Finding the perfect foundation shade is rarely easy, and no one knows this more than Stellar founder Monika Deol. As a former television host, Deol dealt with the frustration of not being able to find an ideal match for her medium complexion. “I just don’t think big brands understood the nuances of medium skin tones,” she explains. Being the beauty lover she always was, Deol set out to create a cosmetics line that would be inclusive of all skin tones but put the spotlight on its medium offerings.
Stellar’s lineup includes foundations, concealers, and other color cosmetics that were developed based on Deol’s strategic research, which involved tallying up every single shade of foundations available at her favorite beauty destination, Sephora. “I love Sephora, and I charted every foundation there on the Pantone Skintone chart,” she says of the process. “I found that when it came to fair tones, my chart was saturated with tally marks. Some squares had up to 30 marks.” When it came to the middle, Deol found that her theory was right all along: There was hardly any selection for middle skin tones. She then took out all the marks on her chart that represented a foundation that was $50 or more, and the gap only grew larger. “That was my aha moment,” she explains. “I thought, ‘It’s about time for somebody who is from that market, who gets the market because they’ve lived the market—someone like me—to put a more informed product out there.’”
Based on her findings, Deol decided to focus on medium skin tones to finally help bridge that gap—and lo and behold, the entire Stellar collection is exclusively available at Sephora. The brand’s hero, Limitless Foundation ($38), is available in 22 shades, while the versatile Limitless Concealer ($27) is available in 6. “The formula is meant to give you a natural, radiant finish, so skin shines through,” she explains of the oil-free foundation’s formula. “It’s meant to bring out your undertones and give you a uniform look.” She also notes that the brand is different because rather than having a shade range from light to dark, Stellar homes in on the undertones of medium complexions to suit all.
Deol also explains that her decision behind releasing just six shades of concealer is once again based on the most common medium tones. “We are not traditional in that S01 is lighter than S02 and S03,” she says. “For example, S01 has a yellow undertone, S02 has a pink undertone, and S03 has a peachy-yellow undertone.” While Deol is making the never-ending quest for finding the perfect foundation and concealer shade much easier for women of different ethnicities, she is working on expanding the concealer range to also cater to lighter and deeper tones. “People seem to love the formula, and they feel they are not all being addressed color-wise, so we’re thinking about a shade extension,” she adds.
Not to be outshined, Stellar’s color cosmetics offerings are just as impressive as its foundation. The lash-curling Absolute Mascara ($22), which has already sold out, also happens to be an early fan favorite, as are the lipsticks. From bold Metallic Moon ($22) hues to natural nudes, there’s a flattering color for all—and speaking of flattering, you won’t want to sleep on the finishing powder. Deol herself says the translucent finishing powder, appropriately dubbed Cosmic Face Powder ($30), in Haze, is like an Instagram filter for your face. Well, color us starry-eyed.