UK vs US: Which Country Offers The Widest Selection of Foundation Shades?

As a woman with a skin tone darker than beige, I know the perils of finding a foundation that actually matches my face, without making me looking like I’ve either put on fake tan or been taken ill.

Scouring up and down the makeup aisles with a wrist full of swatches, the desperation sinks in when you realise that the shades jump from sun-kissed beige to mahogany brown.

I don’t know if this is just a problem that’s unique to me as a bit of a novice to the makeup scene, or to other women in the UK, so I’ve had a look at the high street retailers, Superdrug and Boots, and well-known brands to investigate.


The darkest shade available in the UK for Maybelline’s ‘Superstay Better Skin’ foundation is ‘Fawn’ which is just a slightly tanned beige colour. Superdrug doesn’t stock the foundation, but Boots stocks the whole range of similar-looking shades.

As you can see, there’s not one shade for anyone darker than a slightly tanned peach. Yet, looking at Target (a US department store) they have the exact same foundation, but in SIXTEEN different shades.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next up is Maybelline’s Fit Me Foundation range which carries eighteen shades. This range is a lot better as it includes dark skin tones, my only issue is that there are either pale tones or dark tones, which is tricky for people like me who are in between the two. In contrast the US version offers twenty three shades, including medium shades!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Disappointingly the Bourjois ‘Healthy Mix Serum’ foundation range only carries six shades, which are all just slightly different shades of beige. The darkest shade is ‘Beige Fonce’ which leaves a huge number of people in the UK who have deeper skin tones. I couldn’t find Bourjois at a US retailer to compare it with so this must be all of the shades that they offer.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


L’Oreal’s ‘Infallible Total Cover’ foundation is stocked in seven shades in Boots, Light sand nude, Porcelain, Natural Rose, Golden Sand, Golden Beige, Amber and Cappuccino. However Superdrug only stocks six of the shades, leaving out Cappuccino – the darkest skin tone available.

The good thing about this range is that there are a couple of shades that cater to medium skin tones, which can be seen on the Superdrug page, but it’s not acceptable to leave out those with skin darker than that – they still exist! Although the packaging is different, Target offers eleven different tones but unfortunately, like Superdrug, doesn’t carry the Cappuccino shade.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Though, L’Oreal must be applauded for their campaign for L’Oreal true match because they’ve even created a chart to show where each ethnicity lies on the colour chart. This is great for people who are unsure of which shade to buy or if it caters for their skin tone at all – and it includes everyone!


Lets hope that other beauty companies follow the lead in making every skin tone available in their ranges in the UK. It’s so disheartening when you want to try out a new foundation which doesn’t cater for you, the UK needs to follow in America’s lead in diversifying the shades available!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: