- Find out which shade looks best on my skin tone
- Help my woc readers see the different shades offered for deeper skin tones
The main trouble with this foundation in terms of finding your shade is the packaging. For the most part, drugstore foundations have a clear packaging since you don’t have the ability to swatch like you do with high-end makeup. This packaging is almost a frosted plastic that morphs the true color into a muted shade that is difficult to differentiate.
The Color Range
Sadly, women of deeper skin tones (even women on the extreme opposite shade range) have a hard time finding a foundation that truly matches their skin. I mentioned running into this problem more recently with my hunt for a good concealer. Makeup brands have a tendency to jump from A to Z without realizing there are 24 other shades in between, all with varying undertones. L’Oreal did an excellent job with color selection in their True Match line, so it’s a little disappointing that this product didn’t expand in the same fashion. There are a total of 4 shades tailored towards deeper skin complexions, 3 of which are very very close to my own personal skintone:
- 109 Classic Tan
- 110 Creme Cafe
- 111 Soft Sable
- 112 Cocoa
Cocoa was the only one that I could clearly identify as not being my skintone, so I didn’t purchase that one; however, I do have swatches and impressions of the previous three below.
109 Classic Tan
Classic Tan is a warm golden brown. This shade is one that I thought would be my color based off the packaging, but upon application immediately recognized it was too orange. It swatches nicely on my hand, but my face is a different story. If needed, I could get away with wearing this when set with a cool-tone powder, but there’s a better match for me. In comparison with 110 and 111, 109 is the orange shade.
110 Creme Cafe
Based on the packaging, I thought this one would be too light for me. It even looked too light when tested on my hand, but my hands are darker than my face. Although the number is higher up than Classic Tan, somehow it looked like it was out of order. I was surprised by how well this shade matched my skin’s undertone. In comparison with 109 and 111, 110 is the neutral shade. If you’re undertone isn’t too heavily warm or too heavily cool, this may be your perfect match. I will say that I only saw this shade at Ulta, while the other two were more widely available.
111 Soft Sable
I recognized the name of this shade because it’s what I wore when L’Oreal True Match was my powder foundation of choice. Because of that connection, I was surprised this shade wasn’t my perfect match. (It’s actually a pretty spot on match for my hand, though.) This is another shade that I could wear if I needed to, but luckily there is a better match. In comparison with 109 and 110, 111 is the pink shade.
Which Shade is Right for Me?
As mentioned earlier, Creme Cafe is perfect for my skin tone. The undertone doesn’t sway too much one way or the other, it’s very neutral. I usually aim for a foundation that has a slightly yellow undertone which made me think Classic Tan would be my match, but it’s more on the orange side of yellow rather than olive. For reference, below are the shades I wear in various foundations:
- BareMinerals Matte Mineral Powder – Golden Tan
- BareMinerals Serum – Bare Maple
- Lancome Nude Miracle and Teint Idole – 450 Suede N
- L’Oreal True Match – C6 Soft Sable
- NARS Tinted Moisturizer – Seychelles
- MAC Sheer Pressed Powder – NC45 / NC50
- Revlon Colorstay – Caramel
I honestly really love this foundation. It is extremely good quality, especially considering the fact that it’s a drugstore foundation. I apply it with a Beauty Blender and I’m able to achieve medium to full coverage without it looking thick and more importantly, without the need to apply concealer. Blemishes and dark spots are covered with the foundation alone, so it saves on needing a separate concealer.
My skin type is combination oily and even I don’t have to initially apply a setting powder on top of the foundation. While I do get oily throughout the day, it’s not as widespread across my t-zone as it would be without the foundation. When I use L’Oreal Pro Matte, I’m able to apply it on its own and then use a translucent setting powder throughout the day after oil blotting sheets to keep the oil at bay.
Overal Rating and Recommendation
Overall, I give this foundation 5 out of 5 stars for quality, but 3 out of 5 in terms of color selection.
I recommend this foundation to anyone who can find a shade that matches their skintone and is looking for a mattifying foundation. My only wish is that L’Oreal would expand the color selection to fit a wider audience. While there are 4 shades geared towards WOC, 3 of the 4 are different undertones of my skintone so I feel like someone who is not quite my skintone but not the 112 Cocoa shade will have a problem color matching.
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