For several decades many cosmetic companies ignored the need for darker-skinned consumers to have foundations that were formulated with their skin color in mind. Today, with brands like Fenty beauty breaking down barriers and advancing inclusivity, many popular drugstore brands have expanded their shade selection to better cover dark skin. However, it can still be difficult to find a formula that does not make one’s skin look ashy or sickly – even if the shade is technically a match. Continue reading for a compiled list of the best drugstore foundation for dark skin, as rated by consumers.
7 of the Best Drugstore Foundation for Dark Skin
#1 Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
- MAYBELLINE NEW YORK FIT ME MATTE FOUNDATION: For a natural looking medium coverage liquid foundation makeup, look no further. In 40 shades, you'll find a fit for every skin tone. Best for normal to oily skin; refines pores for a natural looking matte finish.
- A SHADE THAT FITS ME: Maybelline New York Fit Me liquid foundation provides coverage for a wide array of skin tones, from Ivory to Mocha. Use as a full face foundation with buildable coverage for a flawless, natural-looking, "I woke up like this" finish.
- MAYBELLINE NEW YORK FIT ME FOR A FLAWLESS FACE: With Matte + Poreless foundation or Dewy+ Smooth foundation with SPF 18, concealer, finishing powder, bronzer & blush, Maybelline New York Fit Me collection has everything you need to put your best face forward
Number one on this list of best drugstore foundation for dark skin is Maybelline’s oil-free Fit Me Foundation. This is a liquid foundation that is best applied with a beauty blender or foundation applicator brush. It has been extremely popular among the beauty community for quite some time now for a variety of reasons.
One of this particular foundation’s appealing qualities is its formula. The liquid consistency is lightweight, making it fairly easy to apply. Consumers have left reviews on their satisfaction with the way that it feels on the skin after application. Because of the lightweight consistency, the foundation feels natural even after being on the face for hours. Although the liquid feels natural on the face, it is very easy to build coverage with this foundation. After the first application, the coverage may be considered medium coverage. If you are looking for a full coverage foundation, know that it is very possible to achieve such a look with this product.
Regardless of what level of coverage you apply, the foundation becomes matte after application. This makes it especially perfect for normal or oily skin, although many reviews of people with reported dry skin have given praise to the finish of this product as well. Often times people with darker skin experience an unpleasant white or ashy finish after applying a darker foundation with the exact same undertone as the lighter counterparts.
The Fit Me Foundation tackles this issue by offering forty shades of color that range from “Fair Porcelain” to “Espresso.” There are over 12,000 reviews, including some from make-up-artists, applauding not only the range of shades, but also the undertones presented by Maybelline. Many reviews also confirm that the product does stay put throughout the day without drying out the skin or becoming oily as many other foundations do. All in all the price point, formula, and range of shades that this product offers makes it the number one choice for drugstore foundations for dark skin.
#2 Revlon ColorStay Liquid Foundation
- OIL FREE FOUNDATION FOR OILY SKIN: Our cult-favorite, lightweight, liquid matte foundation is made to control oil and shine with an oil-free formula
- ALL DAY, LONG LASTING MAKEUP: Our Revlon ColorStay liquid foundation wears for up to 24 hours so no matter what your day brings—that's why we call it "Life-Tested". Plus, it has a broad spectrum SPF 15 sun protection boost
- MEDIUM / BUILDABLE COVERAGE: Blend a small dab for medium coverage and a naturally flawless, smooth look. Build up for full coverage as desired
The Revlon ColorStay Liquid Foundation has been a drugstore cult favorite for a while now, and with good reason. The formula for this best drugstore foundation for dark skin has drawn a lot of attention due to the fact that it contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a potent skincare ingredient, and arguably one of acne’s bigger enemies. It is used in many skincare products that battle breakouts, so it is definitely a pleasant surprise to see it listed in the ingredients of a liquid foundation. The ColorStay formula also includes SPF 15, which is not always a given in a foundation.
As more and more people are realizing how important it is to protect their skin from the sun, makeup brands are sure to start adding SPF into their formulas. In the meantime, Revlon is ahead of the curve! Another benefit of this product’s formula is that it has a matte finish and is oil free, making it the perfect choice for both combination and oily skin. It is a lightweight foundation, which makes it a breeze to apply using your favorite method. The product is also time-released, meaning that it will mattify your oily zones as they appear throughout the day with the help of the mattifying powder inside of the liquid. This is the reason why the product is labeled as a 24 hour wear foundation!
