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Foundations for Caramel Skin Tones

Few cosmetic products make as valuable an addition to your routine as a solid foundation. While it’s crucial to find one that suits your skin tone, the journey to get there can be a little overwhelming. If you’re searching for a foundation that will give you the perfect canvas for all of your makeup looks, help is on the way. 

Below, we start by offering a complete guide to figuring out which skin tone you have and which foundation is the right fit for you. After that, we’ll discuss the differences between different types of foundation, and reveal which foundations work flawlessly on caramel skin. 

What are the different skin tones?

When we talk about skin tone, we’re discussing the color of your skin’s surface. In contrast, your undertone refers to the underlying, subtle hue slightly beneath the surface of your skin. Your skin tone is determined by melanin, the skin pigment present in the top layer of your skin. Melanin also plays a role in your eye and hair color. 

There are four primary skin tones: 

  • Light
  • Fair
  • Medium
  • Deep

Within those categories, there are subcategories that dive into more detail about the skin’s appearance—that’s where the word “caramel” comes into the picture. A caramel skin tone is generally classified as medium. In that same category, you also might run into terms like golden, deep tan, and copper—all of which represent varying levels of warmth and coolness. 

As you’ve probably guessed based on all those terms, there are tons of variations to skin tones, and they tend to be unique from person to person. Just because you and your sibling both fall into the deep skin tone category, for instance, doesn’t mean that your skin will necessarily have the same hue. Your skin is highly individual, and everyone’s skin tone is different—even compared to people related to you. 

What are the different skin undertones?

You can’t talk about skin tone without discussing undertones. Undertones refer to the subtle coloration that’s barely detectable under the skin but affects your skin tone overall. 

Finding your undertone isn’t quite as obvious as figuring out your skin tone, but it can prove highly beneficial. Once you know your undertone, you have a cheat sheet that tells you what colors work better on you so you’re better equipped to pick the right cosmetics, clothing, and even jewelry. 

There are three undertones: warm, cool, or neutral. You might have to do some detective work to figure out what undertone you have, though you’re more likely to be quick to figure it out as you read through the next few sections. 

Lucky for you, it’s easier than it seems! 

How do I find my skin tone and undertone?

Simply look in the mirror, and you’ll probably know which skin tone category you fall into. Finding your undertone, however, will take a bit more effort. Get out a white shirt and your favorite jewelry, and you’ll see why.

Do the white t-shirt test

First, find a pure white shirt. Then, go somewhere with natural, bright light (like a window) and hold the shirt up to your face. If your skin looks rosy or pinkish in comparison to the shirt, you likely have cool-toned skin. If your face appears more yellow or olive-toned, you have a warm undertone. If you can’t really tell one way or the other, you’re likely neutral-toned. 

When you get dressed, if you gravitate toward off-white or creamy hues, that’s another sign you’re warm-toned. On the other hand, if you look best in pure white, you’re probably cool-toned. Finally, if you can wear off-white and pure white without appearing washed out, you likely have a neutral undertone.

If you have caramel-toned skin, you’re almost certainly going to have warm undertones—that’s what distinguishes this particular skin tone from a cooler one, such as taupe or fawn.

Do the jewelry test

The next way to find your undertone is to put on your jewelry. If gold is more flattering, this usually means you have a warm undertone. If silver is your jam, you’re probably cool-toned. If silver and gold tones are equally flattering, your undertone is likely neutral. 

Look at your veins

The last way to figure out your undertone is by examining the veins around your face and neck. If they appear green, you’re warm. Blue veins, on the other hand, are a telltale sign you’re cool. If you’re unsure, you’re likely neutral.

How do I find the right caramel-colored foundation?

To find the perfect foundation for you, it’s just as important to pay attention to the undertone as it is the skin tone. If you choose a cool foundation and have warm undertones, you might be left wondering why your foundation is washing you out, even though it really looks like the right shade. 

To find the right foundation, identify what type of coverage you want—sheer or light, medium or full. Then, take your undertones into account and try out different swatches on your face. The skin on your hand is rarely the same color as your face, so it’s not particularly effective to test foundation there compared to testing on your neck or jawline. 

Liquid, cream, and powder foundations

When selecting a foundation, there’s another question to consider: liquid, cream, or powder? While many people keep all forms in their beauty bags for different occasions, you’ll likely find you prefer one over the others. 

What are the pros of liquid foundation?

If you’re looking for a foundation that seamlessly blends into your skin, liquid foundation fits the bill. It’s just what it sounds like—a liquid product designed to even your skin tone. Some liquid foundations even come with built-in moisturizers or SPF, and we’re all about anything that can streamline our routines. 

