The 15 Best Foundations for Darker Skin Tones, According to Women of Color


Even in 2021, finding a suitable foundation can be daunting and frustrating when you have dark skin. From a lack of diverse shade options to foundations that end up looking ghostly in pictures, it’s no secret that securing the right makeup can be an adventure. In addition to choosing a formula (matte or glowy) and coverage (buildable or full) that works for you, a foundation’s undertones are an extremely important factor for women of color. As brown skin encompasses a range of dark and light hues with warmer and cooler tones, choosing the right tint and base shade is optimal to prevent melanated skin from looking pasty or orangey. Although many makeup brands still aren’t creating colors that cater to everyone, there are some—including many notable Black-owned companies—offering broader foundation ranges with excellent color payoff.

What’s known as The Fenty Effect by Rihanna fans may have ushered in a new wave of beauty inclusivity, but the industry still has a ways to go to make most people feel seen—especially through the tonal reach of its makeup products. Given that the days of test swatching foundation shades at Sephora and Ulta are on pause, tracking down a natural looking foundation for dark skin is even more of a challenge. To get the inside scoop directly from shoppers in the know, we asked 16 women of color, including beauty influencers Jackie Aina and Glow Princess, to recommend some of the best foundations for dark skin, ones they love using day in, day out in their makeup rotation.

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