Yellow, Gorgeous! In a perfect world, buying foundation would be as simple as buying a gallon of milk. There’s a few different options, but you know what you like and it’s easy to be in and out of the store in five minutes flat.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. In the real world, finding the right foundation for your skin tone can take a lot of trial and error. If you’ve seen chatter about yellow based foundation but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s all of your questions about yellow based foundation, answered. In this post, I will also recommend some of the best foundations for yellow undertones out on the market.

Our Picks For The Best Yellow Based Foundations

RankImageFoundation NameKey Features
1Belloccio's Airbrush Makeup Foundation (Ivory- Light-medium Neutral Pink And Yellow Undertones)- Water Based
- Oil Free
- Fragrance Free
- Works On Sensitive skin
2No ImageNYX Stay Matte Not Flat Liquid Foundation (Ivory)- Water Based
- Full Coverage
- Benefits of Minerals
- Oil Free
3NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation (Fiji - Light with Yellow Undertones)- Lightweight
- Long Lasting (16 Hours)
- Full Coverage
- Oil Free
- Works on Sensitive and Oily Skin
4Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder (Pale Yellow)- Lightweight
- Covers Wrinkles Well
- Good for Oily and Sensitive Skin
- Long Lasting (12 - 15 Hours)


What Is A Yellow Based Foundation?

It’s pretty much what it sounds like. A yellow based foundation is a foundation that has undertones of yellow. No, that doesn’t mean that applying it will make you look like Lisa Simpson.

Essentially, all foundations have top tones and undertones. The top tone is the dominant tone, the color that is designed to match the skin color. The undertone is going to be the less dominant color that gives depth to the main hue. This is the shade that helps the color to seamlessly blend into the skin without looking like a layer of paint that’s been caked over a surface.

Yellow based foundation is typically designed for fair skin tones with warm undertones. This skin tone is commonly seen in women of Asian heritage, although other ethnicities may display it as well. If you aren’t quite sure what your skin’s undertone is, this helpful video can help you to determine which undertone category you fall into.

If you’re still confused, this quiz from PopSugar can help you to accurately determine your skin undertone. Remember, just because your skin might not seem yellow at first glance doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have yellow undertones. Analyzing the hues on the inside of your arm and considering what colors look good on you can be helpful in determining the true undertones of your skin.

Do I Need A Yellow Based Foundation?

A yellow based foundation is designed to enhance skin tones that already have traces of yellow in them, according to In Style magazine. So, skin colors that are fair or light with warm undertones that are more yellow hued than they are peach or taupe hued.

If you don’t have yellow undertones in your skin, be sure to avoid yellow based foundations, as it can give the wrong skin hues an unsightly pallor. For example, a fair skin color with a cool pink undertone would actually look vaguely orange under a layer of yellow based foundation. A yellow foundation can also create an undesirable look on olive skin tones, as it can give the skin a greenish hue. While yellow based foundations can be just what the doctor ordered for those with the appropriate skin color, it should be avoided if you don’t have yellow undertones.

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How Can I Tell If A Foundation Is Yellow Based?

This is where it can get a bit tricky. Determining the undertones of a foundation is rarely as simple as taking a quick glance at the bottle or at the color online. Sometimes, a medium foundation with yellow undertones can look indistinguishable from a fair foundation with olive undertones at first glance.

This is why it’s important to do a bit of investigating before committing to any foundation shade. Per the advice of XOVain, testing prospective foundations on your forearms over your veins can be a great way to ensure that the product has the right undertones for your skin color. If the product is a match, it should effortlessly cover your veins. If the product has the wrong undertones, it will clash against your veins.

Product descriptions can be useful. While not all beauty brands opt to list undertones in their product descriptions, many do. If you’ve found a prospective foundation that you like online but don’t have the opportunity to test it out in person, do an internet search and look for makeup tutorials that used the product in question. If the artist in the video seems to have a similar complexion to yours, it might be a good match after all. It can also be helpful to know return policies when buying both online and in store, just in case something looks off under natural light.

Can I Make My Foundation More Yellow Based?

To answer this question simply: Yes, yes and yes.

Too many women are operating under the erroneous school of thought that mixing products – or “cocktailing” as it’s often called in the industry – is something that only professional makeup artists do. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Mixing colors and products to get your perfect personal formula is a great way to look your best.

