Strange question (perhaps!)
Is it normal for the foundation to look a little Holy-Cow-I'm-Gonna-Be-Casper! in the container but normal on the skin? At least under both incandescent and florescent lighting...
EDIT: After doing some more searching, I found a spot where Jen advises checking the mirror in the car. The mix that looks super-awesome in the bathroom with a natural and incandescent light mix, looks rather chalky on my skin in the car mirror.
For reference, Jen had advised a 1:9 mixture of Warm Gold:Ivory. Since I had not specified, I assumed that ratio was for the Original Formula. I read somewhere that it takes less Ivory in the All-Purpose, so I used 1:6:1 of Warm Gold:AP Ivory:Glow.
What are the visual indicators that a foundation is too light? Too dark? Wrong tone? I've never worn much makeup, so I appreciate the hand-holding!
Usually, if it is too orange, it is probably too dark.
If it is too brown, you might need yellow, or it might be too dark.
It actually should be too light going on, but it almost always will darken just a bit within the first half hour to hour (the time it takes depends on the humidity in the air and the oiliness of your skin!)
Yes, the foundations look light in the jar. Part of that is the blending for this....unless you have a high speed mixer dedicated to mixing foundation at home, there is still some blending that takes place on application. It is part of the reason we recommend a small bowl to load your brush. If it is still too light after a few hours, you will need to adjust so there is more color in the mix by going lower on white for the next attempt.
For wrong tone, it will be obvious.....you look pink and it looks green, or something similar.
As for the car mirror....it is probably the most unflattering light for most people. If you can get a perfect match in your car mirror, you have won the game! (Mine still looks a little orange in the car, but that is because my face is more golden than my neck...)