4 Indie Beauty Brands Covering Multicultural Skin

Courtesy of Brand

Riding the wave of inclusivity, these brands developed foundations to suit a range of skin tones and types, with something for everybody.

Nude no more. Mented, Orce, Hue Noir and A.P.D.G. are changing the beauty industry with inclusive shading and hues for all skin tones and types. Makeup artists, take note on how to find the best match for all clients on set. 

1. Mented

About It: Short for "pigmented," Mented debuted in 2017, the brainchild of two Harvard Business School friends who lamented the difficulty of finding an ideal nude lipstick to suit their skin tones. The brand grew to include eyes, nails, accessories, tools and 16 foundation shades.

Why It’s Worthy: Many of the available foundations for women of color focused on mattifying and pore-minimizing. But founders KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson wanted an everyday foundation that was breathable, hydrating and buildable. The resulting formula is a lightweight stick infused with ingredients like aloe leaf to feel silky on skin. For women with oil-prone skin, a mattifying primer is recommended first.

Mented SKIN by Mented foundation stick; $30, at mentedcosmetics.com.

2. Orcé

About It: Launched in February of this year, Orcé was created for Asian complexions in six light, medium and dark shades.

Why It’s Worthy: Specifically formulated for Asian skin, the foundation tackles common concerns such as hyperpigmentation, sensitivity, oiliness and water loss with hyaluronic acid, Tahitian pearls and antioxidants. Jamie Chung and Gemma Chan have worn the foundation and celebrity makeup artists Fiona Stiles, Troy Jensen and makeup department head on The Gifted, Jenny Lin, are using it as well.

Orcé Cosmetics Come Closer Skin Perfecting Foundation; $89, at orcecosmetics.com.

3. Hue Noir

About It: Seeing a need for better foundations for multicultural women and also a way to fuse her chemistry background with her love of makeup, Paula Hayes founded Hue Noir in 2009. Since launching the foundation two years ago, the brand has seen it grow to a top seller.

Why It’s Worthy: Available in 25 shades, this foundation is hypoallergenic and won’t clog pores, making it especially good for oily or sensitive skin. The long-lasting, mattifying formula can be worn minimally for a bit of concealing or layered for full-face coverage.

Hue Noir True Hues Flawless Finish Foundation; $20, at huenoir.com.

4. A.P.D.G.

About It: A.P.D.G. (Alquemie Product Development Group) started as a niche brand in 2015 for tattoo cover-up and also for dance teams needing makeup with staying power. After social media exposure, consumers began clamoring for its sweat- and water-resistant “pigments” that can be worn as foundation or on the body, eyes or lips.

Why It’s Worthy: The pigments are currently available in 40 shades, with more slated to launch this year in a further variety of undertones, making this one of the most tone-varied brands on the market. (Sampler packs are available to buy to find an ideal shade.) Founder Rhonda M. Davis says the long-lasting products “work wonders” for oiliness and shine and recommends the cream pigments for those with drier skin. Because the pigments can last several days, they are ideal for hot, humid climes, “entertainers who need products that perform under extreme measures” and for “special effects artists for looks that can last throughout multiple takes,” says Davis. The brand also sells makeup-remover wipes and will launch a cleanser this year.

A.P.D.G. Longwear Liquid Pigment; $18, at apdg.co.