The modern or should we say the millennial woman is always in search of more. We are always looking for new ways to look and feel like our best, brightest self. For some of us, makeup is a more than just a form of self-expression, it’s a way to empower yourself. For most Indian women, Kajal is one such product that we won’t leave the house without, for others, it’s a little bit of foundation. If you fall under the foundation category, finding your perfect shade is nothing less than a struggle. Women of colour know that one shade definitely doesn’t fit all and 8 shades are certainly not “all-inclusive”.
For the longest time, the beauty industry was plagued with brands releasing 6-8 shades of foundation claiming to be all-inclusive. Thankfully, with the launch of Rihanna’s brand Fenty Beauty, the industry acknowledged a need to change. Rihanna revolutionized the way brands catered to the diversity of skin tones. If you’re a woman of colour on either side of the spectrum, you would know how hard it is to find the right shade of foundation. Barring a few brands, most others didn’t really cater to women of colour. If you were too fair or too dark, chances are you wouldn’t find your perfect shade of foundation.
For years I’ve struggled with finding the right shade and ended up buying two colours and mixing and matching to suit me. Most brands cater to light, medium, beige and tan skin tones completely neglecting undertones and unique skin tones. There have however been a few brands that have catered to women of all colour, way before Fenty beauty came into play. Given the sheer diversity of unique skin tones in India and the rest of the world, more and more informed women lean towards brands that are inclusive and gender neutral. Here’s a list of inclusive beauty brands that will definitely help you find ‘your’ shade.
M.A.C has been a brand that’s been around since 1984. In 1998, the Estee Lauder group of companies acquired M.A.C and that’s when it started gaining popularity the world over. It’s one of the brands that is widely and easily available in India and has had a gender-neutral approach to beauty. In a world where brands tend to focus on women, M.A.C always stood out as a genderless brand. With close to 50 shades in studio fix line, M.A.C is constantly raising the bar. If you are willing to make the investment, we recommend the Studio Fix Foundation. It’s long wearing, has SPF and gives you a beautiful satin finish-full coverage. If you’re a woman of colour and shade matching seems like a task, M.A.C is definitely worth the investment.
POPxo Recommends: M.A.C Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 (Rs 2,500)
Estee Lauder’s cult favourite foundation, the Double Wear first launched in 1997. With over 50 shades, this iconic foundation has been a staple in many peoples kits. Everything about the Estee Lauder line right from the formula, the finish and the staying power remains unchanged. It doesn’t need to be set either so you can just apply it and be out the door, it also photographs beautifully without any flashback. If you live in a place that has humid weather or have oily skin, you’re going to love this one.
POPxo Recommends: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup With SPF 10 (Rs 3,300)
The brainchild of Rihanna, Fenty beauty created waves in the industry ever since it launched in 2017. The brand has paved the way for many others to follow suit and brought more inclusivity to makeup. The ethos of the brand is to create makeup for everyone and that’s exactly what her 40 shades of Fenty have done. The foundation line now offers 50 whopping shades. While getting your hands on Fenty in India is a struggle, look out for Instagram resellers or pick it up when you travel.
POPxo Recommends: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Foundation ($34)
Kryolan originates from Germany this brand is known for its makeup best suited for TV screens. The brand has limited availability across the country and can be found at local beauty stores and flagship stores. The pan stick foundation has been a staple in makeup artists kits across the entertainment industry, primarily because of the ability to cover and alter the skin entirely. The brand also makes some beautiful concealers and colour correctors but the heavier, studio line is definitely not designed for everyday wear.
POPxo Recommends: Kryolan Camouflage Cream Foundation (Rs 2,750)
A rather recent entrant to the makeup industry, PAC launched in 2002 and is an Indian brand! That’s what makes it perfectly suited for our olive Indian skin tones, pick it up on Amazon or Nykaa and you won’t be disappointed. From concealing to contouring you’ve got all your essentials. If you’re looking out for some affordable, long-lasting makeup tools – the brushes by the brand are to die for too!
POPxo Recommends: PAC HD Liquid Foundation (Rs 875)
A Parisian brand, Make Up For Ever was a brand launched for on-screen, photography and video use. The makeup is designed to look beautiful under HD cameras and harsh studio lights while giving your skin a flawless finish. The brand first launched in 1984 and has been available in India for the past couple of years. You can pick it up at Sephora or online and some of its iconic products are the Ultra HD Foundation and Setting Powder. With over 40 shades available in their Ultra HD range you do have a lot of options.
POPxo Recommends: MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Liquid Foundation (Rs 3,700)
NYX Cosmetics was founded in 1999 in California. It is one of the few drugstore brands (also available in India) that has a wide variety of makeup products that cater to all skin tones. While the brand’s presence is definitely bigger and more prominent in other countries, it is easily available in India at beauty stores as well as online. The brand also has a few flagship stores across the country that you can visit. The foundations cost between Rs. 700-1500. The brand’s international best selling foundation line is the NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop foundation that’s available in 45 awesome shades!
POPxo Recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation (Rs 1,250)
A cruelty-free British drugstore brand, makeup revolution retails in India at pretty affordable prices. Comparable to Maybelline and L’Oreal, Makeup revolution has a lot more for you to choose from. In terms of products, the brand is known to take its inspiration from cult-favourite beauty products and offer similar, more affordable solutions. There are 5 brands under the main umbrella that range across skincare and beauty. The foundations that retail in India have close to 18-20 shades in each line, while that’s not a lot of options, it’s a lot better than some drugstore counterparts.
POPxo Recommends: Makeup Revolution Fast Base Stick Foundation (Rs 850)
Smashbox is an American brand most well known and loved for its iconic photo finish primers. They have a whole range of primers meant to be used before foundation to give your skin that poreless, flawless finish! They also have a wide range of foundations under their Studio Skin line, the foundation is medium coverage and has a dewy, skin-like finish. Definitely, for the people who want to ace those no makeup, makeup looks.
POPxo Recommends: Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation (Rs 3,050)
When Instagram queen turned beauty mogul launched a range of makeup, you can be sure that everyone was buying! She translated her passion for beauty into a billion-dollar brand that’s not just inclusive but iconic. What started with a launch of false eyelashes and eyeshadow palettes, quickly transcended into foundations, concealers, setting powders and lipsticks. If you’re looking for some seriously full coverage makeup to cover up tattoos and scars, look no further. There are 30 shades of foundation, 20 shades of concealer and 8 shades of loose powder to help you perfect your base.
POPxo Recommends: Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation (Rs 2,990)
Becca as a brand has always been loved for its iconic highlighters. This is the brand that made highlighter that cult-favourite, must-have beauty buy. Becca has the largest range of highlighters for all skin types. The brand currently offers 10 different shades of highlighter so no matter what your skin tone, you can be sure you’re going to have those poppin’ selfies.
POPxo Recommends: Becca – Glow On The Go Kit – Champagne Pop (Rs 2,000)
Featured Image: Fenty Beauty on Instagram
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