While I understand and appreciate that Latinas come in all shapes, sizes, colores y sabores, my experience with foundation as a Latina morenita has ranged from rage to unadulterated bliss. I know that I am by no means the first (or the last) person to cover the topic of racism and colorism in the beauty industry.
My passion for this started long ago, when I found the world's most perfect foundation. My skin literally glowed, people! I got complimented on how radiant and fresh and beautiful my skin looked all the time. When I went back to buy my second bottle, I was told that it was discontinued. Confused, I pointed at the bottles of VITALUMIÈRE that remained on the counter. How could it be discontinued if there were still bottles on the counter that were for sale?? The sales lady proceeded to tell me that just some shades were discontinued. Turns out that only the darkest shades were taken off the shelves.
NOTE: I completely acknowledge my privilege in that I could afford this foundation in the first place. I had just gotten my first job after college, and was completely treating myself. Plus, I really, really love makeup, and budget for it accordingly. I know that as a self-love advocate, it may seem ironic to "slather" myself in face paint. But I wholeheartedly believe in the philosophy that makeup was made to enhance beauty. I love how I look and feel in red lipstick; it is the ultimate power-stance for my face.
Sadly, Chanel is not the only brand that has offed its more tawny tones. Luckily, I have you covered, muchachas. As your resident Sephora-enthusiast and foundation-tester, I have rounded up the best of the best. These foundations have stood the test of time, and have the utmost diverse color pallets.
So without further ado... My Top #BrownGirl Foundations picks:
Why it's so good: As I mentioned before, I am all about that glow. I love how this moderate-to-full coverage foundation provides enough coverage to smooth over and correct dark spots/pores/fine lines, all while bringing out a warmth that photographs beautifully. Bonus: The cap comes with a Precision Spot Corrector that allows you to hide blemishes, dark circles, and other imperfections. I totally inherited my dark circles from my pops - but becoming a mama definitely didn’t help. ALSO it has SPF20. Win-win. I just ran out of this one, but I would definitely buy again.
Why it’s so good: This is actually one of my tired and true go-to’s. MAC seems to have a bad reputation for making makeup that really clogs your pores. Given its history (MAC, which is short for Makeup, Art, Cosmetics, was made to be worn on stage and to withstand long hours), it has come a long way in its introduction of new formulas suited for the general public. This low-to-medium foundation provides buildable coverage. It is so lightweight, that I have even worn it the beach.
Why it’s so good: MAC reminds me of being in high school, when my best friends and I would ditch class and head over to the mall to try makeup on and eat Taco Bell (sorry mom!). It is one of the only brands that will earn two spaces on this list simply because of their enormous color palette. The spectrum of colors that their foundations cover is definitely something to commend. MAC promotes diversity and sensitivity to issues that plague our world. Studio Fix is a classic - it combines a natural matte finish, and medium-buildable coverage; my go-to when I am feeling particularly oily. The formula contains SPF15 and specially treated micronized pigments and soft-focus powders for a super-smooth look that helps minimize the appearance of imperfections.
Why it’s so good: I first discovered Ultra HD at Sephora, and I instantly fell in love with the flawless complexion it provided. Developed for the film and TV industry, it is a glam squad in a bottle! Bonus: MUFE just expanded this line to a range of 40 shades to match all skintones. Hooray!
Why it’s so good: My skin changed drastically while I was pregnant. I went from super dry, to way too oily. I broke out ALL THE TIME. It was all bad… This foundation got me through those weird skin days and then some. It is full-coverage AND super lightweight - a combination that is nearly impossible to find. This is actually what I am wearing as well speak!
Why it’s so good: So after Ximena was born, I realized that I needed to vastly alter my morning routine. I looked for ways that I could skip steps so that I could get out the door quicker. NARS Tinted Moisturizer helped me do just that. I have naturally dry skin (expect for when I’m pregnant, apparently), but this tinted moisturizer (unlike so many others that I’ve tried) really quenches my thirsty skin, and helps me feel hydrated, while evening my skintone, and making me feel just fresh overall.
Why it’s so good: Of the product, designer and creator Giorgio Armani says, "These products are directly inspired by the way I choose fabrics for my collections. They allow the natural glow of the skin to come through no matter how many layers you apply.” Thus, this lightweight liquid foundation makes my skin glow (yay!), radiant (double yay!), and silky (triple yay!). While it is on the pricier side, I swear this bottle lasted me upwards of a year - a drop goes a long, long way.
Why it’s so good: I realized that this is my only “drug store” brand makeup that made it to this list. Maybe next time I will rank JUST drug store brands? Y’all fabulous ladies let me know if you’d like to see something like that. The fact that this is a competitor right up there with Armani is really telling of how good this foundation is. My sister actually introduced me to this line. With 33 shades, it is nearly impossible not to find your match. The light-to-medium coverage is perfect, the SPF17, Vitamins A & C, wheat germ and grape fruit extract to my skin nourished and protected and healthy are the icing on the cake.