It's easy to get lost in a megastore like
Sephora. Some have multiple levels and most have dozens of sections, all of which are packed with clever tools and gorgeous lip colors and innovative brow products and... agh, I'm getting overwhelmed just thinking about the options.
While the storefront can be a challenge to navigate at times due to the massive selection, it can be even harder for my fellow chocolate sisters and brothers who are trying to find their perfect shades. After all, many ranges are simply less extensive in the deeper hues. (At least for now!) But fret not, because there are actually a lot of gems in there, you just have to know where to look — and we're here to help point you in the right direction.
We called upon top celebrity makeup artists, who work with a diverse range of clients, along with some of our very own staffers, for their top Sephora buys for women and men of color. Whether you're looking for a better base, a new neutral lip color, a killer brow pencil, or anything else, simply bookmark this guide and bring it along with you for a foolproof roadmap.
Ready for the best Sephora offerings for Black men and women? Grab your handcart and let's get started.
"I like this Armani foundation because it's breathable, lightweight, and still gives you the coverage that you need to get flawless looking skin,” says makeup artist
Mylah Morales, who works with Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and Tracee Ellis Ross. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, $64, available at Sephora. More
"This product is great," makeup artist
Sir John told us – and we're inclined to believe him, as he's Beyoncé's go-to artist. "You can be anywhere within a shade or two of this foundation's range, and it just blends in. It’s water-based, not oily, and won’t clog the pores or sit in the skin." Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, $43, available at Sephora. More
"The shade range is the real star of this foundation line,"
Tasha Reiko Brown, who works with Yara Shahidi and Common says. "The foundation also boasts some big benefits for oily skin types by providing medium coverage and mattifying without settling into lines or looking heavy. The undertones are spot-on and you get a lot of pigment in a lovely texture. The coverage is buildable and sheers out easily when mixed with moisturizer." Black Up Matifying Fluid Foundation, $41.50, available at Sephora. More Read More
“You can customize your level of coverage by mixing a few drops into your serum or moisturizer," says Brown. "And because you can mix it into a water, oil, or silicone-based product, it's wearable for any skin type.”
Cover FX Custom Cover Drops, $44, available at Sephora. More
"This coverage is great for dark under-eye circles," Morales says. "And is not drying on the skin!"
Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer, $48, available at Sephora. More
"This is something I use on everyone, from Karlie Kloss to Naomi Campbell," Sir John reveals. "It runs the gamut color-wise, and it doesn’t look like makeup on the skin. The consistency is medium-to-buildable, so you can even sheer it out with moisturizer, and then build your coverage.”
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $30, available at Sephora. More
"If I could only take one blush to a deserted island, I'd take this one,"
Tinashe 's makeup artist Clarissa Luna told us. "It's an extremely buildable and highly-pigmented formula that's easy to use on a plethora of skin tones. My favorite way to apply is with a BeautyBlender. It's gorgeous!" Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush, $32, available at Sephora. More
"This palette has three luminous shades that can be worn across the board," Luna notes. "The blush is subtle and sweet, while the highlight and contour colors can be used as eyeshadows as well. The cherry on top is the yummy peach scent!"
Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Peach-Infused Highlighting Palette, $42, available at Sephora. More
"Highlighter is very big right now and Nars has a stunning palette," says
Anthony Merante, who works with Grace Byers. "The Band De Sable Highlighter Palette is perfection. Three nude shades to flatter any skin tone with a metallic finish. Layer this highlighter over [cream] illuminator for intense shine." NARS Banc De Sable Highlighter Palette, $49, available at Sephora. More
Looking for a foolproof liquid highlighter? Aren't we all. Try this formula in Gold (14) or Copper (18), and apply it with a handy-dandy Beautyblender, Nick Barose (Lupita Nyong'o's makeup artist) tells us.
Giorgio Armani Beauty Fluid Sheer, $62, available at Sephora. More
Pro tip from the Barose: Apply this on the high points of the face
before you sweep on powder foundation for a lit-from-within glow. Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder, $48, available at Sephora. More
“It’s really user-friendly," makeup artist
Allie Smith says. "And it gives you a nice sheen for a natural-looking glow." Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop, $38, available at Sephora. More
"This is amazing to set makeup and a pick-me-up for dry skin in the winter," Luna notes. "It's a great refreshing spritz to keep in the fridge in the summer, too. It cools you off and keeps you hydrated!"