In addition to having an awesome formula, this is also a very inclusive foundation line. Revlon ColorStay comes in an impressive 43 shades, ranging from light to medium to deep. Customers with deeper skin tones continually rave about the lack of oxidation that they experience throughout the day while wearing this product. Oxidation often occurs hours after the application of a foundation and causes the color of the product to change while on the skin. Given the fact that many consumers complain about this problem even when purchasing higher-end makeup brands, it is admirable that such an affordable product is capable of handling the issue with ease.
#3 L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation
- L'OREAL PARIS INFALLIBLE PRO-MATTE FOUNDATION: Lightweight and creamy, foundation goes on smooth with a demi-matte finish that lasts up to 24 hours, hiding imperfections for a smooth, clear complexion.
- AIR-LIGHT MATTE-FINISH FOUNDATION MAKEUP: For a matte finish that won't fall flat, apply with fingers, makeup sponge, or foundation brush, starting at the center of the face and blending toward the jaw and hairline.
- THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR LOOK: From natural to full coverage, L'Oréal Paris face makeup has what you need for a smooth, even finish. Highlight to illuminate, use concealer to hide imperfections or use contouring makeup for enhanced, defined features.
It can sometimes be difficult to find a foundation that both matches your skin tone exactly while also complimenting your skin type. The L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation does an exceptional job of doing both of those things.
This foundation’s formula is lightweight and extremely easy to apply due to its creamy texture, whether it be with a beauty blender or your fingers. The finish of this product is arguably unique, as it is described as demi-matte. The complaint that many people have for matte foundations is that they are often not deemed usable for those with dry skin. This product, however, works perfectly fine with both oily and dry skin. It goes without saying that if you have combination skin, this product should work with you too! The demi matte finish is perfect for those who want a finished look that is not completely dewy, but not completely matte either. This product also stays put for up to 24 hours, which makes it ideal for long working days that turn into events that last all night long. When you are a person who is always on the go, it is important to have a foundation that will keep up with you.
The Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation comes in a range of 22 different shades. The shades go much deeper than many other brands, making it an excellent option for those with dark skin. The default coverage for this best drugstore foundation for dark skin is medium, but it can still be used to create a variety of different looks. When applied with a light hand, it can be used to achieve a very natural look. When going for a more glamorous or full covered finish, this product can be built up to completely cover all blemishes and skin imperfections such as acne scars and dark spots.
#4 Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation
- YOUR SKIN, ONLY BETTER: Our high-performing, skin-perfecting foundation is formulated with a matte, light-diffusing complex to help prevent white cast in photos & deliver a radiant-looking complexion.
- SELFIE-APPROVED FOUNDATION: Color matched for all undertones with a matte, second-skin finish, this foundation delivers buildable coverage for a flawless-looking complexion in any kind of light.
- BEST FACE FORWARD: From bronzer & blush to primer, highlighter, natural finish powder, & concealer, we've got you covered & photo ready for your next big thing. You've met your true makeup match!
This foundation is without a doubt one of the most budget-friendly drug store foundations for dark skin currently on the market! When purchased on Amazon, this foundation is only about three dollars. What makes the deal even sweeter is that there is no need to sacrifice product quality for a lower price.
The product is formulated to perfect skin, visibly erasing blemishes and dark spots when applied. The formula is also created with a light-diffusing complex. What this means is that it is made with the idea that the person wearing it will be getting photographed. In many cases, the ingredients in any given foundation create a white cast (or “camera flash-back”) on the skin when hit with a camera flash. The Photo Focus Foundation combats that, helping skin continue to look flawless and matte even when under the harsh light of a camera flash.
An impressive feat of this budget-friendly foundation is its relatively large range of shades. This line offers a total of 20 different shades, ranging from Rose Ivory to Mahogany. All of the shades of this product are what is known in the beauty community as “selfie-approved.” The product’s formula manages to accommodate all skin color undertones. A problem that frequently presents itself when photographing liquid foundation on a person’s skin is that even if the color looks perfectly matched in person, the camera lens sees something different than the human eye does. Because of the technology being used in many professional cameras, and even in newer smartphones, it is becoming more and more difficult to hide incorrectly matched foundation shades. With the formula used in the Photo Focus Foundation, consumers are much more likely to experience less skin color and undertone disparity when being photographed versus what they see in the mirror.
#5 Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer
- CONCEAL & PERFECT: Meet the hardest working multi-tasker in your cosmetics bag! Combat under eye circles, redness and other skin imperfections with our water-resistant, foundation + concealer in one perfecting step.
- AVAILABLE IN 45 SHADES: Choose from 45 different long-lasting shades to find the one that best matches your skin tone and helps create a naturally flawless complexion.
