Help choosing your mineral foundation shade

January 14, 2011

Our customer services team love to help you choose your mineral foundation shade – but just before you pick up the phone try following our step by step guide to help you make the decision on your own. After all, it can be very difficult recommending a shade for you when we can’t actually see you.

Step 1

Time to determine the undertone of your natural skin tone. Our mineral foundations are suitable for all skin tones, and are available with either warm, cool or neutral undertones. Baffled? Don’t worry, we’ll explain.

mineral foundationWarm undertones are generalised by a skin tone with a more yellowy tone to it. It’s not an obvious yellow, but the tones are warmer. So for example if you have an olive complexion or have an Asian complexion you’re likely to have the warm undertones we’ve described.

Cool undertones can be generalised by a more pinky tint within the skin. You’re more likely to have the ‘English Rose’ type complexion.

If you’re not sure and think you sit in-between the two try neutral foundation shades – some of these are our top sellers, as they suit most skin tones irrelevant of the subtle undertone.

Step 2

Check against the veins in your wrists – it might sound funny, but in people with warmer skin tones the veins in the wrists show more green, and in people with cooler skin tones the veins show as more blue in colour.

Step 3

Select your category. Our foundations are split into the following categories – pale (for the very palest of them all our Porcelain has been described as one of the palest foundations available on the cosmetics market). Light – for the fairly pale group, you’ll find some of our best sellers like Blondie and Barely Buff in this category. Light –medium – you’re likely to be naturally quite light skinned, but tan easily. Medium – you’re likely to tan easily and hold the colour for most of the year, or have an olive or Asian complexion. And finally, our tan category caters for the deeper skin tones, up to our richest shades of Cinnamon and Hot Chocolate.

Step 4

Sample! Our samples are inexpensive and are there to make your buying decision easier. We always recommend trying a minimum of three samples – always try to select a shade lighter and darker than the one you think you might be.

Good luck!

393 Responses to “Help choosing your mineral foundation shade”

  1. Rowan Says:

    Thanks for the tip!

    Can you also advise what other shades of foudation i can try to get a better match? I currently use blush away and popcorn but I’m not sure I have the shade exactly right. I am quite fair but my face can be a little red and have blue/purple veins.

    Thanks
    Rowan

  2. Lily Lolo Says:

    Do you find that Popcorn is too dark or orange for you? Also would you say you had peachy under tones to your skin? LL x

  3. Lisa Says:

    Hi, I’m new to your foundation and looking for a match to Mac NC35. I like a natural look but need to cover T-zone redness and oilier skin. I’m warm undertones, tan easily, dark hair and eyes. Any recommendations for foundation and finishing powder.
    Thanks

  4. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi Lisa,

    From looking at the foundation you currently use we would recommend looking at samples in Cookie and Warm Honey. To buy samples, simply select which category you require i.e. Makeup from the top navigation, then Foundation.
    You’ll then see an option to select your shade from a drop down tab, once chosen there’s another drop down just beneath it where you can select your chosen size, either sample or full size.

    For redness we have a fabulous corrector in Blush Away, this neutralises redness and provides the perfect base for your foundation.

    Finally for oilier parts of your face we would recommend trying a sample in Flawless Matte. If you apply Flawless Matte to the oilier parts of your face before foundation. It will help to control the shine without drying your skin.

    We hope this helps

    LL x

  5. Maria Says:

    Hi all,

    I recently bought the full size China Doll foundation and the Blondie concealer. After checking some swatches, I thought that they were the perfect match for me, however, they are a bit too white for me. I would need a tone darker, with more yellowish undertones that the cool ones.

    Due to the fact that I only used the foundation twice and it’s the full size, I would not want to waste it. Is it possible to take out the content and to mix it with a darker shade? also, can I do it for the concealer as well?

    If yes, can I get a recommendation, what shade should I buy, both for the Foundation and the Concealer? Should I use a certain tool to mix it? Can I buy new jars from you? Need Help! 🙂

    Regards,
    Maria

  6. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi Maria,

    You can mix shades together to make the right shade for you. Would you say you had a yellow undertone to your skin or peachy undertone?

