Does your foundation change from season to season?

My shade seems to stay fairly consistent, but I probably get closer to “true medium” in the summer and am more of a mix of light-medium to medium in wintertime. My skin has been a lot more consistent over the last two years and less prone to dry patches (other than my nose), so I haven’t had to vary up my formula as much either. I’m more inclined to add in a hydrating primer prior to foundation than change the formula!

— Christine


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Nancy T Avatar

Yes, it does. Mainly because the climate here demands that I do. During the hot months, mid- May into early or mid Oct., I use a BB cream w/ spf and set it with powder that also has spf. Then mid Oct. into mid May, I use regular foundation, set with the same WnW Reserve Your Cabana as my setting/finishing powder. As for my shade changing, I do use sunscreen, so it’s not drastic. Most of the year, MAC Pro Longwear NC40 or even better shade wise, Studio Fix Liquid C4.5, but from Dec.-March, more like Studio Sculpt NC37.

Katherine T. Avatar

In summer, I might wear BB creams more often, but generally, I keep the same foundation and will switch my sunscreen and primer to more hydrating ones when winter comes. My skin does get a little more color during summer, but not enough to justify buying a different shade of foundation, so I’ll dust WNW Reserve Your Cabana all over to add some color

Momo Avatar

Yep! I sure do change my foundation per season. I typically have a very yellow (warm) undertone, but my complexion seems to transition between 2 to 3 [mixed] tones during a year. So I have multiple shades and types of foundations on hand to prepare for my skin tone fluctuation.

❄ During the winter, I’m at my lightest (and yellowest), and my skin is usually either a MAC NC44 (on and off) or NC44.5 (mostly).
? In the spring, my skin goes through an awkward warm/neutral (mostly) or warm/cool (rarely) phase, and I tend to struggle to find the perfect balance until my complexion reaches its full warmer side. I still use my warm foundation shades, but I can also wear the Lancôme shades in 450N or 430C. When my skin finally adjusts, I’m about an Estée Lauder 5W1. I usually despise this season because of this frustrating complexion shift, but its severity is normally based upon exactly how pale I become in the winter.
? Summer is fun, because my skin becomes a little darker (dark bronze) and matching foundation shades to my complexion is quite easy. My shade bumps to a Lancôme 460W or Revlon ColorStay in 400 Caramel.
? The fall is my favorite, because my complexion begins transitioning down from its summer tan and it then takes on a very warm, orange-ish tone (which I LOVE). I can wear orangey-based foundation shades that would normally look awkward on me during any other time of the year. I revel in MAC NC45 or IMAN [Luminous] Clay 1 and 2 (or 3)…until my skin settles back to a MAC NC44.5 as winter approaches.

Codename Duchess Avatar

Nope. My foundation needs stay pretty consistent from season to season. I don’t spend enough time outdoors for my shade to change any, and because of my freckles, I prefer to wear light coverage foundations year round. In my experience, medium-to-full coverage foundations look way too heavy when you’re freckled, so less coverage = better coverage. My skin (especially my forehead) does get drier during the winter, but I prefer to address that by switching up my moisturizer, not by changing to a more hydrating foundation. My nose and cheeks are just too oily for me to wear foundations that are made for drier skin types, even in winter.

Tova J Avatar

Yes! In the winter I’m really pale, “fair”, “ivory” and “porcelain” is usually what I look for in a shade name… I get slightly drier as well so I tend to use more hydrating formulas. Right now I like BareMinerals Complexion Rescue in Vanilla.
At summer time I can get away with using “light”, so one step darker! Also I get super oily so I prefer not using foundation at all, or light matte formulas. The Body Shop Tea Tree BB Cream in Light is my go-to. I have once in my lifetime become so tanned I had to use a foundation two steps darker! Haha

Bibi Avatar

Yes, I have to change my foundation & skin care routines because I live in a part of the world where we have ‘extreme’ weather. From high heat & humidity in the summer/monsoon season to bitterly cold, dry winters. Living at high altitude I have to wear at least spf 30 or higher sunblock throughout the year so my shade doesn’t change much.

Laura_Lou Avatar

I’m more porcelain in winter and get a bit warmer in summer. I don’t really tan but my skin gets a bit more warmth to it. I tend to use lighter things in summer because my skin is less dry, more BB creams, tinted moisturisers or mineral foundations. Whereas in winter my skin gets drier so I have to use more creamy/moisturisng formulas

Renè Avatar

Yes. My consistent skin shade is medium-dark(MAC NC37&40/NARS Barcelona) and I will develop a dark tan in the summer(MAC NC42-45ish/NARS Syracruse) when exposed to to the sun in just one day or a few days. I also have various foundations for my skin needs like using a moisturizing formula in winter and a thinner one in summer. I have strong yellow undertones which make foundation hard to find which is another problem. I often resort to mixing to get the perfect formula and shade for each day.

