Found: The Best Drugstore Makeup Brands for WOC

Updated 01/28/18

It was no surprise that Fenty Beauty would be on the receiving end of a whole lot of love—it is RiRi’s debut makeup range, after all. However, the second slew of praise (and we think a far more credible claim) is down to the collection’s inclusive colourways. The 90-plus products have fantastic pigment payoff, whatever your skin tone. The only rub is that they still ring in at above £20 for a foundation.

Luckily the high street has been catching up and is finally beginning to cater for non-Caucasian complexions. From skin-illuminating foundations to eye shadows with intense colour payoff, no longer is it a necessity to pay over the odds for products that flatter and enhance black, Asian and Indian skin tones. Scroll down to discover the best drugstore makeup brands for women of colour.

Best for Foundation

L'Oréal Paris True Match Foundation $10
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To celebrate the new pigment combination and addition of oils to help assist with the glide-and-slide action over skin, L’Oréal Paris extended the shade line of its True Match foundation to 28 shades this year, including 12 options specifically catering to darker skin shades. Designed to flatter your skin’s undertone—whether it’s warm, neutral or cool—this foundation eradicates any ashy or white shadows on the skin, ensuring a natural finish.

Best for Concealer

B. Flawless Duo Concealer $7
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A double whammy, there are seven shades of concealer in Superdrug’s vegan makeup range, but you get two complementary tones in each palette. Use alone or blend together to eradicate dullness under and around eyes or cover imperfections. Creamy and hydrating, this concealer works just as well whether you use a brush or your fingers. Superdrug, you’ve impressed us.

Best for Eye Shadow

Topshop Smoke Stick $7
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Anything metallic looks gorgeous against dark skin, especially when it’s a cream base, as its more likely to create a block of iridescence (powder shadows have a tendency to leave more of a wash that gets lost after an hour or two). These crayons from Topshop blend so easily, and the shine factor is sky high. 

Best for Lipstick

Bourjois Rouge Velvet the Lipstick $9
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Matte lipsticks are great for staying power and creating a densely coloured coating that pops against darker skin tones. Containing a record number of pigments that appear suede-like once on, this range comes in 12 shades from simple nudes to intense scarlet reds and fuchsia pinks. The best bit is that they don’t feel heavy post–dry-down, and they really do stay in place.

Best for Eyeliner

Lottie London AM to PM Kohl Liner $4
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A good liner can make or break a look, and some kohl liners—dare we say it—just aren’t pigmented enough. These from Lottie London are super-soft with a gel-like finish that melts in so you can get right up to the lash line for an intense finish. As well as the rich black and brown shades, the teal Mermaid colour shouldn’t be overlooked: It makes the whites of the eyes look super bright.

Best for Lip Gloss

Rimmel Oh My Gloss! By Rita Ora $6
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Some colours just don’t cut it on darker skin, but that’s why Rita Ora’s collaboration with Rimmel is such a good one. Take the new Desire shade, a chocolatey brown with magenta undertones. It has high shine and colour payoff but can still pass as a nude, which is notoriously hard to find.

Best for Highlighter

Collection Speedy Highlighter $4
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Bear with us, there’s only one shade available in this, but it was developed under the brief of creating a suits-all-skin tones shade—and it does. With a pearlescent finish, the creamy base means it won’t dry skin out and the stick format makes it easy to strobe cheekbones, temples, brows and the upper lip.

Best for Blusher

Sleek Blush By 3 $10
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Sleek thrives on diversity and originality, which explains its extensive colour range. The trio of blusher palette is the perfect example. Gaining cult status on forums, the three shades can be worked into cheeks alone or mixed together for higher intensity. Powdery but still A-OK for layering with liquids and creams, the seven colour combinations give you the power to make your flush as understated or dramatic as you like.

Next up, skincare to suit all skin types.

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