Women with pale skin tones know the struggle that comes with finding the right foundation shade.
While some people may think it should be a fairly easy task (just pick the lightest color, right?), beauty companies, for some reason, decided that all fair-skinned women have pink undertones.
While that may be true for a few of you, it is definitely not the case for most.
Just like women of color at the other end of the spectrum, the exceptionally fair-skinned bunch need the full range of undertones and pigments that won’t oxidize as the day wears on.
Now is the best beauty time ever for those with very pale skin. Check out the best foundation for pale skin tones that were made with you in mind.
The Best Foundation for Pale Skin in 2023
1. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation w/ SPF 15
Any foundation that dubs itself magic better deliver, and thankfully this one does.
A high-end foundation that is worth every penny, it covers neutral, cool and warm undertones and has an impressive range of diverse foundation shades for the pale skin gal. It also targets just about every skin problem you could have, hydrating, plumping and brightening the skin.
The full coverage formula contains sunscreen, seriously lasts a long time and provides an excellent matte finish.
2. Too Faced Born This Way Foundation
One of the most talked about foundations to enter the beauty landscape in the past few years, this shade range has some of the palest colors, meaning you’ll find your perfect match. It is one of the best foundations for pale skin with dry skin and caters to all undertones, providing a powder finish that enhances your skin’s radiance.
A moisturizing and oil-free foundation, you’ll get medium to full coverage that is buildable but never cakey, and a youthful, dewy glow.
3. Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation w/ SPF 40
Pale women have been singing the praises of this sheer liquid foundation because of its shade range which includes Alabaster, a pale shade made for the porcelain-skinned redhead.
Its range of foundation shades aside, this serum does more than cover blemishes, it contains sunscreen to protect from harmful sunrays and features an Active Skin Energizing Complex, a combination of ingredients that replenish and recharge skin, bonus skincare benefits that adds to its radiant finish.
4. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
If you think Rihanna’s foundation is all hype, think again. Pale girls haven’t stopped raving about it since its Instagram release. Including yellow, neutral and pink undertones, the shade range won’t disappoint those with extra fair skin.
This lighter-than-clouds foundation buffs nicely into the skin and provides buildable medium to full coverage to cover up blemishes. Describing it as matte is an understatement- you won’t believe the poreless perfection of its shine-free finish.
5. MAC Studio Face and Body
A makeup bag classic, there’s no way you can go wrong with this one. The sheer coverage foundation is extremely lightweight, feeling more like water than any foundation, while managing to provide a beautiful flush of color that’s nearly undetectable on your face.
Buff it into the skin and watch it act almost as a magic eraser, concealing imperfections right before your eyes. Some truly wonderful emollients will enhance and moisturize the skin for a gorgeous natural finish.
6. NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick
Cool complexions should definitely take a look at the shade range offered with this foundation stick because they are particularly well done for women with pink undertones.
The full coverage foundation has a buildable formula to tackle the most annoying imperfections on one end and a blender one the other, which is perfect for quick touch ups when you’re on the run. A creamy texture makes the foundation easy to work with and the matte finish is soft and quite lovely.
7. Rimmel London Match Perfection w/ SPF 20
An affordable drugstore option that is insanely effective, Match Perfection is for the conscious-minded fair-skinned woman who knows she doesn’t have to spend a ton of money to get full coverage and a smooth complexion.
Super hydrating, it gives the skin a dewy finish that no one but you will attribute to a budget drugstore foundation. It comes in very light shades and offers buildable coverage, but the true win here is that it contains sunscreen so you can lay out in the sun fully protected.
Buying the Best Foundation for Pale Skin
There’s no denying that deeper skin tones have had the short end of the shade range stick, so to speak, but women with very fair skin have had their share of problems. When dealing with most brands, even the lightest shades leave you with a healthy-looking tan, if you’re lucky.
In the beauty world, mistakes are expensive and definitely frustrating, so to save your time and money, here is how you can find the right shade of foundation.
What’s your undertone?
Knowing this will save you a lot of time. As mentioned earlier, many brands start and end with pink undertones as the base of their foundations, but pale skin has warm and neutral undertones that get overlooked at the expense of your complexion.
If you don’t know your undertone, today is the day to figure it out.
Check out your veins
If they are blue/bluish, you are a cool lady with cool undertones. Veins that are green mean you fall into the warm category and veins that are both blue and purple indicate that your skin has neutral undertones
Blue and pink undertones are cool. Peach, golden and yellow undertones are considered warm. If you’re neutral, any of those colors will work on your quest to find the perfect foundation.
Do the color test
Find something that is ivory or off-white and something that is white. Hold them up to your makeup-less face. If you prefer the way the ivory item looks, you’re warm; a preference for the white item means you are cool; if you like both, you are neutral.
Find some natural light.
Department stores are notorious for sending people home with the wrong color, so it’s up to you to remember that the lighting in all stores is artificial and can distort the color of your skin tone dramatically. Always swatch foundation and have a look at it outdoors in as much natural light as you can find.
This also aids in seeing its level of oxidation as it reacts with the air. Give the swatch a few hours, if possible, to make sure it doesn’t turn to an orange color on your skin.
Watch out for buzzwords.
It doesn’t matter how great you think a shade may match, if it says something to the effect of “adds warmth to skin tone”, just say no. Foundation is supposed to enhance your skin tone, not change it. No one wants streaks on their face. A warm toned face and a pale neck does not make sense. Please do not fall for it.
Get Pale Perfection
The days of having your pale skin color matched to every wrong color there is are over. Try one of the best foundations for pale skin tones listed above and never worry about a mismatched face again.
You might also be interested in these foundations for other skin types:
- Best Foundations for All Skin Types
- Best Foundation for Acne Prone Skin
- Best Foundation for Combination Skin
- Best Foundation for Dry Skin
- Best Foundation for Mature Skin
- Best Foundation for Sensitive Skin
- Best Foundation for Dark Skin
- Best Natural Foundations
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