If one thing can be said for certain in regards to the beauty world, it’s finding the perfect foundation for dark skin tones can be tricky. Understanding undertones and shade ranges can make anyone’s head hurt. People who have deeper skin complexions now have various brands to choose from, but the beauty industry has not always been as diverse as it is today. Society is demanding beauty brands to produce more inclusive products for people of color — but which formulas are the best?
When I first became interested in makeup in the early 2010s, I noticed a lack of foundation shades for my chocolate skin tone. I would purchase the darkest drugstore foundation and the shade would still be too light for my complexion (as in I would walk into school with my face lighter than my neck — yikes). I became fed up until I saw Nicki Minaj’s first MAC Cosmetics collaboration, after which I begged my mother to take me to the makeup brands’ counter. When I arrived, I was in awe of the variety of shades to choose from and the diverse staff who pointed me in the right direction. “You have a warmer undertone,” the makeup artist told me. I purchased my first MAC foundation, Studio Fix, in NW45, along with a pressed powder and concealer. The shade matched my skin tone perfectly. At that moment, I finally felt seen.
Fortunately, beauty brands that inclusively cater to brown and Black consumers are on the rise. From shade ranges to campaign and marketing casting, there is more inclusion than ever — which means more options for you.
TZR had the chance to speak to five celebrity makeup artists about their favorite foundation for dark skin tones. Scroll to read more about what they use on their melanated A-list clients.
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Sir John’s talent is widely known throughout the beauty industry. He has a track record for being one the best makeup artists in the world (both in and outside of the industry) and working with top tier clients. His clientele includes everyone from Beyoncé and Zendaya to Cynthia Erivo and Normani, to name a few.
Wendi Miyake is a celebrity makeup artist known for working with the Kardashians. Her clientele also includes Kelly Rowland, Janet Mock, Justine Skye, and Lala Anthony.
Tasha Reiko Brown
Tasha Reiko Brown is known for slaying the faces of many Black A-list celebs including Alicia Keys, Gabrielle Union, Lil Nas X, and Tracee Ellis Ross.
Celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney is known for working with Angolan model Maria Borges, X-Men actor Alexandra Shipp, and model Duckie Thot.
Brittany Whitfield is known for working with star clients Raven’s Home actor Laya Deleon Hayes, Karrueche Tran, model Adut Akech, and Gossip Girl actor Savannah Smith.