Caudalie Beauty Elixir, $18, available at Sephora. More
"This is a true cult product," makeup artist
Katie Jane Hughes says. "It's in pretty much every makeup artist's kit — I think that's saying something!” And now, the fan fave is available in Translucent Medium Deep tone, too! Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $38, available at Sephora. More
"I wanted to skip learning how to use concealer and foundation, so I started using this — and I love it!" Refinery29 writer Judith Ohikuare reports.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20, $44, available at Sephora. More
"I always thoroughly prep the skin before any makeup application, and this also includes the lips,"
Merante says. "I start off using the Bite Beauty Lip Scrub and then I apply the Agave Lip Mask to the lips and let it soak in while I am doing the complexion. By the time I am ready to apply lip color, I gently blot off any excess lip mask, line, then apply gloss or lipstick." Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, $26, available at Sephora. More
"The deeper the skin tone, the more color your lips can hold," makeup artist
Gilbert Soliz advises — and recommends this shade from Laura Mercier. Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Sienna, $28, available at Sephora. More
For an on-trend red lip, go glossy, Soliz says. Bonus: It gives the illusion of more volume, too.
Nars Lipstick in Afghan Red, $28, available at Sephora. More
"This lip gloss is the most glorious universal shade of nude," says Luna. "In fact, this is the 'It' nude of all nudes."
Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Gloss Lip Lacquer Lipgloss in Sugar Sugar, $28, available at Sephora. More
"The formula is smooth and hydrating, with beeswax and avocado oil," says Merante. "I tend to favor a nude lip and these six shades are perfect for any skin tone."
Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick, $20, available at Sephora. More
"It's the perfect lip color that fits every skin tone for a natural look," says Luna about this shade from YSL. "It's perfect for minimal makeup in spring and summer, as well as use under drier lipsticks in the fall and winter."
Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-In-Oil in Red My Lips, $32, available at Sephora. More
"This color is rich, dries matte, and doesn’t smudge or come off easily — and it isn’t drying either," Ohikuare says. "I actually got a little worried because Eugena Washington recently shared a video of herself putting it on and now I’m worried that everyone will be wearing it! I guess I’ll have to share the wealth."
Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in True Grit, $24, available at Sephora. More
To amplify your go-to dark brown lipstick, try slicking on this deep berry gloss to deepen the color, makeup artist
Mario Dedivanovic (who works with Naomie Harris, Gabrielle Union, and Jourdan Dunn) notes. Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Black Cherry, $16, available at Sephora. More
"I love the textures of all Tarte liquid lipsticks. This one, however, dries matte and never gets on my teeth and just perfectly goes with my complexion," Ohikuare muses. "A lot of nudes look too pink (in a bad way) on me, and others make me look like Ashy Larry. I’m not sure why, but this one just works and feels great on."
Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Crop Top, $20, available at Sephora. More
"When creating a brow I use a minimum of three products," Merante says. "I start off using the Brow Definer to get the shape that I want. I then fill inside the brow using Brow Wiz by drawing individual hairs and then blending with the spoolie. Sometimes I like to go in with a little brow powder, also from Anastasia Beverly Hills, and then I brush the brows into place using Clear Brow Gel."
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer, $23; Brow Wiz, $21; and Brow Gel, $22, available at Sephora. More
"Sephora has every color under the sun to fit even the darkest of brows," says Luna. "The spoolie is the perfect size and the formula is waterproof, too!"
Sephora Collection Retractable Brow Pencil - Waterproof, $12, available at Sephora. More
"It goes on
just like natural brows," Morales promises. Dior Diorshow Brow Styler Utra-Fine Precision Brow Pencil, $29, available at Sephora. More
"You can take any eye from day to night in minutes with this," Luna reveals. "I always keep this palette in my kit because I know I can use it on everyone. You can even use the shades to contour and highlight if you're ever in a pinch!"
Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette, $48, available at Sephora. More
"This incredible palette is filled with 14 beautiful shades of nudes, shimmers and berry shades," Merante says. "This has been a staple in my kit since the minute it launched. My favorite shades are Golden Ochre, Burnt Orange, and Cyprus Umber. This is the perfect palette for day-to-evening looks."
Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette, $42, available at Sephora. More
"I'm a fan of Naked 1 since it looks the most, well, 'naked' on me," R29 entertainment writer Ariana Romero reveals.
Urban Decay Naked Palette, $54, available at Sephora. More
"And I also like N3 because it brings out the browns in my eyes, since it has a lot of purples," Romero adds.
Urban Decay Naked3 Palette, $54, available at Sephora. More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Your Favorite Beauty Store Is Doing Something Amazing For Cancer Patients The Weirdest Things People Have Used To Blend Their Makeup, Ranked We Are So Excited About These Indie Beauty Launches