How to Lighten Foundation Color

by Stephanie Pernas
The right foundation tone provides the basis from which you build your overall makeup palette.

The right foundation tone provides the basis from which you build your overall makeup palette.

Finding the right color foundation for your skin tone provides a building block for your overall beauty toolkit. If you choose a color that is too dark, you can wait until the seasons change to use it as you tan. But expensive foundation doesn't have to sit in a drawer or get tossed out. Customize the tone at home. Rather than let a bottle go to waste, turn a would-be beauty blunder into a signature product.

Dab a nickel-sized dot of foundation that needs lightening on the back of your hand.

Add a dime-sized dot of untinted moisturizer to the nickel-sized dot of foundation on your hand.

Mix the foundation and moisturizer together using your finger or a brush.

Compare the blended color of foundation to the skin on the inside of your wrist. The new color should either match the color of the inside of your wrist, or be a shade lighter.

Continue to add small drops of moisturizer to the new mixture until you reach a blend that works with your skin tone.

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Items you will need

  • Untinted facial moisturizer
  • Foundation brush (Optional)
  • Untinted highlighter cream (Optional)


  • For a fresher, more dewy look, substitute an untinted highlighter cream instead of facial moisturizer
  • Most tones can be achieved using only moisturizer or highlighter. Should you need a more dramatic change, add a grain of crumbled white eyeshadow, the size of a pinhead, to your foundation mixture.


  • Adding moisturizer to your foundation will also slightly minimize its coverage; should you need more coverage, opt for a concealer as well.

About the Author

Stephanie Pernas is a writer and stylist based in Miami. Since 2007, she has worked for magazines such as "Glamour," "Teen Vogue" and "Women's Health," as well as in public relations for various organizations.

Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images