The Best Foundation for Dark Skin Tones

Best Foundation for Dark Skin Tones featured photo

If you’re a darker skin toned beauty and are currently looking for a foundation that will meet all your skin and makeup needs, be sure to consider a few important things before proceeding to purchase one: your skin type, the ingredients, and the finish type. I have reviewed and summarized below the best in the business you can get your hands on right now. If you’re interested in having a new addition to your makeup routine, go ahead and scroll along!

As a non-white person and someone with naturally brown skin tone, I have always found it difficult to find a shade of foundation or powder that’s right for my skin tone. I would always worry if I get a shade that’s too light for me, and obviously that’s not at the top of my to do list. The first time I bought my own liquid foundation – for my theater class – it took me several trials and swatches to find a shade that fits my skin tone perfectly, something that won’t look unmatched as I am onstage with tons of light directed at me.

A makeup foundation is the base – and quite literally the foundation – of the rest of any makeup routine. And I understand how finding the perfect one that fits one’s skin tone is a make or break situation. Traditionally, foundation shade ranges are not very inclusive for darker skin tones. This makes it more difficult for people of color to find shades that are right for their skin tone. Thankfully, many makeup brands have come up with more inclusive shade ranges and even makeup brands that emerged specifically to cater to people of color!

If you’re ready to dive into my favorite foundations for darker skin tones, no need to look further because I have them listed below!

Our Top Picks for the Best Foundations for Dark Skin Tones

Product ImageProduct NamePrice
Our PickFenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation for dark skin tonesFenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear FoundationCheck Price
Best for Sensitive SkinDermablend Flawless Creator Liquid FoundationDermablend Flawless Creator Liquid FoundationCheck Price
Best BudgetMaybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation for dark skin tonesMaybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless FoundationCheck Price
Black Opal True Color Skin Perfecting Stick FoundationBlack Opal True Color Skin Perfecting Stick FoundationCheck Price
Black Radiance Color Perfect Oil Free FoundationBlack Radiance Color Perfect Oil Free FoundationCheck Price

The Best Foundation for Dark Skin Tones

1. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation – Our Pick!

Our pick for the best foundation for dark skin tones is the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation! Launched in 2017 by Rihanna, Fenty Beauty has been popular for its inclusivity across skin tones, especially noted with their Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. The launch of the inclusive brand has started what is known as the ‘Fenty Effect’ which urged and called to action the beauty industry and brands to expand their makeup lines to be more inclusive. Initially launched with 40 and has now expanded to a boundary-breaking range of 50 shades, this is our top choice for its wide variety of shades for darker skin tones.

Offering a buildable, medium to full coverage, this Fenty Beauty foundation can effectively hide dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and any imperfections you might want to have hidden whenever you put your makeup on. It also has a buildable formula you can easily layer on your skin and not end up looking cakey. This foundation offers its users a soft matte finish that is definite to stay put on your face all day but still feels lightweight and almost light as air on skin.

The longwear foundation has an oil-free formula and has been made with climate-adaptive technology that is resistant to both sweat and humidity – allowing you to easily wear this wherever you are without compromising its effectiveness. It’s also been formulated to not clog pores so as not to cause acne and adverse reactions. This is free from parabens and phthalates and is cruelty-free to ensure its safe and ethical use.

With this foundation in your daily makeup routine, you are promised an instantly smoother and softer skin. Your pores are visibly diffused and reduced in appearance and you get a shine-free, matte finish. This makes it especially ideal for those with normal, combination, to oily skin. Expect a healthy glow for your skin every time you choose this as your foundation of the day. And though offering more medium to full coverage, this one blends easily on skin and looks more natural as well.

Though on the expensive side of the world of foundations, you would only need a little of the product to cover a lot. This feels great on skin too and not the typical sticky, cakey, and wet one usually gets from other liquid foundations. A quick reminder that some users have found this to be a bit difficult to remove with just water at the end of the day but a makeup remover shall do the trick.

Pros:

  • Boundary-breaking range of 50 shades
  • Offers medium to full coverage
  • Buildable formula without being cakey
  • Soft matte and shine-free finish
  • Lightweight and feels great on skin
  • Doesn’t clog pores
  • Resistant to sweat and humidity
  • No harsh chemicals, cruelty-free
  • Skin is instantly softer and smoother
  • Reduces pore visibility
  • Blends easily and looks more natural
  • Long-wearing

Cons:

  • A bit pricey
  • Can be difficult to remove

2. Dermablend Flawless Creator Liquid Foundation – Best for Sensitive Skin!

Dermablend Flawless Creator Liquid Foundation

The next item on our list of the best foundation for dark skin tones and our top choice for the best for sensitive skin is the Flawless Creator Liquid Foundation from skincare-beauty brand Dermablend! A dermatologist-created beauty brand, you are sure of this foundation’s commitment to being safe to use, even for those with very sensitive skin. This is also formulated to be non-comedogenic, so there are zero pore-clogging ingredients and safe to use by people with acne-prone skin. This foundation is formulated without fragrance, SLS, parabens, and is totally cruelty-free.

