The beauty industry hasn’t always recognized darker-skinned beauty. Thankfully, those days are long gone. Many cosmetic companies have expanded their shade ranges to accommodate ladies with deeper-hued skin, offering foundations that range from light tan to deep ebony.
That said, finding your perfect color match in a formula that meets all of your skin’s needs is no easy feat. If you’ve despaired of finding the perfect foundation, you’ve come to the right place. Our guide curates all of the best foundations for dark skin so you can not only find the right shade for your complexion, but the perfect formula to address your every need.
Best High-End Foundations
If you view great-looking skin as an investment, a designer foundation could be just what you need in your makeup bag. While pricier than drugstore brands, high-end foundations tend to offer better quality ingredients than many of their cheaper counterparts. So, if you’re looking for the best foundation money can buy, you can’t go wrong with any of these five foundations.
1. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Shade range: 56
Buy on: Estee Lauder, Amazon, Sephora, Ulta
Clean rating: Free of synthetic fragrance, parabens, phthalates, sulfites, drying alcohols, mineral oil and animal-derived ingredients.
Whether your skin is tan, ebony or somewhere in between, you’re sure to find your match with this foundation. With a whopping 56 shades to choose from, this U.S. best-selling foundation is a great choice for brides with a deeper complexion. It offers matte medium coverage, helps even skin tone and controls oil and shine for 24 hours at a time.
2. Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte Foundation
While not ideal for brides with dry skin, this full-coverage foundation works beautifully for brides with oily, combination or normal complexions. Offering a mattifying effect, this foundation comes in warm, neutral and cool undertones for a more natural looking finish. Billed as a 24-hour, transfer-resistant product, users agree it offers good coverage and hides flaws while still feeling light.
3. Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation
Available in six custom formulation groups based on your complexion and undertone, this multi-award winning foundation is lauded by users for feeling lightweight while still offering good coverage with the ability to minimize the appearance of pores, soften fine lines and conceal redness, rosacea and dark spots. Infused with skincare ingredients, including berry extract for extra hydration, this formula is especially great for gals with drier skin.
4. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
This matte, longwear foundation is perfect for brides with oily or combination skin but is also great for summer wear thanks to its climate-adaptive technology made to beat the heat by fighting sweat and shine. Offering buildable, medium to full coverage the formula also boasts the ability to minimize the appearance of pores. If you’re having trouble settling on a shade, you can book a virtual consultation with a Fenty Beauty advisor for help finding your perfect match.
5. Black Up Matifying Fluid Foundation
Reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars
Shade range: 20
Buy on: Macy’s
Clean rating: Gluten-free, oil-free, paraben-free
Made for medium to deep skin tones, Black Up Matifying Fluid Foundation offers medium coverage that is made to adapt to skin with blemishes. Formulated with sebum-regulating and astringent active ingredients, it works to rebalance combination and oily skin so users can achieve a smooth, natural finish.
Best Drugstore Brand Foundations
Who says you need to spend a lot to look great? If you’re a bride on a strict budget, not to worry. There are some really amazing lower-cost foundations available for darker skin. Here are our five faves.
1. NYX Professional Makeup Born To Glow Naturally Radiant Foundation
While not effective for brides with oily skin, this is the perfect foundation for dry, normal or combination skin. With buildable, medium coverage, this foundation goes on smooth and blends well for an even-toned look with a radiant, dewy finish. For best results, pair this foundation with NYX Professional Makeup The Marshmellow Smoothing Primer.
2. Black Radiance Color Perfect Oil-Free Liquid
This full coverage foundation has been formulated with deeper skin tones in mind so that your natural color is enhanced and never looks red or ashy. The foundation is lauded by users for being smooth and silky, blending easily and offering a natural finish. While not matte, this foundation does work best for brides with normal to oily skin types.
3. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup
While not ideal for dry skin, this is the perfect foundation to address the texture issues of normal to oily skin.Offering medium matte coverage and a natural finish that also minimizes pores, this foundation absorbs oil and controls shine for at least 12 hours. Some long-time users did note, however, the new formulation, which includes clay, is not quite as good as the original product.
If you have dry skin and love Maybelline products, try the brand’s Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation instead.
4. CoverGirl TruBlend Matte Made Liquid Foundation
Using what CoverGirl describes as its patented “flexi-hold technology,” this foundation is said to offer “a strong yet flexible film” once applied to give you a smooth and flawless face. Ideal for brides with combination and oily skin, this matte, transfer-resistant foundation controls shine and helps to minimize the appearance of pores, especially when paired with a good-quality primer.
5. e.l.f. Cosmetics Flawless Satin Foundation
This lightweight liquid foundation is perfect for brides looking for a bit of extra hydration, although it is formulated to work with all skin types. Enriched with glycerin to hydrate and soften your skin, it helps to improve uneven skin tone and texture and offers medium buildable coverage and a semi-matte finish. If, however, you have sensitive skin or are sensitive to scent, you may want to give this foundation a pass.
