How To Pick The Right Foundation
2. Determining Your Surface Tone
The tone of your skin refers to the amount of melanin (brown and dark pigments in your skin) in the outer lays of your skin. The tone of our skin is genetically inherited from our bloodlines, so when we say surface tone (also called overtone), we mean the color/tone of your skin on the surface. Surface tones often change based on the amount of sun exposure we get, but undertones remain the same. Since our surface tones can change from season to season, it is important to take into consideration both our surface tones and our undertones (we will get to undertones next) when picking a foundation color. Generally speaking, surface tones fall under 5 major categories:
- Fair: People in this category tend to have a fair or porcelain complexion. They likely have light-colored eyes like pale blue and likely have light blond hair or very dark hair with a light complexion. Due to the lower levels of melanin, people with fair skin are prone to sunburns.
- Light: People in this category have a pale complexion but not as light as people with fair skin tones. Light skin tones tend to burn first before they tan.
- Medium: People in this category often have an olive or beige complexion, and they tan easily. This category covers people that are medium to olive. Medium skin tones are often neutral.
- Tan: People in this category have a similar appearance to medium skin tones, except they are just slightly darker. This category covers people that are tan and brown. Tan skin tones also tend to tan easily but don’t burn as easily due to the higher levels of melanin in their skin.
- Dark: People in this category have noticeably dark skin, and they tan very easily. This category covers people that are dark brown and black.