12 Best Foundations for South Asian Skin

Looking for the best foundation for South Asian skin? DESIblitz lists 12 perfect foundations, whilst looking at application, matte or dewy and long-wear.

12 best foundations for south asian skin f

The foundation claims to last 16 hours so it does have staying power

The beauty industry has had a history of lacking in colour match varieties for ethnic minorities, including South Asian skin-tones.

However, with the huge success of lines such as Fenty Beauty’s foundation and Huda Beuty, the industry now has started rolling out wider colour selections.

With this increase in choice, it can be difficult to filter out the flawless foundations from the sub-par.

Truly there is nothing worse than buying a new foundation to find it’s a dud.

Whether it sits in your laugh lines, oxidizes under your eyes and generally doesn’t suit your skin type.

Foundation shopping in itself can be confusing but it doesn’t have to be.

DESIblitz has compiled a list of 12 foundations which have proven to be favourites for South Asian skin types.

With each having their own unique factors which combine for a faultless application.

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation – £26


When Rhianna first announced she would be producing a makeup line, fans everywhere were hooked. It’s not the first time that a celebrity has entered the beauty game, Kylie Jenner became a mogul through her lip kit and palettes.

The world was curious to see how Fenty Beauty, would fare in this industry. When she launched her extremely inclusive line of foundations the makeup industry was shaken.

With 40 colours to select from, this line without a doubt is the best for colour match, especially for South Asian skin.

This line takes into account that we don’t all have red or pink undertones and applies this knowledge to give a smooth and natural looking foundation.

This foundation is a medium to buildable heavy coverage and is a foundation we recommend for the party seasons.

Pro Tip:

Although it is long-wear, we recommend setting with a good powder.

Huda Beauty Faux Filter Foundation – £32

huda beauty faux filter 12 best foundations - in article

Although pricier than Fenty, Huda Beauty’s Faux Filter Foundation is a godsend.  The Internet beauty sensation released her much-anticipated foundation and she did not disappoint.

This foundation line has six shades per colour section, Huda has five sections, ranging from fair to rich. Making a total of 30 shades to select from.

It’s clear to see that this foundation was made, with women of colour in mind, so the selection of caramel to brown tones is wide and friendly to South Asian skin tones.

This product is a heavy-set foundation and is definitely long-wear.

If you want a more dewy look, prep your skin with a few drops of highlighter in your moisturiser to give you a base that won’t set too matte.

We do, however, suggest setting the foundation with a setting spray to avoid creases in your laugh lines.

Pro Tip:

This foundation dries to a set texture, so quick application is required but a setting powder is not.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation – £33.50

estee lauder 12 best foundations - in article

Long established makeup brand, Estée Lauder has a surprisingly vast colour selection for their double wear foundation.

With 54 shades this brand has the widest selection in our list. A more mattifying foundation, Double Wear is a good day to day foundation option.

This product is medium to buildable coverage as well as being long-wear.

The mattifying effect means that although skin may not seem the most natural the colour match is seamless.

This product would be ideal for people with acne scars or discolouration.

Pro Tip:

We do suggest you use a hydrating primer to avoid a dryness or tight feeling when applying this foundation.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation – £42

girgio armani luminous silk 12 best foundations - in article

A favourite of many, the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is truly a faultless pick.

The selection covers 30 shades to pick from and their South Asian skin matches are sublime. Although slightly pricier, this formula applies truly like silk on the skin.

Its coverage is medium but it does wonders on combination skin and acne scarred skins.

Without setting powder it retains a dewy texture, however, if you prefer matte foundations, you need only set your makeup with a powder to attain that.

The recipe for this foundation boasts it being oil-free, with a Micro-fill trademarked technology. Meaning goodbye porous foundation looks, hello seamless application.

Pro Tip:

To avoid ‘cakey’ application, use sparingly, start with one pump and work from there as the coverage is strong.

Marc Jacobs Shameless Youthful 24 Hour Foundation – £32

Marc Jacobs Shameless Youth Foundation 12 best foundations - in article

Marc Jacobs has been very hit or miss for many makeup wearers previously. His previous lines distinctly had a limited colour selection.

However, he recently brought out this, Shameless Youthful 24 Hour Foundation line, with his highest selection of 29 colour matches.

Marc Jacobs said:

“The idea of Shameless and showing your true colours is being who you are, unapologetic and proud.”

The formula is medium to buildable, has a unique flashback free technology for photographs, is oil-free and self-setting.

It almost seems to good to be true, but this foundation truly does pack a punch. While also having warm and cool tones ready for South Asian skin tones to wear.

This foundation is long-wear and can be worn without setting powders or sprays.

Pro Tip:

If you are prone to oily-skin and plan to use this foundation for an event, do use a setting powder.

Mac Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation – £26

mac studio fix fluid 12 best foundations - in article

Mac is a beauty artist favourite as well as a go-to favourite for many women. Mac has even collaborated with South Asian makeup artist, Mickey Contractor and actress Padma Lakshmi.

The brand has always embraced diversity and inclusivity. It’s no shock that Mac’s Studio Fix Fluid Foundation is a favourite to South Asian women.

