Trying to find the best foundation for pale skin is not an easy task.
As a teenager, your biggest beauty issues were probably a) you couldn’t find a street purchase that didn’t leave you scratched, and b) that those free samples with magazines were still way too dark (though God know you’ve tried them anyway, just in case).
And don’t throw us in if you need to borrow a little foundation in an emergency, because you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who has a shade close enough to light. Sigh.
So what should you know before you go in search of the perfect shade? “First of all, it’s good to have an idea of your shade, whether your skin has warm yellow tones or cool pink tones under the skin,” says Aimee Morrison, professional artist at Bobbi Brown. “There are many ways to find out. For example, if you feel better about gold jewelry, you probably have a warm shade, and if you look better while wearing silver jewelry, you may very well have a cool shade.
“Or, if you look and feel better by wearing rose gold jewelry, chances are you have a neutral shade, which means you have a balance of pink and yellow tones in your skin.”
Second, the formula can play an important role in matching a foundation to your complexion. “Be aware of the intensity of the nuances in the foundation; generally, the darker the shade, the more yellow it is and the lighter shades are more pink. If you have lighter skin, it is likely that you are looking for a foundation that has a light color intensity and a fresh or neutral undertone.
“Know if you want your foundation to be the same color as your skin or if you want it to be a little warmer – it may depend on the time of year you buy the foundation and if your surface tone will change. For example, if you have booked a holiday and you know you will have a tan, or if your surface tone stays fair all year. “
And finally, the golden rule for finding your perfect match is to match the shade. “At Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, we will always sit you down and nuance you to help you find your perfect foundation. You will also receive a 7 day free sample to take home and make sure your 100% trust in the shade and formula.
“Avoid trying to find your perfect match by trying a product on the back of your hand, the skin here is actually a different color than your face.”
We tested shade after shade to give you a starting point to find your best foundation for pale skin. We are sure that among these fail-safe formulas is your new hero.
Best foundation for very pale skin
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation, £ 26.40, Illamasqua.com
The lightest shade of this particular foundation (01) is so pale that if you’ve never managed to find a foundation light enough for you, this could be the winning ticket – but in any case, we recommend that you ‘Go test it first before buying. That said, this one makes a great blender if you need to lighten the slightly too dark foundations.
Best shade for pink skin: 02
Best shade for yellow skin: 03
Best shade for neutral skin: 01 or 3.5
The best foundation for pale skin with yellow undertones
Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation, £ 32, Fabled
Makeup mogul Bobbi Brown changed the beauty industry as we know it when, in the 90s, launched a line of stick foundation that brought yellow makeup to the masses – before , the consumer foundations were mainly based on pink and not work on many skin tones. The smart part is that its combination of moisturizing and oil-controlling ingredients (namely shea butter and specialized minerals) adapts to your skin’s needs to keep it in place all day.
Best shade for pink skin: Alabaster
Best shade for yellow skin: Hot porcelain
Best shade for neutral skin: Porcelain
The best foundation for pale skin with pink undertones
NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick, £ 30, Fabled
Skin tones with pink undertones are also known as “fresh” skin tones. NARS offers many shades based on pink on all their bases, but the shades of their latest version, Velvet Matte, are particularly suitable for fresher skin tones. If you like a full coverage build foundation with a super mat finish, this is for you – it even comes with a removable sponge tool for on-the-go application.
Best shade for pink skin: Mont Blanc
Best shade for yellow skin: Gobi
Best shade for neutral skin: Siberia or Deauville
Pharmacy foundation for pale skin
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation, £ 5.99, Lookfantastic
Gone are the days when trying to get a pale budget foundation is almost impossible, as many street brands now have a lighter shade that is actually, finally, light. Maybelline’s new Mat + Poreless foundation is a great buy for summer heat, keeping you shiny and ready to take photos all day long.
Best shade for pink skin: 102 Light ivory
Best shade for yellow skin: 100 Hot ivory
Best shade for neutral skin: 110 Porcelain
Best foundation for dry, pale skin
Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation, £ 32, Selfridges
Huda Kattan, the mastermind behind Huda Beauty, sent fans into a crisis when she announced that she was publishing a full coverage foundation and #FauxFilter certainly did not disappoint; a robust foundation that covers all levels of flaws and uneven skin tone in a wide range of 30 different shades.
One bottle will last everyone (you need less than one pea size to make your whole face) and it’s so thick and pigmented that it can be mixed with a little moisturizer for a more rosy finish. What makes it the best foundation for dry, also pale skin is that it is filled with centella asiatica and argan oil for extra hydration. Huda, congratulations on creating the best foundation for pale skin.
Best shade for pink skin: Milkshake or vanilla
Best shade for yellow skin: Panna cotta
Best shade for skin with neutral tones: Angel Food
The best foundation for pale oily skin
Born This Way Too Faced Foundation, £ 29, Selfridges
With already oily skin, you need a non-comedogenic foundation (not clogging pores) that will not worsen the high oil levels in your skin. Generally, you can’t go wrong with an oil-free foundation.
Enriched with both hyaluronic acid and coconut water for non-greasy hydration, the oil-free formula of Born This Way is ideal for those who find themselves bright at lunchtime due to a naturally oily complexion . Providing medium to full coverage, it will leave your skin radiant and glowing and can be built for a non-pasty finish; the best foundation for oily skin which is also very clear.
Best shade for pink skin: Snow or pearl
Best shade for yellow skin: Ivory or almond
Best shade for skin with neutral tones: Swan
Check out more of the fairest foundations in our roundup of the best below. Consider your quest for the best foundation for full, pale skin …