Ah yes. One of the joys of quarantine...online makeup shopping! Now even more of us get to partake in this somewhat-confusing ritual, lol.
Certain things like eyeliner, mascara, maybe even blush are a bit easier to judge online, but foundation?! That's hard to do even in person at times. So, what can we do to make this process easier and more accurate? I've got a few ideas.
1. Follow my basic tutorial for getting the perfect foundation match. I haven't seen this process broken down like this anywhere else, and I do believe it's extremely valuable. The basic idea goes like this: take a step back from yourself so you can see your 'over all' skin tone, rather than zooming in on a particular area like your jawline to match to. Then, compare this over-all skin tone to the foundation line's shades, and estimate where you fall on their spectrum from light to dark. You can narrow it down to a few shades that look like they have the same depth as your skin (meaning they don't seem too pale or too deep). From this narrowed-down selection, you'll then analyze the specific tones these foundations have in comparison to your skin. Do you know you need something more golden? Or perhaps more pink? This will be the final way you sort through the shades you're looking at.
2. When you are doing this process at home, set up a mirror next to your computer. That way you can look back and forth between your own skin and the makeup line's shade selection. This is going to make a big difference! When you are only looking at the shades online without comparing them to your skin tone in the mirror, things get much more confusing.
3. Look for brands that have the colors swatched on a human (typically all lined up on an arm). Some brands still only have digital color blotches to represent their shades, but many have wisened up to the fact that seeing how the colors look in real life on a model is much more useful. I do think this helps you get a more accurate 'read' on the shades, so if you can...try to find a foundation that has live color swatches like this!
My last piece of advice is this: just know that even when you are trying out foundations in person, there is a trial and error process going on. I know this can be frustrating at times, especially when you are shopping online and shipping is backed up, but try to be patient with both yourself and the companies you are buying from. Hopefully these tips help guide you in a more accurate direction than when you were just winging it before!
PS. If you didn't know, I'm doing free makeup classes every Sunday during quarantine! I teach a LOT of really valuable stuff and give advice like this during the live Q and A's at the end, so make sure you check those out and sign up for one or two if you can :) I'm also doing one-on-one Zoom sessions with a special intro rate, so get in on that while you can!!