- CRUELTY-FREE BEAUTY: This lush, creamy rich formula applies evenly to perfect and conceal imperfections with a natural looking satin matte finish. Oil-free, medium-to-full coverage, long-wearing & water-resistant for a beautiful, even skin tone.
This best drugstore foundation for dark skin is a little different than what one may think of when they initially imagine the perfect foundation. Traditionally foundation and concealer have been applied separately, with foundation being applied first and the concealer afterward. This 2-in-1 product tackles both tasks at the same time, and it does it quite well according to over 2,000 customer reviews. In case you haven’t guessed it, this product combines the properties of both foundation and concealer. Of course it tackles the job of a traditional foundation by decreasing the visibility of blemishes, uneven complexions, and dark spots. In addition to those things, it also fights off circles under the eyes and redness in the skin. Milani’s Conceal + Perfect foundation does these things while still maintaining a light and non-cakey finish. Customer reviews have expressed love for the buildable coverage that this foundation provides without causing breakouts or irritating existing acne.
Miliani does an excellent job of providing shades for people of every skin tone with this product. The Conceal + Perfect line offers a jaw-dropping 45 unique shades. The deeper shades are comparable to higher-end brands that have also started to focus more on inclusivity for darker skin tones. The range of shades makes it much more likely that you will find one that matches both your skin tone and undertone flawlessly, no matter what color your complexion is. The foundation formula is creamy and lasts a long time without budging, making it perfect for everyday use as well as special events. Its finish can be best described as a mix between satin and matte. The product is also oil-free, which makes it ideal for most skin types when applied properly.
#6 Covergirl TruBlend Matte Made Liquid Foundation
- SOFT MATTE FORMULA: Comfortable matte foundation gives you that flawless-looking finish
- ABSORBS OIL: Mattifying powders absorb excess oil and minimize the appearance of your pores for a smooth, polished look
- LONG-LASTING WEAR: Stays on for up to 12 hours of matte-skin goodness
This foundation has been a staple in the beauty community for a couple of years now. Its formula was developed with flexi-hold technology which creates a film over the skin after application. The film increases the foundation’s durability while also making it comfortable to wear throughout the day. The finish of the foundation is, as the name of the product implies, matte. The mattifying properties of the powder in the formula help absorb oil on the skin throughout the day. However, it also keeps in enough moisture to prevent dryness from occurring. The product is also exceptionally long-lasting, staying put without moving for up to 12 hours.
There are forty different shades offered in this line. The shades come in four different categories including light, tan, medium, and deep. With this wide range of shades, it should be relatively easy to find one that matches your skin tone perfectly. Covergirl’s TruBlend Matte Made is inherently medium coverage. However, it can easily be built up to be more full coverage without becoming cakey.
#7 Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation
- PHYSICIAN'S FORMULA HEALTHY FOUNDATION: This long-wearing, breathable foundation provides lightweight, buildable coverage with a satin finish. Use alone or with our concealer, blush, & bronzer.
- HYDRATE & IMPROVE: Infused with Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins A, C & E antioxidant blend & Protective SPF 20. Apply with a blender sponge or foundation brush & finish with face powder for healthy-looking beauty.
- BEST FACE FORWARD: With primers, highlighters, bronzers, & mineral powders, we have a full line of makeup to help you build a foundation for any look, all made without irritants or harsh additives.
This Physicians Formula foundation may be one of the most skincare oriented drugstore options available. Its formula contains many tried and true skincare ingredients. It contains hyaluronic acid, which is naturally produced by your own skin. It promotes more supple and healthier skin. Because your own skin naturally slows down the production of hyaluronic acid as the body ages, it is beneficial to have it as a part of your skincare routine – especially in a foundation! The formula also has an antioxidant blend of Vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins are used to support skin cell reproductive health, reduce UV damage in the skin, among other things. The product also has an impressive SPF 20, which further protects the skin from sun damage. The development of this formula takes into consideration the sensitivity of the skin, making it suitable for all skin types whether they are oily or dry. It is hypoallergenic and made without over 150 harmful ingredients that are commonly found in liquid foundations. This blend of ingredients that are prominently used to better the skin makes this foundation a healthy addition to almost any consumer’s beauty regimen.
In addition to the formula having an impressive ingredient list, it is also breathable once applied. The consistency of the liquid is lightweight, which makes it a breeze to apply with a beauty sponge or brush. The coverage is buildable, so it can be used for anything from a natural everyday look to a dramatic evening look. The product has a satin finish after applied which gives the skin a bright and rejuvenated glow. The number of shades offered is relatively low in comparison to some other brands, but the range of shades is wide. If you are looking to add a foundation that helps your skin in addition to brightening up your complexion, this product should definitely be on your list of foundations to try.