Olive Undertones & Blue Mixers, plus a review of MUFE Chromatic Mix Foundation Mixers

MUFE Chromatic Mix Foundation Mixers

When I started wearing makeup, I couldn’t figure out my undertone. I am caucasian and have light skin (somewhere in the vicinity of MAC N15 without a tan), dark hair, and dark eyes. I tan easily and rarely burn; I feel like silver and gold are equally flattering; I’m not sure if true white or off white looks better on me – my preference is for black; and the veins on the underside of my wrist don’t look particularly blue or green. Long story short, I realized that I have olive undertones that are sort of a cool yellow/green – I was confused because I have surface redness and if I am tan, golden overtones.

I purchased all products featured in this post. All referral and affiliate links are individually marked; unmarked links are not affiliate.

I actually figured out that I have olive undertones by finding foundation matches. In 2013, I bought Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in the shade 213 (at that time called OC-1) from Hautelook, and it turned out to be my best foundation match; I later realized that it’s one of the the most olive foundations for my skin depth that is easily available.  I didn’t wear sunscreen regularly at the time of my initial purchase so the foundation was either a good match or a touch light depending on the time of year.  Now that I do wear sunscreen daily, it can be a little dark for me, but I just add in a little white foundation mixer and I’m good.  I’m on my 4th bottle!

Later, I bought a bottle of MAC Face & Body in C1, which is fairly yellow (MAC’s “C” foundations are a bit warmer / more yellow than their “NC” foundations), and it really wasn’t the right color for me.  I am not sure exactly how I got the idea to add a blue corrector, but I think I was trying to make it a bit greener just to color correct the redness in my face. I didn’t have any type of actual mixer at that time, so I mixed it with a blue lip paint and suddenly it was a perfect match.

Exhibit 1:

A post shared by Emi (@projectswatch) on

The lip paint was annoying to use, so I eventually purchased several of Make Up For Ever’s Chromatic Mix foundation mixers. I now adjust almost all of my foundations and concealers to get a better match.  I use the blue most frequently by far; white comes in second (including for the Koh Gen Do).  I rarely use the yellow – it’s easier to get a good match by starting with a more yellow foundation and adding blue.

Here’s a swatch of MAC Face & Body in C1 blended with the MUFE Chromatic Mix in blue; the left side of the swatch is the MAC alone, and it has gradually more blue added as you move to the right. As you can see, the best match for my arm is about 2/3 of the way to the right.

MAC FB blended with MUFE blue mixer

The MUFE mixers come in two formulas – water based [affiliate link], for mixing with water based foundations, and oil based [affiliate link], for mixing with oil or silicone based foundations.  Each bottle is .43oz / 13ml and is $14; the bottles are small, but a little goes a long way.  Each formula comes in six shades – white, yellow, blue, red, brown, and black. See the end of this post for ingredients. The more pigmented the base product is, the more mixer you need – a single drop may more than be enough for a face’s worth of sheer foundation, but 2-3 drops might be needed for the same amount of pigmented concealer. You can add the mixer directly to the bottle, mix up fresh each time, or (as I prefer to do), decant a little foundation or concealer into a small jar and mix up a week or a month’s worth at a time. I like to do it that way because it’s kind of a pain to mix it up every time, but I don’t want to risk overdoing it and making my foundation unusable.

MAC Face & Body in C1 // decant mixed with blue MUFE Chromatic Mix

MAC Face & Body in C1 // decant of F&B mixed with blue Chromatic Mix

I initially bought the oil based blue because it was in stock and the water based blue was not.  After using it for a while, I bought the oil based yellow and white as well. The oil based mixers have blended easily and with every product I’ve tried except for MUFE’s now-discontinued Face & Body Foundation and its replacement, Water Blend. The mixers don’t emulsify in those two foundations so instead of a smooth mix, you get drops of mixer throughout the foundation. Since I love the formula of MUFE F&B but didn’t have a color match, I bought the water based blue mixer to try. Unfortunately the water based one didn’t emulsify either, which is odd since both products are from the same brand – but that really only affected the product in the jar or my hand. Once applied to the face, the blue spreads out smoothly and the products blend together.  I’ve now replaced my bottle of MUFE F&B with the new(ish) Water Blend; neither the oil nor water based mixer emulsify in that either, but it’s a pretty good match even without any correction, and again the non-emulsified mix spreads out smoothly on the face so it’s not a problem in application.

