6 Women of Color Spill Their Favorite Beauty Brands & Products


As a makeup lover, I love trying all the new products and releases from brands like BareMinerals, Bobbi Brown, or Nars. However, for me, one of the daunting things about makeup shopping is not what lipstick to buy or which highlighter to try, but actually finding makeup that matches my skin tone. I’ve gone through several days looking like a golden orange, or shiny like a basketball because, let’s face it — although many companies are expanding their breadth of colors, there seems to be a clear lack of diverse colors available for Women of Color.

To help women like myself, I had the chance to speak with some of my favorite beauty bloggers and experts about some of their favorite tips for finding makeup as Women of Color, what brands are best, and some of the trends they are most excited for this spring and summer.


Ashleigh Reddy

Photographer and Influencer

Source: @stayreddy


Do you have any tips to help Women of Color find makeup shades to match their skin tone?


My biggest tip is to try on the foundation in a different light if possible. Sephora has horrible lighting, so go outside if you can.


Are there any brands that you have found to be particularly nice on Women of Color?


MAC has had a great shade range for years, and they’re nice because they have warmer tones (yellow undertones) for darker skin, whereas most brands only have red undertones. Fenty is, of course, great, but I find their darker shades lean more towards red/orange — it would be nice to see some neutral and golden undertones.

CoverFX has a wonderful range, and has for years, that does offer lots of undertones. IMAN has a broad range of colors of deeper skin, but I haven’t personally tried them yet. Nars has always had a comprehensive range and keeps coming with that heat — a variety of finishes and coverage levels. Although I haven’t tried, I’ve heard great things about Bobbi Brown products, and Laura Mercier has been expanding their shade range and product line too, branching outside of just tinted moisturizers.

Stellar Beauty is wonderful for the mid-shade-range girls with different undertones. They have deeper shades but not a ton. Lancome Teint Idole Foundation has an awesome range — again a bit lacking in mid-range tones. Makeup Forever is nice, but their extended range foundation is also a bit satin — not the best for oily skin, but you can make it work with setting powder. Urban Decay Naked line is pretty in-depth.


For the spring and summer seasons, do you have any products that you would recommend? Also, being that you travel so much for work, what are some of your beauty essentials with traveling?


For spring and summer, I would suggest a good SPF. I love Supergoop Serum. It’s lightweight but provides a lot of coverage and no white cast. Tatcha just released a sunscreen that’s great, and I use that as a sunscreen and primer. Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams are good for the summer. I love Nars’ Velvet Matte BB Cream. I also love a good translucent powder because I get very oily.

Stellar Beauty has a great loose powder. I love NYX’s Matte Setting Spray! It’s seriously the best that I’ve tried from a drugstore or high-end. For a dewy look, the Tatcha Dewy Spray is BAE. I also would recommend a good liquid highlighter. I’m obsessed with the CoverFX Highlight Drops and Becca’s Pressed Powder Highlighters. I mix it with a liquid foundation/BB cream/tinted moisturizer for an all-over glow.  I also love a good waterproof line like Marc Jacobs’ Gel Liners WOWLancôme Drama-liquid PencilKilo Milano Pencil Liners with the smudge tip.



Marche Robinson

Beauty & Fashion Blogger


Source: @marcherobinson


As a Woman of Color, what have been some of your challenges with picking makeup that matches and complements your skin?


I think I, like many Women of Color, have a hard time finding shades to match my skin tone. A lot of the time I either look ashy or yellow.


Do you have any products or brands that you have found worked the best for Women of Color?


I am a huge fan of Fenty Beauty. I found the perfect shade of foundation. I also love NARS and Tarte foundation and concealer. I feel like they have some great options for Women of Color. Black Radiance is also a great drugstore brand for Women of Color. I recently switched from my powder highlighter to CoverFX’s Highlighter Drops. They have a great shade range for Women of Color, and I think liquid highlighter looks more natural on the face and body.


What are some of your must-have beauty products?


One thing my mom always taught me was to take care of my skin. I want great skin because it means I can wear less makeup. Some of my favorite beauty products are Pixi Beauty’s Glow TonicCaudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, and Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, which I use as a primer.

For makeup, I’m loving Tarte Shape Tape Contour ConcealerCoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops in “Candlelight” (I use this as a highlighter or mix it in with my moisturizer), and I’ve worn BareMinerals blush in “Beauty” since high school since it gives me a natural flushed look. Lastly, I love Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot Mascara. I’ve worn high-end mascara and it really just never compares to good old Maybelline.


