Author: Rebecca Neall
14 Oct 2022
UOMA (pronounced OMA (uh-mah) is an inclusive, black-owned, beauty brand created by Nigerian born founder Sharon Chuter. This innovative brand has been designed with inclusivity in mind with its shade ranges covering the full spectrum to ensure that everyone can wear their products.
Their multi award winning ‘Say What?! Foundation range (GBP 29.50, US 39, AUD 49) is a harmonious meeting of skincare and makeup. They spruik it as being custom to your skin’s unique needs based on your skin colour group, with a delicious matte finish that is skin-like. The classic adage of ‘your skin, but better’ seems to apply here.
Well let’s take it through its paces and see how it stacks up!
UOMA Beauty ‘Say What?! Foundation’: The Facts
We love to start from the outside and work our way in. So first up is the packaging. It comes in a matte, weighty glass bottle - which you know from past reviews we have a love/hate relationship with. While it feels luxe, is it suitable for travelling? No. But it’s not a deal breaker for us. We love the pump dispenser and its plastic coloured cap speaks of a particular shade family, hence it will differ from bottle to bottle.
They are pioneers in shade inclusivity and undertone, so strap in to learn the key to unlocking the UOMA Beauty shade name to find your perfect depth & undertone;
We have our 6 depths which correspond with a cute code name:
Dark Brown skin - Black Pearl
Brown skin - Brown Sugar
Rich Tan Skin - Bronze Venus
Olive Skin - Honey Honey
Fair Skin - Fair Lady
Very Fair Skin - White Pearl
Within these 6 depths, there are 3 undertones each shade will lean towards C (Cool), N (Neutral) and W (Warm).
Once you’ve cracked the code, getting closer to which of the huge 51 shade range is your match becomes a heck of a lot easier. They also employ the best shade finder in the biz *wink* on their website to get you exactly where you need to be.
Ingredients wise, we have a LOT to unpack here because within this one range, there are 6 unique formulas! Absolutely unheard of. Everyone gets some berry extract in their cocktail for added hydro-boosting power and flawlessness.
Dark Brown Skin (most common issues are dullness and oily/combo), you get a dose of tomato extract to boost brightness, enhance radiance and fend off pollution and free radicals.
Brown Skin (most common issues are hyperpigmentation and oily/combo), your perfecting potion of choice is Woolly Thistle extract which sounds like the superman of ingredients - it reduces skin inflammation, shrinks pores,controls oil production, as well as controls and regulates pigmentation related genes.
Rich Tan Skin (most common issues are mild-hyperpigmentation and oily/combo), why drink white tea when you can pop it on your face for it’s skin detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and protecting qualities?
Olive Skin (most common issues are premature ageing and oily/combo), the added rose hybrid extract promises to repair, protect from inflammation and free radicals, and keep oiliness at bay.
Fair Skin (most common issues are premature ageing and dry/combo), the hero ingredient is Aglianico grape extract which is not only rich in antioxidants, it increases cell turnover and collagen synthesis. In turn it helps your skin stay elastic and stay healthy while making your skin softer.
Very Fair Skin (most common issues are hypersensitivity and redness), microalgae extracts swoops in to help with fine lines and wrinkles, brighten your complexion, and hydrate your skin. It’s also known to help with protecting and soothing sensitive skin.
It is suitable for all skin types, however, you’ll just need to prep the surface a little differently;
Dry Skin - If you are dry or very dry, you will need to moisturise as well as layering with a hydrating primer as it can be quite moisture-sapping and cling to dry areas. It doesn’t require any setting and will wear beautifully.
Normal/Combo Skin - You might just need to set with your favourite powder, and then it’s business as usual.
Oily Skin - It can get a bit shiny on oily skin, so may need some maintenance throughout the day with a spot of powder to keep the matte-dream alive
It’s a thin “slippy” foundation, due to its water-based formula, and reminds us of Gucci’s foundation offering. I have also heard it compared to the feel of MAC’s Face & Body. Its liquidy/runny texture helps it become a buildable product and you can apply onto clean skin using a buffing brush or sponge for application.
Whatever coverage level you’re into on the day, Say What?! Can be applied sheer and built all the way up to full. Use fingers for a more sheer coverage, and then 1 pump for sheer to medium coverage. A densely packed synthetic brush will get you all the way to full coverage.
A MMM Tip: make sure you give it a good shake before use to combine the ingredients
UOMA describes the finish as a “vibrant matte”, which we like to call a velvet matte finish to keep expectations straight forward. We also find it quite skin-like, it doesn’t fade or oxidise, it wears for a decent amount of time (8-10hours is no issue), and looks beautiful in real life and in photos.