Getting a perfect foundation match is like finding your soul mate. Choosing your foundation online is even more daunting.

The best way to ensure you get a good match is to try it on in person but that’s not always an option. I’ve collected a few tips over the years to help you the next time you’re shopping for foundation online.

Identify your concerns.

First, you need to know what you’re looking for. Foundations come in all different finishes which flatter different skin types. A matte or ultra matte finish will dry flat and control oil. A dewy or radiant finish will add moisture and reflect the light. Satin or velvet finishes are typically somewhere in between. You always can slightly adjust the matteness with powders or setting sprays and play around with dewiness with facial oil like I mentioned here.

Choose your coverage.

Coverage means what you think it means: how much the makeup will cover your skin. Coverages range from sheer to medium to full. Some formulas can be built up and some will cover everything right out the gate. Think about what you’re looking for. If you’re searching for a daily foundation, a sheer or medium coverage is probably a good idea. Full-coverage would be great for a big event.

Know your undertones.

I know. You’ve read this in every magazine ever but I promise this is a real thing that works. Undertones are the colors that come through your skin and can be cool (hints of blue, pink), warm (yellow, peachy or golden) or neutral (no real obvious hues).

If you don’t know your undertones, there are a few tricks to figure it out.

Tan or burn? If you tan easily and rarely burn, you probably have warm-toned or neutral skin. If you burn easily, chances are you are cool-toned.

Check your wrists. What color do your veins look through your skin? Blue with a rosy-pinkish tint means cool undertones. Green with yellow/gold tone means warm. If can’t discern between either green or blue on your wrists, you’re probably neutral.

Think jewelry. Looking good in silver means cool and looking good in gold jewelry means warm. Look great in both? You’re neutral.

Cross-check other brands.

Sephora.com, Ulta.com and most brands’ websites contain little blocks of copy that describe each shade. Grab a foundation you already own that you think is your best match with a similar finish and coverage to the one you’re looking to buy. Cross-check the descriptions until you find a similar match. Or, head to findation.com which does all the work for you.

Search on social media.

The internet is a beauty hub. Millions of people share themselves wearing products in photos and videos on social media. You can search hashtags on Instagram or Twitter (i.e. #fenty210 or #profiltr210) to see real people wearing the shades. Filters pose difficulty in accuracy, yes, but if you can identify your skin tone and undertones, this is an easy way to ensure a better match. Beauty and lifestyle Influencers (or social media personalities who are experts on certain subjects) post videos of product reviews with swatches. This way, you can color-match and find out if the product is even worth it — which is a win-win.

If it’s inexpensive, grab two (or more).

I wouldn’t recommend this with something like Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk but Deciem’s The Ordinary Serum Foundations are $6.70 and its Coverage Foundations cost $6.90. Notoriously affordable Colourpop No Filter Foundations cost $12. With prices like theses, it’s easy to grab more than one in a range of shades to ensure a better match. You can even mix colors together for a more personalized shade.

Lighter is always better.

If you can’t decide between two shades and don’t have the budget for both, always go with the lighter shade as a shade that’s too dark can make you look muddy. You can always add warmth with bronzer or mix in another foundation to create a darker hue.

Do You have tips on how to get the best foundation match? LET ME KNOW AT GMAZUR@TIMESSHAMROCK.COM, @GMAZURTT ON TWITTER OR @MISS.GIA.M ON INSTAGRAM.