Foundation 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 melanin are left choosing between "tan" and "brown." (And, don't even get us started on "one shade fits all.")
But in 2018, makeup brands are finally getting the memo. We need more shades! It seems like every other day a brand is launching a new foundation range or adding more shades to an existing lineup. "Many brands are offering shade extensions catering to a much wider range of skin tones and complexions," says makeup artist Jennifer Fleming. "As the world continues to become more blended, there will always be work to do." Bobbi Brown, CoverGirl, and Dior or all advertising their 40-plus shade counts — it's what we like to call the Fenty effect. But if it means we can walk into a Sephora and have options, we don't care who started the frenzy. We're just happy that diversity has finally hit the foundation counter in a meaningful way.
Ahead, get foundation-picking wisdom from the pros, along with their go-to brands for women of color.
There is a lot of product out there — some would say too much. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but if you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.