Best Natural Foundations
If you’re the type of bride who gravitates toward clean products with minimal chemicals, you’re not alone. More and more women want cosmetics that are made with natural ingredients that they can feel good about putting on their skin each day. Natural formulations are also less likely to cause skin irritation or adversely affect sensitive skin.
If you want to wear a natural foundation on your wedding day, here are the five best options for darker-skinned brides.
1. Kjaer Weis Invisible Touch Liquid Foundation
Offering a natural look, this serum foundation is perfect for brides who don’t want or need full coverage. And, with ingredients like certified-organic chamomile water, hyaluronic acid and cold-pressed oils, it nourishes and hydrates the skin while offering buildable sheer to medium coverage. Suitable for sensitive skin, it also works well for brides with dry, normal and oily complexions who want a healthy, natural glow.
2. LYS Beauty Triple Fix Serum Foundation
Also a serum-based foundation, this award-winning product works best for dry, normal and combination skin. Containing Indian ginseng, hyaluronic acid, turmeric and avocado oil, this foundation offers ultimate hydration and fights signs of aging. Despite offering light to medium coverage, it still addresses the most common skin concerns such as dark spots, pores, fine lines and imperfections to even skin tone for a dewy, fresh-faced look.
3. N°1 DE CHANEL Revitalizing Foundation
The most expensive natural foundation to make our list, Chanel’s revitalizing foundation uses high quality ingredients that improve the skin with continued usage. Red camellia oil, the star ingredient, is used to smooth and hydrate while maintaining the skin’s barrier against environmental toxins. This buildable foundation offers a luminous finish while concealing pores and fine lines. If, however, you’re sensitive to fragrance, this is not the foundation for you.
4. rms beauty ReEvolve Medium Coverage Liquid Foundation
Reviews: 4.3 out of 5 stars
Shade range: 16
Buy on: RMS Beauty, Sephora
Clean rating: Cruelty-free, vegan, non-comedogenic, gluten-free, silicone-free, phthalate-free and formaldehyde-free.
If you’re looking for a foundation that is water- and sweat-resistant that also hydrates and lasts all day, this foundation is a great choice. Formulated with moisture-rich vegetable squalane, organic aloe and an adaptogenic herbal blend, this medium coverage foundation firms and softens the skin with continued use. Reviewers rave about the natural finish and glowing complexion ReEvolve provides so, while RMS has a smaller shade range than some of its competitors, this foundation is definitely worth a try.
5. bareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
If you’re looking for sun protection, good coverage and a natural looking glow, bareMinerals could be perfect for you. Made from only five ingredients, including minerals that are clinically proven to improve the appearance of skin over time, it won’t clog pores, cause breakouts or settle into fine lines.
Best Hydrating Foundations
Whether you have dry skin or just want to give your skin a hydration boost, a moisturizing foundation is a great choice. To help you find the best hydrating foundations with a good range of darker shades, we’ve put together a list of our top four faves.
1. ColorPop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Hydrating Foundation
If you want to use makeup that offers more than an even skin tone, ColorPop’s hydrating foundation is a great choice. Containing hyaluronic acid, fruit extracts and coconut water, this foundation moisturizes your skin upon first use while helping to fade fine lines and improve skin texture over time. This formula offers medium but buildable coverage and a natural healthy glow. If you have oily or combination skin, you will likely need to use a setting powder to enhance the product’s longevity.
2. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare
If you’re not on a strict budget, this foundation could be a great investment in your complexion.
While costlier than the other natural foundations to make our roundup, the ingredient list — hyaluronic acid, hepes acid, aloe vera, vitamins E and B5 — is top-notch and works to give you brighter, smoother skin over time. This hydrating formula is ideal for brides with drier skin, but also for those with dullness and uneven texture. While this formula works well for most skin types, some users with larger pores found it did little to conceal them, so using a pore minimizing primer underneath is essential.
3. Essence Pretty Natural Hydrating Foundation
If you’re on the hunt for an effective foundation at a low price, Essence is worth a try. With its hydrating formula using aloe vera and hyaluronic acid to nourish the skin this is a good choice for brides with drier skin. Offering medium coverage and a natural finish, this foundation is buildable and will offer enhanced coverage over your favorite primer.
4. Blk/Opl 1 Ounce True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation
If you’ve yet to find a foundation that not only conceals your pores but matches your beautiful dusky complexion, then Blk/Opl’s foundation is worth a try. Formulated to reduce the appearance of pores over time, it also boasts “Shade ID™ technology” to adjust to your unique skin tone. Ideal for brides with dry to normal skin, it contains shea butter and vitamins C and E to hydrate and protect your skin while offering a lightweight, dewy finish.