TSABD Edit: NYX Total Control Foundation + Diorskin Forever Foundation on Dark Skin

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Read ALL about my review process including how I take swatches, photos, and more here.

NYX Total Control + Diorskin Foundations review swatches dark skin

NYX Total Control Foundation

Official description:
From sheer to full, your ideal coverage is just drops away with our new Total Control Drop Foundation! Fine-tune this velvety, matte foundation with the included dropper. Simply adjust the number of drops until you create the look you’re feelin’ today. Want more coverage? Add more drops! Buff expertly using the TOTAL CONTROL DROP FOUNDATION BRUSH for a seriously smooth finish.

NYX Total Control Foundation comes in 24 shades and I got a combination of the seven deepest shades from the brand’s PR as well as purchased a few on my own. I’m actually quite impressed with the selection of deeper shades but also don’t want to go giving out gold stars for getting darker shades right when brands should have been getting them right from jump (listen, I’m getting older and my patience levels run thinner and thinner with every second that goes by…lol). If you’re lucky enough to live near a NYX Professional Makeup Store (there’s like five of them near me and they’re AWESOME), you’ll be able to run in and try these plus the gazillion other cool products NYX makes. But if you’re shopping at Ulta–good luck because they seem to carry only like 4-5 light (white) shades even in brands that have much deeper shades (even the two Ulta stores near me do this and there are PLENTY of brown folks around these parts).

nyx total control foundation deep sable mocha deep rich cocoa deep cool chestnut deep espresso

The frosted bottles NYX Total Control Foundation comes in makes it a little difficult to determine your shade just by looking at the bottle (even looking at it online it’s a bit hard), but this post was created to help you figure things out ;)

Here are some shade descriptions directly from the NYX site:


Now let’s get into performance and such.

It’s tempting to think these are just like Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (see my review here and all other posts on them here) but while both products come in a dropper applicator and allow you to control and customize the type of coverage you get, they aren’t the same product. Cover FX Custom Cover Drops are pure pigments that you mix with another product (i.e. moisturizer, facial oil, primer, etc) to basically create your own foundation product—what you mix the Cover FX drops with will determine how the foundation mixture will perform and look. For instance if you mix the Cover FX drops with a very cream moisturizer, you’ll get a foundation mixture that performs similar to how the moisturizer performs (by the way, having deeper skin, I didn’t get a great experience with mixing the Cover FX drops with moisturizer—it was better if I mixed it with something that was similar in color (like a facial oil) or just colorless (like Murad Invisiblur or a primer).

nyx total control foundation dior forever foundation dark skin

Now the NYX Total Control Foundation is already ready to go—no need to mix it with anything for it to properly work. You *could* mix things in it if you wanted to (although be mindful there may be ingredients in it that may not mesh well with other products) but you don’t NEED to mix anything in it at all. NYX Total Control Foundation has a beautiful natural matte finish and you can gradually increase the type of coverage you get with it by adding more drops. I’d be careful to go with the notion that a certain amount of drops will get you a certain level of coverage. I say this because if I wanted sheer coverage, one drop isn’t going to cover my entire face (hey, I got a lot of face…lol). If you think in terms of adding more drops get you more coverage, I think you’ll understand this foundation more.

sephora pro flawless airbrush brush 56

Also you definitely want to make sure you’re using the right brush to apply this foundation. I LOVE my beautyblender and would fight someone over it, but it’s not the right tool to use with a foundation like this. NYX Total Control Foundation has such a thin consistency—even when you add more drops—so the beautyblender isn’t your best option for application. NYX made a special brush for it that I haven’t tried because I own a gazillion other brushes so I just used something from my stash—Sephora Pro Flawless Airbrush Brush #56 which I can’t remember if I bought this myself or if it was sent to me, but I really like this brush. No need for you to run out and get it just yet though—check your stash to see if you have a brush with short, densely-packed synthetic bristles because it might work well for it, too.

You can apply NYX Total Control Foundation in a number of ways—you can use a small amount and apply it only where you need it, add a little more in areas where you might need a little more (i.e. to cover dark spots) or you can go full-out with the full coverage.

NYX Total Control Foundation performed very well, too. I like a matte foundation (especially since I have oily skin) but I also don’t like to be TOO matte—remember what I said about Balance in Your Makeup—and this foundation gives a lovely natural matte finish. I had minimal oil breakthrough but nothing crazy—it is also winter-ish weather here right now so I’d definitely have more oil breakthrough in warmer months.

