Valerie Monroe
Photo: Patrik Andersson
Q: I've finally become accustomed to my many freckles, but I'm confounded by how to wear foundation. Do I choose a shade that matches the color of the freckles or a lighter shade that matches the rest of my complexion?

A: You want something in between—lighter than your freckles but one shade darker than your unfreckled skin, says Val Garland, artistic adviser for YSL Makeup.

I have to tell you that when I read Garland's advice, I felt compassion for your dilemma; it's hard enough to find a foundation that works well with your complexion when you're trying to match one skin tone, but you have to find something in between two. Under the circumstances, I think you're better off having a professional choose a shade, so get thee to the department store. I've had great luck at the Prescriptives counter and at Bobbi Brown, too. Garland suggests that you use a light foundation with sheer coverage, which will make your freckles seem to melt into your complexion and still let your skin show through (naturally, she recommends YSL's new Teint Resist foundation, $52; ).

Keep in mind: After you've found the right shade of foundation, use a blush to warm up your complexion so that you don't look washed out.

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