Beauty Clinic: Foundations for Asian skins


Q. I am finding it very hard to get a foundation that exactly matches my (light Asian) skin tone. What do you suggest? A. Many women, whatever their ethnic background, find buying the perfect foundation can be a frustrating experience. Part of the problem, we think (from our own experience), is that the artificial lighting in beauty halls seldom gives a true impression. So a consultant can – with all sincerity – colour match you in store but when you get outside you see the product you have bought is too pale (usually) or too dark.

So the key lesson from that is to put stripes of possible shades and textures on your cheek above your jawline and go outside with a mirror to see which works best. If you are shopping for foundation, do take a good size mirror: dinky little ones in compacts just aren’t big enough. If you have the time, just leave them to sink in and then take a view. If you cant see one that matches perfectly, try another brand. Even better, ask for a tiny bit in a little pot that you can try at home a couple of times.

As a starting point, it is always worth being colour matched by a brand that offers lots of different shades, such as MAC. Boots also offers a No7 Match Made Service that ‘reads your skin colour precisely and matches it to one of our skin true shades of foundation and concealer’. Find your nearest stockist at

The ultimate is to have foundation custom blended for your skin. Since Prescriptives was closed down very sadly, the only company we know that offers foundation ‘mixology’ is Cosmetics à la Carte in London. You can make an appointment to go to their London boutique or find them at Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly. The cost is £50.