Find the perfect foundation shade for Black Skin

Find the perfect foundation shade for Black Skin

Beauties, I can’t tell you the amount of times that I get asked by women about how to determine their correct undertone.

I guess this is one of those things that may never learn about when they start wearing makeup, but not knowing your undertone means that you often find yourself with lots of foundation failures… you know the foundations that you bought thinking that they were right for you only to get home and discover that they were too pink, too yellow or just not right!

This is a problem experienced by women of all cultures! Have a read for advice on finding your correct undertone.

Firstly, what is skin undertone?

Your skins undertone is the colour that sits beneath the skin, that determines the skins overall tone.

What are the main undertones for black skin?

Cool, warm or neutral are the general undertones for all skin types, with Yellow (warm) and red (cool) undertones being are the two main undertones in dark and black skins.

How should you test your undertone?

The best time to do this is in daylight as it provides pure, true light.

The simplest way is to look at the skin on the in inside part of your arm because that’s one of the few places that benefits from sun light.

If you prefer, in daylight look in a mirror, get someone to take a photo of you from the front and the side or of course you can do a couple of selfies.

Tip: do this with just a bra or camisole on so that you’ll be able to see the difference between your face and your neck and chest.

Knowing your undertone

I think we’ve all seen evidence of when a woman’s foundation has not taken account of her undertones: it can look ashy, or it can just look wrong.

Foundation is not designed to look like a mask, when you’re wearing the best foundation for you and it’s applied well, it should enhance your skin, making it just look like your best skin.

Also for me, using a foundation with the correct undertone, makes it easier to get away with a shade that’s not an absolute match.

 How to tell whether your foundation compliments your undertone

Aside from looking ashy, it simply won’t look right. It can look like a mask or like you’re wearing someone else’s makeup.

Don’t forget to think about your skin type and the finish that you’d like: having an oily skin and using a creamy foundation is never going to look great.

As with sunblocks stay away from any foundation that contains zinc oxide as it can make black skin look ashy and grey.

How to test the shade on your skin

I always say that its worth testing a potential foundation on more than one part of the body; try it on your neck and on your face especially if there is a big difference in colour between your upper chest and your face.

Also always try to do a foundation test in daylight and again take a pic, so that you can really see what it’s doing

Foundation can be an investment and an ally so I always advise women to take a few little sample pots with them when makeup shopping so that you can really try a product out at home, in your own time, under different lighting conditions before you commit.

You can also mix your foundations

You can also mix your foundations to find your perfect shade, but you have to know what you are mixing: make sure that you mix from the same range, mix gradually and keep testing the mix to ensure balance.

It’s worth noting that many modern formulas are serum based or contain ingredients that help them to adapt to your skin tone and this works really well when you’ve chosen the correct undertone.

Managing Hyperpigmentation

Using a foundation a shade lighter can help with areas of hyper-pigmentation and do go for a medium to full coverage formula as this will give you the ability to control how you apply it. You’ll be able to build it up with more cover in the pigmented areas while having less coverage on the rest of your face.

The other option is to use a good concealer to cover hyper pigmented areas and this should be lighter than the skin.

Black women, as well as other women often have differing skin tones on their faces and decolletage.

The idea is to try and find a shade that can help to unify these contrasting tones.

Denise Rabor

Here are some foundation recommendations….

Warm undertones are generally more common that cool tones and most modern foundations are balanced to provide neutral coverage that compliments most skin tones. Very dark skins should avoid using overly yellow foundations and opt for a more neutral option.


Lancome Teint Miracle foundation

This has a lot of water so it keeps the skin hydrated and its pearlescent work to enhance natural radiance a great range of shades.

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

this foundation imparts a glowing, radiant but natural looking finish to the skin and is full of antioxidants to protect the skin and as with all Nars products there is a fab range of shades.

Fashion Fair Perfect Finish Cream to Powder Oil Free Foundation

This fashion fair favourite goes on as a silky crème and dries to a powder finish and comes in a range of shades.


Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

This is a luxurious oil free mega hydrating foundation that conceals imperfections while still leaving the skin with a nude glow.

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation

This is a long lasting foundation with medium coverage that provides a flawless finish for up to 24 hours, with a great range of colours.

estee lauder

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

Great for medium/ full coverage this long-wearing foundation stays fresh and looks natural through heat and humidity. Great range of colours.


Maybelline Superstay Serum Foundation

This lightweight serum foundation is infused with vitamin c and has light/medium coverage for a bright, natural look.


Fenty Beauty PRO FILT’R Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

Buildable, medium to full coverage foundation has a soft matte finish. Great for oily skin and reduces shine.


HAUS LABS Triclone Skin Tech Foundation

Lightweight, yet medium coverage, this foundation feels like a second skin. With skin loving arnica to help reduce redness and protect from environmental aggressors.

(*PR gift/sample)

May contain affiliate links

By |2024-02-28T10:43:18+01:00February 21st, 2024|Face, Makeup|0 Comments

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Go to Top