There are a few products out there that are designed specifically to inject a yellow undertone into foundation. However, you can also use a yellow concealer. According to Teen Vogue, yellow concealer is primarily meant to cancel out purple and blue shades, such as the dark under eye circles that many of us get. However, never feel compelled to only use a beauty product for its intended purpose. A few drops of yellow concealer can be a great way to inject yellow undertones into your foundation.

There are other benefits to mixing your own foundation beyond just getting the right undertones. “[Creating] a custom blend is key to creating a flawless complexion all year round,” says Bustle beauty writer Jessica Willingham. Indeed, mixing foundations can be a great way to ensuring that your foundation matches your face no matter what time of year it is. You can use this method to lighten your foundation in the winter or to darken your foundation in the summer when your skin is more tanned. Willingham also writes that she advises mixing serums, oils and moisturizers into foundations to create the exact texture that your skin needs.

Best Foundation Brands for Yellow Undertones

Not all foundations are created equal and this is especially true for yellow based foundations. When shopping for a foundation for yellow undertones, it’s important to choose a reputable brand.

Remember, it’s not always about the shade as you can always mix or “cocktail” a shade that fits perfectly with your skin. What’s important are the ingredients and the skin benefits of your foundation.

Here are my favorite brands when it comes to yellow foundations:

1) Belloccio – I would say that Belloccio is a popular choice amongst Professional Makeup artists. They have a huge selection of airbrushed makeup that simply works great for covering marks and blemishes. As their products are mostly water based, their foundations work especially well for people with oily skin.

What you can expect from Belloccio:

– Most formulas contain Hyaluronic Acid which helps to hydrate and firm your skin

– Contains Aloe which is a huge plus for anyone with irritated and sensitive skin

– Does not contain Parabens or Fragrance

– With the use of an airbrush, the small droplets of makeup will not clog your skin or cause acne.

One drawback is that you do need to purchase an airbrush kit to apply the foundation properly. It is possible to apply the product with your regular makeup brushes, you will have to play around with the coverage a bit if you choose to go this route.

2) NYX – No matter if you are a makeup junkie or a professional makeup artist, NYX has something that will work for you. Their foundations come in liquid, powder, cream and solid formulas. You can find NYX products in literally any drugstore out there. Given the price point and the quality of products you get, it’s no wonder that this brand is popular amongst young bloggers and millennials.

What you can expect from NYX:

– They have tons of shades which means no matter which skin tone you have, there is probably a shade for you. This is great for those of you looking for a yellow based foundation. Where other companies are missing shades, NYX is sure to fill the gap.

– Products are relatively inexpensive

– Since they have a huge selection of makeup, you really need to study the skin benefits of the product you are interested in. NYX is tailored towards the masses which means what works for you doesn’t necessary work for others. The yellow based foundation that I have recommended on this blog works great (from my own experience), but you will need to test this out yourself to see if it works for you.

3) NARS – This is another famous brand that I often recommend to my younger clients. NARS is always on top with new and emerging trends. They are not the cheapest but sometimes, you really get what you pay for.

What you can expect from NARS:

– They have superior quality makeup products. If you search around the internet, you will often find NARS products being compared with high end department brands. Why? because their products are all about quality and this is no exception for yellow based foundations. Many products will contain key ingredients like magnolia bark extract, grape seed extract, and vitamin E to ensure that your skin stays healthy.

– They never do testing on animals!

– Although many products do not contain Gluten, some can still be found in their products. Be sure to check the label if this is something you worry about. Furthermore, some of their products do contain Parabens which is a huge let down for some people.

4) Bobbi Brown – What better brand is better than a brand founded by one of the best Professional Makeup Artists out there? When you buy Bobbi Brown products, you also get their tremendous support in the usage of their products.

Here is what you can expect from Bobbi Brown:

– Huge support team, if you don’t understand something, just ask! There is even a button on their website where you can talk directly to makeup artist! How cool is that?

– Bobbi Brown is committed to selling only safe products as suggested on their website. However, it’s truly up to you to educate yourself on the ingredients of the product you are interested in. So far, I’ve had no issues with Bobbi Brown foundations and they have worked wonders for my skin.