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5 Persistent Foundation Myths, Debunked

5 Persistent Foundation Myths, Debunked

5 Persistent Foundation Myths, Debunked

The first official foundation launched in 1914—so why, over a century later, are we still flummoxed? Here at Flesh, we believe one big issue is a reliance on old-school makeup rules and myths…rules that no longer apply, and myths that need debunking. Like, yesterday.

Myth: All fair-skinned people have cool undertones, while medium and dark complexions are always warm.

Fact: Nope! Skin color is not connected to skin’s undertone. Not all pale skin is pink. Medium and dark skin—which were automatically assumed to be warm—often have cool undertones.

Myth: Brown-eyed people have warm-toned skin; blue-eyed have cool skin.

Fact: This iris test is a common one online—but eye color, for the most part, isn’t a trustworthy measure of your skin’s undertones. You may have warm golden, amber, or green eye flecks and be cool or neutral. “I know many Latina women with cool undertones and warm brown eyes,” says makeup artist Robin Black. The exception: Very pale or icy eyes—whether blue, green, or brown—usually indicate cool skin undertones.

Myth: The inner arm is a good place to test foundation.

Fact: Instagram and YouTube influencers often show foundation shades this way—but that really demonstrates a range of colors, not a skin match. So, confine this to the gram, if you must. Inner arms are usually lighter than your face; in general, don’t rely on any area below the neck for foundation color-matching.

Myth: You should always choose a foundation containing SPF.

Fact: Bzzzzzzt. This sounds right, but the ingredients in sunscreens can interfere with a foundation’s color, compromising its clarity, depth and the true color payoff. No dermatologist recommends relying on foundation alone for sun protection anyway. One study revealed that SPF in foundations was unreliable in providing protection because it migrated or moved—and gets wiped off—over the day, says Susan Taylor, M.D., associate professor of dermatology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Myth: The color of your undereye circles is a good gauge of your undertones.

Fact: Some people believe that if you have purple undereye circles, your skin has cool undertones, and that yellowish or green circles are a sign of warm undertones. The color of your undereye circles also depends on their cause—swollen blood vessels, sunken tear troughs , dehydration, etc. says Black.