Base makeup is one of those notoriously hard beauty products to shop for. Like picking out jeans or bras, the process takes time, commitment, and patience. The trial-and-error situation gets even harder when you only have a handful of choices — all of which are typically nowhere near your actual complexion shade.
Unfortunately, this is the harsh reality for women of color. There's a whole spectrum of "fair" shades on the market, while those with more pigment are left choosing between "tan" and "brown." (And, don't even get us started on "one shade fits all.")
Thankfully, according to CoverGirl makeup artist Jennifer Fleming
, there's been progress over the past few years. "Many brands are offering shade extensions catering to a much wider range of skin tones and complexions," she says. "As the world continues to become more blended, there will always be work to do."
According to makeup artist Sir John
, who's worked with everyone from Queen Bey to Joan Smalls, not having a uniform complexion is another big problem that plagues women with darker skin. "Women of color — [and that includes] Pacific Islander, Asian, Latin-American — have two different colors that they're working with," he says. "They're lighter in the center of the face, and they’re usually deeper around the hairline and under the cheekbones." To counter that, he suggests mixing two products: one that matches your hue and one that's slightly darker. Genius.
Ahead, get more base-makeup wisdom from these pros, along with their go-to brands for women of color.