With 48 shade ranges within the fix fluid range, there is ample selection to suit South Asian skin tones.

This foundation also does wonders to minimise pores and with it’s medium to full coverage, it creates a smooth and clean look.

The perfect foundation for anyone who has scarring or those who prefer fuller foundation coverage.

Pro Tip:

The consistency of the foundation is slightly thick, add a few drops of a face oil to thin out if you prefer a thinner consistency.

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation – £6.99

Maybelline Fit Me foundation 12 best foundations - in article

This drug-store foundation took the internet by storm. Maybelline has always been a reliable and inexpensive alternative to high-end makeup products.

When they launched the Fit Me Foundation range, they produced 40 shade ranges.

Don’t judge this foundation based on its price-tag. This foundation gives the upscale makeup products a run for its money.

The formula contains blurring micro powders which create a matte and pore-less look.

It would be an ideal foundation for daytime makeup looks for all South Asian skin.

Pro Tip:

If you have normal or oily skin types, this foundation will be the best base for you.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation – £29

Born This Way Too Faced Foundation 12 Best Foundations - in article

Too Faced released their Born This Way Foundation and with 35 shades to chose from women with South Asian skin-tones are truly spoilt for choice.

The foundation is infused with coconut water and is oil-free. The foundation is thick in consistency but applies with a velvet-smooth consistency.

While the product claims to combat oily skin we would say this foundation fairs better with combination to dry skin types.

However, as an overall foundation, this helps minimise pores, photographs beautifully and with so many shades you will be sure to find a shade that matches.

Pro Tip:

If you have oily skin you will need a good setting powder to avoid shine in the day with this foundation.

NARS Radiant Longwear Foundation – £35

Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation 12 Best Foundations - In article

NARS‘ line has 33 total shades to select from. Inclusivity was the main aim of this line, with each shade being named with corresponding cities worldwide.

NARS wished to highlight how their brand was thinking globally about the needs of makeup consumers. India received a foundation title with the shade, ‘Punjab’.

This makeup line has a range of shades suited to South Asian honey tones to richer and darker tones.

NARS states:

“There’s longwear. And then there’s strongwear.”

The foundation claims to last 16 hours so it does have staying power.

The foundation itself is rich and creamy, it has specialist colour match technology within its formulation which will ensure for the perfect fit!

Pro Tip:

If you have an all-day event such as a wedding pair the foundation with a setting powder and spray you could push this time further.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation – £32

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation 12 Best Foundations - in article

Charlotte Tilbury, a makeup artist to the stars, Charlotte is infamous for her makeup line, be it the Magic cream or her Magic Foundation.

When she calls it magic, she means it. This foundation is lightweight, with a creamy texture which blends smoothly.

Despite being lightweight there is no compromising in coverage.

This foundation also aids in erasing pores and is the most natural looking foundation on the market. Despite there only being 20 shades, Charlotte did not skimp out when it came to colour inclusivity.

Six of the shades are fair, with the remaining 14 being split between medium and dark. Meaning more of the shades cater to South Asian skin tones and darker.

Pro Tip:

Tried and tested on acne scarred skin, this Foundation gives the most natural but strong coverage.

Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF15 – £32

Bobbi Brown skin long-wear weightless foundation 12 best foundations - in article

Another more natural foundation, Bobbi Brown has been in the makeup game since the 1980s and she paired with a Chemist when originally launching her makeup line.

While being light-weight and smooth to apply, this foundation provides full coverage. Which is surprising due to the natural texture this foundation gives.

The line has 30 shades to select from, which we are sure means that South Asian skin will have no problem in selecting a shade.

However, if you are ever unsure you can always consult a makeup expert at the stores where Bobbi Brown is available.

Pro Tip:

For best application use a nourishing primer and apply foundation with a beauty blender.

Dior Backstage Body and Face Foundation – £29

Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation 12 Best Foundations - in article

With 40 shades this is Dior’s most inclusive foundation shade range yet. It has multiple undertones ranging from beige and olive to beyond.

Meaning that there is a wide selection of shades suitable for South Asian skin tones.

This foundation has been noted to be lightweight but buildable.

The foundation itself has a serum-like consistency but has coverage to cover any undesired imperfections.

This foundation is waterproof and although it builds on the coverage, it still retains a skin-like application. Giving a glowing but natural finish.

Pro Tip:

This foundation has a light and natural application, if you desire fuller coverage don’t be afraid to layer up.

These 12 best foundations for South Asian skin will definitely help you discover what is available for your specific tone.

Having looked at the consistency, coverage and different skin types and issues women have, this list covers a range of foundations which are sure to suit a varied range of ethnic skin tones including South Asian.

Jasneet Kaur Bagri - Jas is a Social Policy graduate. She loves to read, write and travel; gathering as much insight into the world and how it works. Her motto derives from her favourite philosopher Auguste Comte, "Ideas govern the world, or throw it into chaos."

Images courtesy of Anchal MUA youtube, John Lewis, Selfridges and Cult Beauty websites.

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