Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Makeup for "Black skin"

Black (not dark) skin is one of the most beautiful skins....."women of colour" might sound offensive but seen in a positive way it really epitomises the beauty of dark women.

Black skin feels like velvet when touched and I really love the way they carry off makeup....yes....but when applied artistically with the right colour and the "right" hand.Icons like Chanel Iman,Alek Wek and Naomi Campbell took the leagcy of black skin to greater heights and model-cum-entrepreur Iman started the first line of cosmetics for black women.

Now the market is flooded with products for dark skin though India again lags behind.For my readers' knowledge I'd mention a few brands that are really good for dark skin and can be found easily in India....

M.A.C very versatile foundations and textures complimenting and accentuating black skin....

Shiseido their products have a the perfect blendability and uber-chic colours that can be dramatic

Red Earth this Australian brand has happening colours that suit all complexions but in Inida they have fantastic collection specially for Black skin..

L'Oreal has very good True match foundations for black skin but they tend to have only yellow undertones in them.

Anyways,if we understand some basics of how makeup should be worn by Black women,it becomes easier to choose products from the market and do some trial-n-error stuff with them.

Black skins have undertones like yellow,red,violet,blue and peach{rarely} and no pinks at all.The foundation choice is wider these days and black women since they have uneven skin should buy three complimenting colours at least.

The mistake which black women make in choosing a foundation is buying several shades lighter to look fairer but that is a total faux-pas.Instead its better accentuating the contours of the face with a luminous bronzer in case foundations are not available.

Lets learn step wise: -

The rule is "Blacker the colour more light is absorbed, and the light more reflected".Thence for black skin even a little sparkling eyeshadow becomes a boon.


Generally the T zone is lighter.the cheeks are darker and the perimeter of the face is the darkest.So this is how a foundation should be applied and blended.Nextly girls with purple undertones tend to look grey with the normally available foundations.For them KRYOLAN has a mango coloured concealer to cut the bluishness of the skin and make them look warmer.Products with the shades like "ebony" and "tawny" and "mocha" suit black skin.

Not sticking to the basic but being more corrective,an orangey-yellow based concealer really works at times if blended well.

I have hardly seen black women having dark under eye circles {but they do have tan} so the concealer part is saved.


Shiseido makes beautiful powder that a black woman can use to contour and highlight her face and let the light play and illuminate her features.Never attempt of using lighter powder shades.They make you look ghastly.Bronzer sans the orange colour which cheaper versions have gives "life" to the rather dull looking skin and so does a pinch of iridescent pink blush applied on the apples of cheeks.Peaches wont be seen and red blushes especially creamy formulations are very flattering.


Choose iridescent pastels....they reflect light very beautifully.Stick to shiny black liners and no browns as they tend to look muddy or most of the times invisible.


All lipsticks even flourescents looks fantabulous on black skin so dont hesitate in experimenting.So do shiny and shimmery lipglosses.

A girl once asked me to give her something that would make her dark african skin stand out.I suggested her to use hydrating serum+moisturiser and a creme pink blush with some pink gloss to applied on the cheek apples and some cherry red glossy lipgloss to compliment the look.She was looking ethereal.

Black skins do sport some colours which none of them can and its always good to be on the creative side when you have a dark black ebony skin.

After-all god made Black skin with a purpose.


  1. This article has been very enlightening. Thanks.

  2. Dark Skin will always and will forever be beautiful. That is why there are Black Jews. Inspite of her mundane apology the Queen of Sheba was the most beautiful in the land.

  3. Black skin feels like velvet when touched? No. It feels like skin. I don't know how many black people you've pet to come to that conclusion, but I've never heard that one. I know you didn't mean any harm, but things like that can be taken wrong.

    I know you meant soft, like velvet. Which I know you meant as a compliment, but generalizations like that aren't always appreciated. It's like saying "Asians are good at math, so ask one to help in Geometry". Positive? Depends on whom you ask.

    You may not have meant it like that, but I'm telling you that's how it sounded. I showed this to an associate and she right away commented on that wording as well.

    And actually, dark/black skin can have pink undertones. I'm not just talking about fair skinned girls either. And a lot of black women pick lighter foundations, not because they want to look lighter, but because it's easier to blend and conceal hyperpigmentation with a slightly lighter colour. A shade darker would look just as unnatural. Another reason is black women should really have two colours of foundation and blend, because of the natual color variations in our complexion. Most women don't realize that and just choose one, which can look unnatural on some areas and in some light.

    And darker girls with purple undertones don't need anything to make there skin look "warmer". They are cool toned and that's what they should embrace and focus on. What are they supposed to do, cover their entire body in concealer to cut the "bluishness", or should they warm up their face and walk around with a darker body?

    One more thing, when you refer to only dark skin tones as black or blacks having dark skin tones, it leaves a lot of lighter black women out. Black skin ranges from lily white to ebony black. We have the most varied skin colours on the planet.


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