I have always loved makeup. I was introduced to makeup at a young age due to my early obsession with America’s Next Top Model and my experience as a competitive dancer. When I had a recital or a dance competition, or if I was performing in The Nutcracker, we would put on makeup for the performance. I would watch tons of YouTube videos with my sister and experiment with different makeup techniques. Putting on my makeup every day for me is meditative—a moment when it’s just me getting ready for the day. I love doing my makeup, and over the years, a problem that I would run into was not being able to find a foundation shade that matches my skin tone.
I’m biracial, so finding a shade that matched the mix of my two parents’ different skin tones was frustratingly difficult. Shades would either be too orange or too beige or have a cool undertone that came out gray. Every makeup lover knows that if your foundation shade is off, it can completely ruin an entire look. For a long time, many beauty brands treated women of color like an afterthought, and thanks to beauty influencers, like Jackie Aina and Alissa Ashley, who voiced their frustrations with not being able to find shades that work for them, calling out beauty brands who would release several shades of white and only three to five shades for brown people and women of color who own beauty brands like Pat McGrath and Rhianna I’ve seen a huge shift in the number of shades included when a new foundation is released. I have listed six brands that are my go-tos for shade-inclusive foundations, my personal favorite being Nars. I use the Radiant Longwear Foundation, and I swear by it.
Keep scrolling to check out the five other brands on my list and more holy-grail beauty products I have in my makeup bag.