Friday, April 8, 2016

The Art Of Developing Darker Foundation Shades



Mismatched shades, dull finishes, wasted money… The search for that elusive foundation that perfectly matches your skin tone is ridden with costly mistakes and frustrated hopes. While Caucasian women at least have plenty of options to experiment with, it's incredibly hard to find foundation ranges that cater to women of color. 

Why Developing Darker Foundation Shades Is An Art 

Although the dearth of high quality dark foundation shades is often blamed on laziness, developing deeper foundation shades is in truth somewhat of a complex art form. Not only is the range of skin tones incredibly vast, darker skin tones have varying undertones on different parts of the face

Typically, the chin and nose areas, as well as the borders of the face, have deep blue to brown undertones. Along the nose, across the top of the cheeks (just under the eyes), and in the middle of the forehead, the undertones are lighter, have shades of gold, copper, brownish red, and a pearlescent finish. This makes it a challenge to create the perfect color range. 




Unsatisfying Solutions 

A solution adopted by many women of color is to apply two or more shades of foundations on different areas of the face. But, this technique leaves a lot to be desired. Not only is the process complicated and time-consuming, but the results are often far from natural

It’s partly because traditional foundations are often formulated with cheap pigments and fillers that often result in a one-dimensional, matte finish. This finish dulls the envious natural glow of women with darker skin tones. 

New Generation of Ethnic Foundations

What’s necessary are foundation shades that use a unique blend of colors to fit the varying undertones of darker skin tones. This requires a completely new range of pigment blending techniques and skills from those needed to create traditional shades that cater to Caucasian skin. 

The formulator must craft complex layers of high and low light hues for each shade in order to achieve a multi-dimensional palette that can closely match the high and low lights found in darker complexions. When done correctly, foundation will look natural, like second skin. 

Another trick is to limit the use of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These coloring agents are widely used in base cosmetic products because they allow formulators to create a wide range of light and dark shades. But, when used too generously, they have the unsightly tendency to give darker skin tones that dreaded ashy grey look that dulls the complexion.



When formulating for darker skin tones, it's also essential to use both matte and reflective pigments. The right balance ensures skin to emanate a subtle radiance that makes it look as if it’s glowing from within. The quality of these pigments matters, too. High-quality, healthy pigments even if a little pricier should always be the top choice to develop a product that doesn't compromise neither on performance nor safety. 

These are the main lessons we've learned when formulating our VELLUTO Pure Powder Foundation. By experimenting with pigments and playing with undertones, we were able to finally create a range of shades that complement all the different hues naturally present in the skin and adapt to a wide array of skin tones. The final shades offered deliver the most natural and radiant finish that is rare to find in the ethnic foundation market before, especially in the natural makeup world. 

Our Hope 

We strive to make it a lot easier for women of color to finally find the perfect foundation match and hope to inspire more brands, especially those with conscious ingredient formulations, to accommodate the needs of all women across the globe.