As black women, it’s often hard to find the right foundations for dark skin that match both our shade and our undertone, so today I’m sharing my four current favorites (plus a bonus one for the culture). These foundations have stood by me for many months and even years. I dabble in the newest trends ever so often, but these are my ride-or-dies. Quick note that I have combination skin with mostly neutral undertones and ever so slightly yellow undertones in some areas.
1. Estée Lauder Double Wear // Here or Here
2. Clinique Stay Matte // Here or Here
3. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish // Here or Here
4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation // Here or Here
5. Fenty Beauty Matte Longwear// Here
6. MAC Foundation Pump // Here or Here
First, my two faves
Estée Lauder Double Wear & Clinique stay-matte
These are the two I’ve used the longest and they also happen to be the two I love the most. They are definitely a staple in my collection, and even when I try new ones, I find that I keep coming back to them.
Shade: I’m in the shade Amber for Clinique, and 5N Amber Honey for Estée Lauder.
Application: They both apply like a dream, so smooth, with medium to full coverage. I get a more natural looking finish with the Clinique and just a tad more “foundation-ey” with the Estée Lauder so I tend to use the latter if I’m going to an event. I don’t wear foundation everyday, but when I do, I reach for the Clinique more often than not.
Staying power: The most I’ve probably gone is twelve hours with either of these but they definitely held their own. I will say that on days when I go to the gym straight from work, I do get some streaking when I start to sweat. But you’re not like me right? You remove your makeup before working out and your pores love you for it. Ha!
Overall: These are definitely the two I find myself using the most. I’ll give the Clinique one a slight edge since I find it more universal. I can keep it simple for an everyday look, or jazz it up for a more festive look. It’s also super slim which makes it extra easy to pack for travel.
Pro tip: The Estée Lauder foundation doesn’t come with a pump (rude!) so I use the MAC foundation pump.
Fun fact: Clinique is a subsidiary of Estée Lauder Companies, who also owns MAC by the way, along with a few other familiar names.
Next, the stick foundations
Anastasia Beverly Hills & Hourglass
I’ve been using both of these for just under a year and I also love them. My favorite thing about them is that because they are solid, they travel like champs without any worries about TSA liquid limits. For the same reason, they are also quick and easy to apply; just swipe on and blend! Now, who doesn’t love that.
Shade: I’m in the shade Chestnut for Anastasia (even though I might try the Almond), and Golden Almond for Hourglass.
Application: Like the previous two, these also go on very nicely on the skin. I’d say the Anastasia is medium to full coverage and the Hourglass is definitely full coverage. I was in between shades with both of these and I use the Anastasia BH more for everyday since it has a more neutral undertone. The Hourglass is great for when I want to take things up a notch since it’s very full coverage, with a more yellow undertone.
Staying power: They both last me all day even if I’m out dancing or being active and I don’t tend to get the streaking I do with the liquid ones.
Overall: I love these especially for travel and the easy swipe-on application.
Pro tip: Don’t go trying your beauty blender with these. Get you a nice, dense, flat or flat-ish brush.
And finally, the honorable mention
Because I’d probably get killed if I left this one out. Honestly, I purchased it because I had to support my girl Rihanna, but I’m not the biggest fan – judge me now. I mean, it’s a great foundation, it’s super light coverage and feels like nothing on your skin, but I don’t know, I just wasn’t doing cartwheels or losing my mind over it compared to the ones I already mentioned. I also find that it’s picky depending on what primer you use; With some primers, it was amazing and with some others, it was just m’eh. The internets are in love with it though especially for the wide shade range so I knew I definitely had to mention it.
Overall: I love that it’s really light and matte, but I don’t find myself reaching for it as much as the others above.
I’m not a makeup artist or even a pro novice, so your experience might be different of course but hopefully one of these foundations for dark skin work for you!
Shop the foundations below: