AARP Eye Center
Gone are the days when Black women had fewer options at the makeup counter. While some brands back in the day carried a plethora of shades, with Fashion Fair and Mac Cosmetics being among the first, most failed to offer the variety that’s available today.
Now more than ever, makeup brands are meeting the new standards of inclusivity, offering a greater range of hues for darker skin. From classics to current favorites, we’re filling you in on some of the best foundations on the market today. Plus, professional makeup artists let you in on a few tips and tricks.
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Stick with cream and liquid formulas
According to Shawntay Fisher, celebrity makeup artist whose client list includes Ava DuVernay, Robin Roberts and Jasmine Guy, cream and liquid formulas work better on mature skin, as they don’t settle into creases and fine lines as much. “With these particular formulas, you have the option to make them as full coverage as you’d like, or you can thin them out with a moisturizer for lighter wear,” she says. Good to know: Less product is more, especially on mature skin.
Determine your undertone
Finding the right shade starts with knowing your undertone, aka the hue underneath the surface of your skin, which never changes. Selecting a foundation with the wrong undertone can make you appear pale, red, orange or even gray.
One way to find your undertone is to look at the veins on the underside of your wrist. If they appear blue, your undertone is cool. If they appear green, your undertone is warm. Can’t tell? You may be neutral. However, this method doesn’t work for all Black women. If this is the case for you, try holding a piece of gold and silver jewelry against your skin. If the gold looks better, you probably have a warm undertone. If you wear silver better, you most likely have a cool undertone. If you wear both equally well, you may have a neutral undertone. Standing in front of a white background can also make your undertone more apparent.