Everyone knows the feeling: You're in the drugstore, eager to try a new product you've been dying to get your hands, brushes, and sponges on. The anticipation builds as you approach, striding through the aisles with determination (nothing can stop you now), only to discover you can't swatch the formula, and you're stuck playing a guessing game on which shade you might be. We've all been there, and more often than not, it doesn't end well.
When it comes to foundation, the stakes are high. Shade matching is a shot in the dark in-store, but it's even harder online. You'll either have to do your best with the tiny, pixelated color swatch on your screen or drop extra money to try multiple shades, hoping that at least one will be the perfect match. And, if your preferred retailer has a not-so-generous return policy, you might be stuck with a foundation several shades off and completely unusable—no matter what season it is.
TikTok, however, may have the solution. Rose Siard, the founder of Rose and Ben Beauty, recently took to the app to share the ultimate shade-correction hack with her 914K followers. The post quickly gained traction—it's currently at 1.5 million views and counting—giving us (and our forgotten bottles of foundation) hope again. Ahead, everything you need to know about the technique.
"Drugstore foundation. We love it, but we can't swatch it, so it's hard to find our shade," says Siard in the video. That's not an issue with her simple DIY trick. The secret? Mixing pigments.
Using L.A. Girl's PRO.color Foundation Mixing Pigments ($10) in a rainbow of primary and secondary colors, Siard expertly balances a too-pale foundation to match her skin. The trick is to know your undertones. Too warm? Add some blue to even things out. Too cool? Opt for the opposite to create balance. Mixing white pigment with a concealer can even make a formula lighter and brighter, ideal for any areas of the face you might want to highlight and sculpt.
Her how-to is rounded out with a guide from the L.A. Girl site, which describes each pigment's specific purpose and what it can achieve. Orange, for example, creates warmer undertones that L.A. Girl states are "ideal for medium and dark foundations." If you're lighter, the brand suggests using yellow for a "golden undertone."
"I've talked about these before, but I wanted to mention them again because I know it gets pricey trying to find your perfect shade," she explains. "Just grab these and make your perfect shade." Surprisingly, Siard says this isn’t the first time she’s introduced the tip, mentioning in the video’s captions that she’s discussed this method “for years."
Naturally, though, foundation mixing has come up again after Siard posted a step-by-step guide on how to identify your undertone. The video, in which she swatches all her foundations simultaneously along the jawline and allows them to dry for two minutes, ends with her comparing all the shades at once in natural lighting. Laid out next to each other, she explains, makes it much easier to tell what undertone is right for you—and which ones might need some extra pigment to match your skin tone. Once you know your undertone, you're prepped to start mixing and matching.
Nailing your undertone will always be a gamble—especially at the drugstore. But, at least we have this mixing hack to fall back on. If done right, you'll avoid waste and save yourself some money in the process.