Best Foundations For Brown Skin At Sephora That Will Actually Match Your Skin Tone

Makeup has always been super fascinating to me. Growing up, I spent countless hours flipping through magazines such as Seventeen and Cosmopolitan eager to learn every. single. thing. there was to know about the subject, especially the best foundations for brown skin. Studying the beauty spreads in particular, I kept a running tab on all the products I would eventually buy if given the chance (aka if my mom ever decided to cave and boost my allowance so that I could build a solid collection.)

*Crickets*

Sadly, that dream didn't come true. My mom never quite understood my desire to wear makeup. Matter of fact, I didn’t start wearing a full “beat face” like I do now until 2011, during my junior year in high school. Like so many others, becoming a red-lipped, bright-eyed cheerleader gave me my first real opportunity to explore firsthand. I was too excited to finally put my knowledge of makeup to what seemed like the ultimate test.

Skipping the drugstore and heading straight to Sephora instead, I wrote out a shopping list with quality foundation placed at the top. I knew then that foundation was key and would serve as the base of each of my sideline makeup looks. Once inside the store and after checking out numerous displays, however, I came to a crushing conclusion: A foundation line with an exact match for my skin tone just didn’t exist. Therefore, I was forced to improvise by mixing together different products to create my own shade.

Little did I know at the time that I by far wasn’t the only person of color who had experienced the same problem. The lack of diversity within the cosmetics industry has impacted millions for decades, which is a mind-boggling fact considering that everyone’s unique shade of beauty deserves to be represented. Point, blank, period. Thankfully in 2017, selecting a custom foundation has gotten easier. With the launch of new beauty brands and older, more established companies making the decision to expand their options, it seems like we’re moving in the right direction.

In an effort to scope out the best of the best, though, I recently went back to Sephora on two separate occasions. I experimented with several liquid and stick foundations for hours, pausing only to snap pics and jot down notes. And I found the the top ten most shade-inclusive lines for brown-skin makeup lovers, so I could pass them onto you.

10Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick ($46)

Sephora/Brianna Arps

(Pictured from top to bottom: Espresso, Chestnut, Walnut, Almond, Golden Almond, Golden Amber, Amber, Honey, Golden Tan, Warm Beige, Beige, Light Beige, and Golden)

Total # of Medium to Very Deep Shades: 14

Amount of Product: 0.25 oz.

Finish: Satin

This foundation stick functions more like three products in one. It provides full coverage like a concealer and the weightless finish of a powder, all the while blending easily like a traditional liquid. Its triangular shape allows for precise application, making it great for contouring and highlighting various areas on the face.

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9NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick ($45)

Sephora/Brianna Arps

(Pictured from top to bottom: Dark 4, Dark 3, Dark 2, Dark 1, Med/Dark 5, Med/Dark 4, Med/Dark 3, Med/Dark 2, Med/Dark 1, and Medium 4)

Total # of Medium to Very Deep Shades: 14

Amount of Product: 0.31 oz.

Finish: Soft-matte

Do you want medium to full coverage on the go? No problem. Unlike other similar versions, the Velvet Matte Foundation Stick by NARS includes a removable "Touch-Up Blender" that eliminates the need for toting around extra tools.

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8Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation ($64)

Sephora/Brianna Arps

(Pictured from top to bottom: 14, 13, 11.5, 10, 9, 8.5, 8, 7.5, 7, and 6.25)

Total # of Medium to Very Deep Shades: 15

Amount of Product: 1 oz.

Finish: Satin

This foundation was allegedly inspired by the texture of silk fabric. Formulated with "micro-fil technology," the pigments help even out the skin tone, according to the brand. Once dry, Luminous Silk leaves you with a soft, dewy finish that looks like you're wearing nothing at all.

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7Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation ($40)

Sephora/Brianna Arps

(Pictured from top to bottom: 9.0, 8.75, 8.0, 7.75, 7.5, 7.0, 6.5, 6.0, 5.5, and 5.0)

Total # of Medium to Very Deep Shades: 18

Amount of Product: 1 oz.