    LL x

  7. Claire Says:

    Hi
    I have red hair and fair skin and wear MAC NW20. Is candy cane the best match for me?
    Thanks
    Claire

  8. Becca Says:

    Hi there

    I really like the look of Lily Lolo & was interested in trying it as an alternative to my current Bare Minerals foundation. I wear clearly pearl 02 in the BM blemish ready in winter and mix it with clearly cream 03 in summer. Could you possibly advise shades to try that would be a similar colour/tone to a BM 02 & 03 mix please.

    Thank you

  9. Cath Says:

    Hi
    I am confused about my perfect foundation shade. My veins are rather greener and I think my skin has yellow undertones, as I look best in yellowy but light foundations, however skin on my face is pink/reddish and it needs good coverage. I have ordered two samples – Warm peach and Butterscotch. Did I make a good choice? What else would you recommend me to try? Thank you. By the way, it is great that you have samples to try, as many companies offer only full size products so there is no room for mistakes if you don`t want to spend fortune on trying on different shades.

  10. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi, thank you for all the information you have provided and the kind words. We would definitely recommend trying a butterscotch sample as this has yellow undertones but mixing it with a more neutral light shade such as Barley Buff or Blondie. For the areas where you have redness we would recommend our Blush Away Corrector. If you apply Blush Away before your foundation to neutralise redness and this will provide you with the perfect base for your foundation. LL x

  11. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi, thank you for all the information you have provided. We would recommend purchasing samples of In the Buff (which is a light-medium shade with neutral undertones) as your winter foundation and then a sample of Cookie ( medium shade with neutral undertones) either to mix with In the Buff or use on its own. To order samples, simply select which category you require i.e. Makeup from the top navigation, then Foundation. You’ll then see an option to select your shade from a drop down tab, once chosen there’s another drop down just beneath it where you can select your chosen size, either sample or full size. LL x

  12. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi, the best way to find the perfect foundation for you is to purchase samples first of all and experiment. Samples are £1.49 each, to order simply select which category you require i.e. Makeup from the top navigation, then Foundation. You’ll then see an option to select your shade from a drop down tab, once chosen there’s another drop down just beneath it where you can select your chosen size, either sample or full size. We would recommend trying samples in Candy Cane and Blondie. LL x

  13. Mimi Says:

    Hello,
    I have (very) dry skin and like most foundations the LL foundation is more geared towards combination and oily skin (sigh). Still, I use it most days mostly for the natural SPF protection. Depending on how dry my skin is that day I get more or less good results Generally by the end of the day my skin feels quite dry but not necessarily dryer than with no foundation on. It will probably get better when the weather gets warmer (use in the dead of the winter is big no no).
    Anyway, I was wondering if you had any tips for dry skins like mine, OTHER THAN moisturising well, letting the products set, etc.? I thought I might try the BB cream as a base as it is very dewy on its own. Would applying the foundation on top preserve the glow and moist? Basically I want my skin to feel and look moisturised and I prefer a dewy look.
    Thank you.

  14. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for your message.

    We would recommend moisturising as usual before applying your foundation, and then apply our BB Cream which will give a healthy dewy glow as well as a super sheer layer of coverage. It will give you the perfect base for your foundation. After applying your base of BB Cream and allowing it to dry, begin buffing in your foundation into your skin. Apply where extra coverage is needed and don’t forget the smaller areas of your face such as your eyelids and around the nose. Using either our Super Kabuki Brush or Baby Buki Brush, build up in light layers to achieve your desired covered and buff using circular motions.

    We hope this helps?

    LL x

  15. Mimi Says:

    Thanks. I’m going to give using the BB cream as a base a go.

  16. Katarzyna Says:

    Hi
    I`ve recently bought two samples of your mineral foundation, one Warm Peach which is unfortunately too pink for me and the other Butterskotch that has perfect yellow shade for me but is too dark. Which sample would you recommend me to try. Ideally it would be something as light as Warm Peach but a little bit more yellow tone. And one more question. I am usually using natural creams or oil for my face before I put mineral make up on it, but none of them works well with any powder mineral foundation. I tried dry and wet application but still it looks cakey. What do I do incorrectly? I have a problematic skin like redness, visible pores and dry skin, maybe that`s the reason? Please give me some tips or recommend something that will work best with your minerals

  17. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi, thank you for your comment.

