Remember back in the day when there were only, oh, maybe 10 or so foundation shades to choose from? You should — it wasn’t that long ago that a range of a dozen colors was considered impressive. Not so much anymore. Gone are those limited offerings, replaced with complexion products that come in 30, 40, or even more shades, finally offering something to match (almost) anyone’s skin tone.
It’s not just newbies that are getting in on this inclusive action; heritage beauty brands are jumping on the bandwagon, too, expanding the amount of shades their iconic products come in. Price point isn’t a factor either, since you can now find extensive foundation shade ranges both at the drugstore and department stores. Here, 10 foundations and concealers that offer something for any and every complexion. It’s about time.
Many beauty insiders credit Rihanna’s makeup line for kick-starting the shade inclusivity movement. The medium-full coverage foundation launched with a whopping 40 colors, per Ri-Ri’s desire to fill a void for women whose skin tone fell on extreme ends of the spectrum.
The brand’s best-selling foundation now comes in 56 shades (with the same beloved long-wearing, matte formula and buildable coverage). Driving home the point of inclusivity and diversity, Egyptian-born, Sudanese model Anok Yai is the face of the campaign.
Not only are there 40 shades of this budget-friendly base — which the brand says will match over 99 percent of skin tones — it was also developed based on consumer feedback and requests. The end result? An oil-absorbing, long-wearing, and pore-minimizing formula.
A best-seller with a somewhat cult-like following, this used to come in only six shades. As of this month, it now comes in 48, the most we’ve ever seen for a concealer (consider us impressed). The pigmented, waterproof, anti-aging formula is still the same.
New to the US, Il Makiage’s skin-smoothing foundation comes in 50 shades, helpfully divided by skin tone (light, medium, tan, and deep) and undertone (neutral, pink, yellow, and olive).
When the brand’s name is an homage to redefining ‘flesh’ color, you know they’re going to have some seriously good shades. This easy-to-apply stick comes in 40, and even has a special pigment intensifier in the darker tones to prevent them from looking ashy.
Despite the fact that one of these creamy concealers is sold every 12 seconds, the brand still took a little heat earlier this year for its then limited shade selection. Enter this expansion of 30 shades, with a variety of different undertones.
Launched earlier this month, there are 45 shades available of this long-lasting, mattifying formula, which is the most we’ve seen in a product at this price point.
Another prime example of shade expansion, this one was the result of a highly-anticipated collaboration with beauty and style influencer Jackie Aina, a long-time champion of diversity in the beauty industry. She worked directly with the brand to develop nine new colors of the hydrating, oil-free foundation, bringing the total up to 35.
One of the best-selling concealers — among both mass and prestige brands — doubled its shade range earlier this year, going from six to 12.