The Sh*t List: Hey Guys, Where’s The Foundation For Black Girls?


I warned you.

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know for the past year or so I’ve been hell bent on avoiding brands that do not offer foundation shades for black women and I decided on a whim, 1/1/2014 11:17 pm, to create a list. I’m calling it a hit list, but think of it as more of a ‘miss list’. A list of brands that don’t offer foundation to women of darker skin tones.

I decided about two years ago after the debacle with NYX and the HD foundation that I was done. I was washing my hands of brands that did not cater to black skin. Light skinned aside, I’m a black girl and how can I recommend this brand or that brand to you and they are making a subtle but very clear message that their cosmetics are not for us. It bothers me. What about us?

So here’s the list. Every cosmetic brand that does not carry foundation in their lines that cater to darker skin tones. Only two brands received a pass from me, and I will clarify that below.

1. Almay– Almay has been at the top of the list for a very long time. Almay’s shade range offends me the most. Almay cosmetics is special, because their products are formulated to be hypoallergenic. So what are you trying to say Almay, black girls don’t have allergies? That’s cute.

2. Rimmel– Yeah, you can get the London look, but only if your skin is not dark. Rimmel is another laughable brand to me because not only do they not make foundations for dark skinned women,but their last brand ambassador, Solange Knowles is a black woman herself. Color me tickled.

3.  Hard Candy– This brand is marketed towards the younger market. Hard Candy features a lot of fun, flirty and easy to wear products. Just don’t go looking for foundation if you are dark skinned. The darkest they go is medium tan. Hmph.

4. Anna Sui

5. Shu Uemura

6. Physicians Formula– Another hypoallergenic brand that thinks people of darker skin tones have no allergies apparently.

7. Barry M

8. Jane Cosmetics– “Confidence comes in so many colors” is their mantra. Yet not a single foundation for darker skin tones. Ok.

9. NYC (New York Color)

10. Hourglass Cosmetics– Stellar primers but the foundations? Not a dark shade in the house.

11. Vincent Longo

12. Wet n Wild– I was on the fence about including Wet n Wild in the mix. From an honest point of view, no, Wet n Wild does not make foundations for women of color but they have a sister division- Black Radiance. Black Radiance, owned by Markwins makes products for black women and women of darker skin tones. Unfortunately, they are not as heavily promoted as Wet n Wild and I hope that changes in the future. Wet n Wild has a stellar beauty blogger outreach program that features a lot of great black bloggers.

13. Neutrogena– this is another brand I am on the fence with. I really think Neutrogena has a great skincare line, but the cosmetics line is missing an entire hue of people.

***UPDATE*** Neutrogena has expanded their foundation range to include a few deeper shades. You can find photos here.

14. Pixie 

15.Essence Cosmetics 

16. Jesse’s Girl 

17.Paula’s Choice 

Their response:

For reference, I did not include Indie brands.

I hope that in the future, these brands will understand that black women love cosmetics as much as women of other races. I would love to see change over time and hope to cross most, if not all these brands off the list.


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More about Aprill

Aprill Coleman is an award-winning beauty, lifestyle and wellness blogger and freelance writer based in Jackson, Mississippi.

17 thoughts on “The Sh*t List: Hey Guys, Where’s The Foundation For Black Girls?

  1. Shalunya TheChronicBeauty

    I am an extremely fair skinned white girl. I have traveled internationally enough to know that I am NOT the ‘average’ woman. I fall on the extreme end of pale. Yet, I can find loads of options in my shade range. It’s frustrating that the cosmetics industry blatantly ignores the vast majority of the population. Thanks for shedding light on this topic.


    1. GlitteryGlossy

      Thank you for reading love!


  2. coco

    I’m glad you made this list — companies deserve to be called out on the choices they make so that consumers can decide whether or not to continue to support them.

    I’m white and since that gives me the privilege to take for granted that companies offer a foundation in (or close to) my skin tone it also offers the related privilege of not having to notice which companies are excluding people of color. So thanks both for the list and for the reminder that I always need to work harder to be conscious of how my own privilege shields me from having to notice some of the inequalities of everyday life.


    1. GlitteryGlossy

      Isn’t it amazing that there is even inequality in makeup?! It’s crazy!


  3. Symone Fowler

    Have you tried Estée Lauder? I’ve found it’s mainly the high end companies that have a small selection that can still work. Burberry was a nice one that I had applied to my face but it wasn’t cheap! Maybelline is good on the lower end as well. Tarte should make this hit list as I bought their foundation in deep and not even on my palest day in Winter could I wear it :(. I’m yet to try Urban Decay as well but their beauty balm is a waste for black people as it’s so light. Why make it for “everyone” And I look so pasty after application?! Stila needs to add a few more darker colours but they have 3-4 dark shades that could work for black women.


    1. GlitteryGlossy

      I really did struggle with whether or not to include the brands that barely towed the line. I was nice and left them out. That’s the other realm to this problem. There are brands that make a foundation (literally ONE foundation) and include dark skinned tones and the shades are severely off. Thanks for the feedback!


  4. LaSheena

    I stand firmly behind the philosophy “If you don’t make my color, you don’t want my money.” If you can have over 2 dozen shades of beige, I can’t understand why you only have 3 or NO shades of brown. Thanks for the list.


    1. GlitteryGlossy

      Great minds think alike!


  5. MilaXX

    I wouldn’t sweat Anna Sui or Shu Uemura. They are Asian brands targeted (mostly) at fair skin tones. Correct me if I am wrong but they don’t pretend to cater to darker skin tones. Their ads always feature super pale models.


  6. AliceinNappyland

    Rimmel/Solange partnership CRACKED ME UP. What is she supposed to sell for them? Just lipstick? Rude.

    Others for the list: Essence, Jessie’s Girl (they only make one face product–in light and medium), and Pixi (based on what I see online “warm” doesn’t look that dark. Anyone with more experience than me is welcome to correct me if I’m wrong)


    1. AliceinNappyland

      And for higher end: Dr Jart+, DERMAdoctor, Boscia, Omorovicza (super high end to the point I’m not even sure its worth mentioning on your list. I only found them browsing Sephora’s website). Most of these are Asia based brands so Black women AREN’T their specific audience, but you would think they’d expand their shade range a little when the start selling in the United States.


  7. lisalisainSC

    Thank you for writing this!! I hope it gets reblogged and reshared over and over again. Black women are some of the largest consumers in the hair and beauty industry, yet companies still refuse to cater to us? Then they use the reasoning that the products don’t sell when they do…but have they effectively advertised and marketed these products to the right audience? How are black women supposed to know that these new products are out there? Telepathy? They think we have hidden superpowers?


  8. nelle

    You should include IT Cosmetics to your list, they do not make any foundations darker than tan.


  9. Mochafaire

    You are always on point! I noticed the same things with these brands and felt like they just don’t want my business. Fine with me!


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