The Foundation Guide For Women Of Color In 2020

October 22, 2020
Written ByPocosmo Staff

Unfortunately, women of color have been neglected in the beauty industry since the beginning. One of the downsides to this issue is the difficulty black women face when shopping for a foundation that properly matches their beautiful melanated skin complexion.

With new, advanced formulations and the proper inclusion in the beauty industry today, many brands have developed a range of shades for black women and other women of color, making it easier than ever to find the perfect shade of foundation.

Now that there are several shades of foundation for women of color, the issue of black women not being able to find their shade is now replaced with the matter of having too many options and not knowing where to start!

Luckily for all of you beautiful melanated queens, this article will walk you through how to pick the shade of foundation that compliments your complexion so well, you’d think it was made just for you!

Determine the Undertone

Once you identify your skin’s undertone, you’ll know how to pick anything that compliments your skin best, whether it be hair color, clothes, jewelry, or makeup shades.

There a few different methods for finding your skin’s undertone:

  • The color of your veins: Take a look at the color of your veins on the inside of your wrist. What color do you see? If your veins are green, your skin’s undertone is yellow or golden. This is considered warm-toned. If your veins are blue, your skin’s undertone is pinkish or reddish; thus, cool-toned. If there’s a cross between both or it’s difficult to tell, you may be neutral toned.
  • What colors look best on you?: Another great way to find your skin’s undertone is to take a look at what color clothes and jewelry look best on you. If you look best in gold jewelry and earthy colored clothes such as tan, yellow, and greens, you’re probably warm-toned. On the other hand, if you look better wearing colors like blue, cool reds, and silver jewelry, you’re probably cool-toned. If your skin tone looks equally good with both sides of these colors, you’re most likely neutral toned.
  • The White Background Test: You can also place your arm over a white background and see what color stands out the most. Do you see more of a reddish or yellow tint? Also, white clothing looks best on cool skin tones, and off-white clothing looks best on warm skin tones. Neutral tones look equally good in white and off-white.

Finding The Right Shade Based On Your Skin Tone

Although many black-owned makeup brands have a plethora of foundation shades to choose from, options aren’t as plentiful when shopping in-person at your local makeup store as they are online. Many black-owned makeup brands are online-based, but there is still a great selection of brands with your shade in-store.

Although many black-owned makeup brands have a plethora of foundation shades to choose from, options aren’t as plentiful when shopping in-person at your local makeup store as they are online. Many black-owned makeup brands are online-based, but there is still a great selection of brands with your shade in-store.

Sephora offers a foundation shade finder test that can help you narrow down shades and brands to choose from. Although it may not always be accurate, it’s a good start and worth a try!

You can shop for your foundation online, but I recommend going to the store in-person if this is your first time buying foundation, and you don’t know your matching shade yet.

Due to COVID-19, many stores no longer offer the sampling of products. Unfortunately, this makes it more difficult for customers to try products before purchasing.

But no need to worry; there are still ways to find your beautiful skin complexion in a bottle!

One helpful thing is that brands will often match an undertone to a foundation shade. For example, if you're warm-toned, the foundation you choose at the store may note that it’s for warm skin tones. This is why knowing your undertone is vital when shopping for a foundation in the middle of a pandemic.

Your undertone is what you’ll need to rely on most.

Another tip is to choose the shade of foundation you think matches you best. Next, choose the foundation that’s a shade lighter and the one that’s a shade darker. Hold each bottle of foundation up to your jawline or chest, and determine which shade matches the best.

We don’t recommend comparing foundation shades on the hand or inside of the wrist for darker-skinned women, as those areas tend to be lighter than the face.

Oxidation? No thank you!

You get home and decide to apply the new foundation that you’ve just purchased and have been waiting to try all day. You leave it on for a night out at dinner with your girlfriends. Next thing you know, your girlfriends are asking why your face is so orange.

This is called oxidation, ladies… It happens to the best of us!

Sometimes foundation will vary in color once applied due to the PH of the skin and chemicals in the foundation, called oxides. These oxides are typically used to add more coverage or SPF.

Let’s just say you’ll want to wear your new foundation at home for a few hours to determine whether or not it’s a true match before leaving the house.

The Best Foundations for Darker Skin Tone

Now to the fun part! Here is a list we’ve put together featuring some of the best foundations for women of color (from the most affordable to the most expensive):

L’Oréal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation w/ SPF 17, ($10.99)

This is hands-down one of the best drugstore oil-free foundations to have ever existed! This foundation undoubtedly lives up to its name. With its light to medium coverage in over 40 different shades, you’ll indeed find your true match!

Maybelline Super Stay Full Coverage Liquid Foundation, ($11.99)

For a full coverage makeup look that lasts all day, Maybelline’s Super Stay Full Coverage Foundation is your new go-to! This foundation lasts up to 24 hours, is lightweight, and gives a fabulous matte finish.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, ($43)

If you’re willing to splurge a little, this buildable, hydrating Ultra HD foundation should be your first pick! The hyaluronic acid in this foundation makes it the perfect choice for dry skin. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a sugar that’s naturally presented in the skin. It is also added to skin-care products to assist in retaining water and moisture, making your skin look youthful, plump, and hydrated.

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, ($53)

Who hasn’t heard of the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte foundation from Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty? This oil-free, medium to full coverage foundation comes in over 40 shades and provides the smoothest matte finish, targeted towards women of color.

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