Thursday, April 23, 2015

I'm a (Foundation) Fraud

Haha.  *wilts*

I don't understand how people have their foundation undertones and color matches so well identified.  Life would be so much easier if I were a generic pinky beige color, right?  Right?  Every counter, every drugstore brand - BLAM!  perfect match!

Sadly, Belly is a riot of pinks, reds and yellows on the face.  And then my neck and chest being something else altogther.  Actually, this is all just a cry for help.  Help.  Help me.

I don't wear MAC foundations, so when I write things like "oh blablablabla, I am about an NC15-20", I really have no clue.  At one point (a few points), I actually did go get matched at MAC and the color matches were wildly differing.  Once I was matched to Pro Longwear in NC20.  I applied it all over my face and as soon as I went outside, I was horrified at the orange.  I mean ORANGE.  And then at a pro store, which was a setting full of natural light, I was matched to some dark NW something.  I guesstimate I am NC15-20 based on the fact that NC20 was dark and orange and NW made me cry.

Anyway, warm weather is coming and I am of course in the market for something new and shiny for my foundation and I've always had a hankering for MAC Face & Body.  To make it even more puzzling for me is it doesn't come in NC or NW, they do N and C.  *furtively glances at the student next to me to cheat off their paper*

I've consulted with the real gurus of Makeupalley and searched through various blogs and stuff to understand this N and C business.  Also noted that some blog get them all wrong, too.  Let me just put this out there as another example of me not being a guru (or reliable), but then again, many people aren't either.

Yesterday I walked over to my nearest MAC counter to look at Face & Body.  C1 and N1 appeared to be close enough depth wise to my current sad faded skintone.  I think the mass of salespersons there could smell I was desperate for a sample, so they wouldn't help me.  D:

MAC Face & Body C1 (L); N1 (R)
I helped myself to giant blobs on my hand and then smeared streaks on my face.  The center of my face is darker and rather pink.  This explains when I get matched to NW and dark.  My neck is very pale and yellow and I have pale pink tones on my chest.  I are a patchwork of the rainbows!  I always try smears on the side of my face, which is the least irritated and red.

N1 on the left (closest to my ear); C1 on the right
Halps?  Undertone wise, does it look my N1 or C1 better?  And both dried darker and then why does white come in such a giant bottle anyway?!  *angrily knocks over bottles of N1, C1, White in undertone confusion*
 
Bwhahaha, I actually recieved unanimous consensus from makeupalley, but I totally want to go the other way.  I'm crazy.
 
What's your foundation matching strategy?  Any tactics that work best for you in getting the best match.  Teach meh, plz.

30 comments :

  1. Did MUAers say to get the C1? On your hand the N looks too pink, but on your face it seems a much better match, although I'd fear that oxidization may turn it peachy orange, which seems to happen to a lot of my cool-toned (uhm, NW then in MAC terms) foundations. Don't worry, Belly - I think we're all equally confused.

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  2. LOL, I think everyone is confused by MAC. I got matched to NC20 and it looked fine for a while but it oxidizes like the crazy. I think they all do :P I like their concealers, though? But those have their own shade range issues. You would think they would all correspond, but that would be TOO LOGICAL.


    I would say C1...coz I think you want your face to match your neck. Or well, I do. I mean my face and my neck. You know what I mean. T_T

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  3. Hahaha this is confusing indeed! I've never owned a MAC foundation. I got myself matched because it seems to be something more people understand (but I also tell people what my Dior/Guerlain matches are). So uh basically, my undertone is yellow. There is really no arguing that. I know certain beige/neutral shades still pass, but anything remotely pink just won't do. By now I can guess what my closest match would be in a line-up, although sometimes that doesn't even come close to what I need!

