear reddish or ruddy. Some porcelain shades are also darker than they appear in the bottle so keep that in mind when shopping online. Secondly, know what your exact skin undertone is. Is it warm in yellow, olive or honey based. Or is it cool tone pale, pink, rosy or dark red based. Even though my skin is fair with a pale, warm yellow undertone, the surface appears ruddy because of my sensitivity to cleansers and environmental factors. This makes matching a foundation even harder because I fall into two categories of tone. 

Tone: (See chart from Belloccio Cosmetics below) Usually you can determine tone by holding gold or silver jewelry up to your skin to see which works best on your skin coloring. In my case I can carry both gold and silver equally and most women might find this to be true for them as well. You can see how trying to find a perfect match can be frustrating for those of us with this issue. Another way to find your match is by getting assistance from reps at any cosmetic counters. Most beauty retailers -- such as Sephora -- have skin matching systems that will correctly advise you of your foundation shade and pair you with brands. 

Beauty Balms: I often find that beauty balms are easy on lighter skin tones, perhaps because the product is less pigmented. This is a great way to find a match for light skin. Keep in mind that balm coverage is sheer and you may need to apply a few applications. BB Balms serve to hide imperfections and not act as a full coverage foundation so on  days when you need a bare minimal make-up look, then this is an easy way to "fix" your face in a hurry. 

Helpful tricks for custom blending your own make-up that I've experimented with in the past.

1.Add brightening/whitening base to dark foundation to custom blend your own shade. 

2. Shop Asian beauty markets: they offer a wide variety of light, yellow based foundations.

3. Buy color correcting cream/powder in pale blue, lavender or pale green and mix a small amount into your foundation. Experiment to find the formula that works for you. I find all three colors work good with my skin tone.

4. Use white face paint from a theatrical shop to lighten your foundation. Use only a minimal amount and remember to perform a spot test to make sure it will not irritate your face. 

Source: Helpful skin tone chart below from Belloccio Cosmetics

Foundations from my own collection listed below with swatches.
 Second row last photo are Maybelline Fit Me 110 Porcelain and L'Oreal Porcelain W1
I included these drug store brand because they're the most suitable for lighter skin that I have used in the past but the formula for both are not good quality. I included them for reference.

Paul & Joe light cream foundation 00 Alabaster, Light Cream S 00 Alabaster


Urban Decay Naked .05, Kat Von D Tattoo Foundation Light 42 


NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Siberia, Becca Radiant Finish Sand


Do not copy or distribute my work without my permission


  1. The Kat Von D foundation and Nars look just about perfect! I'm going to look for them both. Do you think the Nars foundation gives a good amount of coverage? Or I guess I should ask, which of these do you think is best for light - medium coverage?
    I'll be saving that undertone picture, I know I need it! :)
    As always, wonderful wonderful post. And a pleasure to read! ♥

  2. The coverage is pretty decent but they are on the dry side. You'll need a really good primer. I won't go into detail here because I already reviewed. Check the foundation link in the sidebar. I will say the best coverage is the Kat Von D and the lightest is Paul & Joe. I don't know your skin tone but Urban Decay .05 is the most pigmented and falls into the light/medium. This has more color than the others which are really pale. Hope this helps and thank you . XOXO

  3. i think the nars shade should work well for my skin tone. thanks for the tips xx


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