Best Makeup For Dark Skin
Finding the right makeup for your skin tone can be an adventure. There are so many different products available and so many different looks to choose from. From foundations to bronzers to eyeshadows to lipsticks, the possibilities seem endless. Finding the right makeup for dark skin can be even more of a challenge because, for years, many cosmetics brands focused on formulating makeup for women with lighter complexions, leaving dark-skinned customers with little to no options. Fortunately, over the years, more and more brands have expanded their lines, offering a variety of foundations, lipsticks, and other products that flatter darker skin tones. Here’s a guide to finding the best makeup for dark skin.
1More Options Than Ever Before
While there are many more products to choose from, the playing field is still far from even – it is still more difficult to find shades for darker skin, especially when it comes to foundation. This is primarily because many companies don’t account for very dark shades of brown skin and the variety of corresponding undertones. This is one of the reasons why Rihanna’s makeup line Fenty Beauty has taken the cosmetics world by storm – filling a void that many companies left empty for years. Fenty Beauty offers 40 different shades of foundation, making it much easier to find a match for every skin tone. Many other brands such as MAC and NARS also have a great track record for making makeup that looks great on darker skin tones.
2How To Choose The Right Makeup For Your Skin Tone
Knowing your skin’s undertones can help you find the most flattering makeup, especially when it comes to foundation. Try to look for makeup that has the same undertones as your skin. For example, if your skin has warm undertones, try to find makeup that has warm undertones as well. The easiest way to find the most flattering makeup for your skin tone is to go to a makeup counter or a specialty store like Sephora or Ulta and have an experienced makeup artist match you with the right shades/formulas. Another alternative is to simply try on different makeup and see which products look best on you. It’s always a good idea to see how makeup looks in different lighting (artificial and natural) before you make a decision.
3Brands That Cater To Dark Skin
In the past, creating makeup for darker skin tones was often more of an afterthought for many cosmetics brands, if it was a consideration at all. Black-owned cosmetic companies like Fashion Fair helped pave the way for more inclusive foundation shades. Fortunately, many companies have taken notice over the years, so there are more choices than ever before. Brands that specifically consider the needs of darker skin are traditionally your best bet for finding the widest selection of foundation shades and lipstick colors. Some great Black-owned cosmetic brands include Beauty Bakerie, The Lip Bar, and Vera Moore.
4Picking A Foundation For Dark Skin
As the name suggests, foundation is just that: the base for your complete makeup look. If your foundation is off, it can ruin your whole look. Once you’ve identified your skin’s undertones, the next step in choosing a foundation is deciding whether you want a liquid or powder formula. There are pros and cons to both options, but in general liquid foundation works for many more skin types than powder. If you have dry skin, liquid foundation is probably a better bet. If you have oily skin, powder foundation may work better because it can help absorb the oil on your face and keep you shine-free. However, powder foundation can look cakey if it’s applied on dry skin; it can also settle into fine lines and wrinkles, making them more prominent. Both liquid and powder allow for buildable coverage. When in doubt, try both and see which one you prefer.
5Prepping Your Face
Before applying makeup, it’s always a good idea to thoroughly but gently cleanse (and, if necessary, exfoliate) your face. This will get rid of any dirt, oil, and/or dead skin that might be on your face. Follow up with a light moisturizer so that your skin doesn’t dry out. Next, apply a primer to your face; this will serve as a barrier between your skin and your foundation and help your makeup go on more smoothly and last longer. The same goes for eyeshadow and lip primers: these steps can certainly be skipped, but they are often worth the extra effort when it comes to long-lasting, flawless makeup.
6Dark Skin Makeup Tips
Using the right tools will make applying and blending your makeup easier. Using a buffing brush is a great way to easily blend your foundation for a flawless finish, and you can use it with both liquid and powder foundation. When blending, always start from the center of your face and blend outwards. Make sure your makeup brushes are clean; dirty brushes can deposit old bits of dried makeup onto your face; they can also harbor bacteria that can cause breakouts. If you use a lip liner, choose a shade that matches your lipstick or a nude liner that matches your skin tone. Here are some of the best makeup products for dark skin.
7Primers For Dark Skin
If you have dry skin, go with a hydrating primer that will help keep your skin moisturized under your makeup, like the Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer. If you have oily skin, look for a mattifying primer like the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector. If your skin is somewhere in between, MAC’s Prep and Prime is a great choice. Its lightweight formula serves as a great base for your foundation and even helps even out your skin tone.
8Foundation For Dark Skin
MAC foundations are immensely popular among women with darker skin tones and they come in several different formulas: both liquid and powder. The Fluid Fix SPF 15 is one of their best-sellers, lauded for its full-coverage matte formula, and their Studio Fix Powder Plus foundation is great if you prefer a powder foundation. Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Foundation has become an instant favorite and it’s available in 40 shades, making it much more likely for darker skinned gals to find their perfect match.
9Black Opal Foundation stick
Another favorite foundation is the Black Opal Foundation Stick. This hypolargenic cream stick foundation is great for sensitive skin and comes in bronze and hazelnut shades.
10Blush For Dark Skin
Wearing blush can be tricky – the right shade and application process is essential if you want to avoid “the clown look.” Apply your blush to the apples of your cheeks and blend it well, using a blush brush. The NARS brand Orgasm blush – available in a powder and a liquid formula – is known as a universal blush, and compliments many skin tones. Another great blush for darker skin tones is Black Radiance’s Artisan Color Baked Blush in Raspberry.
11Bronzer For Dark Skin
The right bronzer can give you a gorgeous, subtle sun-kissed look and a healthy-looking glow. Bronzers don’t usually come in that many shades, so it’s usually pretty easy to find the right match. Just make sure the bronzer is a little darker than your natural skin tone. Guerlain’s Terracotta Bronzing Powder is a great bronzer for darker skin. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly bronzer, NYX also makes a great matte bronzer for dark skin.
12Eyeshadow For Dark Skin
When it comes to eyeshadow, there are many shades that look great on dark skin. The most important part of choosing eyeshadow is selecting one that is highly pigmented. You want to avoid chalky formulas because they tend to look dry on the skin. Apply an eyeshadow primer beforehand for best results. IMAN Cosmetics makes some great eyeshadow pencils in a variety of shades that flatter darker skin tones. Beauty Bakerie’s Neopolitan Eyescream Eyeshadow Palette contains both neutral and vibrantly colorful shades that look great on dark skin tones.
13Lipsticks For Dark Skin
There are many shades that look great on dark skin, but finding the right lipstick can still be tricky. In general, using your skin’s undertones as a guide is a great way to find the right shades. Lipstick colors with warm undertones tend to look good on skin with warm undertones. Likewise, lipsticks with cool undertones tend to look great on skin with cool undertones. However, you have to also consider your skin tone, your natural lip color, and the lipstick’s formula. MAC has some great lipstick colors for dark skin, including the iconic Ruby Woo and Heroine. Here’s a more detailed guide to choosing the right lipstick for dark skin.
14Eyeliner And Mascara
Unlike foundation, bronzer, and lipstick, mascara and eyeliner require much less color matching to achieve the right look on darker skin tones. Most people prefer a black liner (or a very dark brown liner) to really bring out the eyes. Liquid eyeliner, such as Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, usually creates a more flawless look. But if your hands aren’t steady enough to master the application of liquid liner, a classic pencil eyeliner may be your best bet. More modern gel pencils, such as Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon, glide on much more smoothly, offering the best of both worlds. When it comes to mascara, there are certainly many to choose from, but Lancome’s Monsieur Big Mascara is a great moderately-priced mascara that lengthens and volumizes lashes.