where to find foundations with legitimately inclusive shade ranges

Somehow, in 2019, this is still a problem.

by Shannon Peter
21 February 2019, 9:42am

Fenty Beauty

Welcome to The Beauty Algorithm, i-D’s fortnightly column in which i-D's Beauty Editor, Shannon Peter, answers the internet’s most niche beauty queries. Want to know how to smell like the cola-scented gel pens of your pre-teen pencil case? Or where to find an eye shadow the perfect shade of EU blue? No request is too specific! This week, the algorithm uncovers beauty’s seemingly most elusive product: foundation ranges with shades for everyone.

The year is 2019, and while some brands are making long strides towards a more inclusive face of beauty, some are taking leaps back. For starters, brands are still curating Instagram feeds full of white people and some are even Photoshopping models’ skin into a variety of tones in a bid to feign diversity without forking out for multiple models. As for shade ranges, we all thought we were finally getting somewhere, that ‘The Fenty Effect’ and its 40-strong shade spectrum had proven, once and for all, that making foundations for absolutely everybody was (shock, horror!) not only possible, but financially viable too.

Yet we find ourselves back here again, witnessing yet another beauty brand launching a new fancy-sounding foundation suitable for a very small segment of the population and seemingly overlooking the fact that there isn’t just one shade of black skin.

Thankfully, with Twitter, Instagram and Reddit at our disposal, it’s never been easier to call brands out on these kind of shameful wrongdoings, which is exactly what many have taken to the internet to do. But these forums have also become a pool of people desperately looking for brands and products that are actually getting it right. And that’s where The Beauty Algorithm can help. These are the foundation ranges with legitimately inclusive shade spectrums:

The aforementioned Fenty Beauty is the industry gold standard. Its Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation comes in 40 shades that don’t just span skin tone, but take into account undertones too, so you’re bound to find a super close match. And the same can be said for the matching concealer too, which actually comes in 50 shades. Huda Beauty’s Faux Filter Foundation has also been praised for its wide spectrum of 30 shades. The coverage is pretty heavy, if that’s what you’re into.

For a lighter finish, Cover FX’s Natural Finish Foundation has 40 shades that feel pretty well balanced across all skin tones, and won’t completely mask skin. There are fewer shades of Sleek MakeUP’s dewy Vitality Foundation but unlike other brands, there are plenty of options for darker skin tones.

And then of course, there’s trusty MAC. Its Studio Fix Fluid Foundation is more of a mid-weight consistency, is oil-free so stays put and comes in a mega 60 shades. Now, let’s just hope the rest of the beauty industry catches up...
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