top of page


Let me start by saying that I am NOT a beauty blogger or a make-up expert, quite the contrary actually, until quite recently I've never cared about anything beyond a good mascara.

Over the summer I realised that I was a grown woman that didn't own a real foundation (I have a tinted moisturiser) and I decided that by my birthday (shout out to all my November babies!) I would rectify that. I had no clue about foundations so I did what any sensible person would have done, I went to MAC! Lol!

I'm sure you can imagine how overwhelmed I felt when I walked into MAC and discovered they had a huge range of foundations and shades!

The sales assistant took one look at me and said "I think you should probably try samples first". She saved my life. 'The Foundation Hunt' became my personal project and I spent the summer sampling foundations, learning about skin types and undertones, watching Youtube videos, reading blogs and combing through reviews. I sampled a lot of popular brands including MAC, NARS, Estée Lauder, Giorgio Armani and Fashion Fair to name a few. I tried all types of finishes (dewy, satin, semi-matte, matte), consistencies (liquid, powder, gel, stick) and application tools (fingers, beauty blender and foundation/buffing/stippling brushes).

Some details about my skin:

  • Skin type - Normal

  • Undertone - Yellow/Golden (Warm)

  • Complexion - My complexion varies slightly depending on how much sun I'm exposed to but at my lightest I'm a MAC (most popular reference) NC45 and at my darkest I'm an NC50, my average is between the two shades.

I was looking for a light to medium coverage foundation that wouldn't look 'cakey' (the main reason I've avoided foundation for so long) and would just give me a nice natural finish. The foundation had to look good on its own because I had no intention of contouring or highlighting, I just wanted to feel like a grown up lol.

My biggest challenge, which I'm sure many women of colour can relate to, was finding the correct shade. Considering how many different skin shades there are, I was quite surprised that many brands had a very narrow spectrum of shades. The other challenges I faced were the oxidising of foundation (MAC is the biggest culprit of this, I'd leave home with a perfect finish and return with an orange face! Yuck!) and the heavy/clogged feeling certain foundations gave to my skin.

So after all of that, here are my top 3 foundations:

1. YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat ​​

Shade: B80

Finish: Satin

Coverage: Light to medium

Price: £31.50/$57

This is my absolute favourite foundation because it makes my skin look ah-mazing! I can barely feel it on my skin and its illuminating properties are very subtle yet noticeable. This is definitely the 'my skin but better' foundation for me. This foundation comes in 22 shades and 3 different undertones so it definitely caters to a variety of complexions.

2. DiorSkin Forever

Shade: 060 - Light Mocha

Finish: Semi-matte

Coverage: Medium to full

Price: £32.50/$50

This foundation is so beautiful! The finish is the most natural looking and long lasting of the three. It gives you a very flawless look but doesn't give you that I-have-the-whole-make-up-counter-on-my-face look. As I stated above, I don't contour or highlight but this foundation doesn't take away your face's dimensions nor does it look flat or dull. This isn't a popular foundation amongst women of colour probably because their shade range is so limited, this is their darkest shade.

3. MAC Studio Face & Body

Shade: C7

Finish: Dewy

Coverage: Sheer to Light

Price: £22/$27

This foundation sits perfectly between foundation and tinted moisturiser and because it's so sheer, it is the most lightweight product I have tried. It gives me the sun kissed look that I love and although it has a dewy finish it doesn't make me look greasy.

All three of my chosen foundations are easy to work with, have beautifully natural finishes and are very lightweight on the skin.

I would recommend all of these foundations and although their price tags are pretty steep in the world of make-up, I think they are worth every penny. Another foundation that I liked but didn't make my top 3 was MAC Matchmaster Foundation in shade 7.5. It has a semi-matte finish and was a great match for my complexion however, it was detectable on my skin which I didn't like, I like to look like I have nothing on. If I ever upgrade to 'face sculpting' I will definitely be purchasing it.

Kim Kardashian contour KKW
The queen of face sculpting

I have learned a lot about foundation over the summer and I'm glad I embarked on this journey, 'The Foundation Hunt' was really fun and it was definitely worth it. I don't think I'll ever be the kind of girl that wears foundation every day, I'm just glad I've found foundations that I can reach for without the fear of 'cake face'. A lot of the widely praised foundations didn't work for me so I would highly recommend sampling your chosen foundation for at least a full day before making a purchase. It was blog posts like this one that helped me with my search so I hope this post helps make the search for a good foundation easier for other make-up newbies like myself. Happy sampling! P.S. Marc Jacobs recently released new shades of its popular 'Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate' and you can imagine how disappointed women of colour all over the globe were when they discovered that they only had 3 (4 if you want to be generous) of the 22 shades to choose from.

I'm not one to throw the 'r' word around willy nilly but it's hard not to when designers as big as Marc Jacobs enforce segregation. Yes I said it, enforce! #NotRudeHonest Although this is the most current example, many make-up and beauty brands display this form of discrimination, not only to darker women but also, less commonly, to women on the very light side of the spectrum. In this instance, Marc Jacobs seems to have considered very pale skin tones. Considering that the majority of the world is 'coloured' (I hate that word!) and how many different shades of brown skin exist, it is quite ridiculous that in 2015 beauty brands haven't woken up and smelt the coffee. Put simply, they need to do better. That is all.

First Published: Dec 27, 2015

bottom of page