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  4. Lol! My face is red while my neck and body are patches of yellow and neutral ivory. That's why I can take foundations that are yellow and neutral. However, because my face gets red, I always choose yellow over neutral to counter out the redness. Some neutrals look pink on me while others are fine. Go figure!
    MAC foundations don't work on me. I'm around NC15-20 mainly because NC20 oxidises on me too. A few foundations that work on me are KGD 002, Dior 011, Chanel B10 and even MUFE face and body in 38 which is pinker. In the end, I just go for light to medium coverage because they're more forgiving!

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  5. I'm with Larie. C1 looks like a better match.

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  6. N1 is definitely closer to your skintone. However, I have a weird slightly olive skin with a lot of surface redness, and I find that a slightly-too-yellow (and ideally, a slightly-too-yellow/green) foundation ends up making my face look much more harmonious with my neck. So, I vote that you beg for samples and try each as a full face before purchasing.


    I keep wanting MAC F&B lately too, but then I remember that I actually prefer MUFE F&B (because it's not as sheer) and I already have that!

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  7. Ah, I can totally relate to this, Belly!
    It took me so long to realize that the closest match does not look the best on my face. Coverage and texture plays a big part to decide not to mention that I have to consider my neck color! I've considered buying a By Terry foundation for a long time, then I finally decided against it because of the color issue. I found a match but it was too similar(?) to my own face color. Crazy, right?
    It seems you have a fair to light complexion with a good amount of pink/beige as well, so you could go either way. But I always opt for cool yellow ones since they oxidize less and cancels the redness. C1? ;-)

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  8. Hey Belly, i think on both swatches N1 looks better on you. But i have the same problem with my neck, hands and face just being different shades. Swatches never work for me, I have to apply it all over mah face to see. Would it help to use different colored bases on parts of the face before applying foundation?

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  9. Foundation is impossible to shop for without putting it fully on the face. I say try half of your face with one shade and half with the other shade. You'll know immediately which is right. Go barefaced to a counter on your next day off and have them apply it if samples aren't possible. It could also be that you'd have to mix the two. :s


    As for MAC colour match, I was once good with a foundation that was NC25 so that's what I've been referring to myself as ever since although it might be different now. I dunno - it can't be all that far off, can it?!?! And because each formula is so different from one another, there's no way that a shade will really look the same across the whole system.

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  10. Since MAC is whack, both in their color system and customer service, Imma help a sista out. Cue Basic Instinct soundtrack please! *crosses and uncrosses eyes*

    N1 and C1 would differ in function since the first is slightly pink and the second a tad yellow. If the objective is to match your face color (pink), N1 is the winner. If the purpose is to match your neck (yellow), C1 is the better choice. But of course, said recommendations depend entirely on my wonky eyes. *spins eyeballs*

    If you want moar accuracy, I will figure out your skin-tone and undertones by applying my homemade (hehe, no lemon cakes here) method, which uses Photoshop and Angelica Dass's Human Pantone swatches at http://humanae.tumblr.com/. In fact, after doing a quick analysis last night, I already have some results to share with you. See Spoiler.

    Of course, the accuracy of results depends entirely on the assumption that my reference photo of you, the last pic in this post, is color accurate. If said assumption does not hold true, link me a better pic! I'll do another test and let you know the results! From my experience, knowing my unique RGB color and Pantone equivalent (mine is 51-8 C) makes the process of matching foundations much easier, at least for online searches. Doing comparisons between my RGB/Pantone color and online swatches is how I discovered my perfect match, the Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation in 001. :D But if you are not confident that your photos truly reflect your skintone, the last resort is to purchase a physical copy of Pantone's Skintone Guide, which costs 3 Surratt blushes! :O!

    Spoiler:

    You would be R(245)G(201)B(177) and Pantone 57-8 C, examples of which are linked as follows: http://humanae.tumblr.com/post/101833487460, http://humanae.tumblr.com/post/101666413559. Moar spoilers: 1) you are pinker than you might imagine. So mebbe Kermit you are not! 2) Your neck and face are similar in coloring. The only significant variation, a +/- 10 difference, would be your blue undertone. Data backs up what you already know: you are pinker in the face and more yellow on your neck :) 3) N1 is too pink and dark for your face let alone your neck. C1 is closer to both your neck and face color.