On top of being a clean and safe makeup, this Dermablend foundation offers instant full coverage so you can easily cover up skin imperfections, discoloration, and anything you’d want covered up before you wear the rest of your makeup. Though allowing for amazing full coverage, this one goes very light on skin and feels weightless thanks to the concentrated pigments in the formula. This foundation provides a silky, buildable texture that allows you to layer on top of layer without ending up looking cakey.

With this Flawless Creator Liquid Foundation, you are sure to get a natural finish that hides well without being too heavy. Being formulated oil-free and water-free, this will not produce oil or any residue on your face and stays put all day. Though a bit expensive as well, a little product goes a long way so you can see this lasting you for a long time. And as a brand dedicated to skincare and not just makeup, having this foundation in your routine will significantly control and reduce breakouts and acne.

It offers a total of 20 shades in its range you can freely choose from for your skin tone, and yes, even for our darker-skinned ladies! If you decide to go with this as your new foundation, remember to shake the bottle well before application to make sure you get amazing, beautiful results.

Pros:

  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • Offers 20 shades in the line
  • Non-comedogenic
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Provides instant full coverage
  • Feels very lightweight
  • Silky, buildable texture that is not cakey
  • Natural finish that’s never too heavy
  • Stays put on face all day
  • Keeps acne and breakouts at bay

Cons;

  • Not following instructions may lead to undesirable results

3. Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation – Best Budget!

If what you’re on the lookout for is a foundation for dark skin tones that wouldn’t leave holes in your wallet, then you might want to check out the next item on our list – the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation! A foundation with a whopping wide range of 40 shades, you are sure to get one that’s perfect for your skin tone. This Maybelline New York foundation offers natural-looking medium coverage that can cover up any skin concerns you might have. It has a buildable coverage that provides you with a flawless and natural-looking finish without being cakey.

This is an ideal foundation for those with normal to oily skin thanks to its natural, matte finish but is not overly drying either. It doesn’t make your skin any more oily and doesn’t slide and move around on your face – it instead promises to stay put all day. Although it offers its users a matte finish, it doesn’t settle on wrinkles and fine lines that can accentuate them even more. It has a non-comedogenic formula and is gentle enough that it will not irritate your pores and cause acne breakouts. This one also goes great on skin and is easily blendable.

With this foundation in your daily makeup routine, your pores will become more refined and will appear less visible and at the same time allow you to achieve a ‘my skin but better’ finish. This one provides you with great coverage that isn’t too sheer and isn’t too heavy and obvious either. It feels very light on the skin yet will last you all day. A quick reminder though that because this is specially formulated for oily skin, you might want to steer away from this one if you have dry skin.

Pros:

  • Wide array of 40 shades for all skin tones
  • Ideal for normal to oily skin
  • Refines pores and makes them less visible
  • Non-comedogenic and dermatologist tested
  • Doesn’t irritate pores and cause acne
  • Doesn’t settle on fine lines and wrinkles
  • Natural-looking matte finish
  • Medium, buildable coverage
  • Lightweight but wears all day
  • Budget-friendly
  • Not overly drying

Cons:

  • Not for dry skin

4. Black Opal True Color Skin Perfecting Stick Foundation

Black Opal True Color Skin Perfecting Stick Foundation

Our next pick for the best foundation for dark skin tones is the True Color Skin Perfecting Stick Foundation from beauty brand Black Opal! If you’re looking for a stick foundation to add in your daily makeup routine, hold on to your seat because this Perfecting Stick Foundation might just be what you’re looking for. This stick foundation offers its users a full coverage with a velvet matte finish for your daily makeup needs. With the promise to correct and perfect, this can effectively correct and mask away imperfections such as dark spots and dark circles everytime you choose to use this.

On top of being an effective makeup base and foundation, this Black Opal beauty product can also be used to sculpt your natural features for a more defined face! This is also an efficient foundation to blur out enlarged pores so you appear with more flawless-looking skin yet achieve natural-looking skin. Each foundation stick is capable of seamless full coverage applications that you can easily blend into your skin. It promises to be long-wearing and wouldn’t require reapplications throughout the day.

