One of the trickiest beauty pursuits is selecting a shade and format of foundation to match your skin tone, skin type and meet your lifestyle. Shopping online for foundation can feel overwhelming - you definitely don't want to invest in the wrong shade of foundation! And we don't want that for you!

Our foundation and shade matching guide will enable you to identify your correct foundation and shade/s so you can sample, or purchase, with confidence.

If you are in Auckland, we offer complimentary in-studio foundation and shade matching. Customers based outside of Auckland can email a bare face selfie, taken in natural light, to


The golden rule of foundation is that it must work with your natural skin undertone. No matter how beautiful the product, if it’s fighting against your skin undertone, it will never feel or look quite right. By identifying shades that work with your skin undertone you’ll achieve a more natural looking complexion.

What exactly is skin undertone?  Basically, it's the colour/s coming through from under the surface of your skin.  There are 3 types - warm, cool, or neutral. Determining your dominant skin undertone is simple and outlined below:

The wrist test: Examine the colour of your veins on the underside of your wrist. If they are purple or blue in colour then you may have a cool undertone. If they are green or olive in colour, you may have a warm undertone. If you do not have a dominant colour (or unable to determine), you may be a neutral undertone.

The sun test: Think about what happens when you are out in the sun. If your skin turns red only, you are likely to have a cool undertone. Conversely, if you tan easily, you are likely a warm undertone. If you burn, then tan, then you are likely neutral undertone.

Bear in mind this is not a hard and fast rule, however it should narrow your search for the perfect shade of foundation considerably. Keep in mind also all our foundations ranges have unique shade and undertone adapting qualities, which allows for some flexibility in selecting your shades.


Now that you have identified your skin undertone, you can move to identify the foundation product & shades to suit you. Regardless of brand, our foundation product descriptions are comprehensive, as are the range of shades offered.

All foundation swatch imagery on our website is true-to-life and has been imaged by our photographer. You will find these alongside model application images on each products page.

At The Skin Wardrobe we broadly categorise our shades into the following descriptors:

VERY FAIR: MTM N1.5, N2. MA: Ivory, Fair.

LIGHT: MTM: N2, N2.5, N3 MA: Fair, Fair Beige, Light.

MEDIUM: MTM: N3, N3.5, N4, O4.5. MA: Light Beige, Beige, Natural, Warm.

DEEP: MTM: N5, N6, N7. MA: Medium Tan.

DARK: MTM: N8, N9, N10, N11, N12. MA: Deep Tan.

Now you should be feeling more confident about your shade/s in order to move onto sampling or shopping.


We offer the option to purchase sample size foundation shades. We recommend selecting only one sample of each shade and between 1 & 3 different shortlisted shades.

If you are confident with your shade, simply purchase a sample alongside your full-size foundation to test prior. We offer 30-day from purchase shade exchange (or store credit) on any unopened, undamaged foundation products.

HOW TO SAMPLE YOUR FOUNDATION. Dot small amounts of your selected shade/s onto a clean, hydrated face. Apply each shade on either side of your cheek, jaw line and chin. We recommend you purchase one of our Foundation Brushes to blend seamlessly into the skin, found here. Allow time for the foundation to settle into your skin and check in a mirror under natural light.

STILL UNSURE? Send a makeup free selfie to hello@theskinwardrobe or pop into our Auckland Studio to receive your ideal match.