The Best Foundation for Black Women

Woman of color

Dear Budget Fashionista,

I am African-American and I am very dark skinned with purple undertones. I have the hardest time finding foundation and concealers for my skin tone on a budget. Can you recommend a good, budget friendly, make-up brand for me?

It’s no secret that the majority of beauty brands don’t formulate shades for all skin tones. Even those products that have genuinely dark shades don’t always offer something that’s tailored to your tone.

But there is good news here. Times they are a-changing. As more companies recognize that, yes, in fact, there are more than five skin tones, it has become easier to navigate the aisles confidently. You can and you will find a shade that flatters naturally.

The concern also lies in the way brands create darker colors. Often they simply add some dark pigment to an existing light hue, yielding shades that appear dark in the bottle but don’t produce an exact match for most people of color.

Color-Correct Trouble Spots First

Your mission is to find the foundation that matches your skin’s cool undertone and basically disappears on most areas of your skin. If deep blue/purple circles beneath the eyes are an issue, apply a dab of neutralizing yellow concealer from Physicians Formula ($8.95) and tap — don’t rub — into the skin. You can also apply a dab of color-correcting cream onto imperfections and allow it to set before you apply your foundation.

Budget-Friendly Foundation for Black Women

Some of the most wallet-friendly foundation brands now carry extensive color selections. Here are a few that won’t put a dent in your budget.

Black Radiance Color Perfect™ Liquid Makeup ($4.99)

Black Radiance Foundation for Black Women

Black Radiance oil-free foundation is available in 12 shades formulated for a broad range of skin tones. The lightweight product minimizes imperfections and leaves skin soft thanks to a touch of nourishing evening primrose oil.

Iman Cosmetics Second to None Stick Foundation ($16)

Iman stick foundation for women of color

For precise application that won’t budge, try this oil-free stick foundation by Iman. Enriched with hydrating jojoba and free radical-busting antioxidants, it’s good for your skin, too. And in 14 colors, you’ll find one that complements your tone.

Hue Noir True Hues Flawless Matte Foundation ($12.99)

Hue Noir Matte Foundation

If your greatest concern is longevity, try this lasting matte foundation. While it provides extensive coverage that covers every imperfection perfectly, it can be built up bit by bit for all-day wear that won’t crease.

BLK/OPL True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation ($10.95)

Blk Opl foundation for black women

For a more mid-range formula that offers light-to-medium coverage, BLK/OPL True Color foundation provides the opportunity for a spot-on color match. Thanks to the addition of hydrating shea butter, it’s ideal for dry or sensitive skin types.


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