Even though there’s a long way to go still, times are changing. Now, when we ask which is the best foundation and concealer for African-American skin, there are more answers than ever before.
Call it the “Fenty effect” if you like. Rihanna’s brand has undoubtedly influenced the market. Manufacturers are finally developing a more comprehensive range of true-to-life makeup shades for Black skin.
More brands have wised up to the fact that it’s not just color but also undertone that matters. They’ve made it easier for everyone to find concealer and foundation that matches their skin tone.
Besides the shade, you’ve also got to match skin type, whether combination, oily, or dry. Let’s talk about choosing the best makeup for your needs.
Table of Contents
- How do you match foundation and concealer to African American skin?
- Best Foundation & Concealer for African American Skin in 2021
- Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
- Huda Beauty Faux Filter Foundation
- Black Radiance Color Perfect Liquid Make-Up
- Iman Cosmetics STICK FOUNDATION
- Black Opal True Color Liquid Foundation
- Black Opal Total Coverage Concealing Foundation
- Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick
- Flori Roberts Cream To Powder
- Milani Conceal + Perfect Foundation Stick
- Dermablend Flawless Creator Multi-Use Liquid Foundation Makeup
- Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
- Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation
- Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup
- Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Foundation
- e.l.f Flawless Finish Foundation
- L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Matte Foundation
- L’Oreal Paris Makeup True Match Super-Blendable Liquid Foundation
- L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation
- L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer
- Maybelline New York Fit Me Liquid Concealer Makeup
How do you match foundation and concealer to African American skin?
As you shop for the best makeup for Black skin, you have to know two things: your skin type and undertone.
Shopping for skin type
What’s the effect you desire? Fresh, clean skin with no shine or dewy fresh?
For example, if you have oily skin, you might prefer an oil-free foundation with a matte finish. It could be a water-based liquid or a powdered base.
Dry skin may benefit from either a liquid or a cream foundation.
Combination skin is trickier, but generally, it’s possible to find the right balance with a little experimenting. Extra moisturizing on the cheeks can make up for a matte foundation that controls an oily T-zone. On the other hand, a hydrating foundation with a dusting of powder may have the same result.
Matching skin tone
Finding the right shade of makeup is difficult for most people but used to be downright challenging for African Americans. With that said, it’s smart to try out the makeup on yourself, which is something shopping online won’t allow.
It’s your undertone that determines the perfect color of foundation and concealer. There are three types, including neutral, cool, and warm.
To determine your undertone, try the cream versus white test. Hold each color up near your face when you’re not wearing makeup. If you look best next to cream, you have a cool undertone. But if you look better next to regular white, you have a warm undertone. Otherwise, if you can’t see a difference, it should be a neutral undertone.
It’s also possible to test your undertones with jewelry. Silver looks good on cool tones and gold on warm.
If your skin is a shade light enough to see your veins’ color, you can also check whether they are bluish or greenish – cool or warm undertones.
Now, once you’ve decided on the shade and undertone that suits you, there’s one more thing to consider. It’s called oxidation. It’s when makeup interacts with your body chemistry and exposure to the air and goes a bit orange as the hours pass.
Generally, this could happen if you wear a foundation with high amounts of oxides (zinc oxide, iron oxide, titanium dioxide). Therefore, it’s smart to wear a swatch of the foundation for a few hours to see what happens. Some brands point out that they prevent the problem from happening. Otherwise, you could put on primer underneath the foundation.
Best Foundation & Concealer for African American Skin in 2021
Now, it’s time for reviews of the best makeup for African American skin.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
If you ask for a list of the best makeup brands for dark skin, those in the know will mention Fenty Beauty. This buildable foundation sets to a soft matte finish. It disguises large pores and smooths the texture of the skin.
Even though it feels ultra-lightweight and breathable, it stands up to heat, sweat, and high humidity.
What makes it inclusive is that it comes in 50 shades, a match made for everyone.
Plus, it features papaya and pineapple extract to keep the skin healthy.
Huda Beauty Faux Filter Foundation
From the moment it sets until you take it off, this full-coverage foundation keeps you looking airbrushed and selfie-ready.
There are 30 shades available for all undertones and skin tones. If you choose the gold and red tones, they cover up acne scars and dark spots as well as breakouts with a soft matte finish.
Black Radiance Color Perfect Liquid Make-Up
This velvety liquid makeup starts out sheer, but it’s buildable, and it won’t cake. It doesn’t oxidize like some foundations. It won’t leave you shiny or ashy.
The fresh, natural finish looks best if you dab the foundation then blend with a brush.
The main complaint we heard was with the bottle, not with the makeup.
Iman Cosmetics STICK FOUNDATION
Stick foundations are less messy and straightforward to apply. They can go anywhere you go because they’re not going to spill in your bag. Plus, you can still use a brush or sponge to blend it for perfect results.
The texture of this foundation resembles velvet. It offers medium to full coverage with a satiny finish. Moreover, it’s available in rich, deep shades seldom seen elsewhere.
The formula is fortified with citrus extract, sugar, and aloe to provide a dose of moisture without making the skin oily. In fact, this makeup is recommended for combination and oily skin.
Black Opal True Color Liquid Foundation
For light to medium coverage on any skin type, try this alcohol-free liquid foundation. It feels soothing and lightweight as it has a creamy texture that melts into place.
It disguises pores and imperfections, yet you can build it if needed. A small amount goes a long way.
Black Opal Total Coverage Concealing Foundation
A celebrity makeup artist recommends this foundation because the manufacturer understands dark skin undertones. It’s not just basic brown, but instead attractively matched to real-world colors.
The formula is oil-free and hypoallergenic with the right pH balance to protect the skin. Therefore, it’s ideal for acne-prone complexions.
