How to choose makeup for black skin

Choosing foundation makeup

Choosing the right foundation or foundation is vitally important for Indian, Black and African skin. Why use foundation? If you have darker skin, you are more likely to have uneven skin tone and pigmentation marks. The foundation helps to even out skin tone and cover pigmentation scars. Here are some tips on how to choose the best foundation shade for black skin.

First, choose three foundation colors that most closely match your skin tone and try them on your jawline. Make sure there is no other facial makeup on your skin and be sure to test in daylight. The tone that blends in with your skin and becomes ‘invisible’ is the one you should choose. Don’t test foundation shades on your hand, as the skin on your hand may be a different shade from your face. Also make sure the shade matches your chest and neck area – you don’t want it to look like you’re wearing a mask! Dark-skinned women also tend to have slightly darker or lighter skin in different areas of their face; choose the shade that best suits the majority of your face. Choose a foundation with yellow undertones as it is universally flat for dark skin.

If you are shopping for foundation makeup online, look for companies that provide foundation samples or testers so you can try it out at home.

Do not attempt to brighten or lighten your skin by applying a lighter foundation shade, as it will make your complexion look unhealthy and unnatural. If you want to brighten your skin, apply a transparent loose powder with light-reflecting properties (if the powder is not translucent, it should be a shade or two lighter than your foundation). This method subtly brightens your complexion without altering your skin tone. The reverse also applies: don’t use a darker foundation to look more tanned, use a matte bronzer instead.

When it comes to coverage, be sure to choose a foundation with more coverage than usual, as black skin tends to be more uneven and more prone to pigmentation spots. A mattifying and oil-absorbing formula is recommended as darker skin tends to produce more sebum and is oilier. One form of makeup that ticks all the boxes is mineral-based makeup.

Should you use a primer? It depends: if you want to neutralize a sallow or yellowish complexion, use a lavender foundation under foundation. If you need to use concealer, choose a shade that is a shade or two lighter than your foundation. Apply to specific problem spots with a concealer brush and apply foundation on top.

Choosing eyeshadow, cheek and lip colors

The darker your skin, the more intense the shades you choose for your skin should be. Choose warm colors and don’t wear colors that are too light – that delicate pale pink blush shade may look good in its compact form, but it will simply ‘settle’ like a pale powder on your darker complexion. A darker shade achieves the ‘pure color wash’ effect better on your skin tone.

For lip colors, choose colors like plum, burgundy, berry, wine, bronze, and copper. Choose lip products with a matte, glossy or transparent finish; avoid anything that is frosted. If you wear lip liner, choose a shade that most closely matches your natural lip color.


With these tips, you should have no problem selecting a flattering makeup for your complexion. The key to remember is that you should wear makeup to enhance your beautiful tanned complexion, not to completely change it.

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