Foundation is the toughest thing to pick out! Especially for women like me who have olive/yellow/ashy undertones, it’s rare to find foundation shades that match. I’ve been partial to the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in 123 for about 3 years now: It’s perfect for medium olive complexions. But a girl’s gotta have some different options!!

A few months ago I watched a video on ItsMyRayeRaye‘s channel on YouTube about making foundation more yellow. All she did was add yellow food coloring to her foundation to make it match her yellow undertones! It’s such a simple and inexpensive solution, and you can customize practically any liquid foundation.


I took it a step further and experimented with not only yellow food coloring, but I added green, too! I always joke around that “I’m so olive, I’m green,” and there’s some truth to that. My skin has just the slightest ashy green tint to it, which makes it extremely difficult to find the right foundation. There’s no shortage of foundations with pink undertones out there, but the olive shades are few and far between.

So here’s what I did: I took a drugstore foundation (you know I wasn’t about to use my Armani foundation to experiment with!) and first swatched it onto my hand so I’d be able to see a before and after. I added two drops of yellow food coloring and one drop of green. The foundation I used had neutral undertones, so I added a touch more yellow to warm it up. Since I wasn’t sure how the green would turn out, I decided to try it just one drop at a time. I shook up the bottle really well and swatched the new concoction right next to the original swatch… I was amazed!! The color looked SO much closer to my skin color. I decided to add just one more drop of green, shook it up, and swatched again. This time the color was almost exactly a perfect match for my complexion.

This is an especially useful DIY when it comes to drugstore foundations: Most often you get a smaller selection of colors with drugstore foundation, and most of them tend to have cool undertones. This way you can score the perfect shade of foundation without having to break the bank!

I’m just stunned at how a household item has solved one of my biggest beauty problems. Give this DIY trick a try at home, but be sure you don’t have any allergies to food coloring before you give it a go. And always experiment with one or maybe two drops at a time and shake the bottle each time to see how the color has turned out. Hope this works for you!


  1. May
    August 14, 2013 at 2:39 am (1 year ago)

    Hi Teni, is it safe, did the food dye stay on your skin.

    • Teni Panosian
      August 14, 2013 at 8:32 am (1 year ago)

      no, not at all :) it’s completely safe but again, make sure you have no allergies to food coloring.

  2. Jen Stone
    August 14, 2013 at 6:10 am (1 year ago)

    This is genius!! So simple and it makes all the sense in the world.

  3. Marv
    August 14, 2013 at 9:11 am (1 year ago)

    Thank you soooo much for this, im so glad i came across you Teni, we both have the same problem! My mum told her i remind her of hulk due the green tint. Ive been through many foundations and they all come out pink on me, so sad since i have wasted so much money! so again thank you for your tips and wooo go us olive/yellow skin tone girls!

  4. marv
    August 14, 2013 at 9:15 am (1 year ago)

    can i please know what shade do you use in the Giorgio armani luminous silk foundation please?

  5. Rachael
    August 14, 2013 at 9:17 am (1 year ago)

    Hey Teni,
    I was wondering if you could help me, I have extremely fair skin, whenever I buy foundation I buy the lightest shade. However the foundation usually oxidizes and is darker than the rest of my body. Do you know what I could do?
    Thanks so much!

  6. Kristen
    August 14, 2013 at 9:37 am (1 year ago)

    Food coloring is also great for blonds to add to your shampoo instead of buying the expensive purple shampoo(tones brassiness) just add drops of red & blue food coloring to your shampoo and or conditioner! :)

    • Teni Panosian
      August 14, 2013 at 10:10 pm (1 year ago)

      I love that tip!!! I used to buy purple shampoo to tone my highlights when I had lighter hair… Wish I’d known this trick!

  7. Ivy
    August 14, 2013 at 10:03 am (1 year ago)

    As a fellow yellow/olive girl myself, I cannot even TELL you how much I can relate to this! This is one of those so-simple-why-haven’t-I-tried-this tricks! Love it!

    • Teni Panosian
      August 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm (1 year ago)

      Right?! Why didn’t we think of this before!!

  8. Dia
    August 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm (1 year ago)

    The food coloring won’t stain your skin?

    • Teni Panosian
      August 14, 2013 at 10:12 pm (1 year ago)

      No, not at all. You’re mixing it with the foundation by shaking the bottle very well. And you’re only using a few drops. Even if you used up to 10 drops, which you would never need, it’ll mix right into the foundation and won’t stain your skin.

  9. Kristen Commodore
    August 15, 2013 at 1:34 am (1 year ago)

    Teni, this is such an awesome idea and will help me in so many ways, especially to cover and mix! Thanks for all that you do!

  10. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
    August 15, 2013 at 8:36 am (1 year ago)

    What a cool idea! I have more of an olive complexion and foundation tends to look pinkish on my skin. This is so cool! I’m totally trying this :)

  11. Kellie Cockrell
    August 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm (1 year ago)

    Teni! It’s Kellie from Berg’s Class forever ago. Love your site! I’m thinking of either buying the Makeup Forever foundation or the Armani Luminous Silk. I have fairly oily skin…Is there one you recommend over the other? Thanks!

    • Teni Panosian
      August 27, 2013 at 7:18 am (1 year ago)

      Hey Kellie!! Hope you’ve been well :) For oily skin I would definitely go with the Make Up For Ever between the two. The Luminous Silk is more suited for normal/dry skin types. And Make Up For Ever has a very wide range of shades to choose from so I’m sure you’ll find your match! It’s my favorite foundation of all time.

  12. Sandra
    September 2, 2013 at 9:25 am (1 year ago)

    For yellow undertones, you can also try turmeric/haldi. I added a tiny pinch in an Esteee Lauder DW concealer that was too pink for me and it worked like magic.

    • Teni Panosian
      September 3, 2013 at 7:32 am (1 year ago)

      I’ve used that before and I loved it. The only problem is it made it more of an orangey/yellow for me. (And yes, you’re right, a tiny bit goes a LONG way!) But turmeric is a natural anti-flammatory and has other beneficial properties so it’s definitely good for your skin!

  13. Jamie
    March 18, 2014 at 7:15 pm (9 months ago)

    Hi Miss Maven,
    Do you think this trick will work with Revlon Colorstay Foundation? The foundation itself is quite thick, do you think the food coloring will be able to mix in well?
    So glad I stumbled across this post – Thank you for sharing this awesome trick :)

    • Savannah
      June 18, 2014 at 10:11 pm (6 months ago)

      Revlon Colorstay seems to be oil based and food coloring is usually water based, so it won’t mix well. I have the same foundation and I found that even trying to blend the two outside the bottle didn’t work well. I tried the turmeric trick someone else recommended and that worked out perfectly, but if you don’t want to put turmeric on your face or in your foundation, eyeshadow will work just fine. c:

      • Savannah
        June 18, 2014 at 10:24 pm (6 months ago)

        Let me correct myself: Revlon Colorstay is actually silicone-based, not oil or water-based. The rest of my comment still holds true, though.

  14. priyanka
    September 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm (4 months ago)

    I think adding food colour to your skin can ruin it….plz search on google that how food colouring can cause damage to our skin….it can cause skin cancer and can also cause irritation to our eyez….

  15. Emma
    November 30, 2014 at 6:32 pm (3 weeks ago)

    OMG. This is the first thing I’m doing tomorrow! After years of searching I have NEVER found a foundation that is green enough for me. All the foundations that claim to be yellow always still come out too orange and bright and not ashy enough and the cool and neutral foundations are obviously always too pink. I’m so thankful that you and ItsMyRayeRaye have shared this tip! Thank you so much Teni!


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