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How to Fix Wrong Undertone Foundation

by Sandy Taylor

If you find yourself in a situation where your foundation doesn’t match your undertone, there are ways to fix your foundation and get it closer to match. The techniques presented below requires that you know a little bit about the color wheel and how to color correct your foundation to make it match your undertone.

The best way to fix wrong undertone foundation is to first neutralize your foundation’s undertone with a color that is opposite on the color wheel. Once your foundation is neutralized, slowly add foundation color adjusters to adjust the undertone to your desired shade. 

To give you the best advice, I connected with a few talented makeup artists in the industry and asked them for their opinions and suggestions for fixing foundation that doesn’t match undertone.

According to Natalie Setareh, an award winning makeup artist and author of the book, Be Your Own Makeup Artist, the first thing you should do is to get a color wheel for reference. This is critical because it helps you get an idea of which color to neutralize the foundation with.

Here’s a color wheel that you can use:




Neutralizing your foundation means that you are reducing your foundation’s color intensity, which makes it easier for you to mix it with color adjusters in order to achieve the tone you desire.

Pink and yellow are the most readily available foundation adjusters but they also come in olive or blue. Products like the Make Up Forever Flash Palettes can be used to get the neutral foundation to the correct undertone in most cases. This will depend on the formula of the foundation.

Example of Fixing Wrong Undertone Foundation Using Color Adjuster

Here’s an example of how you can correct a pink undertone foundation and make it more yellow.

Just 2 steps to follow:

  1. You will need to neutralize the pink with a mint green color (green is opposite to pink on a color wheel).
  2. After it becomes neutral, you’d adjust it with a yellow corrector. Usually a few drops of the adjuster is all you need. Start with a drop, mix your foundation and test on your skin. If it’s not the shade you are after, add another drop of adjuster. Repeat this step until you’ve achieved your desired shade.

Keep in mind to always neutralize your foundation before attempting to change its color tone with adjusters.

Practice makes perfect and it does take a bit of test and trial to customize your foundation to the shade you want. I recommend getting a kit with many color adjusters, like the TEMPTU Silicone-Based Shade Adjuster Starter Set. This set contain 7 adjusters covering every spectrum of the color wheel.  It is oil-free, paraben-free, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic.

This set of adjusters is best used for customizing TEMPTU’s S/B Foundations but can also be used with other brands. Be sure to use them with silicone based foundations. Different based products won’t stick together. If you want to learn more about silicone based foundations, check out my in-depth guide.

Try Fixing Wrong Undertone Foundation With Concealer or Powder Foundation

If you don’t have color adjusters handy, you can try to user a powder foundation or concealer to color correct your foundation as well.

Valerie Delgado, a Native American and Latina Multipreneur, celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert suggests if you choose the wrong undertone foundation, try to use the opposite undertone foundation or concealer (on the color wheel) to counteract the tone that’s being pulled out.

For example, if your foundation looks too pink, you should use a powder or concealer in the yellow tone to neutralize the color and vice versa.

Keep in mind that this method doesn’t work as well as color adjusters because concealers and powder foundations are not designed for color fixing and testing is important to make it work.

Get it Right from the Start

Our undertones change with the seasons and different areas of the face have different undertone. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for people to stock up on a few different shades of foundation.

Valerie Delgado provides a few useful tips for selecting your foundation at the store:

  1.  Swatch a foundation from the nose across the cheek to the neck. The reason for this is we usually have so many different tones in our face, and sometimes foundations will oxidize once it meets the skin. But this will help identify which shade melts into the skin the best.
  2.  Simply pick the one that you think it looks and matches the best.

Back in the day, artists used to check veins to see if they are blue or green. Green meant warm and blue meant cold. However, Valerie finds that applying foundation directly to the skin and doing a full swatch has been the best way for undertone matching.

Each foundation is different, and some skin tone has many undertones, and some just have one. So trying it on is the most effective way and you won’t have to fix it.

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