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.

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.