When it comes to looking #flawless, foundation is the first step towards creating a polished look.
Whether you are prepping for a girls' night out or a regular work day, everyone knows choosing the wrong foundation is an absolute deal breaker. And yes, we know finding the right shade can be a challenge for women of color with varying undertones.
To assist, we rounded up a handful of makeup artists that A-Listers like La La Anthony, Anika Noni Rose and Yvonne Orji swear by. After all, we don't want you stepping out into the streets looking like you are wearing a mask!
Not only are these experts sharing their favorite foundation brands, they're also shade matching tricks so you look amazing every single time you apply foundation. Check out what they had to say below!
"It's best to match close to the jawline always," shares Ashunta Sheriff who has worked with Gabby Douglas, Keke Palmer and Adrienne Bailon. "[This works best] to ensure you're not too light all over — and you won't have a line of demarcation."
When asked about her preferred foundation, it comes as no surprise that Ashunta is repping her own line.
"Perfect Blend of course," she said. "It blends seamlessly into skin and is customizable. It wears so lightly you can barely even feel it and comes in six great shades. But we are planning to expand!"
Buy It: Ashunta Sheriff Beauty Perfect Blend Stick ($40)
The biggest beauty debate is finding the right formula — especially if you are a newbie. "Liquid is more simple," explains Camara Aunique, whose clients include Chloe and Halle, June Ambrose and Garcelle Beauvais.
"A great trick is wet your beauty blender for a sheer coverage or keep it dry for fuller coverage."
In terms of her favorites, Camara has a few. "Now this is hard because I have favorites for different things! For photoshoots I love Danessa Myricks, for the red carpet I love Kat Von D Lock-It and for televison, I love Make Up for Ever Ultra HD Foundation. They all come in a wide range of beautiful colors, each brand really thought about covering everyone's needs."
With so many brands expanding their color lines (*cough, cough* Fenty Beauty), you might be overwhelmed trying to find your exact shade.
"Several brands use certain names and numbers," explains Lavonne Anthony, who beats the faces of Kerry Washington, Adrienne Bailon and Christina Milian. "If I know I'm coffee, caramel or chestnut in one brand, it's pretty safe that it will be similar in other brands."
When it comes to formulas — liquid, cream or powder — according to Lavonne, the choice is really yours.
"I love them all, but for different reasons. For liquid foundations, a great all around because you can change the consistency easily, thinning it out or layering it without it looking to heavy," she mentions. "For powders, sometimes I'll use Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer with M.A.C. Cosmetics Mineralized SkinFinish Natural. And for cream, AJ Crimson Beauty is a wonderful option for women of color."
Unfortunately for some women, buying a shade right off the shelves isn't in the cards. But you can become a mix master in your own right to create a custom hue.
"When you find a shade that's almost right, I suggest adding the undertone it's lacking," shares Tasha Reiko Brown, who has worked with Angela Rye, Common and Estelle. "Mixing two similar shades may still not give you the tone you want. Most times when a color is 'off' it just needs a boost of the undertone to adjust it."
"Make Up For Ever HD Foundation is available in 40 shades," shares Tasha. "Every undertone and shade is represented here, the medium coverage formula is just enough and melts into skin so it's undetectable to the naked eye."
Buy It: MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Foundation ($43)
When it comes to formulation, Lucky Smyler says there's only one choice: liquid.
"Liquid foundation reigns supreme," emphasizes Lucky. who has worked with Sunny Anderson, Tia Mowry and Viola Davis. "These formulas are the most versatile. From a pump to a bottle or a tube, I can get a full coverage matte finish and a sheer skin tint finish out of anything in these types of packaging."
"My favorite foundation is BECCA Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème," Lucky points out. "It's available in 20 shades and just covers everything. I'll sometimes use it to just spot conceal blemishes, you can use a dot sized amount and brush it all over for a skin tint effect or a pea sized amount for full coverage."
Buy It: BECCA Ultimate Coverage Foundation ($44)
"I don't like to see foundation on the skin, so I prefer liquid because the finish look looks the most natural," says Carola Gonzalez, who works with Nathalie Emmanuel, Ava DuVernay and Kerry Washington.
"Powder and cream foundations tend to be heavier and are more visible when applied on skin. They are best for people who need or like a lot more coverage."
"My favorite foundation is Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation," reveals Carola. "It truly makes the skin youthful and radiant. It's weightless silky formula feels very nice on the skin and they have shades from the lightest to the darkest."
Buy It: GIORGIO ARMANI BEAUTY Luminous Silk Foundation ($64)
"Apply makeup in the area that you desire to have covered and be sure to use colors that are your complexion when trying to conceal dark marks. Lighter colors will only highlight the area."
"My favorite foundation is one that mimics skin," she mentions. "Koh Gen Do is a Japanese brand that makes a moisturizing foundation that is amazing."
Buy It: KOH GEN DO Aqua Foundation ($62)
"Knowing your undertones seems to be the key to finding your perfect foundation," she explains. "Those with warmer undertones tend to do well with yellow- and red-toned foundations, while cooler undertones tend to do well with pink- and blue-toned foundations. Neutral undertones tend to do best with neutral- and olive-toned foundations."
"Laura Mercier's Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation is one of my favorites," Yolanda revealed. "It comes in 20 shades that cover a wide range of skintones. The foundation is lightweight offering medium coverage that has great staying power."
Buy It: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation ($48)
Now if you are a makeup newbie looking for the right formula, AJ Crimson can certainly steer you in the right direction — after all, the makeup guru works with Naturi Naughton, Brandy Norwood and Letoya Luckett.
"I would say foundation sticks seem to be a favorite of newbies," AJ shares. "It's like playing with crayons for the first time, now you get to do the same thing on your face. Swatch, play, blend and add more as needed!"
"Well, of course, for me, my favorite is the AJ Crimson Artist Kit!" AJ mentions. "It comes in 18 shades overall, presents in three palettes with six foundations each. Think fair-tan, warm-deep and conceal and correct. I love the system because you literally have everything you need in one."
Buy It: AJ CRIMSON Artist Kit ($150)
(Photo: Gallo Images - Malcolm Dare/Getty Images)
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