Finding the perfect foundation can be difficult; it’s as much about your skin’s texture and tone as it is the product and for African American women, there’s the added difficulty of finding a product that is formulated with your skin in mind. Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect shade.
Working with your skin's undertone is the key to getting the right shade. Women with ashy toned skin should look for a caramel toned primer to apply before their foundation as this will warm up the skin. If you have a pink or violet undertone to your skin, you’ll be labeled as cool. This means that when you’re choosing a foundation, you should stay away from anything that will make you look too yellow. If you have red undertones, you’ll be labeled as warm and if you have yellow undertones you’ll be in the neutral category. If you’re unsure of your undertone, look at your clean skin in bright, natural light. If you have colored hair, wrap it in a towel so it won’t influence your observations. Using a mirror, you should be able to see the undertone of your skin quite easily.
Your skin type will have a large effect on the type of foundation you buy. If you have oily skin, look for an oil-free version with mattifying properties. This will help cut down the number of products you need as you may not need powder. If you have dry skin, your skin is more likely to be flaky and ashy. Look for a moisturizing foundation with a dewy finish to combat this. If you have normal or combination skin, look for a formula that melts into your skin, leaving you with an even flawless finish.
Finish & Coverage
Women with darker skin are lucky because they often have fewer issues with skin tone. Because of this, they can wear foundations or tinted moisturizers with lighter coverage. If you have areas of pigmentation or blemishes, a medium coverage foundation is better. Very few women need a full coverage foundation, especially ones with darker skin tones, so if you feel that you do, try to treat your skin conditions with skincare rather than simply covering them up and use a concealer while it’s being healed. Invisible powders are better than colored because you eliminate the possibility of having powdery or chalky skin. Invisible powders also work to seal your foundation for a matte, but never dull, finish.
When in doubt, try to get a sample. This way you can see how the foundation looks in natural light.