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!

477 Responses to “Help choosing your mineral foundation shade”

  1. Mia Says:

    Hello, Im searching for the right shade for my fair skin. I have dark brown hair and a fair skin which doesnt tan quickly. But Im defintely not rosy in any way. I want to try now Mineral foundation from Lily Lolo which colour would suit me? I use the Vichy teint ideal No 15 which is the lightest from this brand. Ive also tried light from Bare Minerals which was to yellow for my skin.Thanks:)

  2. Lynne Says:

    Hi, I have been using warm honey as a shade during winter. I tan easily and soend a lot if time outside. This shade is starting to look too pale, please could you advise on what shades to try? Thank you

  3. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hello Mia, I’ve just had a look and BM light matches our popcorn which has a peachy undertone, I’d say if you are finding BM to yellow/peachy try a sample size of In the Buff and Barely Buff, these are in the same shade range as the BM light but they have a balanced neutral undertone. As always re always recommend purchasing sample sizes first! LLx

  4. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hello Lynne, our next shade up with a peach undertone is Coffee Bean. It may be that you just need to mix a little of it in with your current shade to make the perfect shade for you. Try a sample size first before committing to a full size! LLx

  5. Mia Says:

    Thanks for your help. Ill try Barely Buff first, its lighter

  6. Sophie Says:

    Hi there,

    I currently use fairly medium on bare minerals and looking to see what the equivilant will be for the lily lilo brand?
    Many thanks!

  7. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi Sophie, Candy Cane is our nearest match. Make sure to purchase a sample size first to make sure! LLx

  8. Aniri Says:

    Hi there,
    I currently use N3 creamy beige from L’Oreal true match minerals and looking something from Lily Lolo brand. I’m searching for the right shade for my skin. Can you help me? Thanks.

  9. Anna Says:

    Hey! I have used bm medium beige.. Dont know witch lily and lolo shade i will tryck.. Bought shade barley buff.. Its a little bit Lighter and little pinky? Is there another shade near bm medium beige?

  10. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi Anna, Barely Buff is our nearest match, if you are finding it too pink (it is a neutral shade) you may want to go more peachy, would you say you have peach undertones to your skin? LLx

  11. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hello Aniri, looking at this shade I would say try Cookie and In the Buff, these both have a neutral undertone. We do sell sample sizes so always recommend purchasing those first before a full sized pot LLx

  12. Emma Says:

    Hi, i currently use Bareminerals Sandstone 16 – do you know which colour might be best for me ?

  13. mimi Says:

    I used Bareminerals foundation in shade fairly light ( a bit too crayish and light for me) so I changed to BM golden medium with was a bit too dark. However I really think that that golden undertone suits me. I am planning on ordering lily lolo now, and i am thinking about shades barely buff or warm peach. Which one do you think would suit me better? I have tried in the buff previously and it was a bit too dark for me, however great for summer if I’m really tanned.

  14. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi Emma, I have just had a look at your current shade and it looks similar to Cookie, this has a neutral undertone and is for medium skin. We do sell sample sizes, and we always recommend ordering a sample size first to make sure it is right for you! LLx

  15. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hello Mimi, this one is quite tricky! our barely buff (light) shade is similar to Fairly Light in BM, which you have said was too light for you. BM Golden Medium is similar to Warm Honey (medium) which you have said is too dark. Barely Buff and Warm Honey are quite a big step away from each other. I would normally recommend going in the middle with Popcorn (light-medium) which has a warm undertone and In the Buff (light – medium) which has a neutral undertone but you have already said In the Buff only works if you have a tan. Im assuming Barely Buff would be too light for you if BM Fairly light is too light for you, but you have already stated the next shade up, In the Buff is too dark. I would suggest that you may need to mix the shades to get the correct one. Try a sample of Barely Buff with Popcorn or in the Buff mixed in. You could try warm peach but it is in the same light category as Barely Buff but the peach undertone may be enough to warm your skin and not look like its too pale. Hope this makes sense LLX

  16. Heike Says:

    I love mineral make up and used n20 by bareminerals, now I bought some samples of the the buff and barely buff but I’m not sure if this is the right colour for me. They told me once (before they checked my colour for Bm) that my skin in cool. What would you suggest?
    Thanks in advance

  17. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hello Heike, if you have a cool undertone this means you have pink undertones. keeping to the light and light – medium shades I would suggest samples in Candy Cane and Popsicle. LLx

  18. Sarah Says:


    I used to use warm honey but wanted to have something a little tanner. I bought different samples (Saffron and Cookie) and discovered that if I mix a little of Saffron with Cookie or Warm Honey, I have the perfect colour for my skin! Which one would be the closest to a mix between Saffron and Cookie? Many thanks in advance! Sarah

  19. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hello Sarah, we would recommend trying Dusky, but it may be that you perfect shade is a mix like you have done! LLx

  20. Sarah Says:

    I am very pale, yet not sure which color will fit best.
    I use Revlons Colorstay in 110 ivory and if I would use Bare Minerals I would use their lightest shade Fair. Both Colors are a tiny bit to pinkish for me though. Any advices?
    Thanks a lot in adcance!

  21. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi Sarah, our equivalent to BM would be China Doll, however ours does not have a pink undertone. Make sure to purchase a sample first! LLx

  22. ALICE Says:

    Hi, I currently use the foundation of Neve Cosmetics in the shade Light warm ,what shade is right for me??
    I would also like to know a shade for tanned skin.

  23. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hello Alice, as this is a light warm shade I would try a sample size of Warm Peach, the next shade up from this with a warm undertone is Popcorn. Depending on how dark you tan, Popcorn or Warm Honey would be the next ones up. Always make sure to try sample sizes first 🙂 LLx

  24. Rachael Says:

    I am quite pale and cool toned and usually wear the Blondie mineral foundation. However in the summer I often use a fake tan moisturiser for a slightly tanned look. What would be the best shade to buy for the summer months? Perhaps one down from Blondie?

  25. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hi Racheal, we would recommend trying out ‘Barely Buff’ whilst you have a tan, this shade like blondie has balanced undertones – make sure to purchase a sample pot to try this shade first! LLx

  26. Paiju Says:

    Hey! I want to try the lily lolo minerals, but I’m not sure of which color to go for. I have used golden beige from BM, and when I’m tanned I use golden tan from BM. What would be the color matches from lily lolo for winter skin and tanned skin?

  27. Lily Lolo Says:

    Hey! For winter skin our closest shade would be Cookie and for tanned skin we would recommend Saffron – we do suggest buying testers first so you can find your ideal shade before buying the FS version! LLx

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