Finish: Soft-matte

Ideal for combination skin, the oil-free formula claims to be less irritating than other foundations. Light-diffusing pigment spheres boost the skin's radiance while also blurring imperfections.

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6Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation ($35)

Sephora/Brianna Arps

(Pictured from top to bottom: Deep 81, Deep 78, Deep 76, Deep 74, Deep 72, Deep 71, Deep 67, Medium 65, Medium 64, Medium 62, Medium 59, Medium 58 Warm, Medium 58 Neutral, and Medium 57)

Total # of Medium to Very Deep Shades: 21

Amount of Product: 1 oz.

Finish: Matte

If you're in the market for a full-coverage foundation, this one has your name written all over it. The formula is packed with pigment and dries completely opaque, making it a breeze to correct any discoloration and hide blemishes for up to 24 hours.

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5Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick ($46)

Sephora/Brianna Arps

(Pictured from top to bottom: Espresso, Chestnut, Cool Walnut, Warm Walnut, Cool Almond, Almond, Golden Almond, Warm Almond, Cool Golden, Golden, Golden Honey, Warm Honey, and Honey)

Total # of Medium to Very Deep Shades: 22

Amount of Product: 0.31 oz.

Finish: Satin

Bobbi Brown's foundation has a creamy texture that glides onto the skin with ease. According to the brand, it's formulated with "Smart Technology" and emollients such as olive extract and shea butter that help maintain the skin's moisture balance and control oiliness.

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4Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup ($42)

Sephora/Brianna Arps

(Pictured from top to bottom: 8N1, 7W1, 7N1, 7C1, 6W2, 6N2, 6W1, 6C1, 5N2, 5C1, 5N1, 5W2, and 5W1)

Total # of Medium to Very Deep Shades: 23

Amount of Product: 1 oz.

Finish: Satin

Estée Lauder's Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup is fragrance-free and claims to be non-acnegenic. The main selling point of this popular foundation, however, is that it won't oxidize or change color after being applied.

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3Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation ($47)

Sephora/Brianna Arps

(Pictured from top to bottom: 560 Suede C, 555 Suede C, 550 Suede W, 540 Suede W, 520 Suede W, 510 Suede C, 470 Suede C, 465 Suede C, 460 Suede W, 450 Suede N, and 435 Bisque W)

Total # of Medium to Very Deep Shades: 27

Amount of Product: 1 oz.

Finish: Soft-matte

Lancôme's foundation is oil-free and can be applied in thin layers for medium to full coverage without feeling cakey. Made with broad spectrum SPF 15 sunscreen, it also helps to protect the skin from UV damage.

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2Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($43)

Sephora/Brianna Arps

(Pictured from top to bottom: R540 Dark Brown, Y535 Chestnut, R530 Brown, R520 Cinnamon, R510 Coffee, R505 Cognac, Y455 Praline, Y445 Amber, Y435 Caramel, R430 Hazelnut, Y425 Honey, R420 Honey Beige, Y415 Almond, and Y410 Golden Beige)

Total # of Medium to Very Deep Shades: 28

Amount of Product: 1.01 oz.

Finish: Satin

The Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation is infamous for its "second-skin texture" that looks flawless on camera, according to Make Up For Ever. Apply with either a flat foundation brush or a makeup sponge for light to medium coverage.

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1Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation ($34)

Sephora/Brianna Arps

(Editor's Note: Right image was taken on the launch day for Fenty Beauty on September 8. Since then, a lot of the testers have been removed from displays at various Sephora stores due to the product being sold out.)

Total # of Medium to Very Deep Shades: 29

Amount of Product: 1.08 oz.

Finish: Soft-matte

The lightweight liquid has a smooth, luxurious feel that gives the skin a semi-matte glow. Once applied, it settles into a natural finish in minutes that Fenty Beauty claims is resistant to both sweat and humidity.

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