Ty Alexander Zenni Optical


Finding the right foundation for dark skin can be tricky. Too dark and you look like you’re auditioning for RuPaul’s Drag Race, too light and you’ve earned a starring role at your local funeral parlor.


Our major challenge as women of color is finding a brand that has yellow, olive or caramel tones. But beyond picking the right hue for your face there are a few other factors that you need to consider before purchasing a foundation.

Research the brands.

From consumer comments to beauty blogger reviews, someone has already done the work for you. Google the brand and the product name and chances are you will find all the answers to your questions and a few answers you weren’t even thinking of. If you’re lucky you’ll even find a YouTube video.

Choose 2-3 shades that are close to your skin tone.

Test the makeup above your jawline on your clean dry skin. Evaluate if the color matches in the mirror. The color should blend with your natural skin tone. Make sure you do not see a big line of demarcation, which is indicative of a poor match. If you do not think you have a good match, continue testing shades until you find a suitable color.

Take your besties with you.

We all love those sales girls but they are… sales girls. They have a goal to meet and commission to make. Their opinion could be biased. So treat your best girlfriend to an afternoon snack or a late dinner and spend the day shopping for new foundation.

Ask for a sample.

Don’t feel pressured to buy something that day. Ask the beauty consultant to write down the color you decided you liked the best. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample. Wear the foundation home, and see how you like it outside in natural light and what it does after it completely dries. Some foundation will oxidize. Which basically means that the chemicals are still working once oxygen hits them.

Follow those four steps and I guarantee you’ll have flawless looking skin. Also remember: your shade could change with the seasons (or a good vacation), so come summer or winter you’ll be back at it again.

In case you need a head start, here are a few of my favorite brands that make darker shades.

Happy shopping!



  1. Mikia
    April 28, 2015 / 10:22 am

    I would like to add that my favorite foundation right now is the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide! I use the Becca primer and this LM foundation in Truffle and it is truly flawless!

  2. April 28, 2015 / 1:26 pm

    Great tips! One thing I learned the hard way was about when products oxidize – so I was overlooking the perfect shades and picking ones that made me look…off. Recently I discovered powdered foundations and I am in love. As a girl who sweats A LOT having a powder as opposed to a cream makes a huge difference.

  3. May 2, 2015 / 10:35 am

    The Style and Beauty Doctor and Gorgeous in Grey.com brought me to you and I am grateful for that. The makeup featured here for women of color and other women of color to a lesser degree is simply great. I can see by starting out looking into the Giorgio Armani, “Luminous Silk Foundation,” that there will be not only the perfect shade to match my complexion but the luminous factor and sheer, transparency that only the best make up can provide. Thank you. Facebook and my own scamperings around the Internet led me to the perfect resource for beauty and I will be spending additional time exploring the different brands and taking your excellent advice. I appreciate this information more than I can say. Thanks!

  4. Jay
    November 26, 2017 / 4:32 am

    MUFE Waterblend use to be my fave until I met Fenty 470 which matched me exactly with such a flawless finish

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