How to Prevent Your Foundation from Turning Orange

Shannon Farrell
Makeup artist applying foundation

Photo: Luca Cannonieri/

In our Q&A series, beauty experts address your most bewildering issues. Have a beauty-related quandary of your own? Submit your question in the comments below or via Twitter.

Q: Sometimes my foundation changes color after a few hours and turns orange. Why is this and how can I prevent it?

A: “Your foundation may turn orange when too much of the pH in the oil of your skin mixes with the pigment in the foundation, causing it to oxidize,” says Sephora Pro David Thibodeau. To correct this, he suggests using a primer that will act as a barrier between your skin and makeup. We recommend Jane Iredale Absence Oil Control Primer ($37, to control shine and oil.

“It may also occur if your foundation doesn’t match your exact skin tone,” says Thibodeau. To find the right match, start by testing different foundations on your hand for feel, and then on the jaw line to test the actual color. Never test the color on your wrist or hand because they are usually darker than your face.

Thibodeau also suggests using Sephora’s Pantone Color IQ service, which will match your skin tone to the different foundations sold by the retailer. An employee holds a gadget to your cheek and forehead. Within minutes, your skin tone is matched to foundations throughout the store. Then you have the option to choose which formulas you want to test without the hassle of testing multiple colors in the line.

Read more: The 5 Rules of Natural-Looking Foundation

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