Light coverage foundation is more like a tinted moisturizer, while a full-coverage foundation completely covers any blemishes or discoloration, and creates an even, blank canvas. 

Another perk of liquid foundation is how buildable it is. You can go as subtle or full with coverage as you’d like. In addition, it’s suitable for pretty much any skin type. That said, if you have oily skin, seek out an oil-free formula to avoid breakouts.

What are the pros of cream foundation?

Cream beauty products are having a renaissance right now, as cream blushes and bronzers lend themselves well to that dewy, natural look that seems to be everywhere. Cream foundation is no different. 

Cream foundation is thicker than liquid and provides fairly full coverage. This style of foundation is a favorite of those with normal to dry skin, but those with oily skin might want to steer clear. 

What are the pros of powder foundation?

Powder foundation is a dry formula that’s either pressed or loose and tends to offer lighter coverage than liquid. 

Powder foundation is also a favorite of those with oily skin, since these formulas are adept at absorbing extra oil. Powder is also a better choice if you’re sweating or spending time in the heat; powder foundation thrives in the sun, whereas liquid can melt. 

However, when you have a darker skin tone, you have to be careful that you don’t choose a powder that’s too light. Even with a medium-caramel skin tone, powder that’s too light can lead to camera flashback or slight ashiness on the skin. 

Which foundations work for a caramel skin tone?

When you’re choosing what type of foundation you want, consider three factors: coverage, skin type, and finish. 

Believe it or not, your skin tone won’t have much impact on the foundation you choose, aside from whether or not you can find the shade you need. 

If you want fuller coverage, liquid or cream wins. If you have oily skin, powder wins. If you want a matte finish, it’s nearly a tie, but powder wins. Liquid can help you achieve that airbrushed look, and it can also give you a beautiful glow that’s unachievable with powder. 

Either way, make sure that you’re prepping your skin with a quality primer before you apply your foundation to ensure maximum staying power. 

If you have caramel skin, chances are you have a warm undertone, but it’s worth it to check to make sure. Remember, it might require a bit of experimentation, so don’t worry if it takes a few tries to find the right match. Search out brands that have wide shade ranges so that you can check out a few options, and then top your look with the perfect, gold-tinged highlighter

When it comes to brands, there are a few options out there that are worth checking out. We’ve compiled a few of our favorites: 

  • ILIA: ILIA’s True Skin Serum Foundation comes in four medium shades, as well as two light-medium shades and two tan ones, all with varying undertones. Better yet, the foundation itself is formulated with botanicals like rosehip and jojoba oil for a finish that really looks like naturally flawless skin. 
    • Clove & Hallow: Not only is Clove & Hallow 100% vegan, but it’s also a high-performance clean beauty brand as it was founded by a makeup artist. If you prefer a liquid base, choose the Liquid Skin Tint. If you prefer a buildable, mineral coverage, their pressed mineral foundation also applies creamy and smooth and can be re-ordered as a single pan to avoid plastic waste.
    • Kosas: First off, Kosas has an extensive shade finder feature that will really help you find the product you need. Plus, their Tinted Face Oil Foundation gives you a light-coverage, velvety finish in a solid shade range. 
    • 100% Pure: This cruelty-free company that focuses on quality ingredients not only offers a wide shade range, but also boasts eight different types of foundation, from a tinted moisturizer to their Fruit PigmentedⓇ Fuller Coverage Water Foundation. With this many options, you’re sure to find your perfect match. 

      The perfect foundation for caramel skin tones is just waiting to be found

      Finding the right foundation is a process, especially when you have a medium-to-deep skin tone, but it’s undoubtedly worth the effort. The perfect foundation will accentuate your beauty and should never feel cakey, faux, or heavy. 

      The best foundation will also be made with clean, vegan ingredients. These are not only better for you, but they’re better for Planet Earth and all her inhabitants, humans and animals alike. 

      When you finally find a clean foundation that matches your skin tone, you can feel confident about what you’re putting on your face. 

      If you need some help on the foundation hunt, check out Kinder Beauty boxes. Each box includes clean, hand-picked, cruelty-free, vegan beauty and skincare products for as little as $23 a month. Happy foundation-finding! 

       

      Sources: 

      Skin Undertones Guide: Is Your Skin Warm, Cool, or Neutral? | Byrdie 

      How to Pick The Right Foundation | Byrdie 

      What Is Caramel Skin Tone? (With Pictures) | Skin Care Geeks