What to do if your foundation no longer matches your face but you don’t want to waste it

Don’t go throwing out or giving away an expensive or perfectly good bottle of foundation just because it’s not a perfect match. Here are some quick fixes instead!

what to do when makeup foundation doesnt match face skin tone - shade adjusting foundation drops

Foundation can be a pricey investment, and despite our best efforts, it’s not always easy to find the winning combination of perfect shade and formula. And even when we find the perfect one, our skin gets lighter or darker over time, especially with how much time we spend in and out of the sun. So when your favourite products no longer match your skintone (or if a foundation you love doesn’t have a perfect colour match), we know how hard it can be to give or throw it away.

Quite frankly, you don’t need to. Sure, it takes an extra step to make it workable again, but if you love the foundation enough, it’s worth the effort.


#1 Adjust the colour

Check out The Body Shop’s intriguing Shade Adjusting Drops, available in both a lightener and darkener for your foundations. You just add a few drops to your fluid foundation and mix it well before application to create a new shade. You’ll have to experiment a couple of times to figure out how many drops you need, but it’s an easy way to adjust any of your foundations or tinted moisturisers.

While the lightening drops from The Body Shop are decent, the cult favourite option on Youtube for adjusting your foundation is the Manic Panic Dreamtone Flawless Foundation in white.


#2 Use it to create a natural highlight or contour

This fix is also an alternative makeup technique that gives your face some sculpted dimension without piling on too many products. Instead of laying on a base foundation and then highlighting and contouring after, you simply use a lighter foundation on the centre of your face and the darker one on the perimeters or where you would bronze and contour to create depth.

Of course, this will only look natural if you keep within a certain shade range. Here’s a useful rule of thumb: Don’t go more than two shades lighter or one shade darker than your actual skin tone.


#3 Mix and match your foundations

If you have several bottles of foundation in your makeup arsenal, you’re bound to own a variety of shades that can be mixed and matched, even if the differences are pretty slight. Much of the fun in mixing foundations resides in the fact that you can alter the consistency and formula. If you have a matte foundation, you can mix it with a dewy one to get a more natural finish. You can also mix in a bit of Cover FX’s Custom Cover Drops to give your foundation more pigment if it’s sheer, or mix in an emollient primer or moisturiser to make your foundation more sheer.


Whatever you choose to do with your foundation, always remember to blend it down your neck so it doesn’t look like an obvious “mask” on your face!


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