10 Liquid Drugstore Foundations Perfect For Women Of Color

Probably one of the things I dread the most is trying to find a foundation shade that works for my skin tone. There are so many things to keep in mind when finding a foundation shade.

Now while new technology has been created to help us more easily shade match our foundation the technology is only helpful if the brand has a full range of shades.

If you’re a woman of color until recently it was a daily struggle to find shades on the darker end of the spectrum. Because of that struggle, there were so many drugstore makeup brands that I completely dismissed.

Now because of higher-end brands like Fenty Beauty launching dozens and dozens of foundation shades that cover a wide color spectrum drugstore brands have woken up and realized they were missing out.

Drugstore Foundations Perfect For Women Of Color | A Relaxed Gal

This has resulted in some drugstore makeup brands launching new foundations with 20+ shades or extending the shades of existing foundations. While this is happening it can still be hard to figure out which foundations have your shade because not all shades are sold in every store.

In this article, I’ve listed 10 drugstore foundations that currently have the best shades for women of color. Full confession, most of these brands and foundations I haven’t used yet. Partly because I’m picky about what I use on my face because it’s prone to breakouts. And also because buying 10 different foundations doesn’t fit in my budget right now.

(This post includes affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

1. Black Opal True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation

This brand is was developed with women of color in mind. So while this foundation only has 12 shades, it’s not a surprise that many of them sit at the darker end of the spectrum and the rest of the shades would probably be considered medium by other general market brands.

The True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation claims to be lightweight and to help “minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, controls excess oil and renews skin's natural radiance.” Additionally, it’s oil-free.

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2. L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Makeup

While the L’Oreal Infallible foundation seems to be talked about more, the True Match foundation has 33 shades, more than the Infallible foundation.

While I’ve never used this foundation one thing I really appreciate is that L’Oreal notes with each shade whether it’s warm, cool, or neutral. This helps in making the perfect match that much easier.

The claims for this foundation are that “with patented color technology, L'Oreal's True Match Super-Blendable Makeup precisely matches your skin’s tone and undertone.” The coverage is said to be light to medium and there are no oils, fragrances, or fillers that could clog your pores.

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3. Black Radiance Color Perfect Liquid Make-up

This foundation is another one made specifically for women of color. It’s pretty obvious when you see the shades available. They are all shades of darker chocolate with the exception of one shade.

The foundation is said to be oil-free and full coverage. And as a bonus, it’s really affordable coming in at about $5 on the Black Radiance site.

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4. Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation 

This drugstore foundation seems to be a go-to for many foundation wearers. Especially for those who have oily skin, like me, and want a matte finish. It's also pretty popular because of the fuller coverage it provides and the many shades that are available.

One of the cool things about the Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless foundation is the shades can be categorized by cool, warm, or neutral undertones. What I don’t like is that you have to do some decent research to find out which shades have which undertone.

I bought into the hype and have worn this foundation a few times. I’m not a big fan of full coverage foundations because I can feel the foundation on my face and I typically don’t have a lot to cover up on my face. Because of that, I started off wearing this foundation only when recording my YouTube videos and for special occasions. But over time I grew more comfortable wearing it and now wear it often.

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5. Maybelline Fit Me Dewy & Smooth Foundation

This liquid foundation is pretty much the sister to the Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless. There are a few differences though. One is that the Maybelline Fit Me Dewy & Smooth Foundation is better suited for those with dry skin. It's more moisturizing and provides a more radiant finish. Another is that it contains SPF 18 to help protect from sun damage.

I haven't tried this foundation and don't have any current plans to because I have oily skin and foundations that give a radiant finish don't do well on my skin. But if I did want to try it there's a good chance I could find a shade that works for me because it comes in 24 shades.

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6. CoverGirl True Blend Matte Made Foundation

Not to be outdone by Maybelline, CoverGirl released the True Blend Matte Made Foundation in 40 shades. I haven’t tried this yet, mostly because when I wore CoverGirl in the past it broke me out.

This foundation claims that it mattifies, minimizes pores, lasts 12 hours, and is transfer resistant. I’ve seen some pretty good reviews of the foundation.

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Drugstore foundations for deeper skin tones | A Relaxed Gal

7. Neutrogena Skin-clearing Oil Free Foundation

Of all of the foundations mentioned in this post, this one has the least number of shades available for women of color but I still think it’s worth mentioning

A few years ago Neutrogena released four darker shades of their foundations. This seems to have been under the prompting of spokeswoman Kerry Washington.

I have to admit, back in the day I used Neutrogena skincare products and was excited about also using the makeup until I realized they only had shades for white girls. So I came to think of Neutrogena of the makeup brand for white girls and removed them from my consideration set.

Fast forward to this year and few YouTubers I follow whose skin tone is similar to mine did a review of this foundation. This prompted me to give it a try.

The darkest color Chestnut works for me. The foundation goes on smoothly and I don’t feel it on my face. It has light to medium coverage which I like since I don’t like feeling or looking like I’m wearing a lot of makeup.

8. Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer Liquid Foundation 

This is the most intriguing foundation on the list because it's not just a foundation, it's also a concealer. So it claims to "combat under eye circles, redness and other skin imperfections." It also claims to be water-resistant and sweat-proof and it comes with a pump! Not too many drugstore foundations have pumps. This foundation comes in well over 20 shades.

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9. NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation

This is another full coverage foundation that you can find in the drugstore. It is oil-free and provides a matte finish.

While this foundation comes in 30 shades, personally I feel the darker side doesn’t have as many shades as it could.

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10. e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation

When I think of e.l.f. I rarely think of foundations of apparently they have a few that are pretty popular such as the Flawless Finish Foundation. E.l.f. expanded the shade range of this foundation so there are several options now for deeper skin tones. It claims to be light-weight, oil-free, and have a semi-matte finish. It also has the claim that it "helps restore uneven skin textures and tones; for visibly brighter skin." 

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What drugstore foundation brands have a shade you can use?


  1. I have used maybelline matte and poreless. It really is good

    1. It really is good. I don't use it for my everyday foundation unless I know it's going to be a long day or I want fuller coverage.


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