Top 10 Beauty Brands for Women of Color

As an NC 40 Filipino/Indian gal, I find it a bit of a challenge when I fall in love with a blush (or lipstick shade) that simply just doesn't flatter my skin tone. Even if it looks gorgeous on a woman on the internet with my skin tone, it somehow looks better on her. Oh, I also know the frustration of trying to look for a foundation that would best match me. When I reviewed the L'Oreal Pro Glow Foundation, I had to mix 2 shades in order to match me perfectly, and the majority of their shades were mainly for those with fairer skin. Lets also not forget about the models of color who have to bring in their own foundation because the makeup artist doesn't provide such a shade.

What constitutes as a beauty brand that caters to ethnic women? (Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, Hispanic, African, etc.)?

Do their foundations carry a wide variety of skin tones, from porcelain to ebony? Do they have cool, neutral and warm undertones?

Do they have a wide variety of blushes, eyeshadows and lipsticks that would show up on a woman's skin and not make her look muddy?

Do they use ethnic models in their marketing and promotional materials?

Do their mission and vision statements embrace diversity?

Now, when I refer to beauty brands catered towards women of color, I am not trying to exclude fair-skinned women. In fact, all of the brands mentioned below have shades for lighter skin. It is just that while the beauty industry has been embracing diversity in recent years, there is always room for improvement. 

That is why I have researched, tested and picked the best 10 beauty brands for WOC below.

1. Shea Moisture
shea moisture
Shea Moisture originated in Sierra Leone, and not only do they sell makeup, but they also sell skincare, bath and body products, hair care (especially for natural African hair) and baby products. Affordable and eco-friendly (no parabens, animal testing, and all organic ingredients), you can find Shea Moisture at Target, Walmart and Ulta.

Hot Picks: Weightless Shea Serum Foundation CC Cream, Creme Concealer, Illuminating Mineral Bronzer, Mineral Eyeshadow Palette (Ocean Glass), Mineral Eyeshadow Quad (Candlelight and Twilight), Shea Butter Luscious Lipstick (Red Rose), Superfruit Sheer Hydration Lip Gloss (Raspberry)

2. CoverGirl Queen
covergirl queen
This is a branch-off of CoverGirl, with Queen Latifah as the spokesperson. They have a wider shade range at an extremely affordable price.

Hot Picks: All Day Flawless Foundation, CC Cream, Natural Hue Bronzer, Stay Luscious Lipstick, Jumbo Gloss Balm, Eyeshadow Quads

3. MAC
mac cosmetics
You can be confident that you will find something at MAC when their tagline is All Ages. All Races. All Sexes. Celebrities such as Lil Kim, Eve, Mary J Blige, Christina Aguilera, and Nicki Minaj have campaigned with them for their Viva Glam lipstick, as a part of the MAC AIDS Fund. Aside from that, the foundations and concealers go by NC (Neutral Cool) or NW (Neutral Warm), so it definitely makes it easier to find a product. And come on, you're bound to find a lipstick (or few) out of the 217 shades offered.

Hot Picks: Blush (Frankly Scarlet, Burnt Pepper, Film Noir, Ambering Rose), Lipstick (D for Danger, Del Rio, Diva, Media, Mocha, Retro, Russian Red, Viva Glam III), Pro Longwear Concealer, Studio Fix Fluid Foundation

becca cosmetics
It makes me happy to see that BECCA embraces diversity in their website, ad graphics and signage. Their highlighters, foundations, and blushes have that variety of shades, especially the Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme. 

Hot Picks: Shimmering Skin Perfector (Opal, Rose Gold, Topaz, Champagne Pop), Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme, Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation, Ombre Nudes Eye Palette, Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush (Snapdragon and Dahlia)

5. Maybelline

For a drugstore brand, Maybelline sure does a better job of offering much more shade ranges than others *ahem*L'Oreal. 

Hot Picks: Fit Me! Foundation, Fit Me! Concealer, Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quad (Sunlit Bronze), Baby Lips Color Balm Crayon, FaceStudio Master Contour (Medium to Deep), Color Sensation Matte Lipstick (Nude Nuance and Divine Wine)


nars cosmetics
Even fair-skinned ladies find a shade that matches their skin tone from NARS that they can't find anywhere else. NARS offers to shades up to the deepest, richest shade. And their beautiful blushes will make your skin pop.

Hot Picks: Sheer Glow (or Matte) Foundation, Radiant Creamy Concealer, Unfiltered Cheek Palette I, Blush (Seduction and Outlaw), Velvet Lip Glide (Bound, Danceteria, Toy)

IMAN Cosmetics was created by former model (and wife to the late David Bowie), Iman. Her mission was to create a beauty line that embraced ALL ethnicities. In the IMAN About page, it says: Her second book, THE BEAUTY OF COLOR, THE Ultimate Beauty Guide for Skin of Color (Putnam Penguin 2005) is the first beauty and makeup book that truly addresses skin tones across the spectrum: Latina, Black, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Native American, as well as multiple ethnicities. She’s revolutionized the way Women with Skin of Color™ think about beauty.

Hot Picks: Cream to Powder Foundation, Contour Trio, Blushing Powder, Eyeshadow Pencil, Moisturizing Lipstick, Corrective Concealer

8. Giorgio Armani
giorgio armani
I can't ignore Giorgio Armani now that my holy grail foundation is the Luminous Silk Foundation. They label their shades in .25 increments. The .25 shades mean that they are a peachy undertone, the .5's are neutral to warm, the .75's are rosy. For the record, my shade is 6.5.

Hot Picks: Luminous Silk Foundation, Maesro Fusion Makeup, Fluid Sheer, Master Corrector (Apricot), Maestro Fusion Blush, Sun Fabric Bronzer, Lip Magnet (501-Eccentrico)

9. Milani

Lookng for an affordable brand with luxurious packaging, and deep, pigmented blushes and lipsticks? You have got to check out Milani then!

Hot Picks: Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation, Strobelight Instant Glow Powder (Glowing), Baked Blush (Bellissimo Bronze, Red Vino), Amore Matte Lip Cream (Loved, Gorgeous, Covet)

10. Black Up

black up
I have never tried Black Up before, but I have always been interested. They are sold at Sephora, and I have been extremely interested in their blushes!

Hot Picks: Mattifying Fluid Foundation, Full Coverage Cream Foundation, Contour Stick, Concealer Palette, Blush (Irised Old Rose, Cocoa, Burgundy)


  1. I am familiar with a few of these brands but there are others that I didn't even knew exist! Great list and recommendation.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  2. This is such a lovely list, hun! I have very pale skin myself, but it can still be a struggle to find that perfect shade sometimes, especially when it comes to foundations! MAC is great for their selection, and so is Maybelline. So annoying when a brand releases a new product with a limited range! Thanks for sharing, lovely. :) <3 xoxo


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