This! A question that I got asked a lot as an editor at EBONY.com. It took me a good little while, but I tested enough products to know at least a good top 5 brands that really know how to make foundation for dark skin.
Let me be clear: most of these brands are a bit more than you would probably want to pay. The majority are not drug store brands. But, bare with me. The thing I’ve learned as an editor, is that women with darker complexions are probably going to have to pay a bit more for their foundation. Does that suck? Yes. But the truth is that the higher end companies have, in my opinion, spent more time making sure they understand our undertones.
So, here goes my list of reccomendations.
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The latest obsession from Bobbi Brown is the Long Wear Even Finish SPF 15. Espresso 10 is the darkest shade. But, i’ve been using the Chestnut 9 shade and it matches perfectly. This will run you about $48 and should last you about 7 months to a year.
BlackUp Cosmetics (not pictured)
I met with a PR rep for this brand about a year ago and immediately fell in love. They’re based out of France, so you’d have to order your best foundation online. And this sucks. But, they have a new product that may help you determine your best color under their line for a low cost of $5: the CC cream 5 shades pack. If you think you can really look at their foundation color swatches and order your best matched shade, then opt for one of their Cream to Powder foundations ($41), or the new Matifying Liquid Foundation ($40.50). I’ll let you know now: they’re online color swatches are the exact match to their actual products. Meaning, what you see in color online, is what you will get in product in person. I promise.
An affordable foundation on this list, ranging from $12-$16 depending on the retailer, the Second to None Cream to Powder Foundation is a great buy. It’s lightweight and very silky. IMAN is another brand that is really getting it right with the undertones. You can find this foundation at Target, Walmart and Ulta.
Make Up For Ever
The HD High Definition Foundation is a good pick for full coverage that doesn’t look heavy. They’ve also made it possible to pick your foundation based on your undertone. But here’s the thing: you have to go to your nearest Sephora because the colors online don’t perfectly match the colors in person. By the way, it cost $42.
There is an asterisk near YSL because they don’t have very dark colors. But, I use the Le Teint Touche Eclat every day, and my shade is B 90. I also have more of a red/gold undertone. This, in my opinion, is another brand you would have to test in store. You’ll also spend about $57 on the product.
Again, another product with a limited amount of darker shades. However, the Sheer Glow Foundation is my third go-to product (my first is YSL and second is Bobbi Brown, mentioned above). Khartoum is the darkest shade they have and you’ll pay $45.
They have a good array of shades for darker complexions, and help you understand, via imagery, what you’ll likely be looking for if you’re shopping online. For women with acne or breakout prone skin, Becca may be a good fit for you. My favorite foundation from them so far is the Ever-Matte Shine Proof foundation. It’s $42 and can be purchased at Sephora.
The Teint Idole Ultra 24H foundation has 8 darker shades. I prefer this for spring/summer months, however. Mainly because it’s a really good matte product and it doesn’t smudge easily. I also think you should go to a Lancome counter and do an in-person test to find your perfect shade because the undertones may be hard to detect online. This foundation will run you $45.
Kat Von D
Believe it or not, Kat Von D has about 8 darker shades in her Lock-It Tattoo Foundation collection. It does have a bit of a strong scent, I’ll warn you about that. But, it offers build able coverage and leaves you with a flawless finish. Flawless. Be very careful with application so that it doesn’t become cakey. You’ll spend $34.
If you all don’t know, MAC has been one of the leading brands that have continuously focused on having darker shades. I for sure root for MAC, but I just wanted to offer some other brands to choose from. However, I will say that some of my prefered MAC foundations are Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15, Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 and the Studio Tech.