I don’t have an exact right out of the bottle match in NYX Total Control Foundation, but the closest shade match for me was #21 Cocoa. #22 Deep Cool was passable with sheer to light coverage, but when I used more drops for medium to full coverage, it was more apparent that it looked too red on me. I have neutral undertones and sometimes can take a little extra warmth in my foundation shades but not too much or it’ll be too obviously red. Keep in mind the more drops you use, the more the undertones of the foundation are apparent. If you find yourself having a similar situation with these (or any foundation for that matter) NYX Pro Foundation Mixer can help adjust the shade so it’s a perfect match for you.


nyx total control foundation swatches on dark skin 18 deep sable 19 mocha 20 deep rich 21 cocoa

nyx total control foundation swatches dark skin deep cool chestnut deep espresso

Video Demos:

So I did some video demos so you can see how the foundation looks on with varying degrees of coverage. There’s no volume on these so you can watch them without getting caught…lol. I’m not wearing any setting powder in these because I was putting makeup on and taking it off back to back several times and the less amount of product I had on my face, the less irritated it would get while I was doing the demos—but I do recommend using a setting powder at least in areas where you might get very shiny.

“1 Drop” Cocoa aka sheer coverage

(I have quotes around one drop because while one drop will get you sheer coverage, I didn’t have enough product for my entire face…lol. This is why I would like something like Cover FX Custom Cover Drops because one drop for sheer coverage is mixed with a skincare product that makes it easier to apply all over my face.)

NYX Total Control Foundation Demo: "1 Drop" Cocoa (Sheer Coverage) from Danielle Gray on Vimeo.

“2 Drops” Cocoa aka light to medium coverage

(I have quotes around two drops because while two drops will get you medium coverage, I didn’t have enough product for my entire face…lol. This is why I would like something like Cover FX Custom Cover Drops because two drops for light to medium coverage is mixed with a skincare product that makes it easier to apply all over my face.)

NYX Total Control Foundation Demo: "2 Drops" Cocoa (Light to Medium Coverage) from Danielle Gray on Vimeo.

“3 & 4 Drops” Cocoa aka medium to full coverage

(I have quotes around three drops because while three drop will get you medium to full coverage, I didn’t have enough product for my entire face…lol. This is why I would like something like Cover FX Custom Cover Drops because three to four drops for medium to full coverage is mixed with a skincare product that makes it easier to apply all over my face.)

NYX Total Control Foundation Demo: "3 & 4 Drops" Cocoa (Medium to Full Coverage) from Danielle Gray on Vimeo.

Deep Cool

And here’s a Deep Cool demo going from sheer to full coverage. As I mentioned above, Deep Cool was passable until I started to add more drops. As you can see in the video, you can tell it was too red by the time I got to full coverage.

deep cool final from Danielle Gray on Vimeo.

Bottom line: NYX Total Control Foundation is an awesome product if you’re looking for a liquid foundation that’s flexible with coverage and offers a natural matte finish and you have a good match within the 24 shade range. Again, these are NOT like the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops because: 1. Custom Cover Drops are PURE pigments that have to be mixed with a skincare product 2. Custom Cover Drops will perform like the product they’re being mixed with—i.e. if mixed with a mattifying product, the finish will be more matte; if mixed with a more hydrating/luminous product, the finish will be more on the dewy side and 3. you DO NOT need to mix NYX Total Control Foundation with anything to get it to work the way it’s intended (although you can make some tweaks to alter it—check out my How to Get Your Foundation to Do the Most post for more info).

Price and where to buy: NYX Total Control Foundation is $14 at NYXCosmetics.com—see site for store locations.

Diorskin Forever

dior forever perfect makeup shade 070 dark brown 080 ebony

I also swatched the Diorskin Star foundation and used it in the demo so you could see it, but I already reviewed it here.

Now back to Diorskin Forever…

Official description:

What it is:
A non-oily textured, ultra-fusional, medium-to-full coverage fluid foundation that delivers perfectly even color correction.

What it does:
Get perfect, 16-hour foundation coverage and broad spectrum SPF 35 protection from day to evening. This foundation leaves a luminous matte finish, flawless correction, and exceptional comfort. It’s enriched with Poreless Effect skin care essence, leaving the skin’s texture looking more refined with each wear. Designed with an egg-shaped container with a beveled side, the high-density, soft-touch material deposits just the right amount of product, allowing for precise application and perfectly even coverage.

