The ultimate guide to choosing foundation for Asian skin tones

06 May 2024 12:17pm
Image for illustrative purposes only. (Image: AI generated by Sinar Daily)
Image for illustrative purposes only. (Image: AI generated by Sinar Daily)

Picking the right foundation shade is a total game-changer for your makeup. It's like the base coat for your masterpiece, making everything else such as blush, eyeshadow, and everything else pop.

But let's be real, choosing the perfect shade can feel like navigating a jungle of options. There are a million different skin tones out there, and it's easy to end up with a foundation that's either way too bright or way too dark, making your face look like a mask.

Even makeup artist extraordinaire and colour expertise, Nabilah Nordin admits it's tricky! Every foundation is different, so there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Some people need a lighter shade to blend seamlessly, while others might rock a darker one to match their neck perfectly.

In a recent interview, she highlighted the unique nature of each makeup product, highlighting the presence of a learning curve associated with their usage.

For some individuals, she said the necessity of opting for a lighter foundation to seamlessly blend with their complexion, while others may require a darker shade to achieve a harmonious transition with their neck area.

“I know it's very cliché and nobody wants to hear this, but you have to try and error.

“However, what I also want to say is in terms of foundation, sometimes it's very difficult to see whether, foundations look good on us because the way brands put the codes of their foundation can be very tricky,” she said.

She emphasised sometimes foundations labelled as cool-toned may actually have yellow undertones. For instance, products like MAC's NC 40 foundation, despite being labelled as cool or neutral-cool, feature yellow undertones.

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Nabilah added that in other brands, the term "cool" often denotes a pink-toned foundation. This can be confusing for individuals with yellow-toned skin unsure whether to opt for cool or warm tones.

She recommended disregarding the names and shades and instead suggested swatch the foundation on one's hand to find the most suitable match.

She advised swatch products on the hand before purchasing. She added that Asians often have a slightly yellow undertone, which is sometimes referred to as "kuning langsat," akin to olive skin tones, which also have a greenish hue.

“We have a little bit of a green tint. So, that's it. If you don't, like you try to swatch everything, you take something a bit peachy, something a bit yellow, and maybe something looking a bit more green.

"Swatch on your hand, blend, and if it looks grey, it's not your undertone. The shade that seamlessly blends into your skin after swatching and blending should be your perfect match,” she added.

Nabilah explained that sometimes the colour of the hand and face may not match, indicating a difference in undertone. Swatch on hand is primarily to identify undertones.

She suggested focusing on undertones rather than names or colours, swatching to find matches with the hand, then testing on the cheek. Adjusting the shade slightly lighter or darker is all that's needed. She added though it may seem technical, paying attention to these details can make a significant difference.

Nabilah also offered tips for achieving a good look without using heavy makeup. She emphasised that this is the most fundamental aspect that women need to master when it comes to applying their makeup.

“Lipstick and blush, that's like the easiest way to look put together, to look fresh to look like you actually put in effort to get ready,” she said.

She said this step is straightforward yet yields a clean look, even achievable with just one product serving as both cheek and lip stain. Nabilah recommended investing in two-in-one makeup products that combine cheek and lip stains.

She suggested applying the product to the lips and then lightly tapping and dabbing it onto the cheeks. Additionally, she advised those with minimal makeup skills to at least learn how to apply lip and blush products, as it is the simplest and most basic makeup technique.

Nabilah Nordin, also known as Warnabilla, is a full-time makeup artist and colour analysis expert making her mark in the Malaysian makeup artistry industry for 11 years.

At 34 years old, Nabilah has been practicing makeup for 11 years, with the last nine years dedicated to full-time work, starting in 2015. Despite holding a degree in architecture from UiTM Shah Alam and a master's degree from the University of Brighton, UK, her passion for makeup triumphed.

Nabilah will be speaking at the She Leads 2: Dressing Right & Feeling Good event tomorrow, at Karangkraf alongside fashion stylist Andrea Wong.

She Leads is a meticulously curated series of networking events. It’s not just an event; it’s an exclusive opportunity for women in the workforce to connect, share insights and explore the limitless possibilities that lie ahead.

The first event of the series titled “Setting Goals & Structure” kicked off on Feb 27, at the Karangkraf Auditorium. Two influential leaders; BloomThis founder Penny Choo and Sedania Chief Executive Officer Nisa Ismail came together to share their secrets behind their success and perseverance in goal-setting.

If you’re interested to take your make-up game to the next level and unleash your inner glam at work, don't miss the opportunity to learn from the best. Join Nabilah and Andrea at the upcoming She Leads 2: “Dressing Right & Feeling Good” tomorrow at Karangkraf.

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