The Foundations: Part 1

I have a fixation with finding the right foundation.  As Kermit the Frog sang, it’s not easy being green. I have yellow-beigey skin with greenish undertones that as it gets darker, turns a golden greenish tan brown, NOT orange.  Think of a ripe platano.  Never heard of one? Wiki it.  I have discovered that buying light yellow-beige shades that allow my undertone to peek through, while making them darker with bronzers and Fluid Sheers, are the best shades for me since it’s hard to hide a wrong undertone match when the foundation is too dark.  My face just looks orange and dirty. 

1. MAC Pro Long Wear Concealer in NC 30, $17.00

I swatched this concealer to act as a comparison to the Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation shade.  As you can see they have the same undertone, even though Perricone’s is brighter and sheerer.  MAC’s NC 30 has a strong peachy/orangey undertone as it dries down.  Don’t be fooled by the golden beige liquid form it comes out as before it dries and sets to peachy orange.  Check out the edges of the swatch where it is drying down faster.

2. Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation, 1.0 oz for $55.00

I have been interested in this product since I read an intervew with Eva Mendes where she mentioned that she used this as her foundation.  I REALLY should have known better.  Eva Mendes is noticeably darker than me and has a distinct reddish bronze tone to her skin.  That still didn’t stop me.  So, I first got a sample, which I used after the gym, and it looked ok under gym lights, but in daylight it is obviously warm-toned with a slight hint of orange.  This would give a sun-kissed glow to someone who is not very pale or light.  This shade reminds me of a sheerer  Lancome’s Renergie Eclat Multi-Lift Multi Action Tinted Skincare in Shade 2, which felt wonderful on my skin, by the way, but it was definitely orange.   I am impressed this it has a high SPF and I do like some of the ingredients in there.  This is a blend with a golden highlighter tinted moisturizer for me.  Not a repurchase unless they expand color options, which is too bad because this feels like nothing at all.  If you are an NC30-35, this will likely be amazing on you.

Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (12.2%), Titanium Dioxide (3.2%), Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate,Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Cyclomethicone, Peg 100 Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Sorbitan Stearate, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Phenoxyethanol, Glycolic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Fruit Extract, Mica, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Dimethyl Mea (DMAE), Tribehenin, Polyacrylamide, Cetyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Lecithin, Thioctic Acid (Alpha-Lipoic Acid), PEG-8, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Lactate, Xanthan Gum, Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramide 2, PEG 10 Rapeseed Sterol, Teprenone, Arabidopsis Thaliana Extract, Plankton Extract, Micrococcus Lysate, C13-14 Isopara_N, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Iron Oxides (CI 72122, CI 72123, CI 72124), Citric Acid, Laureth-7, Disodium EDTA, Ascorbic Acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Limonene, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Linalool, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Ilex Paraguariensis Leaf Extract, Bulnesia Sarmientoi Wood Oil, Coriandrum Sativum.

3. Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation in Buff 7W, 1.0 oz for $39.00

This foundation does impart an incredible lit from within glow on my skin.  The only problem is that there is a definite hint of peach on there when it dries down and I hate peach or orange dry down shades.   It is ok in certain lighting but under natural day light, you can tell there is peach.  More of a night time foundation for me.  But the texture and luminous glow really are nice.  It is just not the right shade match even though it was the BEST shade match for me in this line.  I will not repurchase but only because it is not the right color.  It is a wonderful foundation if you can find a match.

4. Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15 Foundation in Buff, 1.o oz for $27.00  (Sample Not Pictured)

I was really annoyed when I realized Golden Neutral was too golden-orange for me and that I hadn’t realized it until I compared it to YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation in  BD 50.  So, I went back to swatch other shades to see if there are other shades and I got Buff, which looked close.  Turns out, Clinique’s Even Better Makeup in Buff is a very good color dupe for Lancome’s Teint Miracle in Buff 7W.  Here is the catch: when pumped, Lancome come’s out peachy while Clinique’s starts off high yellow creamy, but it oxides darker to match Lancome’s Buff 7W peachyness.  After the dry down, it is virtually the same color.  Clinique’s foundation is a moist, thick textured, medium to full coverage better suited to drier skintypes, while Lancome’s is luminious and light to medium in coverage is suitable for all skintypes, except very dry.

5. Shu Uemura Face Architect Smoothing Fluid Foundation in 964, 1.0 oz for $44.00

This is a light yellow-beige foundation that matches my untanned skin very well.  Except, my face is almost always tanned from the sun or melasma, so I can only use this with Fluid Sheers applied on top to darken the foundation.  But this foundation has a lovely texture that really is smooth AND it can be layered on top of thick, grippy mineral sunscreens, and meld into my skin for an incredible smooth finish.  I used to layer a vitamin C serum, Coppertone Faces Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50, this foundation, and then Fluid Sheers on top of my skin.  There were no pilling, or texture contrast issues with this foundation over so many layers.  My skin was thick, juicy, super protected and appropriately toned with a glow.  Catch?  I can only do this routine when my skin is NOT BROKEN OUT.  One more thing, this comes out light but does set a darker yellow beige color, but it does NOT turn orange. 

Ingredients: sea water , cyclopentasiloxane , propylene glycol , talc , phenyl trimethicone , barium sulfate , peg-8 , methyl methacrylate crosspolymer , peg-10 dimethicone , peg-20 , polyglyceryl-4 isostearate , cetyl peg/ppg-10/1 dimethicone , hexyl laurate , acetylated glycol stearate , dipropylene glycol , algae / algae extract , porphyridium/zinc ferment , sorbitol , magnesium sulfate , disodium stearoyl glutamate , lauroyl lysine , aluminum hydroxide , methylparaben , butylparaben , chlorphenesin , phenoxyethanol , limonene , butylphenyl methylpropional , linalool , parfum / fragrance.

Here are the swatches:

Hope you found the info and swatches useful!




  1. Pingback: The Foundations: Part 2 « Fairytales and Coffee

  2. Pingback: Treatment and Foundation in One? (Thhppfffttt): Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15 « Fairytales and Coffee

  3. No one has described my skin tone as accurately as you did. I’m a darker version of you. I always wondered why I couldn’t find a foundation that’s yellow enough, it took me a while to realize that I have yellow skin with greenish tones in me. A makeup artist told me I’m a “yellow olive”. All this time I thought all yellow skin tone is warm.

    Anyway, I’m definitely checking out shu uemura face architect. Right now, all I can do is to ‘correct’ my tone with a yellow powder to keep the orange down.

    • Yup – most brands do not make true yellow olive foundations. Beige is a standard shade and they just go through the depth variation from very light to very dark. I know I am not a skintone unicorn as I see others who have it, but I guess it is not as “universal” as beige is. If there are olive shades, they are almost always medium-deep, leaning very brown or orange. I assure you when I find a true yellow-olive, I will spam my blog with mentions of it daily.

  4. I love your blog because I finally found someone who like me has light yellowy green skin and is looking for a foundation to fit it ! Ive been so angry because everyone assumes olive skin can only be dark or tanned 😦 and what about those who have LIGHT olive skin . we should do some kind of angry-mob-petition 😀

    • 100 percent agree! Olive is an undertone and it can be super light or medium-dark. I really don’t get why olive undertones are not catered to. I see a ton of people with a hint of green. But they are all wearing that god awful beigy-peach undertoned foundation to cover it up. I live my olive undertones and don’t want to cover it up with another undertone.

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