I have dark brown skin with neutral undertones and my closest match was shade 70 Dark Brown—it can look a little “orange” as it dispenses out of the bottle and a little red on me when I first apply it, but once it’s on and I’m done with my other makeup, I’m pretty good to go—but with my having neutral undertones, sometimes a little warmth (red undertone) in a foundation isn’t always a deal breaker for me—I just can’t have too much red in it though. You might want to try a warmer foundation if you want to brighten or want to cancel out darkness—there’s many ways to do this though.

I had a secret makeup event at the Dior Makeup Studio here in NYC earlier this month and the store manager (who is an AMAZING makeup artist) did my makeup for the event using this foundation and shade 80 Ebony to contour. I have oily skin and while I of course had some oil breakthrough, this foundation held up extremely well even with all the running around that goes with hosting an event and it even held up well HOURS after the event. It is winter here though (although not always as cold as it’s supposed to get) and most makeup holds up better on me now than it would during warmer months. I’d guess this would be *okay* on my skin type for warmer months, but I would definitely have to utilize my Stay Beat in the Heat tricks to ensure longevity.

The 80 Ebony shade is just gorgeous and makes me want to be that color in real life…lol.

If you’re curious about this foundation, I say get to a Dior counter (or Sephora) and get a sample first to try out at home before buying—it’s a pricy foundation and you want to make sure it really suits you. I do think these two deeper shades can suit quite a number of skin tones so if you’re close in color, get a sample and test it out. I no longer use MAC as a foundation guide—learn why here.

If you’re in NYC, check out the Dior Makeup Studio inside the Oculus across from the World Trade Center—this is technically the Westfield WTC Mall, but it can get confusing so it’s easier to just go to the Oculus. It’s a beautiful location (you have to see the Dior Lip Studio) and the manager and staff there were so accommodating and gave so many great makeup tips during my event.

Bottom line: I was really impressed by the performance of Diorskin Forever—I was annoyed by the fragrance in it but it thankfully went away after application (though if you’re very sensitive to fragrance, this could be a deal breaker). While the brand has some of the deepest shades it has ever had ever, there are some gaps on the deeper end of the spectrum that could be filled. But I do feel that the two deepest shades can be flexible to work on many similar skin tones (hopefully that makes sense—basically I’m saying this foundation could still work even if it’s not an exact match).

Price and where to buy: Diorskin Forever Foundation is $50 at Sephora (plus 3% cash back when you use eBates), the Dior Makeup Studio in NYC, and Dior counters everywhere.


diorskin star foundation swatches dark skin diorskin forever

diorskin forever foundation swatches dark skin diorskin star 70 80

Video Demo:

In this video demo, I’m showing shade 70 in Diorskin Star and Diorskin Forever. My Diorskin Star review can be read here. Again, no volume here so you can watch without getting caught…lol.

Diorskin Star and Diorskin Forever Foundation Demo (Shade 70 Dark Brown) from Danielle Gray on Vimeo.

So there we go—reviews on both NYX Total Control Foundation and Diorskin Forever Foundation. Let me know your thoughts on either foundation—which one would you consider getting, have you tried any of them yet, etc.

I’m hoping to bring you in-depth reviews like this going forward as I mentioned in my Changes post, which is why I’ve changed the way I do my reviews. It’s also why I can’t blog as often as I used to (omg imagine if I did a video demo for EVERY product I came across :x) Make sure you’re subscribed to the blog so you can get new post alerts delivered to your inbox so you don’t miss a thing. Also make sure you’re subscribed to my Youtube channel because I’m shaking things up over there as well and giving you content that you won’t see here.

Aaaaaand follow me on social media for even more me and my off-duty life:


nyx total control foundation dark shades

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See more NYX Cosmetics reviews and posts here

See more Dior reviews and posts here

DEMO: NYX Total Control & Diorskin Forever Foundations on Dark Skin

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas, Allure.com, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.
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One Response to TSABD Edit: NYX Total Control Foundation + Diorskin Forever Foundation on Dark Skin

  1. P says:

    Thank you so much for all your hard work. You have NO idea how incredibly helpful your swatches and information are. Hige fan, please keep up the great work and success!

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