The lack of diversity in the makeup industry is old news at this point. But, now more than ever, makeup companies are actually making an effort to include a wide range of skin tones in their product lines.
The shift is largely due to our highness and savior Rihanna, whose brand Fenty Beauty prompted many other beauty companies to upgrade their foundation ranges to 40 shades. It’s also now more common for brands to include darker skin tones in their initial product launches and advertisements. Thank you, Rih Rih!
Still, simply having more shades doesn’t necessarily mean that the shades cover a wide range – or that they’ll work well for darker-skinned women.
Fortunately, some makeup brands have been inclusive for women of all skin tones from the very beginning, and they’re pros at it by now. With that in mind, here are 7 makeup brands with excellent products for all skin tones, from dark to light.
Maybelline New York
Calling all drug store beauty lovers! Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation has been holding darker skin tones down for quite a while now. They offer 40 shades with a wide range of colors to choose from, which is extremely rare for a drug store brand.
Milk Makeup has long included a wide range of skin tones in all of their product lines, and their sense of inclusivity goes far beyond skin color. They also prioritize gender and sexuality diversity, and their products are cruelty-free and 100% vegan.
Makeup for Melanin Girls
Makeup for Melanin Girls is an Instagram-homegrown brand. Their product lines are specifically designed for dark skin tones, and they go far beyond foundation – you’ll also find nude lipsticks and other products just for dark-skinned folks. The brand grew out of a “community of thousands of women that are tired of being the last two shades in a collection and hearing 'we're working on it' when yet another brand ignores the beauty needs of deeper skin tones.”
Speaking of inclusive product lines that aren’t foundation, Mented Cosmetics makes an excellent eyeshadow palette with “nude” shades that are perfect for medium and dark skin tones, i.e. not just light beige. Also, their line of lipsticks is legendary. The company’s goal is to help every woman be able to “find herself in the world of beauty.”
Make Up For Ever
Make Up For Ever was a pioneer in the 40-foundation-shades world, and they know it – they even bragged about it on social media after Fenty Beauty received accolades for their own 40-shade launch. Make Up For Ever has carried 40 shades since 2015, and people swear by their Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation.
APDG offers only 33 shades of foundation, but there are a ton of deep and dark shades available, so you can pick what actually works for your undertone. Amazing! There’s a reason that this undercover beauty brand gained a massive audience of cult followers back in 2017.
Where would this list be without Fenty Beauty? Sure, there were other makeup companies with inclusive foundation ranges before Fenty Beauty launched in 2017. But all the fanfare over Rihanna’s extremely on-point foundation line forced other companies to pay attention and follow suit. From Pro Filt’r foundation and concealer to contour kits, Fenty offers something for women of every skin tone.
What are your favorite inclusive makeup brands? Have you tried any of these 7 options?