    We would recommend trying a couple of neutral samples in Barley Buff and Blondie and mixing them with Butterscotch to get the right shade for you.

    Before applying your foundation you do need to ensure that your moisturiser and oils are fully absorbed into the skin as this can affect how your foundation applies.

    LL x

  18. Katarzyna Says:

    Ok, thanks for your advice.

  19. Mimi Says:

    Hi,
    just a quick question: can I use the BB cream in light with the foundation in Blondie?
    I use Blondie and the undertones are spot-on (despite being a weeny bit too light on first application), yet I find the BB cream in fair just too pale for me. So before I fork out for the BB cream I want to be sure that the two shades will blend nicely.
    Thanks,
    M

  20. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi M,

    Yes you can use the Light BB Cream underneath our Blondie Foundation. The Light BB Cream is warmer than the Fair, as the Fair is designed for very pale skin and from what you have advised it sounds like you are a warmer skin tone.

    Our BB Creams are designed to be a combination of makeup and skincare incorporating moisturiser, primer and light foundation coverage and they can help disguise pigmentation. The Mineral pigments will help blur any imperfections, even the skintone, and the gentle formula won’t irritate sensitive skin or clog pores. Perfect for applying on clean skin for a light, natural finish or as a base for our Mineral Foundation, the BB will give healthy looking, radiant skin.

    LL x

  21. K Says:

    Hey!

    I’m shade 3W Golden Beige in Everyday Minerals Matte Base. My skin is light in winter (NC-25ish i think) with warm undertones. But in summer I go up to NC42 and more. Which shades do you think I should try? And what kind of blushes would you recommend? I’m also thinking of getting the pressed bronzer and I don’t know if Montego Bay or Honululu is the better choice.

    Thanks for your help.

  22. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi Katja,

    Thank you for your email and information provided.

    We would recommend looking at samples of Popcorn, Cookie and Warm Honey (warm honey more for your summer shade). To order samples, simply select which category you require i.e. Makeup from the top navigation, then Foundation. You’ll then see an option to select your shade from a drop down tab, once chosen there’s another drop down just beneath it where you can select your chosen size, either sample or full size.

    With the blushers would you prefer a pressed or loose? Also do you prefer pinks, peaches or browns?

    Many thanks LLx

  23. Lauren Says:

    Hiya, I have started using the colour porcelain which is perfect but im now looking for the best colour for when I fake tan, currently I would wear mac studio fix in NC35/37 and was wondering what colour of mineral foundation and concealer you would recommend? Its hard to figure out with the colour chart as the tan is covering up your natural undertones!

    Thankyou!

  24. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for your message.

    Please can you advise if the fake tan you are using is a sun kissed tan shade or a deep tanned shade?

    LL x

  25. Sarah Says:

    Hi, I’m looking for advice on which shade of the mineral foundation to buy. I was advised to use the clearly medium (04) in bare minerals blemish remedy mineral foundation, which would be the closest match for me? Thanks

  26. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi,

    From the information provided we would recommend trying a sample of our Cool Caramel Foundation as this also is a medium shade with cool undertones similar to the shade you already use. To order samples, simply select which category you require i.e. Makeup from the top navigation, then Foundation. You’ll then see an option to select your shade from a drop down tab, once chosen there’s another drop down just beneath it where you can select your chosen size, either sample or full size.

    LL x

  27. Mandy Says:

    Hi,

    I’m an NC25 in MAC and have olive-yellow undertones but I’m not dark. My skin colour is weird as I’m not too light or too medium. Which shade would u you recommend?

    Thanks!

  28. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi,

    We would recommend trying samples in Butterscotch (a medium shade with olive, yellow undertones) and mixing it with In the Buff (a light-medium shade with neutral undertones).

    To order samples, simply select which category you require i.e. Makeup from the top navigation, then Foundation. You’ll then see an option to select your shade from a drop down tab, once chosen there’s another drop down just beneath it where you can select your chosen size, either sample or full size.