Astrild Avatar

I use BB cream on a daily basis the whole year, only changing the shade in summer. For a night out or special occasions, I usually wear a heavier foundation, except in summer that I change to a light one, like MUFE F&B, or a powder foundation like MAC Studio Fix.

Mariella Avatar

My shade seems to stay pretty much the same (if there is a difference, it’s not so great that I need to purchase a separate foundation shade just for the summer months) but I do tend to go for a more matte product – Clarins Skin Illusion (which isn’t their most matte foundation but which is good for me in summer. But I think with the new Guerlain Baby Glow that I got recently, I will have to go with the medium shade for summer as the light one I have now is quite light.

Victoria Avatar

I surprise myself at how much I like to vary foundation for desired coverage, dewiness, time of day (for SPF and length of day ahead) and I guess, mood. I also inevitably often mix foundations. I have very fair skin (NW 10 to NW 13) and I don’t tan, but my shoulders do get sun kissed even though I wear sunscreen, and so as to look more even head to toe I will use my slightly darker foundations in summer.

Elizabeth Avatar

Yes, it does. I wear Urban Decay Naked foundation in 3 during the winter and 4 in the summer. I pack the sunscreen on, but I still get a little color on my face. I have hot flashes and sweat the sun block off, and I try to only use Tatcha Aburatorigami blotting sheets because touching up just gives me a cakey look.

IRockFaces Avatar

I think my shade changes as the year progresses so I really have two or three shades in a year. Currently 2 of them are powder foundations and 1 is liquid. I prefer not to have a bunch of liquid foundations open because they go bad so quickly and I prefer to use as much of my makeup as possible before it expires. I have also found that using a darker powder on top can really help warm up the face even if the foundation is initially too light.

Emilie Avatar

Nope! I probably could go a little lighter in the wintertime, but my face is so fair that I’m always really careful with sunscreen and hats in the summertime, so it doesn’t get that much of a tan. I have a hard time finding a foundation light enough year round as it is, couldn’t imagine having to find two perfect matches for such a subtle difference! As for formulas, I sometimes go for a BB Cream or something more hydrating in the winter, but that’s more of an extra step, Tarte is my everyday year round.

Pearl Avatar

No – I thought it would but it doesn’t. I have a summer shade but same formula, and the difference is minimal. Sometimes I mix the two but I could use either by themselves and be fine also. If I needed to change anything, I think I would just change the primers and sunscreen but keep the foundation formula the same.

Ale Avatar

considering the fact that where I live it’s about +35 C in the summer and – 10/ -15 C in the winter during the day i have to change my foundation AND my skincare.
Skin whise i’m combo-oily during the summer so i’ll use smth like Vitalumiere aqua 30 or Bb cream with a lot of spf (i really like the one from lioelle-snail gold or smth) and in the winter it gets combo dry so i’ll go for more intensive moisturisers and lighter foundations.

i’d like to add that the color on my face doesn’t change much but i can’t be Jennifer Lopez tan on my body and Natalie Portman on my face so i go darker to match my face and i always use a bit of bronzer on my face no matter the season.

what’s interesting is that my undertone changes. In the winter i’m a true netural and in the summer i’m really warm.

Does that happen to you girls or am i crazy????

Denise M Avatar

Yes, my undertone changes the same way and until I understood that I never got why colors that had looked so good on me suddenly looked really funny.

Stephanie Avatar

I don’t change the formula from season to season, but the change the shade. Despite sunscreen, I tan easily and go from NC1ish in the dead of winter, to NC30 in the summer. I have 2 of my favourite Lise Watier foundation and mix throughout the year.

Elizabeth Wadsworth Avatar

My foundation always remains the same (Guerlain Tenue de Perfection). I am very fair and I always use sunscreen, so my complexion color does not change. However, during the colder months (not that many in California) when the heat is turned on and the air dryer, I do use additional moisturizer. I like Guerlain’s ‘Super Aqua Serum’ Hydrating serum – and I add additional moisture when needed, if needed, on top of my foundation. I always apply it to my throat area as well. For dry lips, I love Dior’s ‘Crème de Rose’ Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm.

