Foundation shade ranges may be (thankfully, finally) becoming far more wider, but the variety of undertones aren't always taken into account — especially for those with golden undertones. For Arshia Moorjani, an Indian-American beauty expert, it's still a struggle to find a foundation hue that matches her skin tone, which she considers to be towards the medium-dark end of the spectrum. "Most foundations on the market are too pink," Moorjani tells Allure, "so when I apply them, they make me look very gray." Others often overcorrect the problem by adding too much yellow pigment for the shades offered to medium skin tones. "They're too yellow to the point where you almost start to look green and a little sick," Moorjani adds. Taking this into account, whenever she finds a foundation that looks natural and matches her skin tone, she thinks of it as a win. We asked her to share what exactly those foundation wins are, and she delivered recommendations for seven foundations that she finds are best for medium skin tones. She adds, "I find these brands to be, overall, super-inclusive — not just for my skin tone, but also for people who are darker than I am and way lighter than me as well."
L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro‑Matte Foundation
Among the 22 shades the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro‑Matte Foundation comes in, Moorjani reaches for Caramel Beige. (By the way, she knew this shade, as well as the color she uses for every other foundation on this list, off the top of her head.) "Drugstore foundations tend to be on the pinkier side," she says. "But L'Oréal is one of the few inclusive drugstore brands with a yellow, golden undertone."
Just as its name suggests, the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro‑Matte Foundation gives skin a shine-free finish that staves off oil all day long. If you like a dewier finish, Moorjani also loves the brand's Infallible Pro‑Glow Foundation, which comes in about half as many shades. Caramel Beige happens to be included in that lineup, though.
$9 (Shop Now)
Maybelline New York Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation
Moorjanni's must-have from Maybelline New York's Fit Me Foundation collection is the Dewy + Smooth one in 240 Golden Beige. "The Maybelline New York Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation is super natural on skin," she explains. "It's yellow without being too yellow." With that in mind, it makes her complexion look healthy and radiant instead of jaundiced. The gel-like formula is also spiked with SPF 18 to keep your skin protected from UV rays. Don't worry, it won't leave your skin looking chalky, though.
$4 (Shop Now)
Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation
The incredibly lightweight and hydrating Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation is another favorite of Moorjani's because its undertones tend to appear on the neutral side on her complexion. Her go-to shade is Syracuse, which is also referred to as Medium Dark 1. "The color match is amazing," Moorjani says. "It literally looks like second skin. It doesn't even look like I'm wearing any makeup."
$49 (Shop Now)
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Foundation
Moorjani believes the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Foundation hype as much as the next person. Among its notably wide complexion selection, the ones labeled 310, which has warm undertones, and 330, which has specifically yellow-toned warm undertones, work best for Moorjani. "It's so natural on the skin," she says. "And I love how much attention they paid to undertones."
Application tip: The matte formula dries down fast, so only dab it onto areas of your face that you can blend out right away with a damp Beautyblender. Once it's set, it will last you the rest of the day without any need for touch-ups.
$34 (Shop Now)
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay‑in‑Place Makeup
Among the extensive shade selection of the Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay‑in‑Place Makeup, Moorjani loves 4W1 Honey Bronze on her complexion. "Its undertone is very, very golden yellow, so it blends in so seamlessly on my skin," she explains. Its serum-like texture also helps the foundation melt into skin and give it medium to full coverage, depending on how much you use.
$42 (Shop Now)
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation
At select Nordstroms around the U.S., Lancôme offers a custom foundation-making service that Moorjani highly recommends. After scanning your skin with a shade-matching device, "They have this insane machine that spits out five different colors, like yellow, red, blue, black, and white," she explains. "They mix it up, and it matches perfectly." You can also decide what kind of coverage and finish you want your custom foundation to have, too.
For those who don't have the color-matching innovation near them, Moorjani suggests trying the Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation in 415 Bisque W. Its natural-looking matte finish is suitable for all skin types and works with your skin's pH to ensure that it keeps you covered for up to 24 hours.
$47 (Shop Now)
Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation
Each of the 40 shades in Dior's Backstage Face & Body Foundation is numbered from 0 to 9, with Moorjani's go-to hue falling at 4. (It's 4 Warm Olive, to be exact.) The other hues numbered 4 include Cool, Neutral, Warm, Peach. She loves this foundation, in particular, when she needs her makeup to stay put all day long. On a hot, sweaty summer day, Moorjani swears the sweat-resistant formula lasted for 12 hours of wear.
$40 (Shop Now)
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