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Featured 12 May
10 best foundations for dark skin
10 best foundations for dark skin

Finding a foundation that you love is often the holy grail of make-up buying. It can take a long time to find the perfect shade and finish for you, but for years, this was even harder for those of us with dark skin.

Often brands would only offer two or three dark shades, which were supposed to cater to Asian, mixed heritage, Middle Eastern and black skin tones all at the same time.

When companies did offer dark shades, they would often be too orange, too red or look ashy, flat and muddy on the skin, neglecting the diverse range of undertones that foundations should cater to. The old excuse given major brands was that they didn't believe that there was a large or affluent enough market in the UK to warrant developing foundation shades for all.

Many major companies still don’t offer enough shades, but in 2017, Rihanna revealed her make-up line, Fenty Beauty, with diversity at the very heart of the brand. It launched its first foundation with an inclusive range of 50 shades, causing what's known as "the Fenty effect", forcing the industry to face its own failures in diversity.

The black pound and dollar helped the brand make $72m and proved that there was a hungry and underrepresented market for foundation for dark skin tones.

The last few years has seen an explosion in diversity and choice with other brands jumping on the diversity bandwagon.

We have looked for the very best when it comes to finish – whether you love glowy or matte skin.

We also tested different formulas such as powder, liquid or stick foundations, as well as how the foundation feels on the skin. Here are our favourites.

We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

This new foundation is Bobbi Brown’s first ever liquid to powder foundation, which self-sets for a soft matte finish. The weightless formula feels great when applied and wears nicely. Despite being infused with 15 per cent powders, it doesn't leave your skin feeling dry and cakey, which makes it a great option for people who usually stay away from matte formulas for this very reason. It gave a natural and polished look to the skin, feeling comfortable and lasting all day long. Available in 28 shades.

This new lightweight foundation gives 16 hours of fade resistant wear with a whisper light texture. The neutral undertone of the foundation gave the skin a soft glow without looking too orange or red. Raspberry, apple and watermelon extracts also help to improve skin smoothness. This is great for a natural fresh dewy finish. Available in 33 shades.

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https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/fashion-beauty/make-up/best-foundation-dark-skin-black-tone-makeup-liquid-powder-a9476056.html

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Featured 12 May
Fashion & Beauty
Fashion & Beauty

Gel nail polish has been around since the Eighties, but it is really in the last decade that the treatment has been making significant waves in the industry. A key player in the rise of the gel manicure is the home kit, which is improving year-on-year.

They offer a great alternative to those unable to justify spending at least £25 on a new set of nails every month – plus the extra £10 to have them removed once they chip.

Nail artist and author Sophie Harris-Greenslade, whose Instagram page The Illustrated Nail has over 73.9k followers, says: “When applying each layer of base coat, gel colour polish and top coat, always remember to seal the tip of the nail aka ‘the free edge’ with a slick of gel polish as this is where it chips the most. You should always apply your gel in thin, even coats as if you apply too much it can bubble under the lamp and look unsightly. It’s also more likely to last when not applied too thickly.”

The removal process needs to be equally as thorough. Harris-Greenslade urges people never to pick the gel from the nail as it can cause long-lasting damage. Instead, she suggests soaking the nails for 30 minutes in nail polish remover on cotton pads wrapped in foil, which adds a little pressure and traps heat to help the polish dissolve faster. Normal nail polish remover will work, but some kits provide acetone, which is stronger and more effective.

The kits on our list were all tested by women aged 20- to 60-years-old over a period of three weeks. Ease of use, quality of polish and long-lasting results were the focus. While the results were good, with gel mostly staying glossy and in tact for between two and three weeks, do not expect the finish to be as refined as a salon manicure or pedicure. Nail novices will need to practise at least ten times before achieving a decent finish.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice.This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Bluesky & Mylee are both tried and tested salon brands that have collaborated to produce this kit, suitable for both professionals and home users. It comes with four Bluesky gel polishes, as well as top coat, base coat, LED lamp, remover, lint-free wipes to clean the nails without leaving behind any fibres and the Prep & Wipe fluid sanitises the nail plate and assists the adhesion of the gel colour to your nail plate.

Of all the kits, this provides the best finish in terms of the quality of the nail varnish colour and the overall shine. The instructions are incredibly easy to follow and the LED lamp is by far the most superior, with three timer settings – 15, 30 and 60 seconds – and enough width – 20.5cm – for extra wide feet to fit comfortably. The best feature is the convex curing technology, which allows all five fingers to be treated together thus saving more time.

Once the nails are buffed and prepped, the base coat, colour and top coat can be applied, requiring just 15 seconds each under the lamp, before the sticky top layer is removed with the prep and wipe fluid. The four colours – nude, pink, red, black –suit most people’s preferences and result in a glossy, thick finish that stays looking good for three weeks. The kit also comes with removal liquid and pads.

The only downside is that you can’t use regular polish, but you can take your pick of any gel nail brand from Shellac to Gelish and OPI as they are all compatible with this kit.

Cited as the world’s first home gel manicure kit, Red Carpet Manicure is one of the leading brands in the gel nail world. The great thing about this starter set is they have really thought to include everything, right down to the cotton on foil removal wraps and cuticle oil. The process is straightforward – the nail is cleaned with RCM prep fluid, then a layer of base coat gel is cured under the LED lamp for 30 seconds.

The kit comes with an elegant pink nude called Creme de la Creme, which is then applied and cured for 45 seconds each time (the colour is quite light so looks best when applied with three coats). The top coat is the final stage, which cures for 45 seconds, before the RCM purify cleanser removes the sticky layer. Cuticle oil helps recreate that salon finish. The result is high-shine and glossy nails which will last for just under three weeks, but be careful – if you don’t seal the nail edge with a top coat you are at risk of the polish peeling off, which happened to us.

The LED lamp is a decent 10cm wide – great for both hands and feet – but only features a button-operated 45 second timer. This is great for the colour and top coat but as it advises curing the base coat for 30 seconds, it is annoying that this has to be counted manually. There’s no need to risk trying to remove the polish amateurly as all the gel remover prep is included. Note that RCM advise only using their gel polishes, as the top coat and base coat have been designed to be used specifically with their formulations.

Experimentative nail artists will love the two packets of silver and gold glitter and beads included with this set. It is a polish-to-gel kit so the process starts the same as the others – filing and buffing the nail, cleansing with the wipes, followed by painting with a polish of your choice. After waiting 30 minutes to dry, apply the transformer top coat and get creative, adding glitter, studs or beads to the wet layer with the provided tweezers. Then cure under the button-operated lamp for 60 seconds, which is on a timer. Apply another layer of transformer top coat and cure for a further 60 seconds. Finish by rubbing with a cleansing wipe to remove the sticky layer.

The key positive here is that the nail art pieces look surprisingly effective and stay on. The downside is that the final shine isn’t as glossy as other polish-to-gel kits due to a lower quality of transformer liquid. The lamp didn’t properly cure the top coat the first time around, meaning that both the polish and top coat rubbed off with the cleanser. We re-applied a thinner layer of paint and top coat to that area and it worked the second time, so don’t be heavy-handed. The downside of the lamp is that although it’s 11cm wide, the LED lights are only in the centre, which may have been why the polish did not cure well on our periphery toes. Once properly applied, the gel stayed in tact for two weeks, but lost its shine towards the end.

This is the only kit that boasts “peel off technology” – a patented elasticised polymers system that means the entire gel comes off in one piece if teased in a corner with a hoof stick. It’s a great choice for people who are impatient when taking off gel or in a rush.

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22 Aug
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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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