    LL x

  29. Ashley Says:

    Hi!
    Wa just enquiring about what shade you would recommend for my skin tone. I am shade NC15 in Mac with my skin pale and on the cool side. I also hve a lot of redness in my skin aswell.

    Thanks!

  30. Maria Says:

    Hi, I’m actually using Coleur Caramel compact foundation n. 11. It’s a bit dark for my skin, and it’s too orange. Previously I’ve used Elemental Beauty foundation in Louminous shade (I’ve got a sample of Outmeal and it was a good match too), but they were a bit too heavy for my skin. I can’t wear warm eyeshadows or lipstiks or clothes, they have a terrible effect on me. What shade do you advice for me? Many thanks.

  31. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi,
    We would recommend trying samples of Blondie and Candy Cane from the shade you currently use. To order samples, simply select which category you require i.e. Makeup from the top navigation, then Foundation. You’ll then see an option to select your shade from a drop down tab, once chosen there’s another drop down just beneath it where you can select your chosen size, either sample or full size.
    For the redness, we would recommend looking at our Blush Away Corrector. This is designed to neutralise any redness and provides you with the perfect base for your foundation.
    LL x

  32. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi,

    From the foundation shades you currently use, we would recommend trying samples in China Doll (a pale shade with neutral undertones), Blondie (a light shade with neutral undertones) and Warm Peach (a light shade with warm undertones).

    To order samples, simply select which category you require i.e. Makeup from the top navigation, then Foundation. You’ll then see an option to select your shade from a drop down tab, once chosen there’s another drop down just beneath it where you can select your chosen size, either sample or full size.

    We hope this helps?

    LL x

  33. k Says:

    Hello,

    I am NC 42 -43 warm toned and lighter skinned in t-zone and darker around the periphery. Which foundation shades are recommended for me? Also, I like peach/pink blusher. Which would be the best shade?

  34. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for your message

    Please can you advise which brand of foundation it is you currently use also?

    Our blusher in Clementine is a lovely matte peachy/pink shade. With our loose mineral blushers a little goes a long way.

    LL x

  35. Pia Says:

    Hi! I am using the Maybelline stay matte Foundation in doft beige which is a brillant match during the summe. Could you recommend any shades to try? Best, Pia

  36. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hello Pia, is this the mMaybelline fit me matte or dream matte? Or did you mean Rimmel stay matte foundation, as I cant seem to find the foundation you have mentioned! Thank you LLx

  37. ks Says:

    Hello,

    I am looking for a foundation. My closest matches are NC 42 -43 (MAC) and honey (5) in Bobbi Brown but these oxidise. I am warm/golden toned and lighter skinned in t-zone and darker around the periphery. I also tan during the summer months. Which shades are recommended for me? Also, which blusher shades would suit me? Thank you 🙂

  38. Pia Says:

    Hi! Sorry for the late reply. Its rimmel stay matte Liquid Mousse Foundation in soft beige. So confusing all these Brands…

  39. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hello we would recommend trying Coffee Bean, Cinnamon and Saffron. We sell sample sizes so you can have a little experiment with the different colours first before committing to a full size pot. Blush wise as you are quite tanned I would go towards more the browns and darker peach colours. Hope this helps! LLx

  40. sonia Says:

    thank you for your reply. saffron sample is not available on website. it mentions a 9 week wait. is there another way to sample saffron prior to purchasing full size.

    this is my first time getting a mineral foundation and i would like to get it right as i usually struggle to find something. thanks

  41. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hello unfortunately not but if you are in the UK and go onto our about at the bottom and under stockists, you can see if there are any stockists in your area. Give them a call first to check they stock your colour! LLx

  42. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hello we would recommend trying samples in Barely Buff, In the Buff and Popsicle. Experiment and find what suits you best! LLx

  43. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hello, we would recommend trying samples in Cookie, Warm Honey and Butterscotch. For blush as you are a medium tone you should be okay with any shade, just stay away from really light or really dark. Flushed is a really nice matte pink or Goddess is a perfect shade for when you have a tan as it has a light golden shimmer and sits between a pinky brown and a coral LLx

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