Beyond the Pale: the best foundations for Asian skin

Beyond the Pale, best foundations for Asian skin

Make-up, skincare and haircare for different ethnicities is thankfully becoming less of a minority. In our new weekly column, Beyond the Pale, women from all ethnic backgrounds share their favourite beauty moments, insider tips and the products they swear by. This week, the Telegraph beauty editor Sonia Haria shares her favourite foundations for Asian skintones. 

As a beauty editor, I have access to lots of make-up - but the product I'm always on the eternal search for is a good foundation that matches my Indian skintone. Where brands go wrong with Indian skintones is that they make the colours too warm and yellow, with red undertones. This does nothing for the Asian complexion. My skintone, along with many other Indian skintones, is obviously a warm shade but actually quite cool and peachy in its undertones. Anything too yellow just looks too 'tan'. 

Here are the best foundations and groups of shades that are excellent for many Asian skintones. Unless you are able to get a match-made foundation such as the Kevyn Aucoin offering at Space NK, these are the best matches I've found.

Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

A lovely light texture that feels like a serum, and you can build up the coverage without it looking cakey. One of the best foundations I've tried. 

Best shades:I use Barcelona, a medium peachy shade. Sante Fe and Tahoe are also good options. £32,

EX1 Cosmetics Invisiwear Liquid Foundation

This range was especially formulated for Asian skintones, and the colours are spot on. It has a slightly thicker texture than the Nars, but for £12.50, you can't beat it. 

Best shades:I use shade F300, but any of the five shades work for Asian skintones - just pick your depth of colour. £12.50,

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation

This smart foundation comes in an excellent range of shades, with either rose, neutral or golden undertones. Choosing your colour can be tricky, so head to a counter and find one that matches exactly. 


Best shades:I use BR50 - the BR stands for 'beige rose', so it's a warm shade with pinky undertones. BR60 is also a great shade for Asian skintones. £32.50,

Guerlain Gold Radiance Powder Foundation

If you prefer a powder foundation, this is the one for you. It's so easy to use an provides buildable coverage.

Best shades: I use Beige Clair, but Beige Naturel is also a great shade. £56,

Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation

This comes in an impressive 24 shades, and the tones are spot-on - there's bound to be one that matches your skin perfectly. The coverage is medium and leaves a soft, iridescent glow.

Best shades: I use Cashew, a medium shade with cool to neutral undertones. Dune and Honey are also great shades. £35,