Anne Avatar

I stick to the same shade because I hate sun and avoid it at all costs, so I don’t tend to change in skin tone enough to warrant a different foundation shade. In terms of formula, I may change it up if the winter is extra dry, the summer is extra hot, etc. If things are dry and cold, but I need a full-coverage foundation for something like a special event, I stick with my Estee Lauder Double Wear, but most of the time I use light-medium coverage ones, like the Bourjois Healthy Mix which is a serum consistency (I also find the Nars All Day Weightless one to be similar in consistency) which is great for dry skin. If it’s hot, I stick to BB creams or tinted moisturizers at most, like the Dr. Jart one (which has SPF 45).

moonchime Avatar

What a timely question. My foundation doesn’t really change. I LOVE Makeup Forever’s Mat Velvet Plus foundation in the shade Vanilla–# 35. I used to change in the winter to something I felt was less drying. I no longer do that. Instead, I’ve been using MAC’s Strobe Cream throughout the winter under my MUFE foundation, and it keeps my skin looking radiant. The cool thing about MAC’s Strobe Cream is this: The Travel size sells for $10 for a full ounce (30ML) of product. ALWAYS purchase it this way if you want to save money. MAC sells their full size Strobe Cream–1.7 ounces (50 ML) for $33!!!!

Susan Parker Avatar

Ohhh yeah! My skin goes from naturally dry to parched as soon as we start using electrical heating. That’s when I replace my skin care lotion and liquid foundation for rich skin cream and cream foundation.

fashn Avatar

I have had to change my foundation to one that is sweat proof and lasts all day like MAC’s Pro longwear even for the winter due to my premenopausal symptoms, the oil in my skin has gone into over drive.

Michelle Avatar

Yes it changes with the seasons. I live in Texas so the summers, and autumns are generally when we get the most sun and my shade is deeper. I like Cover Girl 3 in 1 Stay Fabulous in Tawny for that time of year. In the spring and winter I can use more of a variety depending on if it’s consistently gloom or not. Like Urban Decay Naked Skin shade 8.0, MAC Match-master shade 6, Makeup Forever HD Y445 Amber, L’Oreal True Match W8. My skin is mostly yellow based with a hint of olive.

Genevieve Avatar

No – my foundation doesn’t change with the seasons. I am very fair, so I really don’t go out in the sun much in summer, so my complexion doesn’t change. I just make sure that my daily moisturiser has plenty of SPF in it, as well as my foundation, which it does.

Rachel R. Avatar

Not a whole lot. The weather here is usually rainy and mild, but we do get a lot of sun and heat in August. This year was actually warm and dry for the most part.

I’m very fair with neutral undertones, and I burn easily, so I try to wear sunscreen. I might get slightly darker and golden at the height of summer, but it’s subtle — not even a full shade. So colorwise, I don’t really change, though I may favor bases with warmer undertones. For example, I’m more likely to wear e.l.f. stick foundation in Ivory than Bobbi Brown stick foundation in Alabaster, which is the reverse of winter. When the temps get in the 90s and 100s F, I use loose mineral foundation a lot more, to help combat the sweat and oil that melts off my makeup.

mish-mash Avatar

No, I’m not a sun person…I use Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation in Alabaster 00, it has a nice texture and I’m able to apply it lightly where I need it…sometimes just under my eyes where I have shadows..

Stacey Avatar

Yes I have to change foundation when seasons change. During the winter I wear Mac Nc 43 studio fix. In the summer I tend to become tan or bronzed ( which I love), I wear Mac match master foundation 7.0.

Carolyn Avatar

Nope… I rotate between 5 foundations right now and may wear the SPF ones more in summer but for the most part, I stay the same color throughout the year.

Claire L Avatar

It’s interesting reading some of the comments. I hadn’t really thought about it but although I know I go a shade darker in the summer, I didn’t think I’d actually change tone but I sort of do. In the winter I’m cool toned leaning towards neutral, and fair skinned, but in summer I go a slightly warmer colour so I can pull off warmer colours. I can pull off more of a yellow toned foundation/ BB cream and concealer. In winter if I do that, I look odd, my lips are pink toned and having a yellow toned foundation looks out of place. It’s also why I can’t go too dark in the summer with fake tan, it looks too odd. If a foundation’s more of a neutral colour, or pink toned, it looks fine.

Eileen Avatar

No, I don’t switch foundations seasonally. My skin is always dry: summer, fall, winter, spring! Conseuently, I wear the same moisturizing foundation all year, but I adjust my skin care to keep my complexion balanced. As for color, I’m fair with soft peach undertones and even though I wear sunscreen consistently, living along the Southern California coast means I invariably pick up a bit of summer sun. Chanel’s Les Beiges (10) powder adds just enough depth and warmth to my foundation so that I really don’t need a new shade. When I want a bit more color, Tom Ford’s Terra and Guerlain’s Terracotta in 00 make me look like I’ve spent some time in the sun without looking unnatural on my light complexion.

Karen Avatar

The need for sunscreen moves me to use at least BB cream/TM even when I would skip (summer). I also need to self tan to avoid playing with shades. I might go for something more hydrating in winter – cream or liquid, fuller coverage in winter.

Kuávsui Avatar

Somewhat. Ive noticed that i wear less powder foundation during wintertime and since I bought myself the UD Naked Skin and MUFE HD foundations, I have been wearing those. I tan very easily and prefer lighter-coverage powders during the warm season.

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