Makeup Monday: Beauty Tips for Dark Skin Tones
All beauty tips are created equal, right?
Wrong. Not all beauty tips work for all skin tones and most generic tips work for paler skin tones. Don’t fit that category? Don’t worry–we’ve got your back! We did the legwork for you and have compiled a list of the top ten best skincare and makeup tips that will work on dark skin. Read below, get inspired, and test out these tips to get on fleek makeup. But remember, just have fun with it! Your natural beauty will shine through no matter what makeup you have on–or don’t.
1. Protect Your Skin
Rule number 1 is to wear sunscreen no matter what color your skin is. For ages, women with dark skin have shied away from everyday sunscreens for fear of covering their faces with an unsightly white or gray residue. Cover FX has solved this problem with their Clear Cover Invisible Sunscreen ($45), a broad spectrum SPF 30 formula that is rich in antioxidants and was specifically developed for darker skin tones.
2. Tone(r) it Down
Another universal tip that works for all skin tones: use toner after washing your face. For some reason, everyone chooses to ignore the importance of toner–but don’t fall into that trap! Using toner is fast and easy; all you have to do is apply it to a cotton ball and lightly apply to your face after a cold wash and you’re done. Oil-free toners like Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 ($14.50) work to clean and calm your skin in a matter of minutes. They remove dirt without stripping your skin of essential oils, and accentuates your natural glow.
3. Hydration Nation
Hydration is a major key. Stay hydrated by drinking those 8 glasses of water a day, and by using the right moisturizer. Dark skin tends to be more oily, so using a water-based moisturizer is usually hydrating enough and won’t clog pores. For problematic skin, Dermalogica Oil Control Lotion ($45) is the way to go. It’s super lightweight and fights blemishes with salicylic acid, while also regulating excess oil production for a matte look.
4. Foundation Salvation
First foundation tip is never use a matte one because it can make your skin look dry and ashy. Instead, go for a more hydrating formula that will make you look dewy and fresh. As for choosing the right shade of foundation, most brands have extended their lines to include options for all skin tones–Giorgio Armani, Covergirl, Make Up For Ever, Dior, NARS, MAC and L’Oreal are just a few. The best thing to do is to shop around and test out any foundation before you buy it so you know it’s right for you. Model Khoudia Diop favorite is Iman Skin Tone Evener BB Crème in Deep Earth ($19), telling Allure that it’s “the best foundation” she’s ever tried. Test it out yourself and you’ll find that it really does highlight your face.
5. Red Lips for Everyone
Darker skin tones look amazing paired with any shade of red lip, especially the more intense ones. If you really want to accentuate your skin and make your teeth look whiter (pro tip!) go for red lipstick with a blue undertone. Try this cult classic–NARS lipstick in Scarlett Empress ($28).
6. Blue Lipstick to Beat the Makeup Blues
Speaking of blue undertones, here’s a cool tip–darker skin tones look amazing with dark blue lipstick. Essentially any shade of blue works, but start off with a navy if you want to ease into the blue trend. Check out Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Paint, $20. It’s an unexpected yet fun alternative to red or purple lipstick.
7. Accentuate Your Natural Glow
Highlighter is perfect to play up your natural glow or–if your inner glow doesn’t shine through as much–to fake a natural glow… fake it ‘til you make it, girls. The trick here is to look for brands that have different shades of highlighter for different skin tones (they make everyone’s lives so much easier). Darker skin tones should stay away from pinks and frosty whites to avoid a chalky finish. It might seem counterintuitive but to find a highlighter that pops, don’t look for one that contrasts your skin. Instead, find a gold, bronze, or copper tone that complements it, like M.A.C.’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Gold Deposit, $33.
8. Primer for Prime Lips and Eyes
Always start with a clean slate by applying primer to your lips and eyelids prior to applying any makeup. Primer gives you a fresh place to start and helps you pull off colors that are out of your comfort zone–even shades that are lighter than you thought you could pull off. Test out Benefit POREfessional Face Primer, $31.
9. Blush it up
While brick and dark red blushes may seem scary, you have nothing to fear. Shades like NARS Blush in Seduction ($30) work very well on darker skin tones. If you’re a dark blush newbie, apply a little at a time and build it up until you get to a color you like. And if you don’t like it, just wipe it off and try again–that’s the beauty of makeup (pun intended…).
10. Eye shadow should be more than a shadow
No one wants eyeshadow that disappears on their skin. If you’re going for a more intense eyeshadow look, just make sure to look for products with strong pigmentation. Shadows that are ultra-pigmented like Black Up Eyeshadow ($21), not only provide good coverage on all skin tones but also require less product per use–so they save you some money too.