Discoloration can ruin a clear canvas and the more melanin you have in your skin, the higher your chances of getting darks spots and hyperpigmentation. Problem is, foundation alone isn’t always enough. So for skin that’s rich in color, add concealer. Makeup artist Alana Wright applies foundation first, then dabs concealer on the dark spots. If they still peek through, use a color corrector to neutralize the mark and follow with another dab of concealer. Try a color-correcting primer, like Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation ($38, smashbox.com). The apricot tint helps to counterbalance discoloration.
Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation SPF 30 in B65 ($42, coverfx.com).
L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup in Espresso C10 ($11, drugstores).
Illamasqua Skin Base in No. 18 ($42, sephora.com).
Burberry Beauty Sheer Fluid Foundation in Trench No. 13 ($52, saks.com).
Matching your undertone can be a dilemma for dark brown skin tones. Many companies defer to red. But if the base is too red, the foundation leaves an obvious line of demarcation between your jawline and your neck. To find your undertone, take a look at the veins in your forearm. “If they appear blue, then you’re most likely cool,” explains Uzo, Nars international makeup stylist. “If they look more green, then you’re warm.” Technology is making the search easier too: Artistry Balancing Foundation’s ($26, amway.com) Ideal Shade Technology allows the pigment to self-adjust to mimic your exact skin tone.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup in 11 ($38, urbandecay.com).
CoverGirl Queen Collection Lasting Matte Pressed Powder in Q425 Medium Deep ($9, drugstores).
Shiseido Makeup Radiant Lifting Foundation SPF 17 in Natural Deep Brown O60 ($45, shiseido.com).
Becca Stick Foundation in Chocolate ($44, beccacosmetics.com).
“Medium-complected women are often slightly darker around the mouth, nose and chin, so foundation can make them look ashen in those areas,” explains Wright. “The latest developments in color technology create formulas that better match skin tone by eliminating materials like white titanium dioxide,” says Sarah Vickery, Ph.D., principal scientist of Research & Development for Global Color Cosmetics at P&G Beauty of the CoverGirl Queen Collection. MAC Senior Makeup Artist Fatima Thomas relies on concealer with a warm mango-to-orange undertone.
MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Foundation/Loose in Dark ($30, maccosmetics.com).
Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Foundation SPF 25 in Honey 5 ($55, bobbibrown.com).
L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup in N7-8 Cappuccino ($13, drugstores).
Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick in 08 Caramel ($78, Saks Fifth Avenue).
Stila Stay All Day Foundation and Concealer in Tan 12 ($44, stilacosmetics.com).
Iman Second to None Luminous Foundation in Clay 2 ($16, drugstore.com).
Broken capillaries and splotchy redness show up more on fair-skinned women of color. A good sheer-to-medium coverage product usually visually erases this. If more coverage is needed, opt for a yellow-to-olive-toned concealer, says Thomas. For redness, Uzo says to use a multitasking primer that preps the skin and soothes it. And we found that even though there are more options, lighter skin tones can still be hard to match. The key is to find a foundation that doesn’t have an overly pink base, says Wright. When you go to the counter, ask for options with a neutral undertone.
NP Set It Takes Two Concealer & Foundation Pot in Set 1 ($35, Target).
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation in Light-Medium ($38, sephora.com).
Pixi Flawless Beauty Stick in No. 2 Nude ($26, Target).
Sephora Collection Microsmooth Baked Face Powder in 25 Beige ($22, sephora.com).