How to Shop for Makeup During a Pandemic

Since stores reopening, I’ve made my way to Ulta a time or two...or six. The whole world has a new set of regulations with the main focus being; germs. 

With that being said, it is difficult to test and sample while still being conscious of the spread of germs. So, stores like Ulta, Sephora and any other stores that offer testers are now not allowing you to do so. I even read a post the other day from a fellow makeup artist that she went in asking for a sample and they denied her. 

So why does this matter? Well, this makes it difficult to figure out your correct shade as well as letting you see the product on your skin before purchasing. Even with lip products, it really makes it deceiving what color you will be getting. 

This brings me to this; you deserve to know what you’re signing up for before you purchase. I hate to see clients waste their hard earned money on makeup to then in return hate it and want to give it away. Now I know you could just return the product but if you’re anything like me, you usually have to wear a product a few times and really give it a test. Plus, I always try it with different products under and over the makeup to really see if I like it only with certain products or if I don’t like it at all. I wear a foundation for at least a couple of weeks before realizing if I like it or hate it. 

So how the heck do you shop for makeup in a time like this? Well girl, it’s not going to be easy but I can give you my best advice to try and make it as seamless as possible. 


Since you aren’t able to see the foundation or concealer outside of the packaging, you’re going to have to know your undertones. What are undertones? These are the underlying pigments of your skin. Some people are warm, some are cool, some are yellow, some olive, some neutral and the list goes on. 

The best way to describe how to figure this out is by looking at your face, neck and chest. What do you see? Yellow, pink, neither, right in the middle? Once you determine this, then you can determine what shade would be best. Brands usually have a light, medium, tan and deep range so you first want to determine which range you fall under. Although, each brand will be different so some you may fall into two different categories. 

From there you want to look at the description on the shade color. More often then not, they will describe what undertones are in each shade.

TIP: The best place to find your undertones and to test the shade of a new foundation or concealer is right in front of a window, in natural lighting. Most lighting is either too yellow or too warm which will hinder the way your skin and makeup look.

Now if I’m giving you my best advice, it would be to go to a professional to seek help on undertones. Just by sending me a selfie of your skin in natural lighting, I can determine your undertone and even pick out what shade I think would be best for you.

Skin Type

Next and I know you’ve heard me talk about it before, is knowing your skin type. This will determine the finish you choose of the makeup product that will best suit your skin. 

For example, if you have dry skin then you would choose a dewy, luminous, moisturizing or natural finish product because it would best compliment your dry skin. Where as a matte finish or even a satin finish product would accentuate your dry skin. Vice versa, if you have oily skin then you need to choose a matte or satin finish product. 


Doing your research on a product is the best thing you can do beforehand. When it comes to makeup shopping, look at the reviews, read the product description and see who the product is best for. A lot of the time a brand will put in the description that a product is great for sensitive skin or oily skin etc. 

Another great thing to do is look at the swatches a brand provides on their website. Specifically, on a skin tone similar to yours. More often than not, they have a picture with swatches on fair, medium and deep skin tones so you can get an idea of what the color actually looks like. But, remember, light changes the way makeup looks so it may look slightly different in person. 


Another great thing to know ahead of time is what colors look best on you. Warm toned blushes and bronzers on warm toned complexions, cool toned or neutral blushes and bronzers on cooler toned complexions. So then you can pick out a color that is compatible with your skin tone. 

Hire a Professional

But lastly, and my personal best advice, hire a professional to do the work for you. No one is going to hit the nail on the head when it comes to choosing a product that's best for you like a professional. With a few simple questions, I can pick out the perfect product and shade for you, your skin and your lifestyle. 

For example, let’s say Mary is 35, a mom, works from home but likes to put on a little makeup everyday to feel good about herself. She has normal to dry skin and is starting to see signs of aging in her skin. She doesn’t give herself a lot of time to get ready and likes products that are easy and get the job done. She also isn’t into full full coverage but likes to cover her hyperpigmentation from being out in the sun too many days in her 20s. 

My recommendation to Mary would be either a tinted moisturizer, bb or cc cream or a powder foundation. Maybe Mary is into clean beauty and cares about what goes on her skin. So I would recommend bareMinerals Original Powder Foundation because it will give her light to medium coverage, not accentuate her signs of aging or any dry patches she may be experiencing. It’s quick and easy to use and will cover her concerns.

I could also recommend bareMinerals Complexion Rescue if she is looking for more of a creamier product that is also hydrating and gives her the coverage she desires. It would all be based on her personal preference. 

If you’re interested in a complete Makeup Bag Makeover or hiring me to help you shop for the right products for you, you can contact me at! I would love to chat about your skin and what products might be best for you!

So, do you feel ready to tackle an Ulta or Sephora yet? It can be so immensely tricky shopping for yourself. But, as long as you know your stuff, you’ll be able to do it with breeze! 



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