Makeup brands to love if you have deeper skin tones
The struggle is real
There’s no doubt that it’s a harsher world out there if you’re a woman of colour. And within the world of beauty, it can be particularly tough to find sufficient representation. As it stands, many “drugstore” or budget-friendly brands don’t carry large shade ranges (a larger shade range is more costly to produce).
As a matter of fact, even the brands that do offer fairly impressive shade ranges internationally (drugstore or high-end) don’t often bring the full range to Singapore.
We’re always looking for ways to make beauty more inclusive, so for anyone interested in beauty brands with better shade representations (especially when it comes to base makeup like foundations), here are seven brands to take note of.
Make Up For Ever
We daresay it’s hard to go wrong with this brand. It was one of the first, if not the most prominent brand, to go into high definition makeup when HD televisions and cameras first became a thing, especially at a time when not many makeup brands were catering to a full spectrum of skin tones.
The brand’s HD Foundation was my first ever favourite foundation (even before the reformulation a few years ago). While Sephora Singapore only carries more popular lighter shades, you can shop the full range of shades and undertones at the brand’s Pro Loft on Armenian Street.
For years, we’ve known that Nars offers really great shade ranges in all its complexion products. The only problem? The brand has only brought in more Asia-popular shades, which tend to skew pale. If you’ve got dark skin and have tried to find your shade in Nars foundations to no avail and are wondering why on earth the brand has made our list, well the time has finally come to try again. Nars has just launched its first flagship store in Singapore at Ngee Ann City, and it finally, FINALLY, has every single shade available.
We’ve had our minds blown from day one with Cover FX, from its Custom Cover Drops to the Infusion Drops and now with the Enhancer Drops, not to mention the rest of its primers and foundations. It’s quite bold for a brand to come out with such a large shade range from the get go, which shows that the people behind the brand believe very strongly in the quality and marketability of its products. For instance, with the Pressed Powder Foundation, there are 10 to 14 shades within each of the three undertones (Pink, Neutral, and Golden).
It’s been just over half a year since the brand debuted in Singapore, but already new launches have been pouring in. One of the first and best launches that we got excited about was the Lock It Foundation. There are over 30 shades available here, which is rare but wonderful to see with a new-to-Singapore brand. Similarly, the concealer shade range is massive. We’re excited to see what Kat Von D launches here next!
As a kid, Mac Cosmetics was THE grownup makeup brand that everyone was talking about or using. Admittedly, there weren’t many competitors available in Singapore yet, at least with regards to shade range and base makeup types. It’s likely a reason why many makeup junkies describe the shade of their skin using Mac foundation shades (like NC30, NC45, etc.). The brand has a good range of foundation options, from sheer to full coverage and matte to dewy finishes, and more often than not, the staff are well-equipped to help you pick out something to suit your skin type and colour.
We love this brand and its dedication to makeup. While lip and eye colours have always been its primary strong suit, there’s no doubt that Urban Decay’s foray into foundations and concealers has been a successful one. It’s taken them a while to expand the shade range available in Singapore, but you can now get the Naked Skin and All Nighter foundations in just about every shade imaginable, from a pale 0.5 to a lovely deep 12.0. If you’re having trouble finding your shade at local Sephora stores, you can always try any of the standalone stores.
We think this brand deserves a little more time in the spotlight. It launched in Sephora stores here about three or four years ago, and it was love at first swatch (for this particular beauty writer, at least). Between the Genius Gel Super-Charged Oil-Free Foundation (16 shades) and the newer Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate (22 shades), there’s something for everyone. We also really love the Re(Marc)able Full Cover Concealer that comes in a pot for its blendability and coverage, but wish that one in particular had a larger shade range.
This is a pretty new brand compared to others like Mac or Nars, but we were very happy with the launch of the Born This Way Foundation a couple of years ago. Too Face knocked it out of the park with the formula (a moisturising natural-finish foundation better suited to dry or normal skin types), with all 18 shades being available on Sephora.sg. You’ll also find that Too Faced is a tad more affordable than many of the higher-end brands, which is always a bonus.