9 Simple Ways To Fix A Foundation That Is Too Dark For You

Easy solutions for some basic makeup mistakes to get that flawless finish!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Suchana Marahatta, MBBS, MD (Dermatology) Dr. Suchana Marahatta Dr. Suchana MarahattaMBBS, MD (Dermatology) facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BE Jyotsana Rao BE linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach Krati Darak MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years

An important thing you cannot afford to go wrong with is your foundation shade. What if you bought a shade darker than you need? How to fix a too dark foundation? Not everyone can afford to buy another one when this brand new product sits inside your pantry without any use. So, let us find out how to fix this and understand the tricks for a quick shade adjustment.

Keep reading to know how to solve this problem. The solution is not as tough as you think!

How To Lighten A Dark Foundation When In A Hurry?

There are actually many ways in which you can do this. There are on the spot fixes and also fixes that will allow you to lighten the shade of the entire bottle too. And we categorize these solutions in a similar manner, so you use the quick fix right away and save the bottle after you get back home!

First let’s go with quick fixes. After all, you could be stuck with the wrong foundation right now!

Quick Fix Tricks

Woman blending moisturizer and foundation on the back of the hand to test the shade
Image: IStock

1. With A Moisturizer:

We always carry a moisturizer with us. Women never leave home without a small portable bottle or tub in their bag. That’s all you need to fix your foundation!

Take a little of the foundation on the back of your hand and add a few drops of moisturizer to it. Mix it up well. Check to see if the shade is fine. You can add more moisturizer if needed.

The moisturizer will reduce the pigmentation of the foundation. The shade is now perfect for you.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Take care to use two different moisturizers if you have combination skin – a water-based one for your oily T-zonei  The middle part of a person's face comprising the forehead, nose, and chin which is oilier than the rest of the face. and another oil-based one for the dry areas on your face and neck. Alternatively, use a moisturizer formulated especially for your skin type as you may end up using quite a bit to dilute the foundation to get the perfect shade.

2. With A Finishing Powder:

Almost everyone has a light shade of this product that they use for highlighting their makeup look. If you have got one, you don’t need anything else.

Once you have applied you foundation, just apply the finishing powder evenly all over your face. This will lighten out the pigmentation of the foundation. But remember to only use the powder that you use for highlighting, not the one you have set aside for contouring or bronzingi  A technique that involves applying cream or powder to your face to make your skin look brown from sun exposure. !

3. With A Wet Sponge:

Woman uses a wet sponge to balance out the dark foundation
Image: IStock

When you use your fingers to blend in your foundation, especially a liquid foundation, it will seem darker than when you use an applicator or a brush. When you have a foundation that is darker, avoid using your fingers. A sponge is the perfect solution that supports easy, quick application.

Before you use the sponge, dampen it a little. Do not show it under running water. The idea is for it to be a little damp, not soaking wet. Once you dampen the sponge, take very little of the foundation and spread it onto your skin. Ensure that you use a light hand. You do not want the foundation to settle into the crease and give out a darker shade a few hours down the line.

4. With A Concealer:

First things first, this demands a light hand and the use of the product in smaller quantities.

Apply a concealer wherever required and hide the blemishes. Then take very little of the product and blend it around the concealer. Make sure that you blend in a triangle instead of circles if you have dark circles. That is to dot the foundation around the eyes, and then begin at the ends of the eye and move downwards towards the cheek. In this way, if you have dark circles, it doesn’t get highlighted!

Piece of cake.

Smitha Deepak, a beauty vlogger, demonstrates how to use a concealer to fix a foundation that is too dark for you. She uses concealers lighter than her skin tone to tone down or balance out the dark shade. She also shows you how to finish the look with a mascara, blush, and lipstick. In her video, she says, “I absolutely loved the way it turned out. This is so me, simple, and not over the top (i)”.

5. Use it sparingly:

Closeup of woman using darker foundation as concealer
Image: Shutterstock

Buying a darker foundation is not always a bad thing. It can spare you the expenditure of buying a new concealer.

Now all you have to do is not use this every day and all over your face. Just use it on the blemishes or marks you wish to hide. Just like you would a concealer!

6. As a bronzer:

It can also dub as a bronzer if you don’t already have one.

Apply a powder foundation all over the face and use the darker foundation only on your cheeks and jaw line to make it more prominent.

