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The Best Foundations Offering Range For Dark Skin

Because we know that finding a match for our silky melanated skin can be a job in itself.

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Figuring out what your undertone is and what makeup formula to get is hard enough, but finding a match for our silky melanated skin can be another job in itself. While brands like Fenty Beauty and OG Fashion Fair has set the bar for what a foundation range should look like, there are still some brands that just haven't received the memo—and that's fine, it just tells me where and where NOT to shop. Call me crazy, but I refuse to buy two different shades to mix together just to get the right match for me. If you don't carry my color, then I assume you do not want my business, and that's on period.

So instead of wasting time and money, here are 16 of the best foundations that offer a range for dark skin.

*Some links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, xoNecole may earn a small commission.

Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15

Macy's

The 16-hour full coverage foundation gives a natural matte finish that's breathable and weightless. It goes on silky smooth and comes in 42 shades, 20 of which cater to darker skin tones.

$49

Range Beauty True Intentions Hydrating Foundation

Range Beauty

It's literally in the name. Range Beauty offers clean beauty for the forgotten shades. They offer over 15+ shades of brown foundation that not only matches your melanin but promotes healthy and glowing skin. They aim to represent all shades, genders, and skin types while creating a formula for those with eczema or acne-prone skin.

$21

Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation

Macy's

The oil-free foundation gives medium buildable coverage with a natural glow. Instead of using round pigments that can separate on the skin, this lightweight foundation is made with their Micro–fil™ technology so the foundation lays flat for a natural second-skin effect. The Luminous Silk Foundation come is a total of 38 shades, and 14 that cater to darker skin tones.

$64

Mented Cosmetics Skin by Mented

Mented

Mented, short for pigmented, became popular because of its large range of nude lipsticks for darker skin tones. They eventually expanded that concept into their foundations and offers up to 16 shades of golden, neutral, and reddish-brown. Their creamy stick foundation offers a clean, vegan, and dermatologist-approved selection for people of color.

$30

BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15

Macy's

Bare Minerals' loose powder foundation is one of the OG clean beauty formulas. This vegan-friendly powder promotes clearer, healthier skin over time, and protects the skin from UV rays and overexposure from the sun. The line features 30 shades and up to 12 tan and deep shades.

$32

Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation

UOMA

Uoma Beauty, founded by Sharon C, offers up to 51 shades ranging from the fairest shade to the deepest dark. Uoma Beauty foundations are weightless, hydrating, and matte and aim to rewrite the rules of inclusivity and diversity to create a world of beauty that truly is for all of us.

$39

IL MAKIAGE Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation

IL MAKIAGE

IL MAKIAGE is designed to capture the spirit of confident women everywhere. With up to 12 deep shades ranging from different undertones, their Woke Up Like This foundation offers a streak-free, even, and natural matte finish.

$44

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

Macy's

Too Faced offers up to 10 deep shades in an oil-free smooth, velvet finish. It's designed to give you a skin-like and flawless look using coconut water which aids in replenishing the skin's moisture levels.

$40

Blk Opl True Color Foundation with SPF

Blk Opl

Blk Opl offers a variety of formulas running from matte to foundation with SPF. The drugstore brand offers up to 19 tan and deep shades at an affordable price. Their foundation also has antioxidants like vitamins C and E so your skin is protected and flawless.

$10.95

M.A.C’s Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15

Macy's

This long-lasting matte liquid foundation gives a medium-to-full buildable coverage with SPF 15 protection. It's easy to blend and controls shine without caking while minimizing the appearance of pores, giving skin a smoother, and more even look and finish. This foundation comes in 63 shades, of which 28 shades cater to darker skin tones.

$33

Beauty Bakerie InstaBake Aqua Glass Foundation

Beauty Bakerie

Beauty Bakerie offers 10 shades for darker skin tones and navigating their site is very easy. It breaks down your complexion and then your undertone to help you find the perfect match. They also make it easy by finding the best shade comparison. So if you know your shade in Fenty, they can help you match with what your shade would be for Beauty Bakerie.

$34

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

Macy's

This foundation is a true long-lasting foundation. The non-transferrable matte foundation feels lightweight and comfortable while unifying uneven skin tones. The buildable, medium to full coverage foundation comes in 40 shades and about 20 that cater to deep skin tones without leaving a grey hue or tint.

$43

The Lip Bar Skin Serum Foundation

The Lip Bar

The Lip Bar is another brand that started out being known for its range of lip colors, especially their red lipstick. They've expanded into so much more including their skin serum foundation. The 26-shade collection offers a light to medium coverage and a buildable, dewy, skin-like finish.

$28

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

Macy's

This foundation is a sheer, buildable foundation with a natural-looking finish. It's also made with NARS Complexion Brightening Formula that leaves skin hydrated, softer, and smoother. It features 40 shades and 10 that cater to darker skin tones.

$47

Juvia’s Place I Am Magic Velvety Matte Foundation

Juvia's Place

Juvia's Place is most known for its pigmented eyeshadow palette that looks great on all skin types and tones. As they expanded their collection, they also created a foundation that offers more than 20 tan and deep shades. The full-coverage foundation is also lightweight, long-lasting, and never looks cakey.

$20

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Foundation

Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath is an OG when it comes to the makeup and beauty industry. Her skin finish foundation collection not only comes with years of experience but offers a lightweight and buildable flawless finish in 36 shades. This foundation also helps fight the formation of wrinkles by preserving the hydrolipidic film barrier of the skin.

$68

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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