Fix your too-light foundation buy

Friday, 27 July 2012

Fix your too light foundationJust because you’ve bought a foundation that’s too light for your skin tone, doesn’t mean you have to chuck that expensive new purchase. Bella Sugar shares their tips on how to make the most with what you’ve got.

In the make-up world, there are few things worse than discovering you’ve purchased a too-light foundation shade. (Cullen family, anyone?) But before you send it to the junkyard or head back for a refund, make your mismatched make-up work for you. Here’s how:

Use it as a highlighter

For a non-shimmery take on a highlighter, apply your light-toned foundation to the middle of the nose to elongate, on the upper cheeks to add brightness, or on the top of the Cupid’s bow to lend definition. On the eyes, use it on the inner corners and under the eyebrows for an instant lift.

Rev it up

Intensify a too-light shade by mixing in a bit of bronzer (whether it’s gel or powder). Or, if you’re feeling artistic, blend it with a darker shade of foundation for a completely customized palette.

Save it for another season

Skin can lighten and darken depending on season, so use that to your advantage. When well-blended, a lighter foundation shade in the winter might just match your complexion perfectly. Still off? Apply it with a wet sponge to blur its paleness.

Recognize the power of powder

If the shade is only slightly too light, then still wear it as normal, but consider layering a darker powder on top. Or just add a bit of bronzer as a finishing step, targeting the cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin.

Originally written by Jaime Richards, this article appeared in BellaSugar [http://www.bellasugar.com]

Image: Shots Studio/Shutterstock.com 

Other articles you may be interested in:
Foundation types explained: Powder
Foundation types explained: Liquid
Foundation types explained: Cream
Shades for Africa guaranteed
Apply foundation flawlessly

Written by

Megan Kakora has helped launch the websites of, and been the online editor for, some of South Africa’s biggest glossy magazines. She believes in less-is-more, except when it comes to her collection of nail polish colours.
Megan on Google+

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  1. Liezl Smith

    I want to try out contour makeup but am unsure what products to use. Previously I used Estee Lauder’s rich ginger, but I don’t know what to use for contour and highlighting. Please assist me, because I love to try out contouring makeup, please. Something flawless as a contour makeup.

    4 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    I once bought a powder that was darker than my skin as I was deceived by the store lights and sales person. I wasn’t happy but I’ve now learned to go outside and check out the make-up in natural light before buying.

    5 years ago •

  1. Hima

    Great article!!! I curse the intense in-store lighting for such mishaps. Ok now what about if the shade you bought is 2 shades darker… any suggestions????

    6 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    This is great tips. Will use mine as highlighter.

    6 years ago •

  1. Lorraine

    This has happened to me.When you buy your foundation it looks so good on your skin in the shop,because of the lights it looks like the right colour.When at home you apply it you look like s spook.Then only do you see the colour is to light.

    6 years ago •

  1. Jeanice van Heerden

    Interesting. Mistakes like buying the wrong foundation happens often to many of us

    6 years ago •

  1. Mohamed

    I use 2 shades of foundation usually, one lighter and one darker, and mix them to suit the season.

    6 years ago •

  1. Anita

    This has happened to me, thanks for the great advice

    6 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    I have a darker shade and I mix in a little moisturiser to “lighten” it. It seems to work and I get an extra dose of moisture in!

    6 years ago •

  1. Charne

    Thanks, now I dont have to look like a ghost no more! Ha Ha

    6 years ago •

  1. Mpbutterfly

    Great tips to save money when your purchase went wrong.

    6 years ago •

  1. Maria Meyer

    Wow – I have a tube I would like to make lighter, any ideas?

    6 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    This happens to me oh so very often! thanks, great tip!

    6 years ago •

  1. Zu

    In asia, its the other way round, we actually choose shade lighter than our natural skin tone… So the mistake is actually buying a darker shade, any tips?

    6 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    thanks for the tips, I have bought a lighter shade before and ended up giving it away. thanks next time will know what to do.

    6 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    I think it’s a common problem with darker skin as there are too many shades for cosmetic companies to cater for everyone

    6 years ago •

  1. Charles

    Thanks for the tips! Hate it when you get home and the foundation doesn’t match! :(

    6 years ago •

  1. Lady-T

    Iwould love to longate my short nose!!! I’ll try this tip of applying light-toned foundation to the middle of the nose .

    6 years ago •

  1. Sam

    Thanks for the info. I have a foundation that I was just about to chuck.

    6 years ago •

  1. Zu

    Nice article! What about darker foundation?

    6 years ago •

  1. M.Ross

    Mismatched foundation is the worst!

    6 years ago •

  1. Guccigirl

    Great advice! Foundation is not cheap and it’s a terrible feeling to get home and realise you’ve bought the wrong color.

    6 years ago •

  1. wyona

    Happened to me in the past, luckily i did not bin it but mixed my too light foundation with a darker one to get a more natural colour to suit my face.

    6 years ago •

  1. Clarad

    Happened to me too. I just mixed it with the Dr Hauschka emulsion which is a fantastic product you can mix with your day cream or tinted moisturiser!

    6 years ago •

  1. diamond

    Gr8 advice, im dark skin and its always difficult for me to get the coRrect shade of foundation..

    6 years ago •

  1. Le Noir Pearl

    This is written just for me,I’ve 2 and discovered that they don’t match at home. While instore it matched and disappeared on my cheek.but now

    6 years ago •

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