THE best method when buying foundations is a lot like any sensible approach to a new relationship: ‘never settle’. If it’s too light or too dark then don’t buy it. There is no room for error when you’re matching your makeup to your skin tone (God forbid we continue to suffer from 'grey face').
The 'new nude' is here
Yet finding your perfect match can be difficult for some skin tones, with many major brands struggling to provide a diverse selection of shades. Settling for a foundation that is ‘close enough’ has been the only option for those with very pale or dark skin for a long time.
And the call for diversity in beauty doesn't just begin and end with a well-matched foundation - what about nude tights, nail polish, lipsticks, heels, bras and thongs, plasters that come in any other colour than ubiquitous beige? One shade of nude most certainly doesn't fit all.
But there’s been promising news of late.
At the close of 2016, Body Confidential predicted the New Year would see a more inclusive fashion and makeup industry, from more male spokesmodels to an expanded range of shades including the fairest and darkest skin tones.
We were right. The 'new nude' is here. 2017 will see many top name brands adding more shades to their foundations and nude makeup collections. Fashion brands are also following suit with tailored nude clothing.
Here are our favourites:
GEN NUDE BY BARE MINERALS | 40 NUDE LIP COLOURS
To answer the question of just how many shades of nude there are, Bare Minerals would like to guess something the in the ballpark of 40 shades. The champions of natural makeup have just launched their extensive GEN Nude collection. Nude lips come in four different formulas – matte, lip gloss, lipstick and liner – all in pretty variations of pinkish and brown tones. Bare Minerals also teased to be launching a new tinted moisturiser in the next few weeks.
Bare Minerals; GEN Nude lip colours from £17
NUBIAN SKIN | HOSIERY AND LINGERIE FOR DARKER SKINTONES
Founder of Nubian Skin, Ade Hassan, created her lingerie with the aim to redefine ‘a different kind of nude’. Launched in 2014, the brand has gone from strength to strength allowing women of colour to wear lingerie that blends with their skin tone (and doesn’t show up white blouses). It’s revolutionised the lingerie market, with more brands realising that diversifying nude tones means more customers. For consumers of colour, it means being able to go nude without having to actually get naked.
Nubian Skin; Bras from £14
L’ORÉAL TRUE MATCH FOUNDATION | 23 NEWLY FORMULATED FOUNDATIONS
By now you'll probably have seen L'Oreal's celebrated TV advert, featuring the likes of top bloggers and TV personalities such as Cheryl Cole. It sees a colour chart of 23 women and men, all of different backgrounds, wearing their ideal foundation. By far, the advert is one the most overt expressions of diversity we’ve seen from the beauty industry. L’Oréal True Match foundation also claims to match 98% of skin tones – from the fairest to the darkest. That’s a huge claim. Offering full coverage, try one of the 23 newly formulated foundations containing shade enhancers for matching precision.
Available online or at various department stores; True Match foundation costs £9.99
KAHMUNE | TEN NUDE HIGH HEELS
Kahmune is making headlines of late. Created by entrepreneur Jamela Acheampong, the British shoe brand has launched ten heels in custom nude shades for all skin tones - a major triumph - named after cities from Edinburgh to Rio to Juba. Each shoe can be matched up with a MAC foundation colour; for instance ‘Juba,' the darkest, flatters MAC NW58. It’s a clever move - although the heels are pricey, coming in at around £200 - £250.
Kahmune launches early 2017
CONTROL DROP FOUNDATION BY NYX COSMETICS | 24 NEW SHADES
Oh, we do love NYX. With quality formulas and affordable prices, the popularity of this brand has grown exponentially in recent years. We’ve seen NYX expand its concession in various major department stores from Boots to Selfridges and an extended makeup is to follow. Launching in the UK soon (date TBC) the ‘cosmetic control drop foundation’ will come in 24 different shades, and the formulas are said to be worthy of a mention too. Great for buildable coverage, the drop applicator allows you to control how much you apply.
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN | NUDE NAIL POLISHES, BALLET FLATS AND STILETTOS
Where fashion designers lead, other brands tend to follow. Which is why Christian Louboutin’s move to design nude heels and ballet flats for all skin tones has been a major influencing move for the fashion industry. Louboutin’s signature nude heels, including the ever popular Pigalle Follies (£455), now span ‘porcelain’ to ‘deep chocolate’ tones and the designer’s beauty collection has also received a ‘new nude’ update. The Simple Nude nail polishes (£38) are said to help elongate your fingers and, with ten varied shades, will complement every skin tone.
STICK FOUNDATION BY ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS | 30 NUDE SHADES
In the world of beauty blogging and YouTubing, Anastasia Beverly Hills makeup is a holy grail. And yet the luxury makeup brand only released its widely-celebrated stick foundation last year. There are 30 shades in this collection, suitable for the ‘very fair skin with cool undertones’ to ‘deep skin with neutral undertones’. They say it’s a highly pigmented, buildable foundation that leaves a matte finish.
Anastacia Beverly Hills; Stick foundation costs $25, international shipping
TRU-COLOR BANDAGES | SKIN TONE SPECIFIC PLASTERS
Like many good business ideas, Tru-Color Bandages was started after its founder stumbled upon a very noticeable gap in the market. It was when covering his adopted son’s cut that Tony Meisenhamer realised plasters – coming in the usual beige, tan and cream colours - didn’t conceal the injuries on brown skin like they are supposed to. Toby launched Tru-Color Bandages in response. It’s a wonderful idea and one that drives home the message for a more ethnically sensitive consumer market.
Tru-Colour Bandages; Plasters cost $6, international shipping
LANCOME TEINT IDOLE FOUNDATION | 40 SHADES INCLUDING 5 NEW DARKER TONES
Earlier this year, Lancôme added five darker shades to its already 35-strong Teint Idole foundation line-up. Wearers can benefit from an oil-free, long-wear formula that gives a ‘complexion-perfection’ coverage.
Available online or at various department stores; Teint Idole foundation costs £30
Cover FX has all bases covered. Not only is the brand’s makeup vegan and customisable, it boasts 40 inclusive foundation shades. Try the oil-free Natural Finish foundation for a radiant ‘second skin' finish.
Available online or at various department stores; Foundations from £34