Here are swatches of the four Chromatic Mix mixers I own alone, and of the the three oil based ones blended into Revlon Colorstay foundation in 150 Buff.

MUFE Chromatic Mix Swatches - blue - white - yellow

Revlon Colorstay Buff mixed with MUFE Chromatic Mix in white yellow and blue

Revlon Buff // Buff mixed with white // Buff mixed with blue // Buff mixed with yellow

I couldn’t find the ingredients to the mixers online and was curious, so I emailed Make Up For Ever and they sent the following – you can see from the date that this was a while back!

MUFE Chromatic Mix ingredients

Whew. That was longer than I intended, but I hope this is helpful to someone! Let me know if you have any questions about olive undertones, foundation mixers, or any of the products I mentioned and I’ll do my best to answer.

  • Maddie

    Very helpful post!! Long comment incoming, so sorry in advance! Blue cancels out the orange in yellow-toned foundations which works really really well for olive skins! 🙂 Anyway, I have been using NYX’s color correcting primer in blue to mix with my foundations for the past couple of years. The problem with that one is it has kind of a white base so it lightens the foundation too, and it isn’t very pigmented at all. I usually have to mix half and half, and it alters the finish, etc etc etc…of course that isn’t its intended purpose, so i am not complaining….before I tried it, I had seen and considered the MUFE version, but could not afford it at the time. Now I am wondering about possibly purchasing it. I use the KGD Aqua in 213 as well but in the warmer months I get darker and mix a bit of NARS sheer glow in stromboli…but that is a bit more yellow and a bit less olive. Maybe I could mix in a drop of blue, as well. How long does the bottle last? Is it worth the money, in your opinion? And one other question -apologies!- do you know if the KGD is water- or silicone-based? I was under the impression it was a water-based because of the name “aqua”, but..although the first ingredient is water, the next ingredients are, I believe, silicones, and I am wondering if those different types of silicones combined amount to enough to make it silicone-based? I never have problems with the KGD separating from the NARS silicone-based Sheer Glow, but I emailed them asking if it is water- or silicone-based and they did not respond. I am curious about your thoughts?

    • Maddie

      Woah, what !? My eyes just bugged out of my head….the price is only $14!? All this time I thought they were $40 each. Omg. I could’ve afforded them all along! I must’ve been mixed up with another product. $14?! Definitely worth picking up a bottle, then!!

    • I just saw your other comment come in – yup, only $14 and definitely worth it IMO. I find that the blue drops last a long time, since you only need a tiny bit. I’m going through the white drops faster (even though I use them less often) because I use more each time. Sometimes I want to make a foundation a half shade lighter, but I don’t want to make it significantly bluer 🙂

      As for KGD Aqua, it feels like a silicone based foundation to me. The oil based drops definitely mix in smoothly – I use the white oil based ones w it. I can check whether the water based ones also work w it if that would be helpful, let me know!

  • shannon

    EMI!! oh my goodness. Welcome back! You always were one of my favourite bloggers, as a fellow gay women. I’m so happy to see you here! even if you post every so often! :D.

    Congrats on the baby! That’s so amazing!

    • This comment totally made my day 🙂 Thank you – and I am definitely planning to keep posting, though it’ll be sporadic for sure.

  • zenitshu

    omg girl! your post is a life saver. I’ve been eyeing the chromatic mix for a while. just not sure which would be used most between water based and oil based. I want to buy all 3 (blue, white, yellow) but I don’t want any of them to go to waste or buy all 3 at once. I might have to though because most foundation pull too pink on me, even the “yellow” foundation. or they’ll be too yellow/orange and not green enough. the struggle. 🙁

    • I’m glad I could help! I’d probably start with the blue – if you mix it with a foundation that’s too yellow/orange, it’ll probably work. There are also cheaper options for a white mixer around – I have the NYX one and it works for me.