How to buy the right makeup for you

It’s hard to know where to start. Take heart, there is a foolproof system to make it easier. Whether you’re shopping for foundation or lipstick, the same steps apply.

Let’s start with your lipstick. First, separate the lipsticks into warm and cool colors and select the ones that might be for you. Lay them out on the counter in shade order from light to dark. Start in the middle and try on the medium shade. If it’s too dark, put it back in the fitting room and forget about the darker colors. Now try the next lightest color, then the next lightest, and so on, until you find the right shade for you. Often the color in the tube, can, or bottle doesn’t look the same on your skin, so trying the medium shade gives you a starting point. This system also keeps colors organized, so you don’t forget which ones you’ve already tried on. You will quickly know if this cosmetic line has your perfect color or not. If you do, you’ve found your color quickly. If not, just move on to another counter.

This purchasing system works especially well for products that can be removed from the test drive. Blushes and eyeshadows are usually stuck to the unit, so you can’t remove them, but you can still use the same principle of starting with the medium shade and then moving lighter or darker.

Often, you won’t have to do this test yourself. Most sales assistants for major cosmetic lines are familiar with color analysis and are trained beauty consultants, so you’ll find them very knowledgeable. Together you can use ‘alignment’, try the middle method to find your perfect shades.

Be sure to check the hue in natural light. Most stores use fluorescent lighting, so you may need to borrow a hand mirror and go to the store entrance or window to assess color. As you test new products, ask yourself if the color is right.

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