Foundation buying is the makeup equivalent of jeans shopping. You have to try before you buy. If you are any shade darker than Scandinavian, it’s often the most dreaded task IMHO in the beauty regime. If you are darker skinned like me, then it is a bigger dread. why? Have you really looked at drugstore foundation offerings? Unless you live in a big city, most towns and smaller cities have pitiful shade ranges. Brands are trying, but its just not rolling out beyond the bigger towns. So after buying nearly a drawer full of foundations that don’t quite match, I can say honestly say that I have a lifetime of experience…here are my top 3 foundation tips for brown/ dark skin girls.
- Don’t match to hand The biggest mistake in foundation matching whatever one’s skin tone is that counter staff still apply a sample streak on the back one one’s forearm. This is wrong, and worse if you are deeper toned. Firstly the skin colour is almost always darker ( sometimes lighter) but anyway it is different in colour to the face. Often darker skin tones have tonal variations on their necks and foreheads too. So the best place to match your foundation is your cheek. Another reason against matching on the hand, is that the skin on the arm is always a different texture to that of the face. ( This is true of all skin tones) therefore it isn’t a true test of how the foundation will look and wear on one’s skin.
- May need two shades This is a big may as Middle Eastern, Latina, South East Asian, Afro Caribbean, and all other races can be pale to deep. But talking about the average brown girl here, we often have tonal contrasts between our forehead and the rest of our face. We also tan in the summer (even if we are sat indoors wearing a wide brimmed hat, and SPF 50). These are reasons enough for me to buy two shades of foundation, my summer and my winter shade.
- Don’t buy foundations with SPF. SPF is widely added to foundations still. ( why? It’s so much better to use it seperately as a part of a great skincare routine as listed here. Anyway people still buy it with SPF thinking they are protecting their skin, and this can cause flashback. Now flashback is bad enough, but add a deeper tone to this mixture? Ashy. Every sister’s worst nightmare. Brown and grey do not mix.
So I know what not to do. What should I be doing?
- Persevere: Most counter staff in department stores will match you. but this has been a miss for me. Darker skins can be pereceived to be a lot darker than they are. If you are unsure, ask for a sample. Don’t be pressured into buying anything you
- Take a mirror: And check in all lighting. This sounds basic but many people still forget to check their shade in natural light.
- Clean face. there is absolutely no point on testing foundations if you are already wearing makeup, sounds silly right? Yet it seems to be the number 1 mistake people seem to make.
- Buy 2. Most people of colour turn a shade darker in summer, and that bottle of MAC you bought during the Christmas Sales, suddenly looks weird. Or you can buy a foundation darkener (most companies sell this.)
- Brands I think you can find a fair choice for darker and paler skins are Loreal, Maybelline, Makeup RevolutionMAC, Makeupforever, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown amongst others. The worst offenders for shade range seem to be French brands, and Eastern Asian companies.
I’m not a person of colour, do these rules apply to me?
Yes, yes, yes… I couldnt emphasise this more or enough. These tips, indeed my blog is for everyone.
Do you have any foundation tips or tricks? I’d love to hear from you ~~ Love Elle xx