• Jess Lowe

13 Brands With 40 Or More Foundation Shades


On launch in 2017, Fenty Beauty shook the makeup industry and it's never been the same. Rihanna's beauty label set the standard for foundation - shades for all skin tones. Fenty's ProFiltr foundation was initially released in 40 shades and answered the prayers of so many around the world. Later this week we will see this expand further to a total of 50 shades.

Fenty Beauty bought to the forefront what many people had been dealing with for years - not being included. Since this time any brand that hasn't met the bar set by Fenty has suffered backlash from the internet. Not only is it not welcomed by consumers to have a limited number of shades in a foundation it's also not acceptable to create a range compiled of 50 shades of beige! Although, personally I feel that it is not just rich complexions that are excluded. I see ultra fair skin tones not being catered to either. There needs to be balance at both extreme ends of the spectrum.

All this got me thinking.... which brands embrace diversity and want to include multiple skin tones? I've trawled through countless foundation ranges and found the brands with 40 or more shades that have fair representation. Interested to know these brands? Some may surprise you!

1. MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 - 64 shades

MACs Studio Fix Fluid offers an oil-controlling formula with a natural matte finish with medium to full coverage. It has always had a large shade range but expanded last year to a total of 64 shades. It is split into light, medium, medium to dark, dark and deep dark shades. Shades are also indicated by W or C for warm and cool tones.

2. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10 - 61 shades

This claims to be the UK's most popular foundation and it has an ever-increasing shade range. As of this month, they currently have a total of 61 shades split into 8 levels to easily select your shade. It is a lightweight and comfortable foundation with 24-hour staying power, natural matte finish and medium buildable coverage.

3. Morphe Fluidity Full Coverage Foundation - 60 shades

Morphe's debut liquid foundation is still yet to launch but has already sent ripples through the beauty world. Morphe's Fluidity Full Coverage Foundation has one of the biggest initial shade ranges the industry has ever seen. Launching in 60 "tone-empowering" hues split into 5 tone levels: light, medium, tan, rich, and deep. Each category offers 12 shades. It then has undertones listed as cool, neutral, olive, or warm to make selection easy. The foundation itself is matte with full coverage. They also assure that it is water- and transfer-resistant.

The Morphe Fluidity Full Coverage Foundation launches globally on 17 January 2019.

4. MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation - 54 shades

This our only non-liquid formula on the list. MAC's Studio Fix Power Foundation features 54 hues and includes the same as the Studio Fix Fluid. It is described as a one-step powder and foundation that provides a matte texture with medium coverage. This is a staple in my makeup bag and I use it almost every day. Snaps for MAC on offering two formulas in a multitude of shades.

5. Fenty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation - 50 shades

Fenty's Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation was "born" in 40 boundary-breaking shades. It really is the foundation that changed the industry. Pro Filt’r foundation diffuses pores and smooths skin. It is also humidity resistant and sweatproof making it a true all year round foundation. It also provides a long-lasting matte finish. The shade range is split into 4 levels light, medium, tan and deep. Fenty continues to grow their legacy with 10 new hues being added this week taking them up to 50.

6. Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Full Coverage Foundation - 50 shades

Released in an initial 24 shades Makeup Revolution are expanding their Conceal & Define Full Coverage Foundation to a total of 50 later this month. Makeup Revolution is leading the way for "drugstore" brands and has one of the most inclusive ranges in the affordable makeup category. At just £9 it is super budget friendly and accessible to almost everyone. They are adding in lighter yellow, neutral & pink tones, a broader mix of olive and yellow undertones in middle shades, and deeper olive and orange tones to darker shades. You can get the low down on this foundation in my review HERE.

7. Jouer Essential High Coverage Creme Foundation - 50 shades

Jouer's foundation provides supreme coverage whilst remaining lightweight and long wearing, leaving an airbrushed matte finish. Its large variation of no less than 50 shades is split into 6 levels fair, light, medium, tan, dark and deep.

8. NYX Can't Stop Won't Stop 24 Hour Foundation - 45 shades

NYX teamed up with beauty YouTuber Alissa Ashley to create an entirely new foundation line complete with 45 shades. This is lightweight, waterproof and as pigmented as possible, with a matte, shine-controlling finish. At just £15 this is also a very purse friendly option which is bound to have a shade for you.

9. Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation - 40 shades

Smashbox's Studio Skin Hydrating Foundation has a total of 40 shades split across 4 levels. It is then further split into warm, neutral and cool giving it a broad range of undertones. Studio Skin is infused with nourishing hyaluronic acid and won’t oxidize or cause breakouts. It easily builds from medium to full coverage and gives you a fresh, natural matte finish. This foundation is also transfer-resistant and it stays right where you want it for 24 hours.

10. Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation - 40 shades

It's the foundation worn by Meghan Markle at the Royal Wedding last year and Dior's first more affordable foundation. Dior Backstage Face & Body is the most buildable foundation I've ever tried. It has a fully customisable coverage from light to full depending on what you need. It offers a natural finish that's both waterproof and sweat-resistant. This make-up artist's secret weapon is available in 40 shades across 3 levels and is split into neutral, warm and cool tones.

11. Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Foundation - 40 shades

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Foundation provides high coverage without feeling cakey. It claims to have up to 24-hour staying power without needing to retouch. It is also smudge-proof and transfer free with a natural finish. This is available in 40 shades split across 4 levels.

I couldn't go without mentioning Lancome does also offer a custom foundation - 'Lancome Teint Particulier'. This has a possible 72,000 shades! Lancome's custom foundation is found exclusively at Harrods in the UK.

12. Cover FX Power Play Foundation - 40 Shades

Cover FX's Power Play foundation offers a 40-strong ‘global shade’ range across 5 levels and 3 undertones indicated by P (pink), G (golden) & N (neutral). This foundation is best suited to oilier complexions. It describes itself as having a 'modern matte’ finish that’s full coverage, yet weightless. It is also waterproof, sweatproof and transfer proof.

13. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation - 40 shades

Make Up For Ever's Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation was specifically developed for the film and TV industry’s most advanced 4k technology. It offers medium coverage and a luminous finish. It promises to blend easily and correct imperfections on all skin types. This is available in a full range of 40 different shades.

As well as brands who have a broad variety of hues there are some who offer fewer shades whilst maintaining a fairly balanced and diverse range. Notable foundations who I feel achieve this are: Huda Beauty Faux Filter Foundation and Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick.

It's great to see that brands are continually working to expand their ranges to make the beauty industry as diverse as it always should have been.

Have you tried any of these foundations? Are you more likely to choose a foundation based on a more inclusive shades range? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Launch dates and prices are correct at the time of publishing. This information is subject to change without notification at the discretion of individual brands and retailers which are beyond my control. Links in this post may be affiliate which means that I receive a small commission from any purchase made at no extra cost to you. This helps run and support FYI Beauty.


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