How to Shop for Drugstore Foundation for Darker Skin

a woman, with her eyes closed, putting makeup on with a foundation brush.

Finding the perfect foundation is one of the biggest makeup challenges, especially for dark-skinned girls. Women of colour will know that trying to find the right foundation to suit your skin colour can be a real mission.

Not only do you have to find a brand that stocks your shade, but you also need to ensure the product has the right undertone without making your complexion look too pink or grey. With limited shade variations available for deeper skin tones, we usually end up buying two of the closest colours to our skin to mix together and hope for the best.

But, with many brands now expanding their shade range, it can be easier to find quality foundations suited for darker skin tones by knowing how to shop for shades that are complement your undertone, and knowing how to test them properly.

However, you don’t need to break the bank to find great quality foundations in your skin tone anymore.

We all love budget-friendly buys, so here are six of the best drugstore options for brown girls. Simply because flawless skin doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Why is Liquid Foundation the Best Option?

Liquid foundations pappearing out of an opened, pink makeup bag


When it comes to finding the best foundation formula for deeper skin complexions, liquid formula is a good option.  People with darker skin tones are more likely to have uneven skin tones and hyperpigmentation on the skin.  Therefore, opting for a liquid foundation will allow you to get buildable coverage to even out the skin tone and cover up hyperpigmentation more naturally.

It will blend into your skin easier to allow your natural skin to show through, making your makeup look less cakey and more natural.

Knowing your Skin Undertone

a woman smiling whilst looking down, wearing a blue white shirt and a flowery sleeveless dress - pictured on a red background


Discovering your skin’s undertone is the key to finding the best match of foundation for you. It is the real difference between your makeup looking natural or mismatched.

Your skin undertone is a subtle, muted colour that lies underneath the skin. It comes through from underneath the surface to affect your overall hue.

A foundation that doesn’t match your undertone can make your skin look too pink, orange or ashy.

Suggested Article: The Best Blush for Your Skin Tone & Face Shape.

Types of Undertones

There are three main types of undertone categories that everyone falls into.

Warm, cool and neutral.

Cool – has hints of pink or bluish hues

Warm – can range from peach, yellow and golden tinges

Neutral – your skin’s natural colour will be more evident and the undertone will be roughly the same colour as your actual skin tone.

The first thing to do before choosing your makeup is to evaluate your skin undertone. But, it is not easy to detect, so there are a number of ways you can easily determine your undertone.

To find out more about how to figure out what your undertone is through some simple tests that you can try at home, check out our article on How to Find the Perfect Foundation for your Skin Undertone.

How to Test for Perfect Colour Match Foundation

woman holding makeup brushes , like a fan, covering one of her eyes.

Once you have checked the descriptions of products and found one that you think will suit your undertone well, make sure you test it out to see if it really is the perfect match.

Many people may test it on the back of their hand or wrist, however, this will not work. It will only determine whether it will look right when applied on your face. Your hand and face are not the same colour and do not receive the same sun exposure, therefore you will not find the correct match if you test it on your hand. Instead, check the foundation against your jawline or neck, while in natural lighting. The product should completely disappear and match with your skin tone perfectly without there being any noticeable lines. 

You’ll be amazing at how natural the coverage will be.

Suggested Article: Getting the Perfect Match for Foundation When Buying Online

The Best Drugstore Liquid Foundations for Darker Skin Tones

L’Oréal True Match Foundation – £9.99

If you are looking for a simple but effective foundation to grab every morning, then this L’Oréal one is the one for you. This product glides onto the skin beautifully and effortlessly to ensure a healthy, natural finish.

Furthermore, the foundation offers medium coverage and is super lightweight, which makes it easily buildable without looking or feeling cakey.

With a selection of 23 shades available, you’re sure to find a close match to your complexion.

loreal truematch dark skin foundation, on a white glossy table top with a reed diffuser and mirror behind it.

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation – £14.00

Want customizable coverage?

The NYX Total Control foundation is a gorgeous lightweight liquid formula that puts you in total control of the coverage. From sheer to full, the pipette-style bottle allows for adjustable coverage, so simply adapt the number of drops to create the look you’re feeling.

The product comes in 24 shades from pale to deep espresso that sets into a beautifully natural-matte to a satin finish. The product also comes in luxurious glass packaging that you wouldn’t believe that it’s a bargain buy.

Maybelline Superstay 24 Hour Foundation £9.99

A little goes a long way with this incredible liquid foundation.

The pigmented, full-coverage formula stays put all day and proves flawless long-lasting wear without the need to reapply. The formula is great for girls with oily skin and sets with a matte finish without the need to set it with a translucent powder.

With 16 diverse shades to choose from the Superstay 24-hour foundation is a great full coverage drugstore option worth trying.

Suggested Article: How to Build an Affordable Makeup Collection on a Budget

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation – £15.00

The name says it all with this foundation. The Stay Perfect foundation ensures a long-lasting satin finish that gives medium coverage and beautifully smooth complexion.

After applying, it will feel like it’s barely there with a lightweight, sheer formula. There are 24 shades available and a make-up artist uses the brand’s Match Made device to help you find your correct shade.

So, try and test out the products yourself to find the right shade for you.

Sleek Life Proof foundation – £8.99

If you are on the hunt for a great oil-free and sweatproof foundation, then this is a great budget option. With a buildable medium to full coverage, you can easily go light or layer it up for a fuller coverage look. The creamy texture melts into the skin and blends effortlessly to create the impression of a flawless complexion. You won’t have to worry about touch-ups either as it will last you all day!

Choose your perfect colour from a range of 24 shade options.

Suggested Article: Best Foundations for Women over 40 in 2020

Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation – £6.99

There has been a great buzz around this product and it’s easy to see why.

If you are looking for a comfortable wearing foundation at a pocket-friendly price point, it doesn’t get better than the Fit Me Matte & Poreless foundation. This medium coverage foundation can be built to full coverage and feels extremely lightweight to allow the skin to breathe.

With a mighty 32 shade ranges available, you are sure to find a natural colour match.

a bottle of FitMe! Maybelline Foundation with a flowery wallpaper background Now your skin can look and feel like skin.

To learn more about how to find the right foundation for you, read on to find out how to find the perfect foundation for your skin undertone.

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