9 Must-Try Drugstore Foundations 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. Technology has been created to help us more easily shade match our foundation but the technology is only helpful if the brand has a full range of shades.

If you’re a woman of color it used to be 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.

As a result of higher-end brands like Fenty Beauty launching a wide range of foundation shades, drugstore brands have woken up and realized they were missing out. But which drugstore brands have increased their shade ranges?

Drugstore Foundations Perfect For Women Of Color | A Relaxed Gal

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I've scoured the drugstore foundation shelves and found nine that currently have the best shades for women of color. I haven't used most of these yet but would if I had the budget for it. 

1. 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 except for 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.

Where to shop

2. 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 available shades.

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’m usually 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 it became a foundation I would wear daily.

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3. 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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4. 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.

Where to shop

Drugstore foundations for deeper skin tones | A Relaxed Gal

5. Black Opal True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation

This foundation probably has the smallest shade range at eight total shades but I think it should be on the list because it's a makeup brand made with women of color in mind so all of the shades are on the deeper end of the spectrum.

The Black Opal True Color Pore Perfecting Foundation claims to use technology to provide a true-to-tone color match. Plus, it helps to minimize the appearance of pores over time and won't dry out the skin because it contains shea butter and vitamins C and E.

It claims to be perfect for all skin types while providing light to medium coverage and a mattifying effect.

Where to shop

6. 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 a lot of drugstore foundations have pumps. This foundation comes in over 20 shades.

Where to shop

7. NYX Can't Stop Won't Stop 24HR Full Coverage Matte Foundation

This is another full-coverage foundation that you can find in the drugstore. It is oil-free and provides a matte finish with 24-hour wear, 24-hour shine control, and 24-hour even-true color.

It claims to be waterproof, transferproof, and humidity-proof which is intriguing to me for the summer months. 

The NYX Can't Stop Won't Stop 24HR Full Coverage Matte Foundation comes in 37 shades. There seems to be a decent mix of shades including darker ones.

Where to shop

8. L'Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Foundation

I have yet to try this foundation even though it's been around for a while but I continue to have my eye on it. The reasons are many. 

This foundation has 47 shades that are grouped by cool, warm, and neutral. Plus, the L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Foundation is formulated with up to six pigments to help give the most precise match. They claim that the blendable nature and pigments help it to adapt to any skin color and texture so you can't tell where the foundation ends and your skin begins.

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9. L'Oreal Paris Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation 

Of all of the foundations on this list, it may be the only one with SPF in it. Even those of us with melanated skin need sunscreen.

This L'Oreal liquid foundation boasts 30 shades and claims to provide medium-to-buildable coverage that lasts all day.

The foundation is formulated with three oil absorbers to resist sweat and transfer.

Where to shop

What drugstore foundation brands have a shade that works for you?


  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.