What beauty trends are you most looking forward to for the spring and summer months?


I’m loving the blue eyeshadow trend. I think I wore blue eyeshadow the majority of my college years. I also love that bold brows and fresh-faced makeup looks are still in. I’m all for a low maintenance beauty routine!



Ahliyah Michelle

Beauty Vlogger

Source: @ahliyah.michelle


As a Woman of Color, what are some tips you have for finding makeup that complements your skin tone? Also, want are some of the brands you have found work the best?


First, find your undertone! Do you have yellow undertones? Peach undertones? Red undertones? Or are you so unique that you have a combination? I have yellow-olive undertones, so it’s always a struggle finding foundations that exactly match my complexion.

Some of my other tips are to match the back of your wrist or your chest. Never match discoloration! Also, the type of jewelry that looks the best on you will let you know if you have warm, cool, or neutral undertones, which is important for avoiding flashback. If gold jewelry looks best on you, you have warm undertones. If silver looks the best, you are a cool girl. Take pictures in natural light to see if a foundation shade you’re trying looks the best on you — the sun will always snitch on you. The brands that I find are the most inclusive for women of color are Fenty BeautyMakeup ForeverNars, and Koyvoca Cosmetics, just to name a few.


In general, what are some of your favorite beauty products at various price points?


Some of my favorite beauty products are MAC’s Prep+Prime Fix+, the Sensual Skin Enhancer by Kevyn AucoinLoreal Pro Glow Foundation, and the Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder.


What are some beauty trends you are looking forward to this season? Share your favorite spring or summer beauty hacks.


One beauty trend that I’m looking forward to this season going into summer is the wave of one bright-colored eyeshadow blended across the eye and that’s it! I think that look is so beautiful and it’s such a LOOK! I’ve already dibbled and dabbled into the trend on my YouTube Channel — creating an all-over yellow shadow eye look, as well as an editorial all-over blue eyeshadow look.

As for tricks, first, if you struggle with applying fresh, new lashes, apply one layer of glue and let it completely dry. Then, apply a second layer and allow it to get tacky of course and then apply your lash — it will stick with ease! My second trick is to apply thin layers of powder. Smacking on a thick layer of powder isn’t always the most pleasant sight after dusting it off. Build up the powder and allow it to melt into your skin. Then, mist your beauty sponge with a product like MAC Fix+ to aid in pressing powders into your skin.



Jenee Marie

Beauty & Fashion Blogger

Source: @highlowluxxe



As a Woman of Color, what have been some of your challenges with picking makeup that matches and compliments your skin?


The biggest challenge for me was understanding my undertone and the need for color correcting. Both of those things are crucial to having flawless makeup application, and for deeper skin tones like mine, you don’t see a lot of representation. Matching my skin’s cooler undertone and finding the right products to color correct allows me to wear less makeup and have a more natural appearance.


Do you have any products or brands that you have found worked the best for Women of Color?


I love the L.A. Girl Pro Concealer for the shade range and price point. I also think the use of face oil is underutilized by Women of Color. I apply face oil morning and night before moisturizing and it helps with the texture of your skin and makeup application.


What are some of your must-have beauty products?


Brow products and concealer are my must-have products, and all of my favorites come from NYX. I use their skinny brow pencil, which is a great dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pencil, I use the brown mascara to set them into place. I highlight under my eyes with their concealer and it helps me look awake. I also love a good lash. If I’m wearing makeup, I am usually wearing a lash. My favorite eyelash is from Eyelure in Dramatic, and I add a few individual lashes on top for a wispy effect. I have tried all kinds of lashes, but I always come back to these.


What are some of the beauty trends you are most looking forward to for the spring and summer months?


I am excited that lip glosses are back! There was a period of the liquid lipstick reign but, I think that’s coming to an end. You will see more creamy lipsticks and glosses for spring and summer. I also love the dewy eyelid trend, so I’m excited to try that too.



Kiana – Kia Naturally

Beauty Blogger & Fashion Blogger


Source: @kianaturally


As a Woman of Color, what are some tips you have to match yourself with makeup, and are there any brands/products you find work best for Women of Color?


