Makeup artists’ recommendations for darker skin

If you have melanin-rich skin, finding a foundation that blends seamlessly can be difficult. There’s still room for improvement when it comes to the range of shades brands offer, but until then, we enlisted the help of Delina Medhin, professional makeup artist and content creator, and William Scott, professional makeup artist, to find out what the best makeup for darker skin is.

What are the best foundations for darker skin tones
Darker skin tone foundations

best makeup for darker skin

The Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 is $48.0

Many people prefer the tint that mimics serums. Thanks to its SPF 40 formula, it will protect your skin, while also giving your skin a dewy radiance. In addition to new shades for darker skin, Ilia has recently increased the range of shades available, which is why Medhin enjoys this tint. Additionally, she notes that it is sheer, but can be built up for the days when you want more coverage.

The NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation costs $49.00

A NARS foundation (and concealer) is a favorite of Scott since they offer deeper colors, are long-lasting, and enhance the glow of the skin. Take a look at NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation if this sounds like what you’re looking for.

best makeup for darker skin


According to Scott, this mineral foundation wears well throughout the day despite being built upon. In addition to evening out your skin tone, this foundation should also conceal the appearance of imperfections.

best makeup for darker skin

Foundation William Tuttle Creme – $19.00

William Tuttle Creme Foundation has a wide range of specific shades at the deepest end of the spectrum, and the formula mimics the subtle dewiness of bare skin very well, while giving the skin a softness without being matte,” says Scott. Skin fuses seamlessly with this formula, and it’s easy to apply.

Dark skin foundations at drugstores
An effective foundation consists of what?

Have you ever wondered what makes a good foundation? Medhin argues that good foundations are buildable. In addition to being able to sheer a formula if necessary, “I also like being able to use it to create more medium or full coverage.”. In this way, she explains, “I can also use the foundation in the areas I need to conceal.”

Scott says that when checking out new foundations, he looks for a few things. As they massage the foundation into their skin, they first say, “I want to see it set and sink into the skin.”. It should also disappear into the skin, making it look plump and smooth instead of congealing on top of the skin or settling into the pores. A Scott formula should also be “cohesive and buildable,” for additional coverage when needed, the company says.

A foundation should also have ingredients that hydrate and protect the skin in addition to how it looks on and works on the skin, Scott says.

What foundation to choose for your complexion

Because your complexion has multiple shades, you may need to use more than one foundation if you have darker skin, says Medhin. “The center of your face is usually lighter than the outside/hairline, so you want to match your skin tone in the areas where you’ll apply it rather than use a color that will cover your entire face,” says Medhin.

The key to choosing the right foundation shade in a deep/dark shade is to consider what kind of finish and texture you prefer,” advises Scott. The best foundation for oily skin is either matte liquid or powder foundation. It is recommended that liquid or cream foundations with a dewy or semi-matte finish be used on dry skin.

Choosing the right foundation formula

You should consider your skin type and even the type of look you want to achieve when selecting the best type of foundation for you. The main reason I prefer liquid foundations is that the fixative spray and powder make them easier to set and ensure that they will last several hours, whereas cream foundations often require more maintenance, though how much maintenance is necessary depends on how oily the skin is,” says Scott.

If you have chosen a formula for your foundation, perhaps you’re wondering what ingredients to consider. According to Scott, you should choose your foundation based on your skin type if you’ve been paying attention to the latest releases for foundation, which are beginning to mirror skin-care formulas.

Foundations that are best for dry skin

According to professional makeup artist Alexandria Gilleo, matte, powder, and powdered-based foundations aren’t recommended for dry skin. Choose foundations that contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, jojoba oil, vitamin E, glycolides, and squalane.

An oily skin foundation

To reduce shine on oily skin, experts recommend using matte foundation. Make sure you don’t choose a finish that’s too matte, as that can result in cakey-looking foundation and clogged pores.

Acne-prone skin needs a foundation

Choose a foundation that says non-comedogenic on the label or in the product description if you have acne-prone skin. It won’t clog your pores, and though it may not entirely stop acne, it certainly won’t worsen it. A mineral foundation is another excellent choice, as they tend to be non-comedogenic. The presence of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in a formula can effectively treat acne.

Sensitive skin requires a special foundation

No matter how sensitive your skin is, you don’t have to go without foundation, unless you want to. Those with sensitive skin may benefit from mineral foundations made with silica, kaolin clay, corn starch, or silica. In addition, minerals aren’t comedogenic, which means they don’t clog pores, said board-certified dermatologist Meghan Feely, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in New Jersey and New York City.

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These products are independently selected by our editors. Well+Good may earn a commission from purchases made through our links.

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