There are so many options for Black women at the make-up counter. Although some brands offered a wide range of shades back then, such as Mac Cosmetics and Fashion Fair, not all brands offer today’s selection.
Makeup brands are now more inclusive than ever. They offer a wider range of colors for people with darker skin tones. We have a wide range of foundations, from classics to current favorites. Professional makeup artists share their tips and tricks.
- Use liquid and cream formulas
Shawntay Fischer, a celebrity makeup artist who has worked with Ava DuVernay and Robin Roberts, says that liquid and cream formulas are better for mature skin because they don’t settle in creases or fine lines as much. She says that these formulas allow you to adjust the coverage and moisturizer to suit your needs. It’s important to remember that less product is better, especially for mature skin.
- Determine your undertone
Knowing your undertone is key to choosing the right shade. This is the color underneath your skin. It never changes. A foundation that has the wrong undertone could make you look pale, reddish, orange, or even gray.
You can check the veins under your wrist to determine your undertone. If they are blue, then your undertone may be cool. If they appear to be green, then your undertone may be warm. Can’t tell? It could be that you are neutral. This method is not for all Black women. You might want to try this if you are a Black woman. If the gold is more attractive, it’s likely that you have a warm undertone. A cool undertone is if you prefer silver. A neutral undertone may be possible if you can wear both silver and gold equally well. Your undertone can be made more obvious if you stand in front of a white background.
- Find the shade that suits you best
For a balanced look, Fisher recommends choosing a shade closest to your most pigmented skin area. The neck and chest are good places to start testing. For a more accurate impression of the effect of the foundation on your skin, try it out in natural light.
Black women still have to struggle with finding the right shade. Mixing multiple shades of foundation is a common practice, especially for those with different skin tones or hyperpigmentation. Mindy Green, licensed cosmetologist, owner of MG Beauty, says that some brands offer a free trial, a deluxe sample or blister cards with different shades so you can try them out before you purchase. Even then, brands may discontinue, reformulate, or use a different manufacturer. The color might not be right.
Pro tip: Green recommends using color-adjusting drops to cool down or warm up foundation if your closest match isn’t perfect.
- Perfect your technique
Give your skin a thorough clean. To protect your skin from the sun, apply an SPF moisturizer and let it soak into your skin for a while. To extend the life of your foundation, apply a primer. Apply small amounts of foundation to all parts of your face. Blend outward using a sponge or brush on your cheeks and forehead. Blend your nose and chin together, making sure you blend it into your hairline. Use a finely ground powder to set the product.
These are some foundation options you might consider:
1. Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Foundation ($68; Sephora.com)
This foundation will give you a natural look. This liquid foundation promises to combat wrinkles and fine lines with its long-lasting, hydrating formula. You don’t need to apply a lot of coverage. A few small dots of foundation on your face, and then blending it with your fingertips can do the trick. Start with thin layers and build up using a foundation brush.
2. Fashion Fair SkinFlex Stick Foundation ($37, Sephora.com)
This foundation is multi-purpose and single-stick. It’s specifically designed for darker skin tones. This semi-matte foundation provides full coverage and conceals hyperpigmentation. Apply a thin layer to the skin and then blend it with your fingertips. You may need more coverage. Use a foundation brush to blend the product.
3. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation ($36; Sephora.com)
This oil-free, lightweight, medium-to-full coverage formula offers a staggering 50 shades. This innovative technology helps you adapt to all climates. One pump will provide medium coverage. Use a damp sponge to blend it out. Apply another pump to achieve full coverage and blend with a foundation brush.
4. Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation ($49, Sephora.com).
This lightweight foundation, which offers full coverage in 34 shades, claims to keep you looking good for up to 16 hours. This foundation contains a combination of fruit extracts which can make your skin look smoother over time. To achieve the natural look, use one pump of foundation. Warm it with your fingertips.
5. Mac Cosmetics Studio Radiance Face and Body Radiant Sheer Foundation ($35, Ulta.com).
This waterproof, sheer foundation is perfect for those who only require light coverage. This hydrating foundation is perfect for minimalist looks. It provides just enough coverage and can give your skin a natural glow for up to eight hours. Use a foundation brush or a sponge to apply the cream to your skin and blend.