Makeup Tips for Dark Skin

In my alternate life I have gorgeous, smooth chocolate skin, just like RuPaul, Iman, Tyra Banks – in short, women with skin the likes of which I will never possess in my true life.  I’m not kidding, I’m an old-school geek, I’ve been playing MUDs for years and my most favorite characters are modeled after, and inspired by, powerful, black women.  Ladies of color, flaunt yourselves!  Oh, how I envy you, with your ability to wear just about any bright, bold color you want – especially jewel tones, and don’t even get me started on gold shimmer.  Try putting golden hues on my paper-white skin and I end up looking closer to a gerbil than a goddess.

I may seem like an unlikely resource for legitimate tips in this department, but trust me, if there’s one thing I know and love, it’s color.  If I can’t wear it, I want to see it on folks who can!  So hear it me out, and better yet, try it for yourselves then let me know how it goes for you.

Take your time finding the right foundation for your skin tone.  The darker your skin, the more precise you have to be with the color your select, so reach for something warm chocolate colored with just enough red to counteract any ashiness.  Avoid oil-based products designed to make your makeup last longer, these tend to cake up over time and diminish the beauty of your skin’s natural glow.

  • When adding definition to your lips, cheeks and eyes, reach for richly pigmented, metallic hues such as bronze, burnt copper and bright cherry.
  • For foundation, select an oil-free tone that is a shade lighter than your normal skin tone. Choose a tone slightly darker for shading and contouring. Some colors look great on a wide array of skin tones, look for foundation and face powders in tan, sun bronze and peach.
  • You’ll look best in forest green, medium purple, deep plum, medium blue, slate blue or gunmetal gray shades of eye shadow. Choose one shade only to use at a time and apply it all over eyes, from lash-line to brows. Avoid light, powdery colors and iridescent color that covers the whole eyelid. A light brushing of loose, translucent powder over the lid will give a subtle shimmer for evening glamor.
  • Lip colours with berry shades, plums, burgundies and all shades of browns look great with dark skin. Also beiges, golds and soft pinks work well. Red lipsticks tend to come across as pink on dark skin, so look for something that’s more like a chocolate-cherry hue if you’re going for a nice ruby tone.
  • Use a true yellow-gold to highlight your beautiful assets, giving your face an enviable luminosity.  Just a touch at the inner corner of your eyes, and along the brow bone will make a noticeable difference.  But when you finish off your lip color with a little dab of gold in the center of your lower lip, you’ll take on a whole new level of allure.
  • Sheer blushes don’t play well with dark skin, so don’t be afraid to reach for those gorgeous plum and raisin hues, even blood red and fuschia will give you a natural looking glow.

Metallics look amazing on dark skin, so feel free to experiment to your heart’s content.  Just remember some rules are universal, if going for a strong eye, down play your lips.  When going for bold lips, try a more classic eye look, maybe with a single hue and winged liner. Either way, you’re a queen, paint your face to look the part!

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