A Makeup Artist's Guide to Finding Your Perfect Fenty Foundation

rihanna savage fenty shows
credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 Presented by Amazon Prime Video

Alright my beauty junkies, let’s talk about makeup, specifically foundation. Finding the right foundation is never an easy task — it can even become more stressful the more shades there are to choose from.

Recently, Rihanna announced that she was launching ten more shades to her 40-shade foundation line ($34), 50 concealers ($26), and 8 setting powders ($32).

Yes, that’s a lot to take in, but don’t let all those colors freak you out. I’m here to assist you so you’ll be prepared once these products drop on January 11. My tips and tricks will not only help you find the right shade for not only Fenty but also when you want to go the drugstore route.

Step 1: Determine Your Skin Type

The number one thing that I always recommend people to do when it comes to foundation is to assess your skin type. Fenty is a very dry, matte foundation. So, it’s better for those that have normal to oily combination skin. Just because you have dry skin doesn’t mean you can’t wear this foundation.

The key to this is skin prep. Go about your skincare routine like you normally would. When it’s time to put on the foundation, add one to two drops of your favorite facial oil. My personal favorite is the Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate and Glow oil. If you want to go the more affordable route, Milani has a line of oils as well.

Step 2: Find Your Skin’s Undertone

With the easy part out of the way, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of foundations. Like many other foundation brands, Fenty goes by undertone. The biggest mistake people make when picking a foundation is when they match it to their skin tone versus their undertone. A lot of people think that they’re interchangeable, but they’re not. Given the season, your skin tone changes, your undertone stays the same, and that’s how you want to pick your foundation.

Fenty has four undertones: neutral, cool, warm, and neutral olive. I personally love that Fenty included olive undertones in the foundation range because olive undertones are often overlooked and it’s typically harder to find the perfect match.

When you first look at the shade range, assess whether you’re in the light, medium, tan, and deep skin tone range. Figuring that out helps to limit the number of shades you need to pay attention to. I’m sure many of you reading this have probably taken the “undertone test” where you look at your veins and try to figure out your undertone. If your veins are green, you’re warm. If they’re blue, you’re cool and if they’re both, you’re neutral. But this doesn’t always work.

The easiest and only way you need to figure out your undertone is to determine how your skin reacts to the sun: If you tan evenly and easily, you’re warm. If you get red first and then tan, you’re more on the neutral side. If you get red and go back to your original skin tone, you’re cool. Olive undertones are a little trickier as they can both have warm or neutral undertones depending on the skin tone. If you’re lighter, you’re most likely going to be neutral olive. But if your skin tone is a little deeper, you’re a warm olive.

Step 3: Understand How The Shade Numbers Work

Even though there are currently forty shades in Fenty now, I personally don’t have a perfect shade as the neutral olive undertone shades are a little too red for me. I need something with a little more yellow in it.

Once you figure out your undertone, you should only look at the shades that fall under that category. If you need to go lighter or darker, follow the next undertone up or down. Not the shade number. For example, if you’re fair-skinned with a neutral undertone and you pick up the Fenty shade 100 but it’s too light. The next shade you want to go to is shade 120 since it also has a neutral undertone.

Luckily, Fenty made the concealer shades incredibly easy to pick out. Whatever shade you are in the foundation, is the shade that you’re going to be in the concealer. With the shade expansion, I should be the new foundation shade 255. If I wanted the concealer, I would also get the shade 255. But if I wanted to have a brighter more highlighted undereye, I could get away with the concealer shade 240.

Step 4: Find Your Perfect Setting Powder

Last but not least are the setting powders. I hate that setting powders are geared as a one size fits all product. If you’re tan to deep, you basically look ghostly when you put it on and if you’re super fair, it might not be light enough for you. Just like the concealers, your shade range in the Fenty foundation is going to determine which powder is right for you.

Lavender: brightening setting powder for shades 100-190

Butter: setting powder for shades 100-190

Banana: brightening setting powder for shades 200-290

Cashew: setting powder for shades 200-290

Honey: brightening setting powder for shades for 300-390

Hazelnut: setting powder for shades 300-390

Nutmeg: brightening setting powder for shades 400-490

Coffee: setting powder for shades 400-498

A Final Word

While Fenty Beauty is a revolutionary brand, I always recommend that you try before you buy. Just because your friends love it, doesn’t necessarily mean that you will feel the same. So, go ahead. Conquer the makeup game, one flawless foundation match at a time.

Fenty Beauty is a cruelty-free makeup brand.

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Alysia Stevenson
Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she's not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.