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How Can Redheads Find the Right Foundation?

An In-Depth Guide on Finding the Right Foundation

redhead foundation

Finding the perfect foundation as a redhead can be a big struggle. You have to think about your skin tone, your undertones, your skin type, and what type of coverage you want, but you also have to consider that most redheads have sensitive skin, which may rule out some brands. So, how do you go about finding the right foundation? Here are some great tips for redheads: 

Determine what you want in foundation

There are endless options when it comes to foundations, and they all have similar names and claims. It can be extremely overwhelming trying to find what you need if you’re looking at everything. First, you need to determine what you’re looking for in a foundation. Do you want full coverage? Or are you looking for more of a sheer skin tint? Do you want something dewy? Or does a matte finish suit you better? Knowing what you’re looking for will help you determine which brands you should look at and which products to exclude from your search. 


  • Sheer to light coverage is best for those who want a more natural makeup look. This may be a skin tint, a light foundation, or even a tinted moisturizer. 
  • Light to medium coverage is best for those who want something between a natural face and a full face. Light to medium coverage foundations are often buildable
  • Full coverage is best for those who want full glam. You want your makeup to look like makeup and cover up everything. 


  • Dewy or radiant finish foundations are best for those who want a glowy look. Avoid if you have naturally oily skin.
  • Matte finish foundations will help to reduce shine and are best for those with oilier skin types. 

Know Your skin and undertones

Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to talk colors. Most redheads struggle to find foundations that are light enough. If you are a fair-skinned redhead, look specifically at brands that have wide shade ranges. If your skin is more light to medium you may have more options. Aside from knowing where you might fall on the skin tone range, you should also know your undertones. 

Most foundation shades are named by number. The numbers will start low with fairer shades and increase as the shades darken. Finding the right number can be accomplished by swatching the foundation (jawline, cheek, forehead, and neck are all good places to swatch for color match), checking the color against a foundation you already own and love, or being color matched by a makeup professional (more on that later).

Once you find the right number, you need to find the right undertone. If you have cool undertones you need a more yellow-based foundation. These are often marked with a “C” after the number. If you have warm undertones, you will need a more orange-based foundation. These are often marked with a “W” after the number. If you have a more neutral undertone, you will want a neutral foundation. These are often marked with an “N” after the number. 

Try to get color matched: more than once

We talked about how to find the right shade of a foundation by swatching it on yourself or comparing it to a foundation you already know and love. Another option is getting color-matched. You can get color-matched by a makeup professional at most makeup stores. You will choose the foundation you want to try and they will apply it to you. Most makeup store professionals should be able to help you find the right shade by comparing options, but it’s important to get color matched more than once, because it’s not always accurate. 

Get samples

If you have already been color-matched, or have done it yourself and determined which shade and undertones you think are right for you, is it time to buy? Hold on. If you’re shopping in a makeup store (think Sephora) you can ask for samples. Get a few samples and try the product at home. Look at the foundation on your skin in natural light, and see how it wears before committing to a full-size product. If you’re shopping in a drugstore or somewhere that doesn’t have samples, try to buy a travel size of the product to test at home. You can also check the return policy because many places will allow you to return lightly used makeup if it doesn’t work for you. 

Your hair color doesn’t matter as much as you think

We’re writing this article because you (our redhead community) had questions and you wanted some redhead advice on how to choose a foundation. One question that came up in addition to this was if the shade of your red hair matters when choosing a foundation. The answer is no, and the reason for that is that while your red hair matters when choosing other makeup, the point of a foundation is to match and complement your skin. When you take your red hair out of the equation, your skin tone doesn’t change. 

What is your favorite foundation?

Rock it like a Redhead!


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