By Christi Aldridge

Maybe you picked up the wrong shade at the makeup counter, or perhaps it's winter now and your summer shade just doesn't work anymore. If you spent good money on a bottle of foundation and hate to toss it, consider some other ways to make it work for your skin. Lightening foundation takes a bit of trial and error, but there are a few suggestions for making that darker makeup work for you no matter what.

Teenage girl removing makeup
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Make a foundation that's not a perfect match work for you.

Step 1

Add your regular moisturizer to your foundation to lighten up the shade in seconds. Start with a little bit and add more as needed. Check the shade on your inner arm to make sure it matches before you apply it. If you happen to have a lighter foundation as well, mix the two for a custom shade.

Step 2

Use a lighter shade of powder to lighten the color of the foundation. Either pressed or loose powder is acceptable.

Step 3

Skip it until summer. Since your skin is lighter during the winter, use your darker shades during the summertime when your skin is naturally darker. Another option is to use the darker foundation as a bronzer to perk your skin up when it looks sallow. A thin layer of a darker shade can look like a sheer tan or flush.

Step 4

Wet a sponge until it's damp, and use it to help dilute the dark tone of the foundation. Apply a light amount of foundation to make sure the liquid doesn't become too clumpy. It will also make the foundation more sheer and natural looking.

Step 5

Contour your face with foundation that is too dark instead of using it all over. Many celebrity makeup artists use contouring to create highlighted cheekbones. Use the foundation as a contouring cream by blending it into your cheekbones and along the sides of your nose. Make sure the color is well blended for a natural look that creates a more toned face.