How To Save The Entire Bottle?

7. With A Moisturizer:

All you have to do is to add some moisturizer to the entire bottle of the foundation.

But go about this carefully. Don’t just dump it all it. Remove the foundation from the bottle and transfer it into a bowl. Now slowly keep adding moisturizer and testing it until the right shade is achieved. Now you can transfer the contents back into the bottle.

8. With A Lighter Foundation:

Mix a lighter shade of foundation with the darker one until you get the desired shade
Image: Shutterstock

Let me tell you a little secret. Just before I got this foundation that is too dark, I ended up buying a foundation that was too light for my complexion! The good thing that happened is that I now have a foundation that is too dark and too light for me.

How is that good? Because I can now mix these two in the right proportion to end up with the right shade of foundation! Again over here, do not just dump it all in together. Take one of the foundations in a bowl and slowly keep adding the other until you end up with the right color and proper shade matching your skin tone.

9. Save It For The Summers:

You may use darker shades of foundation in the summer for balanced looks
Image: IStock

If you feel like none of the above methods, then remember every product you buy has a shelf life of at least a year. And that means, that there will be at the very least one summer that will arrive before the product expires. With summer comes tan. This foundation will be perfect to use then. So don’t throw the bottle out in a rush. Patience pays!

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can safely store away the foundation in a clean, cool, and dry place, which means definitely not in a bathroom cupboard or shelf. Another great alternative is to store it in the refrigerator as it will stay fresh and not become melty or cakey.

A little patience and presence of mind is all you need!

Infographic: 5 Quick Fixes For Dark Foundations

See! You do not have to trash that dark foundation you accidentally purchased. In the art of makeup, everything is possible.
In case you need to look up these tips real quick, here is an infographic for easy reference.

5 quick fixes for dark foundations (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Many women purchase foundation that is either too dark or too light for their skin tone. When purchasing a product for the first time, getting the wrong foundation shade is common. To correct a foundation that is too dark, follow the tips and tricks listed above. These are some quick remedies for lightening dark foundations. However, it is important to remember that purchasing a darker foundation is not necessarily terrible. It may save you the cost of purchasing a new concealer. All you have to do now is make sure you do not apply it every day and all over your face. Simply apply it to the blemishes or spots you want to conceal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if your foundation is too dark?

If you use the wrong foundation shade, your face will appear tanned, but the rest of your body will not, and your skin will appear as if it has an additional layer.

Why does foundation turn dark?

An acidic pH level on your skin can cause oxidationi  A chemical reaction that occurs when a substance comes in touch with oxygen or another oxidizing component. , making your foundation darken throughout the day. Diluted ACV can be used as a toner on your face to balance its pH before applying foundation.

How do I make my foundation look natural?

• Follow a proper skincare routine with hydrating products.
• Begin by exfoliating to smoothen your skin.
• Moisturize your skin before applying makeup.
• Use facial oil below foundation for a natural shine.
• Choose liquid foundations over powder foundations for a more natural look.
• Apply a liquid foundation using a damp sponge.
• Begin by applying a thin layer and then build it up.

Is it better to get a lighter or darker foundation?

When confused, go for a shade somewhat lighter than your skin tone instead of a darker shade. This will keep your skin from appearing darker than the rest of your body.

Key Takeaways

  • Not using the right foundation according to your skin tone can give a darker appearance.
  • Mix your foundation with a light moisturizer and concealer to reduce its pigmentation, and add a touch of illuminator to increase its luminosity and provide a subtle glow to your skin.
  • You can also apply a light finishing powder on the face to counter the dark appearance of the foundation.
  • Blend the foundation on your face with a damp beauty sponge to give you the desired intensity.
How to Fix a Too-Dark Foundation

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Discover a simple trick to lighten a too-dark foundation in this must-watch video. Check it out and say goodbye to mismatched shades and hello to a flawless complexion that perfectly matches your skin tone.

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr. Suchana Marahatta

Dr. Suchana MarahattaMBBS, MD (Dermatology)

Dr. Suchana Marahatta is an associate professor and permanent faculty in the Department of Dermatology in B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), Dharan, Nepal. She has 10 years of experience, and her special interest areas are dermatosurgery, hair restoration, aesthetics, and tropical dermatology. She is also the deputy editor of the Nepal Journal of Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology....read full bio

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