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The Best Foundations for Asian Skin Tones

Say goodbye to orange streaks and pink casts.

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Rosdiana CiaravoloGetty Images

The art of foundation matching is harder than it looks. As an Asian woman, I can attest to how hard it is to find a formula that fits your skin tone to a T. Although a handful of brands have recently diversified their shade ranges, Asian skin still tends to be something that many brands don’t quite nail when it comes to foundation. Some brands still operate under the assumption that all Asians have the same skin tone (very much not true).

It all boils down to your undertone. Here’s a quick breakdown: Whether you’re fair or dark or somewhere in between, you could carry warm or cool undertones to your skin. While people with cool undertones have a pink or blue hue to them, people with warm undertones carry yellow or olive hues to their skin. Most Asian women have strong yellow or golden undertones, so the key is finding a formula that doesn’t look too orange, pink, red, or ashen.

In any case, remember that not all Asian skin is created equal. You might even want to mix a couple shades to create the perfect blend. But after many botched trials, demarcation lines, and freaky oxidation mishaps, I can tell you that these are the top foundations I've found for Asian skin tones.

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1 Come Closer Foundation
Orce Cosmetics orcecosmetics.com
$89.00

One of the only brands out there creating foundation formulated with Asian skin in mind, Orce Cosmetics was created to fill the blank space that exists in mainstream American/European beauty houses, and even many K- and J-beauty brands (they tend to only create foundations for snow-white skin tones). Orce offers six shades specifically formulated with different Asian undertones, from light ivory to deep caramel. 

2 Touche Eclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation
Yves Saint Laurent sephora.com
$54.00

This foundation is my holy grail staple; I consider it liquid gold in a bottle. With a whopping 30 shades to choose from, half of which are golden-yellow undertones, you’re bound to find one that matches your skin tone. The antioxidant-infused formula imparts a natural finish for that I-woke-up-like-this glow. 

3 All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
NARS sephora.com
$49.00

There’s nothing worse than the feeling of product seeping into your pores. This one feels so light that you’ll forget you have any makeup on. 

4 Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
Makeup Forever sephora.com
$43.00

With a formula that’s 80 percent water, this feels like nothing on and gives skin a dewy glow. Don’t let the runny consistency throw you—once it’s buffed in, it won’t budge.

5 Stay Naked Weightless Foundation
Urban Decay sephora.com
$39.00

Prevent shine with a breathable blend that evens out skin tone. The finished texture won’t look like you have foundation on; it’ll just look like you were blessed with poreless skin.

6 Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation SPF 30
Shiseido sephora.com
$47.00

Want post-vacation luminosity? This formula’s elastic-polymer technology fights makeup’s enemies: oil, humidity, and creasing caused by facial movements.

7 Dream Urban Cover Flawless Coverage Foundation SPF 50
Maybelline ulta.com
$12.99

This liquid is packed with antioxidants that protect against pollution, plus it reduces the look of dark spots and boasts SPF 50 to stop more pigmentation from developing.

8 Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation
BECCA sephora.com
$44.00

Becca’s foundation has enough pigment to mask redness and smooth out bumpy skin. Its long-wear, water-resistant formula means there’s no need to reapply throughout the day.

9 Blur Liquid Matte Foundation
Milk Makeup sephora.com
$40.00

You can’t shrink pores, unfortunately, but this blurring base is the next best thing. Infused with powder-filled microspheres that diffuse light, it renders pores nearly invisible.

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