Any makeup lover knows the struggle of finding face makeup appropriate to their skin tone. Even the extreme variations of undertones and shades in products like lipsticks and highlighters pale in comparison to picking a foundation and some concealers to match. This is a problem that has been prevalent in the makeup world since it began, and yet, companies are still facing backlash over what seems to be a complete inability to create shades for all skin tones.
This issue came back to light recently with Beauty Blender’s newest release —Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation, a line featuring 32 shades. The popular brand is best known for lightweight makeup sponges for every area of the face, providing a finish on face makeup that looks more natural than when done with brushes. With this in mind, it’s easy to imagine why a foundation collection from Beauty Blender was exciting news, but the beauty community ended up outraged at the result. 23 of the 32 shades are for light skin, each varying only slightly from the rest, leaving only nine shades for those with darker skin — six of which look to lean more red and orange than a natural skin tone would.
In an industry that seems to keep allowing releases like this, it seems impossible to find a foundation that will work for you, but newer releases are beginning to edge out Beauty Blender’s shade range — or rather, lack thereof — and these are the ones to look out for.
Milk Makeup’s Blur Liquid Matte Foundation and Flex Concealer are not new to the market. The foundation is known for blurring pores and fine lines, while the concealer offers a medium coverage easily built to fill. Recently, both have been stretched to feature eight new shades, giving them 24 and 16 shades respectively. Milk Makeup is being commended for their colour extension, catering to demands for new shades made by the public and even maintaining an area on the website where you can submit a message if you can’t find your perfect shade. Both the foundation and concealer are available online at the Milk Makeup and Sephora, retailing for $48 and $34, respectively.
For an even bigger shade range of concealer, Cover FX is now offering 30 unique shades of their brand new Power Play Concealer. The concealer is multipurpose, meant for brightening under eye circles and discoloration. To make sure buyers find their perfect match with this product, Cover FX offers three different undertones for their variety of shades — pink for rosy undertones, golden for yellow and olive undertones, and neutral for a mix of both. This addition is useful for the casual makeup wearer who may be unaware of how undertones affect their overall look, offering an easier way to piece together a good match. Currently, the Power Play concealer is only available on Cover FX’s website for $36, but there’s no doubt we’ll see it in Sephora stores soon to pair with the $52 Power Play Foundation, which comes in 40 unique shades.
More affordable alternatives for big shade ranges are harder to come across, but NYX Cosmetics has gone above and beyond. In collaboration with YouTube content creator Alissa Ashley, NYX created Can’t Stop Won’t Stop foundation, which offers 45 unique foundation shades. This is one of the biggest shade ranges a drugstore has seen in their foundation selection. A full sized bottle of the lightweight, full coverage foundation retails for only $18 at Shoppers Drug Mart, Katz Pharmacy Services, and from NYX’s website and stores. Alongside this release, NYX offers a Can’t Stop Won’t Stop face primer, with the intention of the two formulas working in tandem to create a smooth matte look.
If none of these brands and products pique your interest but you’re still on the hunt for the perfect skin tone match, keep an eye on Tarte Cosmetics, Elcie Cosmetics and IT Cosmetics, who also promise new releases of wide shade ranges in both concealers and foundations.
When shade ranges like Beauty Blender’s are the ones dominating makeup discussion, it still seems impossible to find a colour that works for you. It may have been a slow process, but as long as they know where to look, it’s finally becoming easy for people of every skin type and undertone to find face makeup that works for them.