Vegan Foundations for Fair and Dark Skin

May 18, 2011By 9 Comments

As most vegans know, finding a foundation can be tough. Some companies can’t afford to offer a full color range, sending fair- and dark-skinned ladies to look elsewhere. Although loose mineral foundations are in abundance, some skin types are better suited to liquid formulations. Read on for a eco-friendly make-up artist’s recommendations for the best vegan foundations.

Liquid Foundations

If you’re looking to invest in one cosmetic, you can’t go wrong with a good liquid foundation. Cheaper foundations often lower the cost by including some controversial chemicals and preservatives. Liquid foundations can also multi-task, performing well as moisturizers and sunscreens while providing decent coverage. Quality liquid foundations usually cost around $30 and should be replaced every 6 months.

Recommended products include:

  • Gabriel Moisturizing Liquid Foundation – Includes SPF 18. A medium-coverage foundation that works well for all skin types, especially dry and sensitive skin. Excellent color range.
  • Zuzu Luxe Oil-Free Liquid Foundation – Another great medium-coverage foundation, manufactured by Gabriel Cosmetics. This also has an excellent color range and SPF 18. As an oil-free foundation, it is particularly well-suited for oily skin types.

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind lighter coverage, consider:

  • Kiss My Face Tinted Moisturizer – A light, moisturizing foundation that provides very sheer coverage and SPF 8. The color range accommodates fair skin and isn’t suited for darker skin colors.

Powder Foundations

Powder foundations are often very natural and are gentle enough to use on those recovering from plastic surgery. Powders can last for up to two years, which can make them more cost effective than liquid foundations. These foundations are sheer when applied dry, so consider applying wet for heavier coverage. Some of my favorite powder foundations include:

  • Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation – Few companies can match Alima Pure’s foundation line. They offer 60 shades at a reasonable price, and cheap samples are available to ensure a perfect match. These loose powders are typically applied dry, with a brush.
  • The All Natural Face Pressed Powder Foundation – This is one of the only pressed foundation powders on the market.  The price is unbeatable, and there are 50 shades available. They also make loose powders and pressed powder refills.

Guest post by make-up artist Kaylin Johnson of Kaylin’s Kit.

About Sunny ()

Longtime vegan, hardcore compassionate beauty junkie, serious cake aficionado, and lover of all things floofy and sparkly! If there's something in particular you'd like me to review, drop me a line at You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Google +.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Gauri Radha गौरी राधा says:

    Cool…I need foundation help so badly. I’m Indian (Punjabi) and I can never find the right shade for my skin–I’m pretty much always wearing the wrong color, even after mixing and matching.

  2. virtual.jess says:

    I’m fond of Lush’s vegan foundation. I am very pale, and use the light yellow, but they also have light pink for women whose skin is very pale but with pink undertones instead of yellow. The coverage is adjustable, since it’s designed to be mixed with your moisturizer to achieve the desired effect. I use it plain, and use powder over to set it, and that works perfectly for my skin.

  3. Taylor says:

    I use Smashbox’s Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder and their Camera Ready Full Coverage Cream Foundation. On days I want more coverage I use the Halo powder as a finishing powder on top of the cream foundation, but the powder is amazing on its own for lighter coverage. I just recently switched to these after somehow overlooking that my Urban Decay foundation wasn’t vegan and I seriously love them. My skin has also cleared up and looks way better. They are expensive but a little goes a long way and they last longer than other foundations I’ve used. They are also the only foundations that don’t make me break out or irritate my sensitive skin. I use the lightest shade in both because apparently I am super pale and probably part vampire.

    • Shay says:

      Both Smashbox and Urban Decay are now owned by companies that perform animal testing. Smashbox is owned by Estee Lauder and Urban Decay was just sold to L’Oreal at the end of this past year.

  4. Melissa says:

    What are your thoughts on Bare Minerals?

    • Shay says:

      Although Bare Minerals is has mostly vegan products (if not all, I’m not sure), they are owned by Shiseido, a non-cruelty-free company. It’s the same for Urban Decay now sadly, who were just purchased by L’Oreal. I no longer support companies that aren’t cruelty-free, even if it only pertains to their owners/distributors. I don’t want any of my money funding those companies.

      • Yvette says:

        Do u go to restaurants where meat is served? It is the same concept. Support he companies tht dont test on anomals regardless of their owner!

  5. I have really pale skin. When I use to wear conventional make up even the lightest colour available was too dark and orange. I own the Gabriel & Alima foundations and both are great for pale skin. Don’t have to worry about that orange look.

  6. I have fair skin and have been wanting to try vegan foundation. The first two you mentioned sound like something I’d like to try. Thanks!

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