Enriched and formulated with vitamin C, vitamin E, and broad spectrum SPF15, you can be rest assured that this will take care and nourish your skin on top of helping you appear with more flawless-looking skin. The formula of this is really creamy and goes on smoothly on skin. A little amount also goes a long way so you’re sure a stick will last you for quite some time before you need to repurchase. This is also hypoallergenic and cruelty-free so you can apply it without a guilty conscience.

Just a quick reminder that because this is a stick foundation and not everyone has enough experience with it, there is a bit of a learning curve you might take a bit of getting used to. You can easily and freely choose from its 19 shades that give people with darker skin tones broader options.

Pros:

  • Full coverage with velvet matte finish
  • Masks skin imperfections and blurs pores
  • Also ideal for highlighting and contouring
  • Formulated with Vitamin C and E
  • Infused with SPF15
  • Available in 19 shades
  • Blends easily
  • All day wearing
  • Creamy and rich formula
  • Goes smoothly on skin
  • Hypoallergenic and cruelty-free

Cons:

  • Has a learning curve and might take some getting used to

5. Black Radiance Color Perfect Oil Free Foundation

Black Radiance Color Perfect Oil Free Foundation

The last item that made it into our favorite foundations for dark skin tones is the Black Radiance Color Perfect Oil Free Foundation! A trusted brand when it comes to resources for people of color, Black Radiance offers its Color Perfect Oil Free Foundation in 6 shades that specifically cater to darker skin tones. This offers great coverage you can easily use to cover up any skin imperfections you want to mask. It offers you a more sheer, natural finish  that is very lightweight but still covers well.

This oil-free foundation has a creamy texture that goes on smoothly and blends nicely along with the rest of your makeup routine. This will also last you all day without the need for touch-ups. There is also very little transfer with this one in your daily makeup routine. This Black Radiance foundation is specially formulated to enhance your natural skin without the shine some foundations tend to give its users. It covers well without looking too obvious but instead feels and looks natural – almost as second skin.

You can easily build layers and layers with this foundation and it wouldn’t leave you looking cakey. A little goes a long way and you won’t need a lot to get a good coverage for covering skin imperfections. Because it offers more of a natural finish, some users find this to be too sheer and doesn’t allow for more full coverage. If what you’re on the hunt for is a full coverage foundation, you might want to consider the other items on our list.

Pros:

  • Great coverage for masking imperfections
  • Sheer, natural finish
  • Lightweight but covers well
  • Oil-free
  • Creamy texture – applies and blends smoothly
  • Long day wearing
  • Very little transfer
  • Enhances natural skin
  • Doesn’t appear too obvious
  • Feels and looks natural
  • Buildable formula

Cons:

  • Available only in 6 shades
  • Might be too sheer for some

How to Choose the Best Foundation for Dark Skin Tones

With so many brands now offering a wide range of foundation shades in their own makeup lines, it’s important that one knows a few important factors to consider before going ahead and purchasing one.

Skin type

One of the first things one should always consider when it comes to beauty and makeup is their skin type. We have to always remember that makeup products are specially formulated to cater to specific skin types. They basically work better and you are able to achieve maximum benefits if you use a makeup product formulated for your skin type.

Think about whether you have dry skin, oily skin, or sensitive skin and get one that has been formulated for the benefit of your skin type for maximum and beautiful results.

Ingredients

As with anything you put on your face, you should carefully read and check a product’s pool of many ingredients. Make sure you get something that has nothing but good ingredients so you’re sure you apply only safe makeup on your skin. Also make sure you aren’t allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients to avoid unwanted consequences.

Finish

With foundations, it’s important that you think and consider the finish it offers. Does it offer a matte finish, velvet finish, natural finish, or dewy finish. Choosing a foundation finish may also depend on your skin type. Dry skin types will benefit from foundations with a dewy finish. Matte finish foundations will be good for those with oily skin.

Conclusion

Being the base of the rest of your makeup routine, finding the right and perfect foundation for your skin’s needs and skin tone is a make or break situation. Thankfully, brands have been more inclusive in recent years to include more darker skin tones in their ranges.

Our pick for the best foundation for dark skin tones is the favorite Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation thanks to its ground-breaking range of 50 shades and its soft and shine-free finish that can easily blur out pores and imperfections. The Dermablend Flawless Creator Liquid Foundation is our top choice for the best foundation for sensitive skin! It has been formulated with zero harsh chemicals and is able to keep acne at bay on top of offering an array of 20 shades. And our choice for the best budget-friendly foundation for dark skin tones is the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation for its whopping 40 available shades and pore-refining properties.

We could only hope you are able to find your new favorite foundation available in the perfect shade for your skin tone. Happy makeup shopping!