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Serving Face: 8 Essential Makeup Tips for Dark Skinned Women

If you are a woman of color, you know first-hand, the challenge of navigating the makeup aisles to find shades suitable for your skin-tone. If you are a dark-skinned woman of color, that challenge becomes even greater. Not only is it virtually impossible to find a foundation or BB cream in the deeper color ranges, the in-store makeup professionals are often incapable of adequately advising deeper-hued ladies.

Thankfully, Beauty vlogger Destiny Godley shared some insightful tips for dark-skinned beauties looking to step up their makeup application:

In addition to Destiny’s tips here are a few more that may be helpful:

Try brands made with black women in mind

If you are on a budget, makeup brands that offer a variety of color options for black women include: Covergirl Queen Collection, Revlon, Black Radiance, Black Opal and Shea Moisture.

Use bronzer.

It adds a warm glow to your face. Just a quick dusting to the tops of your cheeks using a fan brush will do it.

Jackie Aina
Jackie Aina

Don’t be a afraid of blush.

While we don’t blush naturally, applying a berry colored blush to the apples of your cheeks can warm up your face. Check out some of my favorites below:

Use a primer for your eyeshadow.

If you want your eyeshadow to really pop, use a white cream eyeshadow base (like this one) all over your lid before applying your shadow. Lightly wetting your eyeshadow brush before dipping it into your shadow will also give your color a boost.

Try colored eyeliner.

If you’re intimidated by brightly colored eyeshadow, you can still play with color by using a purple or dark green eyeliner on your lower lash line like so:


Ombre lips are in.

For brighter lipsticks apply a lip liner a shade or two darker than the lipstick to give your lips a nice ombre effect.

Get matched for the right foundation.

If you are new to makeup and want to try foundations without buying, go to Sephora. Sephora employees are trained to use a computerized color matching system guaranteed to find your right shade. What’s better is that Sephora allows you to request and take home as many samples as you’d like. This way you can go home and test out the various formulas before committing to a purchase.

Youtube is your best friend.

There are many dark-skinned beauty vloggers who routinely create videos to inspire other women to step out of their comfort zones.  Shana Moore, Tameka, That Igbo Chick, AmyLozy, Coloured Beautiful,  The Mind Catcher and JeNeevaLove are a few ladies you may want to check out for dark-skinned makeup inspiration

Don’t be scared. Makeup is fun and it’s temporary. It washes away with soap and water!

There are a lot of rules regarding black women and makeup and if there is one thing you should take from this post is that those rules no longer apply. Your color is not a hinderance or cross to bear. It opens up the door to endless possibilities. Black is beautiful, so have fun enhancing your beauty.

What are some of your favorite makeup tips? Share them below!

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6 years ago

As a dark-skinned woman who has largely avoided makeup for years, mainly because I like my natural face but also because there just weren’t enough products that worked well with my skin tone, I am very thankful for this article. Off to get educated… 🙂

6 years ago

Yes, as a dark skinned woman, I have always been afraid of blush. It looks great on the models featured here but I’m still not sold on it for myself. I just don’t like the way heavy amounts of make-up look on me. Most of the time when I have my make up done at a counter I end up looking like a street walker. There was only one make-up artist that applied my make-up to perfection. Other than that, I try to keep the colors neutral and subtle.

6 years ago

Thanks for this. I’m so going to stop running way from bright colours. This is why I love this site! All the black women positivity and upliftment.

6 years ago

I blush and I am considered brown skinned. I just had to make that comment because a lot of black people don’t even know that some of us are capable of blushing.

**I also can get sun burned and I’m not the only one.

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