We Tried UOMA’s Insta-Famous Foundation & Here’s Our Honest Opinion

UOMA Beauty (pronounced OMA), a new "Afropolitan" cosmetics brand, dropped on the beauty market last month with a whole lot of fanfare, including an Ulta-exclusive launch, a campaign with model Halima Aden, and a celebrity-packed launch party. From the start, it was clear that this brand was taking inclusivity far beyond just shade range.

Of course, the lineup of makeup products — from lipstick to eyeliner — does serve a variety of skin tones, but the star innovation is the matte Say What?! foundation. What makes it unique is that, within the 51 available shades, there are six different base formulas that target the common skin-care concerns of each shade range. For example, the medium group (Honey Honey) has ingredients that fight premature aging and oily skin, and the darkest shade category (Black Pearl) targets hyperpigmentation.

With this original concept and early praise, we were dying to give the formula a try (seriously, everyone was begging me for some of this foundation). So, we had a few R29 staffers test out the Say What?! line, and you can read our honest opinions, ahead.

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Rachel Lubitz, Senior Beauty Writer

Shade: Fair Lady – T1C

"I'm extremely picky about foundations. If it's too glowy, I feel like I look sweaty. If it's too matte, then I feel like I've dipped my face in clay. What I'm really after is a finish that's velvety or, basically, the cliché of 'my skin but better.' Luckily, that is exactly what this Uoma foundation offers.

"First of all, I think this is the closest a foundation has ever gotten to my actual skin tone, which is between pale and very pale. As I brushed it on, I did a few double-takes because I couldn't tell where my bare skin started and where the foundation actually was. Then, to top it all off, it lasted through my nine-hour workday, an after-work manicure, and a pizza dinner. Yeah, I'm in love."

UOMA Beauty Say What?! Foundation, $39, available at Ulta Beauty

Anissa Richmond, Supervising Producer

Shade: Black Pearl – T1N

"I had to swatch two shades to find my match but ended up with the perfect pick. I found the foundation to be full coverage, yet, super blendable. I have some hyperpigmentation, so if I wear foundation, it’s important that it can really even me out.I got that with this coverage. Plus, I found my skin to be radiant and dewy underneath the foundation, which is a major win. I'll be using this again!"

UOMA Beauty Say What?! Foundation, $39, available at Ulta Beauty

Samantha Sasso, Beauty Writer

Shade: Honey Honey – T1N

"I used to have hard and fast rules on what makes a good foundation, but these days all I'm looking for is two things: a shade that matches and a formula that lasts. This did both. It's full-coverage, but not cake-y; blurring, but not drying; and quite literally my perfect match."

UOMA Beauty Say What?! Foundation, $39, available at Ulta Beauty

Aimee Simeon, Beauty Writer

Shade: Mix of Honey Honey – T2W & Bronze Venus – T1W

"To start off, I love this foundation's formula. I was nervous that its hydrating claim would result in me looking greasy AF, but it didn’t; it dried down to a satin matte finish. The coverage didn’t move, transfer, or feel heavy on my face which is a huge plus."

"However, finding a shade is where things got complicated. I blended two picks to get to this shade, and it still feels a little light. I have warm, yellow undertones. Many of the Bronze Venus shades I swatched were super orange, so I used the Honey Honey shade to tone it down. Maybe if I go one shade up in the Honey Honey family, I can find a perfect match, but, overall, I wish the shade-matching system was easier to navigate. I will say that if you are able to find your perfect shade, it definitely has the potential to become a makeup-bag staple."

UOMA Beauty Say What?! Foundation, $39, available at Ulta Beauty

Channing Hargrove, Fashion Writer

Shade: Brown Sugar – T3W

"I have a love-hate relationship with wearing makeup. I love to apply it but hate to look like I'm wearing a ton of it on my face. However, this foundation felt so light and watery, but in the best way. I didn't need to blot my face until much later in the day (which is rare for my oil slick of a face). I wasn't wearing a lot of product but loved that I could build it easily if I wanted to, and once I took the formula off my face, my skin felt really soft."

UOMA Beauty Say What?! Foundation, $39, available at Ulta Beauty

Thatiana Diaz, Beauty Writer

Shade: Honey Honey T3N

"I'm pretty skeptical about skin-care and makeup hybrids because I have sensitive skin, but the concept of catering to the skin-care concerns of specific shade groups seemed genius to me (like, how did no one think of this until now?).

"I did find the shade selection process to be a little tricky. I had to swatch 3-4 foundations to find a match, but I will say that it was a shoo-in for my skin tone when I finally found it. I love how the buildable coverage blended into my skin and left a filter-like finish. Overall, it left my skin radiant, covered my redness, and the formula didn't budge all day."

UOMA Beauty Say What?! Foundation, $39, available at Ulta Beauty

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