Reviewers say that it conceals blemishes well and lasts all day.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick
Here’s a stick foundation that color-corrects hyperpigmentation with medium to full coverage. It’s infused with shea butter and olive extract to keep the skin moisturized and comfortable.
Flori Roberts Cream To Powder
It comes in a compact like a powder, but it applies like a cream. It’s a foundation with full coverage and a velvet finish.
Don’t be fooled, however. Even though it’s good for oily skin, it won’t dehydrate the face. It comes with an antimicrobial sponge to protect sensitive skin.
If you’re having trouble finding the right color, this brand has an excellent range of shades and undertones.
Milani Conceal + Perfect Foundation Stick
Up to this point, we’ve reviewed several foundations, but no concealers. Sadly, there just aren’t as many concealers for deeper skin tones. But this makeup is both a foundation and concealer in a tube.
For example, dab it on just the trouble spots for a no-makeup day. Or blend it across the face for full coverage that lasts up to 12 hours. It doesn’t cake. The matte finish feels so lightweight you’ll forget you’re wearing foundation.
The manufacturer is based in East LA, and they’ve chosen their 20 available shades thoughtfully.
Dermablend Flawless Creator Multi-Use Liquid Foundation Makeup
Dermablend offers a variety of full coverage makeup like this liquid foundation, plus a cream foundation, and body makeup, too. Each type comes in a decent range of shades, including deep colors.
The liquid foundation is kind to sensitive, acne-prone skin. It’s non-comedogenic and oil-free. In fact, there are only ten ingredients. It’s unlikely to oxidize, in case you were wondering.
To get the most out of it, shake the bottle before applying. You can also thin the texture for lighter coverage with your favorite moisturizer.
What’s also nice is that this makeup is cruelty-free and vegan.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
Although it may seem like Estée Lauder is made for little old white ladies, that’s not true anymore. Their lineup features fifty-six shades total, including deliciously dark colors that cover a range of undertones.
Although the Double Wear foundation is suitable for all skin types, it has a matte finish. Happily, it shouldn’t look dry unless your skin needs moisturizer.
It offers SPF 10 protection from the sun, plus it won’t rub off on clothes. It’s both transfer-resistant and waterproof to withstand humid weather and a busy day.
This makeup should last up to 24 hours, keeping you shine-free all the while. I suppose that’s why it’s an Allure Best of Beauty Award winner.
Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation
The highly-pigmented NARS foundation is available in 34 shades and neutral, warm, and cool undertones. It has buildable coverage that lasts up to 16 hours.
Unlike some full coverage makeup, this one feels lightweight and looks surprisingly natural. While you wear it, it nourishes your complexion with apple, watermelon, and raspberry extracts. These are packed with antioxidants to ward off premature aging.
Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup
Are you looking for a foundation that really keeps your face matte for hours? Many claim they can do it, but most fail. But Clinique’s foundation absorbs oil and withstands moisture to keep your skin clean and fresh throughout the day.
It’s been tested and proven to avoid fading and streaking in extreme conditions, like 80% humidity and 88°F.
Thankfully, it comes in 16 shades, including some deep skin tones.
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Foundation
This is a premium foundation that’s worth every penny. There are so many benefits; it’s hard to know what to mention first.
For one, it’s formulated with NAI pigments that are coated to prevent oxidation. They maintain a consistent pH level to keep the color true throughout the day.
Two, as you might guess from the product name, this is literally all-day makeup. It mattifies with silica and perlite to keep it from looking powdery. Plus, the full coverage stays intact and comfortable because of a patented molecule called Eternalsoft Polymer.
Three, it provides sunscreen – and you can never have too much protection from premature aging and melanoma, right?
Finally, it comes in 40 shades, including attractive deep tones.
e.l.f Flawless Finish Foundation
Let’s switch gears to drugstore foundations because there are some great finds here. Take the elf foundation, for example. The oil-free makeup comes in 40 shades with a semi-matte finish that lasts for hours.
It’s full-coverage and blends easily. What’s more, it’s cruelty-free and vegan.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Matte Foundation
L’Oreal’s Infallible comes in two versions. This one’s for oily skin as it keeps shine under control all day. Let me warn you if you have combination skin – it will look flat on your cheeks. But the medium coverage can last up to 24 hours.
L’Oreal Paris Makeup True Match Super-Blendable Liquid Foundation
Another of the best drugstore foundations for dark skin is the True Match liquid foundation available in dozens of shades. It’s pleasant to wear as it doesn’t settle into lines or cake.
What’s more, the pure color pigments actually make it easy to find the correct undertone.
It’s oil and fragrance-free, plus some shades contain sunscreen.
L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation
It sounds like makeup for teenyboppers, but we suggest you give it a try if you want a cheap long-wear foundation. It has medium to full coverage with a luminous finish.
The formula is enriched with antioxidants and paraben-free.
L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer
Can you believe that this concealer comes in 30 shades? It’s a jaw-dropper, we know. We’re pretty sure you’ll find exactly what you need to camouflage dark circles and discoloration.
Maybelline New York Fit Me Liquid Concealer Makeup
Let’s wrap up with one more drugstore concealer that comes in a wide range of colors. It won’t clog pores because it’s oil-free, so it’s great for hiding blemishes.
Moreover, it’s fragrance-free and long-lasting. While some users say it’s too thin for an under-eye concealer, they’ve enjoyed it for cleaning up eyebrows after filling them.
Whether you want full coverage or just a boost for your natural beauty, there’s something for everyone these days. You can find what you need for every skin type and tone.
We hope you’re smiling because you found the perfect foundation and concealer today. Once you try it, come back and leave us a comment about your experience.