Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Foundation matching for medium yellow-olive skintone

So after ages of living in denial, I decided finally to face the reality that lots of those nice foundation formulas I liked really didn't match me all that well. The reason this preoccupation entered my mind is that I'm looking for a good foundation for wedding photos and, as I'll likely be baring my shoulders and decollete, I super duper need my face to match my chest and neck. I gathered a bunch of samples along with the foundations I own and swatched them all on my inner arm, which is currently probably NC25-30 while my face in the fall is closer to NC35-37, but my neck and chest are a shade or two lighter and cooler yellow/more olive.

It used to be that foundations were all pink-toned, but now yellow tones are a lot more popular. However, they tend to be too orange/peach on my cool yellow/olive skin, standing out more starkly on me than some of the pink-toned foundations like Bourjois Healthy Mix 55. Also, keep in mind that my face is far darker than my inner arm and that these are all used in daily application far more sheerly than swatched here, so they aren't quite as ridiculously off as they look, though admittedly imperfect for the most part. This is the list swatched for reference: (Sorry about the bad cropping in the second image, but you didn't need to see my messy room! :P)

YSL Teint Majeur 7
D&G Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation in 120 Natural Beige
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Cashew Beige
Estee Lauder DoubleWear in 2w2 Rattan
Bourjois Healthy Mix 55
Missha Perfect Cover #27
Shu Uemura Nobara 754
Bobbi Brown BB Cream in Medium
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-11
Givenchy Photo'perfexion in 106 Perfect Pecan
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk 6.25
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk 5.75
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk 6
Chantecaille Future Skin in Camomile
Givenchy Teint Couture in 5 Elegant Honey
MAC Face & Body in C3
Stila CC Medium (this didn't swatch well as it stays green if it's not sheered out much, but then it's hard to really see without.)

It seems to me that D&G Creamy 120 Natural Beige, ELDW Rattan, Shu Nobara 754, Givenchy Photo'perfexion 106 Perfect Pecan, KA SSE SX-11, GA Luminous Silk 6, Chantecaille FS Camomile, and MAC F&B C3 are closest undertonally to the green and/or cool yellow I want to reach, especially the exceedingly green Luminous Silk 6. This "experiment" really brought home what a dearth of olive foundations there are on the market, which is strange considering how many olive-y people there exist around my skintone. If you have any recommendations for medium yellow-olive foundations, please let me know!


  1. This has been Super helpful!!!, love! ♥ Thanks so much for doing it.
    May I ask what your top 3 foundation picks are?

    1. Of the ones I own, my top picks would be D&G Creamy Foundation 120 Natural Beige, Givenchy Photo'perfexion Perfect Pecan, and Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk 6 as they match me the best! I've also heard a lot about THREE, Koh Gen Do, and Suqqu's foundations, which may be promising as they are made by Asian brands, but I haven't yet tried them. I hope to someday!

  2. Helloooo there! <3 That GA Lum 6 is the only one which even looks remotely green. It's such a shame the olive foundation offerings are so sparse. Hope you find your match soon! I wonder whether foundation/concealer corrector palettes would have to be the way to go?

    By the way I totally didn't notice the cropping until you mentioned it! :D

    1. I've never used a foundation/concealer corrector palette! Maybe I should look into more theatrical/professional brands like Graftobian? I've heard lots of good things. I love the greenness of Lum Silk 6, but it seems a teensy bit dark to me right now. Can't wait til summer again! It's been sooo cold here.

  3. This post has been really useful!!! I might give a look at ELDW Rattan, seems it might match my skintone. As you, I have cool yellow / olive skintone (or as I usually call it, office folder yellow) so foundation is always an issue for me. I've founded decent matches in Chanel foundations, but I'm always around B20 & B30.
    For your wedding, have you tried RCMA??? I think Shinto II can be a good match for you, and as far I remember, you can order samples... it's super pigmented, so a little goes a long way and has a really natural finish -if it didn't had castor oil, I would have found my HG foundation :(

    1. Office Folder Yellow, that's great! XD What is RCMA? I'm not sure how I react to castor oil, but that sounds promising. :)

    2. RCMA is a theatrical brand, you can see it here: http://www.rcmamakeup.net/Welcome.html
      And here are some swatches: http://jaguayanflawer.blogspot.mx/2013/07/rcma-color-process-foundation-ivory.html
      Hope it helps!!!

  4. I have searched far and wide for someone with a color/tone/depth similar to mine... but it's never been quite the same. You seem to be the closest I've found to date. This is THE most helpful foundation post (for medium/yellow skin) I have seen... EVER. Thank YOU so much for your compilation! Now I'll be bookmarking this page because I need this as a reference! :)


  5. As a fellow olive under-toned individual, thank you for this!

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