5 Best Foundations for Brown Skin

Not long ago, foundation shades came in three, at most four colors, usually named Fair, Light, Medium and Dark. Thankfully, those days are long gone.

Cosmetic manufacturers like Maybelline and Lancôme now have impressive shade ranges for brown skin tones, which run from light beige (MAC NC25) to deep dark (MAC NC50).

If your skin tone falls between that range, check out these 5 best foundations for brown skin tones.

The 5 Best Foundations for Brown Skin Tones

1. Maybelline Fit Me foundation

Maybelline fit me sun beige 310
Model is wearing the shade Sun Beige 310 (NC40 equivalent).

Maybelline Fit Me foundations consistently rank as one of our site’s most popular foundations because of its wide shade range and affordability ($3.15!).

It comes in 2 different formulations: Matte + Poreless for oily skin, and Dewy + Smooth for dry skin.

Want to learn more? Check out our reviews of Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless and Fit Me Dewy + Smooth.

2.   Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation

Fenty Pro FIlt’r Soft Matte foundation has an impressive shade range for very light to deep dark skin tones.

Fenty is often hailed as the gold standard for shade inclusivity, and they certainly deserve it. The Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation has 50 different shades ranging from very light to deep dark.

The drawback is this stuff isn’t cheap. At almost ten times the price of Maybelline Fit Me foundation ($3.15 vs $38), Fenty’s price range is, unfortunately, not inclusive for many. Regardless, if don’t mind the price tag, Fenty is worth a look.

3.  L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Liquid Foundation

Another drugstore standout for brown skin tones is L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable liquid foundation. With 45 shades and a low price point (under $5), this is one impressive foundation you ought to check out.

There are 20 different shades just for medium and dark skin tones, and these come in 3 different undertones: cool, warm and neutral.

4. Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte Foundation

500 Suede W is a good match for rich brown skin tones (around NC50).

If you need a longwearing formula for your toughest days, be sure to check out one of Lancôme’s top selling products, the Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte foundation.

With 50 shades and a formula that endures under the most challenging conditions (think high heat and humidity), this is a great foundation to splurge on.

It’s excellent for special occasions like weddings and events where you need to look flawless all day.

Check out our review of the Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte foundation to learn more.

5. Estée Lauder Double Wear



Model is wearing Estée Lauder Double Wear in 6W1, Sandalwood, a MAC NC50 equivalent.

The Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation is a longwearing foundation that comes in 56 different shades, many of which are for medium to dark skin tones.

Model is wearing shade 4W1 Honey Bronze, a MAC NC40 equivalent.

This foundation provides matte, full coverage that lasts all day, even on oily skin. Wonderful for events where you’ll be photographed and need to look flawless.

Check out our review of the Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation to learn more.

Find Your Foundation Match

Our complete list of foundation matches for all skin tones can be found here.

List of foundation matches for brown skin tones

For warm, neutral and olive skin tones:

NC15 Foundation Matches
light beige with golden undertone for light skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NC15.

NC15 to NC20 Foundation Matches
If NC15 is too light for you and NC20 is too dark for you, these foundation shades might suit you.

NC20 Foundation Matches
light beige with neutral golden undertone for light skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NC20.

NC20 to NC25 Foundation Matches
If NC20 is too light for you and NC25 is too dark for you, these foundation shades might suit you.

NC25 Foundation Matches
light beige with golden peach undertone for light skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NC25.

NC30 Foundation Matches
light to medium beige with golden undertone for light to medium skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NC30.

NC30 to NC35 Foundation Matches
If NC30 is too light for you and NC35 is too dark for you, these foundation shades might suit you.

NC35 Foundation Matches
light to medium beige with peachy golden undertone for medium skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NC35.

NC35 to NC40 Foundation Matches
If NC35 is too light for you and NC40 is too dark for you, these foundation shades might suit you.

NC40 Foundation Matches
medium beige with golden peach undertone for medium skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NC40.

NC40 to NC42 Foundation Matches
If NC40 is too light for you and NC42 is too dark for you, these foundation shades might suit you.

NC42 Foundation Matches
true medium beige with golden undertone for medium skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NC42.

NC44 Foundation Matches
tanned caramel with golden undertone for medium to dark skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NC44.

NC44 to NC45 Foundation Matches
If NC44 is too light for you and NC45 is too dark for you, these foundation shades might suit you.

NC45 Foundation Matches
bronze with golden undertone for dark skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NC45.

NC45 to NC50 Foundation Matches
If NC45 is too light for you and NC50 is too dark for you, these foundation shades might suit you.

NC50 Foundation Matches
rich brown with golden undertone for deep dark skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NC50.

For cool skin tones:

NW15 Foundation Matches
light beige with neutral undertone for light skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NW15.

NW15 to NW20 Foundation Matches
If NW15 is too light for you and NW20 is too dark for you, these foundation shades might suit you.

NW15 to NC20 Foundation Matches
Neutral when pale but golden/yellow when tanned
If NW15 is too light for you and NC20 is too dark for you, these foundation shades might suit you.

NW20 Foundation Matches
warm neutral beige with rosy undertone for light to medium skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NW20.

NW25 Foundation Matches
rosy beige with rosy undertone for light to medium skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NW25.

NW25 to NW30 Foundation Matches
If NW25 is too light for you and NW30 is too dark for you, these foundation shades might suit you.

NW45 Foundation Matches
medium mahoghany with rosy undertones for medium to dark skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NW45.

NW47 Foundation Matches
deep auburn with neutral undertones for dark skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NW47.

NW50 Foundation Matches
rich coffee with neutral undertone for dark skin
Try these foundation shades if you are matched to NW50.

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