When it comes to matching myself with makeup, I have a few tips I would recommend. One is getting color matched for foundation at Sephora. You’re also able to get sample sizes of makeup to try out before you buy at Sephora. So, I would get a few small samples of different foundations I’m interested in and try each of them out for a few days. One issue I come across with foundation is oxidation, meaning the foundation gets darker or more orange over time, so if you sample the foundation you can see how it wears throughout the day.

When matching yourself with makeup, I would also figure out what undertones you have in your skin, because that can help you determine which shades work best for you (e.g. having olive undertones versus yellow versus pink/red undertones or warm versus cool). For foundations, knowing your undertones can help you determine which shade works best, especially if you’re purchasing makeup online, because brands will often share descriptions of the foundations and their undertones online. Knowing your undertones can also be helpful for choosing other things, like lipstick. For instance, red lipstick shades that are more of an orange-red work best for people with a yellow undertone and blue red works best for those with a pink undertone. But, don’t let these “rules” stop you from rocking the colors you love — do you and rock what makes you happy.

In terms of brands/products that work best for women of color, MACMaybellineLancome, and Bobbi Brown tend to have great shade range selections for foundations. I also love black-owned beauty brands because they tend to cater to Women of Color and understand what we’re looking for in products. My favorites are Beauty BakerieBlack UpBlack Opal, and Juvia’s Place, but there are so many more I want to try.


In general, what are some of your favorite beauty products at various price points?


I’m a lipstick junkie, so I’m always trying new lippies. For drugstore prices, I love lipsticks from ColourPop Cosmetics (most of my lipsticks are actually from them), Maybelline Cosmetics, Milani Cosmetics, and Wet n Wild. I also really like the lipsticks from Fenty Beauty.  

For foundations on the drugstore end, I really like L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation, and on the high-end side, I really like Fenty Pro Filt’r Foundation and Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Long Lasting Foundation.


What are some beauty trends you are looking forward to this season, and any tips/tricks you may have?


Some beauty trends I’m really loving and looking forward to this season are blues/teals eyeshadow looks or as a pop of color along the lower lash line, glittery lids, gold and holographic highlighter on the cheekbones, pops of color or glitter in the inner corners of the eye, and holographic lip gloss. All of those looks just look so fun!

For my tips/tricks, as I mentioned, I’m a lipstick junkie, so getting the longest wear from my lipsticks is important to me. I always make sure my lips have a smooth base to start off with so I make sure they are exfoliated and moisturized before applying any lipstick. I also make sure I line and completely fill in my lips with a lip liner first (either in a nude shade or a shade similar to the lipstick I’ll be wearing). Then, I apply my lipstick on top. That extra layer with the lip liner helps make sure my lip color lasts all day.



Nicole Meadows

Freelance Makeup Artist

Source: @miss.meadows



As a Woman of Color, what been some of the biggest challenges you have found with makeup for Women of Color?


The biggest challenge that Women of Color face when it comes to finding foundations and makeup that compliments them, I feel, is the depth of shade range. Ladies with a deeper complexion are definitely at a disadvantage, the main reason being the undertones found in foundations. Foundations for women of color aren’t one size fits all. Most major makeup brands always formulate their medium to deep shades with super warm and orange undertones — we don’t all have warm undertones. It always surprises me that a lot of major makeup companies just haven’t figured it out yet — they are missing out on a major demographic of women that have money to spend on beauty products.

Growing up, my mother had dark chocolate skin, and I saw her struggle with finding products for her skin tone, and it bothered me. Fashion Fair was a staple brand in her makeup bag because they had things she could use without looking ashy. Now, I’ve been able to convert her and open her eyes to so many brands that have a good range of tones.


What are some of your favorite brands that you love for women of color?


Brands that I love for women of color are Bobbi BrownBareMineralsEstee LauderLancome, and Nars.


What are some of the beauty trends you’re most looking forward to for the spring and summer?


Some trends that are always good for spring and summer are definitely fresh-faced glowing skin with minimal eye makeup or very subdued and fresh tones, glowing highlighted skin, and pops of color on the lids are always going to be in. Colors like fuchsia shades or oranges, reds, or magentas are must-haves. Most Women of Color I feel like are afraid to play with bold colors on the lips. Women of Color can pull off bold bright colors so beautiful no matter how deep or light her skin tone is. The perfect lip color can boost someone’s confidence and make her feel bold, sexy, and stand a little taller while ruling the world around her.



Tell us about your favorite beauty products in the comments below!