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  11. I'm going to go back and savor this slowly but OMG! OMG! THANK YOU JOSIE, MARRIES ME TODAY?

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  12. Josie, please come and save me from all the bad foundation matches. We need an INTERVENSHUN.

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  13. omg, Monika! Lookit what Josie did! :O

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  14. Har har! In sekret, yes? My BF is clueless anyways! By the way, I made three edits to the post above: 1) your Pantone color equivalent 2) new example 3) second new example. After looking at my Pantone recommendation again, I realize I matched you a shade darker! You are more 57-7 C rather than 57-6 C. This is what happens when I tinker with colors at night. D:

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  15. Muhahah! Monica, link me a color accurate version of yo face and I'll let you know your results!

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  16. Uhm, I think this may be pretty close? http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MY3Tl8g22XA/VRCAPCm_1zI/AAAAAAAAAsQ/sCYyT1rs4M0/s1600/Catrice_Defining_Blush_020_Rose_Royce_Cheek_Swatch.JPG

    I am wearing foundation, but not on my neck and ears? Is that sufficient? And how do you arrive at your perfect foundation matches after knowing your Pantone and RGB colors?

    THANK YOU JOSIE <3

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  17. N1 blends right in to your face, but when I see your neck, I think the C1 will be a better match. To be honest, though, F&B is so sheer and natural that you can get away with some undertone wonkiness; my neck is cool yellow, but I can wear N1 + White and nobody ever notices the undertone discrepancy.

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  18. I agree with this 100%!

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  19. They uniformly said N1, which does seem pink like my face. :D

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  20. Yes, C1! When applied fully C1 was much better than N1.

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  21. There are a lot of brands I can't wear (by the shades that they release in the US). Chanel B shades are too pink. I see a lot of these brands offer more yellow toned exclusive shades in Asia and I wish they offered them more here, too! We're yellow here, too!

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  22. MAC is tough as I find a lot of the NCs are too warm orange. That looks extra weird on me. Sheer coverage is definitely more forgiving when you are not 100% dead on with your undertone.

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  23. Have you tried the trick where you work in the MAC F&B in your palm for a bit? It changes the texture from runny to a thicker gel that gives more coverage. (which is not to enable you to buy another foundation). :D

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  24. You called it, Lena! C1, which matches my neck is a much better shade when applied all over my face!

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  25. Yes! These dinky swatches were not helpful at all! I tried it all over and found N1 (while close to my face) made me look weird in total.

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  26. I say that is close enough just to give people a near reference of where you are. I also find people of very different skin tones giving wildly disparate MAC colors, so I'm thinking most people aren't 100% sure either. (or wearing the wrong shade) (like 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size right now)

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  27. Does it have to be super sekret? I will gladly and publicly proclaim my 100% adoration of you (as long as BF doesn't mind).


    But more importantly, you are totally amazing and called it. N1 was WRONG. C1 was right.

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  28. Renee, it was oddly jarring how weird N1 looked on me! I don't think I can carry it off in real life. C1 was right on the better match.

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  29. VEGAS BABY! Oh yes, when your face is different all over the place it makes it harder, too! I am very dark in the center and the very edges of my face and then pale every where else. D:

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  30. I keep aiming for more of a "cool" or "olive" choice because I absolutely hate it when foundations draw attention to the yellows on my face. I stay away from "golden" but I can live with "warm." Pink is also problematic because it just looks unnatural. I usually opt for light-medium or medium... but like you, I've NEVER been matched for a MAC liquid base product.

    Basically, this is also why I never go for anything that's super high coverage. I figured it would be good for some of my natural coloring to peek through and I can take care of blemishes or pigmentation with a concealer with more coverage.

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