Pioneering Indies

Foundations for WoC have upped their game, thanks mainly to female entrepreneurs who are challenging the retail giants...


To the uninitiated, MDM FLOW is the brainchild of trailblazing 20-something Florence Adepoju, who created lipsticks in a bright range of colours that would flatter dark skintones. These were soon snapped up by the likes of HARVEY NICHOLS, TOPSHOP and NASTY GAL, and since then she has become a prominent media figure in her own right, advocating for greater choice.


Flo’s passionate about representing diversity. So it was only a matter of time before a foundation range was on the cards – and at only a tenner for 25ml, you’re not going to lose much by trying them out. As Florence herself noted on Instagram,”[the smaller bottle] means when your complexion changes in the summer you don’t have half a bottle left. ALSO you can finally squeeze two foundations into your carry-on.”

How does it perform? It’s diverse with 20 shades and because it’s serum-based, it blends like a dream and doesn’t look cakey or feel heavy. Flo’s crowdfunding on INDIEGOGO to get customers involved in the making, including naming the shades! The formula contains a cocktail of skin-loving ingredients such as vitamin C and reservatrol (to help boost elasticity and repair against sun damage), as well as hydrating hyaluronic acid.


All hail Rihanna and her ambition to bring awesome, premium makeup for all women to the market. Her mission was that “women everywhere would be included” in her cosmetics collection, with shades and formulas to work across all skin types and tones. Hence the creation of Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in a whopping 40 shades!


It’s ideal for sun-exposed skin… Bring on summer! The lush medium coverage delivers a clever sweat-proof formula thanks to the climate-adaptive technology. Just in time for your far-flung summer holiday or trip to the gym – you won’t need to worry about your formula running down your face!

You’ll have spotted a few famous faces in the campaign. Some of our favourite models including Leomie Anderson, Slick Woods, Duckie Thot, Selena Forrest and Halima Aden are all gracing the FENTY BEAUTY website and campaign imagery, showcasing the range of foundation shades on offer. We love!


For years, Nadine Bryan felt she had been overlooked when it came to quality make-up that suited her skintone. Fed up, it spurred her on to create her own range from her kitchen table. Sound familiar? For many entrepreneurs, good things are born out of necessity. The result was B:UNDENIABLE, a luxury mineral-based make-up range. It’s luxe mineral make-up for WoC. 


Believing there was already an established cohort of brands vying for market share, it was clear to Nadine she needed a USP – for her it was all about mineral makeup, using some of the best natural ingredients to match performance with integrity.

The company motto is ‘luxury products that enhance one’s beauty.’ It’s about empowerment, self-confidence and individuality, and the collection has been developed to complement cool, olive Mediterranean skintones to darker complexions by mimicking the skin’s undertones. This method has been used across the whole collection, including the foundations.


It took a while, but finally a high street giant came on board with the needs of black beauty and got serious with their shades and strands. Part of SUPERDRUG’s massively popular #ShadesOfBeauty campaign to stock more diverse products on their shelves was C.A.K.E COSMETICS, created by bright young thing Stevie Newman.


C.A.K.E’s philosophy? Being affordable (products start from as little as £3) and providing real options for all ethnicities. “We are not claiming to be the most amazing product out there,” Stevie says, “but we are here because we want to give people a choice.” And true to her word, C.A.K.E COSMETICS boasts some of the darkest tones on the market!

It’s handmade in the UK, which is a real bonus these days, and surprising given such a reasonable price point. Plus, C.A.K.E uses ethical ingredients, like the beeswax in their Cream Foundations, which comes from a neighbouring farm in Essex.

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