How to Match Foundation Perfectly to Your Fake Tan

Author: Fleur Burrows

13 Jul 2023

Achieving a flawless makeup look involves more than just choosing the right foundation shade. When you have a beautiful fake tan, it's important to select a foundation that complements your bronzed glow seamlessly. Matching your foundation to your fake tan requires considering both your undertone and the undertone of the tan. In this blog post, we'll explore some essential tips to help you achieve a perfect foundation match and enhance your radiant complexion.

To Fake Tan Your Face Or Not?

There are a couple of factors you should consider because choosing to apply fake tan to your face as well as your body.

  • Skin Reaction: Some skin conditions may be sensitive or reactive to certain products.bIf you have active acne or inflamed breakouts, applying self-tanner may worsen the condition or clog pores, leading to further breakouts. Eczema-prone skin tends to be sensitive and easily irritated. Using self-tanners on psoriasis-affected skin may cause uneven color distribution and emphasize the appearance of plaques. If your skin is currently irritated, sunburned, or experiencing an allergic reaction, it's best to avoid using self-tanners until your skin has healed. Applying products to sensitive skin can cause further discomfort and may delay the healing process.

  • Tan Longevity: If you're like me and use a lot of actives, any fake tan you apply to your face just isn't going to last. AHAs and BHA's help to remove dead skin cells (this include tanned ones), Retinoids accelerate the skins natural shedding process, and some cleansers and Vitamin C (depending on strength) can fade your tan faster. If you catch my bare faced in the summer time, my face will be starkly lighter when compared to my body for this very reason. I'm more than happy to bronze up with a bronzing primer, bronze drops, or a tinted moisturiser when I'm off foundation-duty. Fake tanning and using active skincare, it's a commitment baby. I would rather self bronze my face than apply a fake tan every few days, but hey that's just me!

Understanding Your Undertone:

Before delving into the art of matching foundation to your fake tan, it's crucial to understand your undertone. Undertones are categorized as cool, warm, neutral, or olive, and they determine the underlying hue of your skin. Identifying your undertone will guide you in choosing foundation shades that harmonize with your complexion.

  • Cool Undertones: If you have cool undertones, your skin may have a pink, red, or bluish tint. Veins on your wrist appear more bluish, and silver jewelry tends to flatter your complexion.

  • Warm Undertones: Warm undertones are characterized by a yellow, peachy, or golden hue. Your veins may appear greenish on your wrist, and gold jewelry typically enhances your skin's warmth.

  • Neutral Undertones: Neutral undertones display a balance between warm and cool tones. Veins on your wrist may appear bluish-green, and both silver and gold jewelry suit your complexion.

  • Olive Undertones: Olive undertones have a greenish or yellow-green hue. This undertone is often found in individuals of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, or South Asian descent.


Matching Foundation to Your Fake Tan:

Now that you have a better understanding of undertones, let's explore how to match your foundation perfectly to your fake tan.

1. Analyze Your Tan's Undertone:

Just like your natural skin, fake tans can have undertones too. Some tans have warm undertones, while others have cooler undertones. Pay attention to whether your tan leans more towards golden, peachy, red-brown hues, or even olive tones. This will help you select a foundation that complements and enhances your fake tan's undertone.

2. Utilize Fake Tan Companies with Different Undertones:

To achieve the most natural-looking tan, consider using fake tan products from companies that offer ranges with different undertones. These brands understand that matching the tan to your skin's undertone is key to a realistic and seamless result. Look for options specifically tailored to cool, warm, neutral, or olive undertones, as they can help you select a tan that blends harmoniously with your complexion. Two Australian brands that cater to undertones are Le Tan, as well as Bondi Sands (in their Technocolour range only)!

fake tan - bondi sands undertones

3. Choose a Foundation Shade:

Once you've identified the undertone of your fake tan, look for a foundation shade that aligns with both your tan and your natural undertone. Opt for a foundation that has the same warm or cool undertone as your tan, or choose a foundation with an olive undertone if your fake tan leans towards that green hue after development. This will ensure a harmonious blend between your tan and foundation.

4. Test Before Committing:

Always test foundation shades before making a purchase. Apply a small amount of the foundation to your jawline or the back of your hand and blend it in. The perfect shade should disappear into your skin without creating an obvious contrast against your fake tan. Consider natural lighting and check the match from different angles to ensure a seamless blend.

5. Adjust for Cool Undertones and Warm Fake Tans:

If you have a cool undertone and decide to use a warm-toned fake tan (as most brands at this stage don't offer cool fake tans), you may need to consider using a foundation with a neutral or neutral-warm undertone. This will help balance the contrasting tones and create a more cohesive look. Experiment with mixing foundations or using a tinted moisturizer to customize your shade to match your tan while still complementing your cool undertone. Most brands will make a warm/olive based fake tan only, so if you're neutral, warm or olive, the market is definitely wide open for you!

6. Blend and Set:

After applying your foundation, ensure it is thoroughly blended into your skin, including the areas where your tan and natural skin meet. This will create a seamless transition and prevent any noticeable lines. Set your foundation with a lightweight powder to enhance its longevity and maintain a natural finish.

A Wardrobe of Foundations:

If you're a regular fake tanner, it can be beneficial to have a wardrobe of foundations to complement your varying tan shades. By having a range of foundation shades on hand, including your lightest shade, your darkest shade in your undertone, and a few additional shades, you can easily adjust your makeup to match your changing skin tone. This is especially useful when you use a self-tanner that doesn't perfectly match your natural undertone, or when your tan starts to fade gradually. Mixing different foundation shades together, like a makeup alchemist, allows you to customize the color and achieve a seamless transition between your face and body. This approach ensures that your makeup appears natural, even if your skin tone is fluctuating due to tanning. Having a collection of foundation shades gives you the flexibility to adapt and maintain a cohesive look throughout different stages of your tanning journey.

Matching your foundation perfectly to your fake tan involves understanding your undertone, including olive undertones, and considering the undertone of the tan itself. Look for fake tan products from companies that offer ranges with different undertones to help you select a tan that complements your natural complexion. Choose a foundation shade that aligns with both your tan and undertone, and remember to test shades before committing. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to achieving a stunning makeup look that accentuates your beautiful bronzed glow while maintaining a seamless and natural appearance.

fake tan - foundation wardrobe

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