Makeup for Dark Skin: 2017 Update

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From the title most of you will probably be able to tell that I’ve done a post like this on Beauty and the Brows in the past. Since then, I’ve tried other brands, worked with varying skin tones and skin types and now it’s time for an updated recommendations post. Similar to my latest post on recommendations for beginners, I’ll go by areas of the face.

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SKINCARE/PRIMERS: A commonality I’ve found among deeper skintones when looking for a primer is wanting something mattifying or something color correcting — this is not gospel and I am not a Makeup God. As I said, it’s just a commonality that I’ve found. For something color correcting try the Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer in Radiant Peach by Make Up For Ever or M.A.C.’s Prep and Prime Highlighter Pen in Peach Lustre. When we (deeper skintones) have discoloration it takes on a blue/purple tint hence the orange will counteract this. A more affordable option is L.A. Girl Pro Conceal for both under eyes and anywhere else on the face that needs color correcting. For mattifying purposes, try BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector (I think this name is way too long, BECCA) and M.A.C.’s Skin Refined Zone for making pores appear smaller. BECCA’s primer is a dream in humid summer weather.

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FACE (Foundation, Concealer, Powder): While I could go on about which brands need to have more variety, that wouldn’t be very helpful. My top picks for complexion products for deeper skin tones are M.A.C. Cosmetics, BECCA Cosmetics, L’Oreal’s True Match line, and NARS Cosmetics. All of these brands not only have more than 3 ‘deep’ shades, but within their extensive selection of deep shades, they’ve considered undertones, so you’re not forced to simply settle for any dark shade that’s available. For setting powder, if you’re looking for something with more coverage, definitely go ahead with a powder foundation from one of the aforementioned brands, but for something translucent I’ve honestly had no problems with Laura Mercier’s Loose Translucent Setting Powder — both on myself and clients whose skin is deeper than mine.

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CHEEKS (Contour, Blush, Highlight): Very often I find chocolate babies shying away from blush and I’m not entirely sure why that is. Well, I have a slight idea — I’ve heard that they don’t think they need it. For NC/NW40 and higher, try: Love Thing, Love Joy, Gleeful; in the M.A.C. Mineralize line, and for NC/NW50 and higher you can try Fever or Raizin (matte finishes) in addition to the previous ones listed. If you’re looking to try some from NARS, try: Taos, Exhibit A, Liberte, Seduction, or Taj Mahal. Milani Cosmetics has lovely blushes and the shades from their line are pigmented though the wearability could be a little better depending on how long your day is.

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While we all wish we could have Angela Bassett’s bone structure, the harsh reality is that there’s only one Angela Bassett. Thank God for contouring! The L.A. Girl Pro Conceal line isn’t a bad option for those new to makeup , new to contouring, or simply wanting to try something new. Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows are also amazing for adding dimension — personally I mix M656 with M608 to get the perfect brown that’s not too warm nor too cool. Our highlighter options are unfortunately still somewhat of a struggle, but I truly feel that M.A.C.’s Gold Deposit never fails and the Anastasia Beverly Hills shades work well too.

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EYES (Primer, Eyeshadows, Liners): Layin’ Low Pro Longwear Paint Pot by M.A.C. Cosmetics is perfect for covering up any discoloration on your lids to create a blank canvas for eyeshadows to show up truer to colour. Urban Decay Primer Potion, Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer, MAC Prep + Prime 24 Hour Extend Eye Base. The last 3 are transparent so there’s no issue with those about not blending in or going ashy on the skin. I also like to blend in my Primer Potion with a little of my concealer to cover any veins that may be showing on my eyes that day. It would take forever and a day to list all the eyeshadows that flatter deeper skintones, but for some quick recommendations, try any of the following M.A.C. shades: Amber Lights, Antiqued, Bronze, Mulch, Embark, Saddle, Brown Script, Swiss Chocolate, Woodwinked, Sumptuous Olive, Antiqued.

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LIPS (Liner, Lipstick, Lipgloss): This one was probably the trickiest category to write on because it comes down to personal preference. I find that what most people of colour have a concern with is finding a nude shade. Keep in mind that nude is relative to your skin tone in particular. Therefore, everyone does not have the same shade. For quick recommendations though, try Chestnut or Cork lip liner by M.A.C. Cosmetics, and for lipsticks you can check out Spirit, Half and Half, Whirl, Persistence (the usual suspects). The nude that everyone  — myself included, seems to love, is Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita by Kat von D; it is very much worth the hype.

I know this was long post, but I hope this helped you narrow down your shopping list because I know how overwhelming it can be with so many brands and products available. Feel free to comment below or check out my Instagram if you have even more questions! 🙂

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