Foundation undertone help

Hi Everyone! Makeup newbie here as my user name indicates :)

I'm so confused, everything I've read says that if my veins are green or blue green my undertone is likely warm. My veins are dark green but warm and neutral foundations look grey on me. So I've tried a few cooler/pink shades and they seem to work better. Currently the closest foundation match I've found is Nars Radiant Longwear in Caracas. I think it's a touch too dark but I think I can get away with wearing it. I'm thinking about trying this shade in the soft matte formula, it looks like it might provide a fuller coverage.

I'd like a fuller coverage foundation so I've been using Sephora's shade finder online and for most every other brand of foundation it matches me to a warm shade? Do the different makeup brands not a have a uniformed warm/cool spectrum they use or is Sephora's makeup finder just really off?

Could you possibly recommend a foundation for me? I tried Lancome Teint Udole 470c, it's a little bit dark, darker than Nars' Caracas. I tried Estee Lauder's Double Wear and 5c1 is too dark, but the lighter shades are too light.

Thanks for your help!


Staff member
Most brands classify "warm" as having yellow or golden undertones, "cool" as having pink or red undertones, and "neutral" undertone foundations (particularly those on the light end, can't speak to those closer to your skintone) tend to lean peachy. Those with olive undertones are usually classified as "warm" by default. If you need straight up beige undertones, it's a conundrum.

MAC does the opposite of every other brand. For them, "cool" means yellow undertones, and "warm" means pink or red undertones. On a colour wheel red is warmer than yellow, which is their reasoning for that classification, but cool pinks exist as do cool reds (they have some blue in them). Yellow can lean warm or cool. Olive can also lean cool or warm, depending.

The vein test is rubbish, IMO, and I don't think Sephora's foundation matcher is always reliable. This video by Alexandra Anele on foundation matching may be useful and helpful to you: she talks about undertones, overtones (yep, those are a thing), colour theory in regards to makeup (she has an art background), and all that good stuff.

That all said: If you think NARS Natural Radiant Longwear in Caracas is a little too dark, and you like/are interested in NARS' foundation formulas, maybe try either the same foundation or Soft Matte in Càdiz? Both shades have peach undertones but Càdiz is a little lighter.

For other formulas (I'm not going to recommend shades for now): Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation, MUFE Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage, Pur 4-in-1 Love Your Selfie (if you want a more natural finish), Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte.
Thanks for your reply Shellygrrl, Cadiz was a little too light but I may try it in the soft matte formula. I saw a video and it looks like it may be slightly deeper than the Radiant Longwear. Caracas will probably be a perfect summer shade for me. I might also just get some of the shade corrector mentioned in the video if I can find it. I don't usually use concealer or contour, but maybe that'll help balance the shade too.

Thanks for taking the time to reply, that video was helpful!