The strange hack for finding your perfect foundation shade

We bet you never thought to match your foundation to this body part

Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / April 10 2018

Finding the perfect foundation shade is HARD. It doesn’t help that your skin tone can change ever-so-slightly on the daily, or that some foundations only come in a handful of shades (hot tip: *this* foundation has 40 shades to choose from!). And then there’s the question of what is the right patch-test method to determine your exact shade match.  

The one you’re probably most familiar with is putting a swatch of three shades you think will be a close match side by side on your cheek and picking the one that virtually disappears. But the problem with this is that your complexion’s skin tone (which tends to be the darkest part of your body) is unlikely to be the same colour as your neck, décolletage, arms, legs… If you’re showing a little skin and your face’s colour doesn’t match the rest of your bod then your foundation is going to stick out like a sore thumb. 

Luckily, makeup legend Pat McGrath has a genius hack. You simply need to colour match your foundation to your stomach.

Bet you never thought to patch test there! 

The trick was actually revealed by McGrath’s former makeup assistant, Daniel Martin (who has since gone off to become a well-known MUA in his own right and is also a Dior beauty ambassador) in a Youtube video he made with blogger Nyma Tang.

“I used to assist Pat McGrath and I remember her saying ‘If you’re going to do the face, you basically have to look at the stomach.’ Because we didn’t know what [the model] was wearing or how much skin was going to be showing, so it was always best to match the face with the stomach.”

Given your stomach is less likely to see the light of day on a daily basis, it’s a good gauge of your natural skin tone.

While this little tip makes SO much sense, we will say that you don’t need to follow this hack every day if you don’t have a whole lot of skin on show.

But if the weather is nice and you’re rocking a midriff or spaghetti-strap singlet and denim cut-offs, then you know what to do. 

Where do you patch test to find your foundation shade match? Are you going to give this stomach trick a try?

Main image credit: Getty

Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.