As a fellow brown girl, we all know the struggle of finding makeup products that suit our skin tone. However, nothing has been worse than trying to find a foundation that matches our skin tone correctly, especially our undertones.
Before Rihanna changed the inclusion game in the makeup world there were a few tried and true brands that I could depend on for what I needed. Below are six foundations that I swear on my life by in both function (matching my skin) and feel (looking nice on my face). Disclosure: On the brown shade spectrum I tend to lean more towards the lighter side, however I do believe that most if not all of these foundations rate very well on the inclusion scale and cater very nicely towards darker complexions.
You either hate it or you love it- and I LOVE it. This foundation is the perfect thing for my skin during any season. It is matte enough where I don't look oily throughout the summer, but not too matte where my skin feels dry during the cold winter months. What I love most about this foundation is the focus on the undertone. If you look at my mum and I, she has a lighter complexion than me, but technically wears the "darker" foundation, but that's because we have completely different undertones. I have a warmer one, and when I blend the Fenty foundation into my skin its like a match made in heaven. With a medium coverage this foundation is my go-to for everyday occasions; sometimes I'll even just dot a little over my blemishes and use it as a concealer for a lighter finish on any blemishes or scarring on my face.
This foundation is the number two foundation sold at Sephora (right behind Fenty), and it definitely deserves that title. It has a dewier finish, but not too dewy where you can look oily if you don't powder, and is super buildable - which was my selling point. Although a dewy finish, I wore this foundation a lot last summer, and didn't feel or look oily with it on. I felt more like a glowy goddess than an oily freak - especially when I was running around New York City getting to different interviews in the boiling summer heat. This foundation stuck to me like glue. Since its buildable I usually wear this for fancier occasions when I want a more full coverage look without being super heavy on my skin, but can definitely be used as a medium-coverage everyday foundation. This one, like Fenty, blends into my skin so seamlessly its as if I'm not even wearing foundation and the definitely caters to different undertones similarly to Fenty, so the shades are a lot more inclusive than what other brands offer.
To all my oily girls out there, stay away from this one. I love it, but when the summer heat rolls around, and I'm at my peak oil-levels, this stuff just melts off. However, on my drier days and cold winter season this is my go-to for sure. It's a good medium-to-full coverage, leaning more full coverage, but if you're careful with application it won't feel like a thick coverage. The product is super creamy and blends so easily, and I personally love it because it feels moisturizing while also giving me great coverage.
This one, along with the following two recommendations are for my girls who prefer a light coverage, but still like a full makeup look. I don't know what it is specifically about this foundation, but when I wear this in the evening time, and whenever I take pictures my skin looks flawless. I have acne scarring and uneven skintone, but this just creates such an even palette without being a full coverage foundation. It can definitely build to medium, but its still just a powder so it looks best with light dusting over the face. I'll usually bring this in my purse in the summer when I get oily for when whatever foundation I used that day is starting to wear, and use this for touchups and it works so perfectly. Mac is known in the brown community for catering well to the darker skin tones, and it still holds its place as one of the bests.
This was actually my first product when I started wearing makeup in 11th grade. It was super light because my mum wasn't the biggest fan of makeup, but it gave me the coverage that helped me feel a little more confident in myself. At that time my skin was super dry, so the dewy finish was perfect, however now it would definitely make me look a lot oilier. If my skin was still dry I would be grabbing for this everyday. Its light because its a BB cream, but it gives colour and coverage like a light foundation. A plus to this BB cream is that its made for the camera, so my skin always looked flawless in photos. It definitely wears like a foundation, lasting me all day, and is easy to build in spots that need a little extra help, and I honestly still love it and I just save it for the winter months when my skin's a bit drier and I can't be bothered to wear a full face of makeup.
This tinted moisturizer was my biggest obsession my sophomore year of college. I was still new to makeup game, so foundation was still an intimidating product to me, but it was from a great brand that offered a decent amount of shades closer to my skin tone, so I took a slight risk. Since it is a tinted moisturizer I definitely would recommend this for the girls with drier skin, or don't mind using face powder to really set it in. I used to get oily in my T-zone with this tinted moisturizer, but that was mainly me being naive about my skin type and neglecting powder. I really loved this because like the Smashbox BB Cream, it was a light feel, with great coverage. It wasn't too heavy, but I looked a more put together and it photographed so well - I looked airbrushed. Pair it with the Nars primer and use a quality setting powder in your oily spots, and this tinted moisturizer is perfect for anyone with any skin type.
Everyone's skin type is different. Everyone's skin tone is different. Everyone's undertones are different, but these foundations have yet to fail me, and will always be in my makeup arsenal. I recommend these to my friends all.the.time, and will stand by them 'til the day I die (or until I find a better foundation).