foundation shades for indian skin

Whether you’re a full-blown devotee with a weakness for Target’s beauty aisle, or simply makeup-curious, you’ve likely toyed with a range of different foundations. As the basis of most makeup looks, the market is inundated with an unfathomable amount of foundations—each boasting a different formulation, finish, consistency, coverage level, and shade range. And while the beauty industry has made strides in terms of inclusive shade offerings, they still have a long way to go.

what is the best foundation shades for indian skin

Best Weightless: Basma The Foundation Stick

Basma The Foundation Stick

This TikTok beloved foundation has options for neutral or warm undertones in a variety of hues, offering 40 shades in total. It also delivers buildable coverage that feels totally weightless on the skin. In her review, Byrdie editor Olivia Hancock said that “it’s easy to forget you’re wearing anything on your face with this product.”

Best Satin Finish: Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation

Tinted Face Oil Foundation

Kosas’ line of Face Oil Foundations has various undertones beyond just warm, cool, and neutral. They offer golden and olive undertones in their shade range, too, which fit perfectly for the mix of peach, yellow, orange, and red tones that Indian skin has. The medium, buildable coverage looks flawless on its own, and I’ll often skip on my glow-inducing highlighters when I wear this. If wearing an oil-based foundation scares you, fear not. The acne-friendly jojoba oil in this makes it feel totally weightless. I have large pores around my nose and cheeks, and this non-greasy formula never settles in them.

Best Hydrating: Sephora Collection Best Skin Ever Liquid Foundation

Best Skin Ever Liquid Foundation

We love the 50 shades this foundation offers, but Maderich warns us to make sure we stay away from anything with any pink. Instead, opt for the ones marked for yellow or neutral undertones and match it to your neck rather than your face. “A lot of my Indian friends have a lighter face and darker neck, and choosing a foundation with pink undertones will just make that stand out, so I always tell them that the best way to find the most natural shade is by matching it with their neck.” This formula is infused with hyaluronic acid, and red algae extract, so it delivers intense hydration to skin that’s especially parched. It also has inflammation-healing sunflower oil, which my acne-prone skin particularly loves.

Best for Blurring: Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation

Blur Liquid Matte Foundation

This Milk foundation has a rich range of shades for skin with red undertones—a rare and hard thing to find. “I use a lot of red pigment on Indian skin in my kit,” says Maderich. “It’s hard to find, but the finish is really beautiful and natural.” My sister wore this cruelty and silicone-free foundation for all of the crowded, Bollywood dancing-heavy events leading up to her wedding. It provided completely budge-proof coverage on her acne-prone skin. Plus, the blurring microspheres in the formula diffuse light, creating an ethereal effect that photographs beautifully. 

Best Everyday Foundation: Laura Mercier Flawless Lumière Foundation

Flawless Lumière Radiance-Perfecting Foundation

Consider this the perfect everyday foundation. It provides medium coverage and has all-day lasting power. “With this foundation, steer clear of anything that has ‘cool’ in its shade name,” says Maderich. “Those will look way too pink on Indian skin.” The shades labeled with neutral undertones have a beautiful glow to them that will really bring out the golden hues in our skin. Plus, the vitamin C in this formula gives the skin an instant radiance—a huge plus on the days you want to sustain your glow without touch-ups.

How to find the right foundation for Indian skin tones

Finding your undertone requires just careful observation. There is no specific technique as such. If your skin looks more gold-yellowish, you have yellow undertones. Sometimes, you may find skin looking ashy green. This means you have olive undertones.  If you see your skin is slightly pink, then you have pink undertones. So, the only way to know your undertone is to see it yourself. 

  1. First of all, the foundation you choose should always be yellow tone based.
  2. Never try the foundation on your hand as the skin shade is different from that of your face.
  3. Choose your favourite formula, then swatch a few shades on the side of your face and on your forehead. The shade that disappears upon blending is the right one.
  4. If the foundation looks ashy, it is too light. If the foundation looks muddy, it is too dark.
  5. You can also apply the foundation on the jaw line to compare it to the neck as it must look flawless all over.
  6. You must also duplicate the application on the forehead as sometimes women have more colour on their forehead and chin than the rest of their face.

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